‘Yeah, this is going to happen,’ Granholm said about rising energy costs
Americans should expect to pay higher prices to heat their homes this winter, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said Sunday.
“Yeah, this is going to happen,” she told CNN’s Dana Bash. “It will be more expensive this year than last year.”
Granholm, a former Democratic Michigan governor appointed by President Biden, said the president is exploring “all of the tools that he has,” including tapping into U.S. oil reserves, to address the rising energy costs.
“We are in a slightly beneficial position, well certainly relative to Europe, because their chokehold of natural gas is very significant. They’re going to pay five times higher,” she said. “But we have the same problem in fuels that the supply chains have, which is that the oil and gas companies are not flipping the switch as quickly as the demand requires. So that’s why the president has been focused on both the immediate term and the long-term. Let us get off of the volatility associated with fossil fuels and associated with others who don’t have our country’s interests at heart and invest in moving to clean energy where we will not have this problem.”
Granholm touted the importance of the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill passed by Congress on Friday, which Biden argued will “ease inflationary pressure” and reduce supply-chain bottlenecks “now and for decades to come.”
Asked if gas could reach an average of $4 a gallon, Granholm said the Biden administration “hopes” not but that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is “controlling the agenda.”
Last month, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) released a report warning that the cost of heating oil is expected to rise approximately 43% compared to last year to due to “higher expected fuel costs as well as more consumption of energy due to a colder winter.”
Meanwhile, the agency expects propane costs to rise by 54%, natural gas costs to rise by 30% and electricity costs to rise by 6%.
According to the EIA’s winter fuels outlook, the average U.S. household is expected to spend an average of $1,734 during the 2021-2022 winter season if using heating oil to heat their homes, up from $1,210 last year, $1,268 if using electricity, up from $1,192 last year, and $746 if using natural gas, up from $572 last year.
Granholm said the EIA is expected to release a new forecast on rising gas prices on Tuesday.