Mike Lee Leaves Biden’s Energy Sec Flummoxed With Simple Question About Climate Agenda

(Screenshot via Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources' website)

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Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm struggled to answer a basic question from Republican Utah Sen. Mike Lee about the effects of the Biden administration’s massive climate agenda on Tuesday.

The Biden administration has a stated goal of having the entire American economy reach “net-zero” emissions by no later than 2050 to fight global climate change. Lee asked Granholm how much the administration’s “net-zero” agenda will bring down global temperatures over time if realized in full, but Granholm could only manage to describe the broader purpose of the “net-zero” agenda rather than specific projections for changes in global temperatures.

“I’d like to get a yes or no answer out of this one, if you can. Yes or no, does the Biden administration support a transition to net-zero?” Lee asked Granholm, to which the secretary answered in the affirmative. (RELATED: Top EPA Official Pushing EVs Can’t Say How Much Electricity America Uses In A Year)


“So, madam secretary, if the United States, consistent with your ambitions, with your plans, with the ambitions of the Biden administration, if it completely transitions over to get to net-zero, exactly how many degrees will global temperatures decrease as a result of moving to net-zero?” Lee asked after outlining global cost projections for the green transition compiled by McKinsey and Company in 2022.

President Joe Biden’s signature climate bill, the Inflation Reduction Act, contained subsidies designed to bolster green energy development that could end up costing more than $1 trillion, according to estimates from Goldman Sachs.

“Well, we want to keep global temperatures from rising more than one-and-a-half to two degrees, and net-zero is by 2050, so there is time to be able to get there,” Granholm responded. “If we see temperatures rising greater than that, of course, the costs for poor people and for people overall because of these extreme weather events will be catastrophic.”

Then-Democratic Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm gives a thumbs-up to the crowd of media and General Motors workers as she drives a new Chevrolet Volt extended range electric vehicle to the stage at the Detroit Hamtramck Assembly Plant to a stage. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

“OK, but let’s get back to my question: if we get to net-zero, when we get to net-zero, should we get there at some point, if we get there, what impact will that have on global temperatures?” Lee continued.

“As I say, the striving to net-zero is to prevent the temperatures from rising more than one-and-a-half to two degrees,” Granholm reiterated.

“That’s still not the answer to the question. The question is, what impact is that going to have? We have just talked about the fact that it is going to cost $275 trillion to get there, and we have talked about the fact that it’s going to cost the global economy nine or ten trillion dollars a year in order to get there,” Lee responded. “So, what does that buy us? What does that do? Now, you’re saying, yes, we’re trying to not have temperatures increase more than the defined amount that you just described. But what impact does this have? What does it do for global temperatures if we get to net-zero?”

President Joe Biden delivers remarks on oil company profits in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on October 31, 2022 in Washington, D.C. Biden was joined by Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

“Perhaps I’m not understanding your question,” Granholm responded. “I think I have answered that, and the whole point is to prevent these extreme and accelerating weather events. We have had year after year of record heat, we’ve had year after year of increased extreme weather events just in this country.”

While it is unclear if Granholm was referencing the federal “billion dollar disasters” dataset as evidence that climate change is intensifying, the statistic is frequently cited by the Biden administration to substantiate its climate agenda. However, Protect the Public’s Trust, a government watchdog group, has filed a scientific integrity complaint with the government over the dataset earlier this month, alleging that it is generated using opaque and atypical accounting practices.

AT SEA – APRIL 28: (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

“Look, I understand the Biden administration’s affinity for blaming everything, including bad weather on Republicans and on climate change, which they always associate together,” Lee said. “I fail to understand how you can definitively say that a complete transition to net-zero is necessary when you don’t even know the impact that it would have on global temperatures. You can’t tell me, sitting here today, what it’s going to do. You tell me what you fear might happen if we don’t do that, you tell me that you think temperatures will increase less if we do do this than if we don’t. I don’t get this.”

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