Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm Offers Weak Defense of Biden-MBS Meeting

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm shot down on Sunday President Joe Biden’s declare that he wouldn’t meet with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman regardless of the ordered killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, finishing the administration’s reneging on the Saudis’ “pariah” standing.

Granholm appeared on CNN’s State of the Union, the place she defended the necessity to meet with the Crown Prince throughout the Gulf Cooperation Council summit. Biden had said Friday he was “not going to meet with MBS, I’m going to an international meeting. MBS is going to be part of it,” although the Saudis confirmed the 2 would meet individually.

“I think he will meet with the Saudi Crown Prince,” Granholm advised host Dana Bash. “He has asked for all suppliers around the globe to increase production that includes [the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries], that includes our domestic oil and gas producers. He is asking for an increase like other leaders around the globe are interested they will have a one on one meeting.”

Bash pressed the vitality secretary on the optics of the assembly, asking why it was “appropriate for a U.S. President to meet with a dictator who murdered and chopped up a journalist” in a violation of human rights. As a candidate, Biden had committed to ostracizing Saudi Arabia for Khashoggi’s homicide, saying he would have them “pay the price, and make them in fact the pariah that they are.”

Granholm sputtered, arguing the assembly was essential to stave off an extra improve in gasoline costs.

“The president is very concerned about that, and I’m sure will raise that issue,” Granholm mentioned. “But he’s also very concerned about what people are experiencing at the pump and Saudi Arabia is head of OPEC, and we need to have increased production so that everyday citizens in America will not be feeling this pain that they’re feeling right now.”

Granholm’s protection got here after a back-and-forth over the administration’s function in curbing what People pay on the pump. Granholm repeatedly deferred to different elements, together with the necessity to fund the latest infrastructure invoice, as potential obstacles to decreasing gasoline prices.

It led Bash to a pointed query: “When people are watching, they’re saying, ‘OK, this is the president’s energy secretary. What I want to know is, when will my gas prices come down?’”

After additional hypothesis, together with a possible European Union ban on Russian oil, Granholm acknowledged her uncertainty.

“I can just say what the experts are projecting,” she mentioned. “We know this is going to be a tough summer because driving season just started and there will be continued upward pull on demand.”

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