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Gabbin' with Granholm

Feb 21, 2024
Photo illustration of Jennifer Granholm and wind turbines.

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Jim Watson-Pool/Getty Images

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm made a few interesting comments at the National Press Club this morning. Here's a quick recap.

🤖 A.I. permits: Granholm said DOE is looking at how AI might help the federal government speed environmental permitting.

  • "We support permitting reform, but we're not waiting for Congress to act."
  • She also maintained that the administration supports updating the 150-year-old hardrock mining law, as it tries to fund "sustainable extraction" projects for energy transition minerals like lithium.

⚔️ LNG defense: Granholm declined to give a timeline for the LNG export permits pause, but she said it wouldn't turn into an outright ban.

  • "We have already authorized 48 billion cubic feet of export capacity.… The word 'ban' suggests that we're going to stop LNG exports. That is just not going to happen. Those contracts are in existence."
  • She said previous studies that show a net climate benefit of U.S. exports because they displace coal are outdated.
  • "The fact that the volumes of export now are just overwhelmingly greater than what it was when the last analysis was done requires just [to] take a few months to pause to make sure we're doing this right."

Our thought bubble: Granholm is a good spokesperson for the administration's climate and industrial policy. But the LNG pause is going to be a constant pressure point for DOE as we enter campaign season.

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