Department of Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm doubled down Thursday on her praise of China for being the world’s largest “clean energy” technology investor, despite it also being the world’s largest emitter of CO2.
During a House Appropriations Subcommittee hearing, Chief Deputy Whip Guy Reschenthaler (R-PA) grilled Granholm about her comments on March 10, 2023, that “We can all learn from what China is doing” on the environment, and another remark saying that the U.S. did not have the moral authority to criticize China.
Reschenthaler asked Granholm if she was aware at that time that 30 percent of the world’s CO2 emissions came from China. Granholm responded, “Oh, yes.”
She also confirmed she was aware that China “emits more than the U.S., the entire E.U., and Japan combined”; that China brings two coal-fired power plants online per week; that China’s coal-fired plants generate 23 percent more energy than all the energy produced in the U.S. combined; and that the Paris Climate Agreement allows China to increase its emissions through 2030.
Reschenthaler then pressed Granholm, “Knowing that you knew all that when you made the comment, would you like to retract your praise for China?”
Granholm refused to retract her praise. “No, my praise for China was on what they are doing to invest in clean energy, even as they are the world’s largest emitter,” she said, adding, “They invest four times more than the United States.”
She acknowledged that China had a “terrible record on greenhouse gas emissions,” but again praised their “significant” investment in clean energy.
Reschenthaler then grilled her on a comment she made on October 14, 2021, saying that the United States “doesn’t have the moral authority” to criticize China.
“When you made that comment, were you aware that in January of that year, our own State Department determined that the CCP is committing genocide and human rights abuses against Muslim Uyghurs?” he pressed her.
She responded, “Yes.”
“Were you aware of Hong Kong and the fact that Hong Kongers lost their liberty, and if you’re accused of a crime, you’re extradited to mainland China?” he asked.
“I am aware that China is a huge human rights abuser,” Granholm responded.
Reschenthaler asked, “Are you aware that the CCP is engaged in severe oppression of Tibet’s unique religious, cultural, and linguistic heritage, including extrajudicial detentions, disappearances, and torture?”
Granholm confirmed she was aware of that, as well as of allegations that China is a major harvester and trafficker of forcibly acquired organs, typically from minorities including the Falun Gong, Uyghurs, Tibetans, Muslims, and Christians.
Reschenthaler said he found it “astounding” that even being aware of those human rights abuses, she still would say the U.S. did not have the moral authority to criticize China.
Granholm responded, “The United States has to learn about the strategy that China has engaged in to be able to take supply chains for clean energy and corner the market on that.”
Reschenthaler asked her, “Where is your praise for the United States in the fact that we are the only western power that is reducing its emissions through natural gas?”
Granholm claimed, “I have been praising the United States since being in this role on how fantastic it is that we are now in the game. The largest investment in clean energy in the last year was thanks to Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act.”
Reschenthaler concluded, “Madame Secretary, I find your praise for the CCP to be alarming.”
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