An energy Marshall Plan

Source: BY MATTHEW CHOI AND CATHERINE MOREHOUSE, Politico • Posted: Thursday, March 24, 2022

A handful of Democratic senators are offering up some thoughts on how to get Europeans off of Russian energy. In a letter to Biden Wednesday, Sens. Elizabeth Warren(Mass.), Ed Markey (Mass.), Martin Heinrich (N.M.), Cory Booker(N.J.) and Jeff Merkley (Ore.) urged the administration to use the Defense Production Act and military sales to boost manufacturing of electric heat pumps, efficient electric appliances and renewable energy technology. They also asked the president to push for reduced trade barriers and to ramp up clean energy exports to “mirror the Lend-Lease Act program implemented during World War II, through which the United States sent critical supplies to Allied nations invaded by Germany.”

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm also pitched a Marshall Plan-esque energy overhaul on Tuesday to transition to cleaner energy, but said that doesn’t have to come at odds with her calls to produce more oil and gas to offset market disruptions over the war in Ukraine. Speaking in Paris for the International Energy Agency Ministerial, Granholm said the two priorities were not a “binary choice” and that “both crises need addressing now.”

“The future of energy security, the future of economic security, the future of national security, the future of climate security — these are all inextricably bound together,” she said, later adding: “I think it’s a moment for us to ask at this point in our history, what is going to be our version of the Marshall Plan for clean and secure energy in 2022 and beyond?” POLITICO’s Kelsey Tamborrino has more on Granholm’s Paris remarks.

New data from the Federal Reserve Bank in Dallas shows oil and gas producers are ramping up drilling activity. Its business activity index for the 141 companies in Texas, northern Louisiana and southern New Mexico who responded to a survey jumped to 56.0 in the first quarter from 42.6 in the fourth quarter to reach its highest reading in the survey’s six-year history,

But oil companies are not optimistic about the long-term future of the industry, with the survey noting the “outlook uncertainty index also jumped from -1.5 to 31.9, suggesting uncertainty became much more pronounced this quarter.” And many respondents blamed investors still hesitant to invest more in production in addition to government regulations and market uncertainty over the war