ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said Wednesday that Russia’s war on Ukraine “screams” that the world needs to stop importing oil and gas from Russia and instead move toward other forms of energy.
At an international forum on offshore wind energy in Atlantic City, Granholm said the U.S. as well as its energy industries “are on a war footing,” and called for a rapid acceleration of renewable energy including offshore wind power.
Her comments were echoed by Kadri Simson, the European Commissioner for Energy, who noted that Europe recently committed itself to a large-scale move away from Russian fossil fuel imports, and considers wind energy an important part of that transition.
Their comments came as Russia cut off natural gas to NATO members Poland and Bulgaria on Wednesday and threatened to do the same to other countries, dramatically escalating its standoff with the West over the war in Ukraine. European leaders decried the move as “blackmail.”
Germany and Italy are among Europe’s biggest consumers of Russian natural gas but have already been taking steps to reduce their dependence on Moscow.
“Russia is waging a war in Ukraine and the imperative to move away from Russian oil and gas, for the world to move away from Russian oil and gas screams that there is an imperative that we electrify,” said Granholm, the former Michigan governor. “Offshore wind is just a huge component in that.”