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Energy secretary confronted on Biden's campaign pledge to end fossil fuels: 'I did not hear him say that'

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm was grilled about President Biden's past promise to end the usage of fossil fuels, arguing one can easily view it on social media.

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm claimed Friday not to know about President Biden’s past statements on fossil fuels.

Amid a conversation about the Biden administration pausing approvals of liquefied natural gas or LNG exports, Granholm was questioned about the consistency of Biden’s stance on fossil fuels in general.

"Secretary, your comments on our show – and I know we have a business audience-- I’m sure that you wouldn’t cater your comments, but they’re very measured and, you know, you bring up a lot of reasons other than climate change for why you’re doing this," CNBC "Squawk Box" host Joe Kernen began. "But if you look at the way the president is selling it, and he basically said, you know, this is the — an attempt to tackle the ‘existential crisis of our time.’"

"Activists are hailing the decision as a landmark crisis that shows that industries will no longer just get a blank ‘okay’ to proceed with building oil and gas products, a powerful statement we can no longer allow the industries to continue operating and that hearkens back to President Biden’s campaign vow to put the fossil fuel business out of business," Kernen continued. "And he said, 'Read my lips, we will put fossil fuels out of business.’"


"I did not hear him say that," Granholm replied.

"Just look at YouTube," Kernen retorted.

The video can be seen of then-candidate Biden on the campaign trail in 2019, after a New Hampshire environmental activist questioned him for accepting donations from the co-founder of a liquefied natural gas firm.

"I want you to look at my eyes. I guarantee you. I guarantee you. We’re going to end fossil fuel," Biden said at the time.

During the same interview with Kernen, Granholm claimed that there will merely be a "managed transition," saying that "fossil fuels are not going away" any time soon.


"How long do you think, madam secretary?" Kernen asked. "Do you think it is 50 years or do you think it’s 5 years? If you’re pausing now, it assumes that we’re going to be able to transition in, like, 5 or 10 years. There are people that say it is going to be at least 50 years for the global economy to be able to operate. It can’t operate without fossil fuels. You can’t get fossil fuels without infrastructure."

Granholm said, "We are working every day at the Department of Energy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and that means making sure we manage carbon emissions, We reduce carbon emissions, we have the technology associated with the oil and gas industry. Many are stepping up to the plate in that the reason why people say that by 2050 we will get to net-zero is because there is a recognition that there will need to still be,-- and this is not just me saying this, this is the science from the international panel on climate change, that there will still be some use of fossil fuels."

"But can we manage the additions, eliminate the emissions? And that’s really a very important strategy that the U.S. has taken," Granholm concluded.

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