The world’s largest energy conference, CERAWeek, made its in-person return to Houston last week. The annual conference hosts industry executives, policy leaders and foreign officials for a week-long event focusing on the future of the energy industry. With a global energy crisis underway, Biden Administration officials had the opportunity to speak directly to the industry at one of the most consequential times in history.
The conference featured Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry as the opening speaker. Kerry acknowledged the present situation the world faces in regards to energy supply, but was hopeful that the Administration’s net zero mission would not be derailed by the Ukraine/Russia conflict.
U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm’s speech was focused on domestic production and her perspectives on the current state of America’s energy industry. She encouraged oil and natural gas companies to increase production, acknowledging the role domestic producers play in meeting demand. She also outlined the clean energy opportunities the Department of Energy has for companies looking to reduce emissions and partner in the energy transition.
This sentiment was echoed in Department of Energy Deputy Secretary Dave Turk’s panel discussion. While Deputy Secretary Turk focused on the future of energy markets and the global energy transition, he also expressed the importance of maintaining affordable, reliable access to energy. Deputy Secretary Turk went on to reiterate the need for a speedy energy transition and the importance of industry as a partner to policymakers to meet net zero goals.
U.S. Department of State Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment Jose W. Fernandez shared his insights on how the energy transition will affect emerging markets. He discussed the potential clean energy has to bring a new sector of job opportunities to market. He applauded the private sector companies that have taken the initiative to invest in workforce training on new clean energy technologies. He also discussed the importance of supply chains and how it is necessary to diversify critical minerals sources to promote clean energy growth ethically while continuing to meet aggressive emissions goals.
Amos J. Hochstein, Senior Advisor for Global Energy Security, U.S. Department of State, had the opportunity to discuss the energy transition from a geopolitical perspective. He gave a holistic view of the policy, technology and financing that must come together on a global scale if the world is going to meet net zero goals. He also offered his perspectives on the current state of energy security and how the unprecedented invasion of Ukraine would impact global energy supply.
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Deidre Kohlrus, Director Government Affairs, writes about industry-specific policies for the Energy Workforce & Technology Council. Click here to subscribe to the Energy Workforce newsletter, which highlights sector-specific issues, best practices, activities and more.