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Environmental Edge
March 11, 2022

CERAWeek 2022: U.S. Energy Secretary Discusses What’s Ahead on Oil and Gas Production, Renewable Investments, and More

Environmental Edge: Climate Change & Regulatory Insights

CERAWeek, the annual gathering of chief executives, policymakers, investors, and other leaders of global energy companies and economies, was held in Houston and Arnold & Porter was there. We have been pleased to participate in this year’s 40th anniversary event as we help clients navigating significant changes in energy, environmental regulation and financial markets.

US Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm gave CERAWeek’s keynote address, sharing important observations about the Biden Administration’s energy policies, priorities and direction:

  • Increasing domestic production. Secretary Granholm called on US energy companies to increase oil and natural gas production and told investors that their immediate contributions would be essential to doing so. She noted that the US is producing at record rates but still facing incredible prices.
  • Tapping strategic reserves. We must “responsibly increase short-term supply,” Secretary Granholm said, including tapping strategic reserves. She highlighted the commitment last week of the US and 30 other countries to release 60 million barrels of oil from strategic reserves, which she said “may have to happen again.”
  • LNG exports. Secretary Granholm described the US as “uniquely blessed” in natural gas resources. She noted that US LNG exports are over 12 billion cubic feet per day (bcf/d), a figure expected to grow 30% by the end of 2024. This year, the US will be the world’s largest LNG exporter.
  • $62 billion in clean energy investments. The 2022 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act gave the Department of Energy $62 billion to develop clean energy, including $10 billion for CCUS, $8 billion for hydrogen hubs, $2 billion for CO2 pipelines, and $85 million for geothermal energy. Secretary Granholm emphasized that the Department’s programs will require partnerships and cost-sharing with the energy industry.
  • “Earthshots.” Secretary Granholm discussed the Department’s efforts to reduce costs for clean energy technologies, including programs for hydrogen, long duration energy storage and CCUS.
  • New supply chains. Secretary Granholm warned that the US will need to establish new supply chains for clean energy, and that failure to do so poses national, economic and energy security risks. She wants to see supply chains for batteries, critical minerals, and processing moved to the US, and also noted that the US wants to upgrade its power grid but has limited domestic transformer manufacturing.
  • Permitting. “Permitting is definitely on the agenda.” Secretary Granholm called for a whole-of-government approach to reducing permitting times and eliminating unnecessary obstacles to permitting for renewable energy projects, extraction of source materials for batteries, and similar ventures.
  • Cybersecurity. Secretary Granholm reminded companies to be on high alert with “shields up” for cybersecurity issues, particularly given current geopolitics. She praised advanced detection technology used in the energy sector and regular communications from companies to the Department about potential breaches, allowing the Department to respond rapidly to protect the entire industry.

Arnold & Porter regularly advises companies on the Biden Administration’s regulations and priorities that impact the energy, manufacturing, automotive, and other industries, and helps companies bring market-leading energy projects to life. If you have questions about these topics, please reach out to the authors or your trusted Arnold & Porter advisor.

© Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP 2022 All Rights Reserved. This blog post is intended to be a general summary of the law and does not constitute legal advice. You should consult with counsel to determine applicable legal requirements in a specific fact situation.