Secretary Jennifer Granholm collaborated with left-wing organizations Queer Brown Vegan and Earth Uprising
Joseph Simonson • April 20, 2022 5:00 am
The Department of Energy is touting its work with left-wing activists who want to eliminate fossil fuels as gas prices rise to the highest levels seen in over a decade.
In October, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm held an event called “Our Time is Now: Latinx Leaders on Climate Action,” focused on the Biden administration’s “efforts to usher in an equitable clean energy future.” Activists who attended include members from organizations called Queer Brown Vegan and Earth Uprising. Earth Uprising in April 2021 demanded “no new fossil fuel infrastructure, and existing fossil fuel extraction must be ceased, including all pipelines.” Queer Brown Vegan also calls for the elimination of all fossil fuels and endorses “zero waste” as “an ancestral BIPOC practice.”
The event was highlighted as an “outreach” effort by the agency in its new Equity Action Plan published earlier this month. The purpose of meeting with the activists, the agency wrote, was to promote the “environmental, social, and energy justice actions encapsulated in” President Joe Biden’s “Build Back Better” bill.
“We are looking at everything within the Department of Energy, every single program that we have … and asking how is this helping communities that have been left behind, how do we increase diversity in innovation, and how do we ensure we have underserved communities at the table and listening to make sure we’re getting this right,” Granholm said at the event.
The event exposes the tensions between the Biden administration’s purported policy goals and its pledge of “embedding equity in the everyday business of government.” In this case, the Energy Department’s equity initiatives explicitly contradict Biden’s claim that he is doing everything in his power to lower the price of gas, which sits at more than $4.10 a gallon. Biden has faced bipartisan criticism for stifling oil and natural gas production, which sits below levels seen under his predecessor.
“The Department’s mission areas touch upon equity and provide an opportunity to advance justice,” the Energy Department’s report reads. “From the households grappling with issues of energy burden and energy insecurity, to the universities advancing basic research with Department funds and the business and community based organizations that partner with DOE to deliver on its mission, the Department has an extraordinary reach. “
Although the Energy Department’s equity plan contains few references to energy production, it boasts of the agency’s “first-of-its-kind program” to help “environmental justice communities and communities with historical ties to fossil fuel industries access the economic and environmental benefits of clean energy and clean energy manufacturing.” That program, the Energy Department announced last year, “reflects the Biden-Harris administration’s goal to assist community-led transitions to a decarbonized economy, and to build a healthier, more equitable, and sustainable future.”
Virtually every major domestic policy announcement made by the Biden administration mentions “equity.” The Washington Free Beacon last month reported that Biden’s budget mentions the word more than 100 times, such as in its pledge to land the first black woman on the moon. Another White House report, called the “Gender Equity Plan,” claimed eliminating cash bail for violent criminals is critical to promoting “gender equity and equality.”