United States Department of Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm continued her suggestion that the U.S. government should look to China's renewable energy investments for inspiration, while also agreeing that the communist country is the largest polluter in the world and a gross violator of human rights.
During a session with Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (R) of Pennsylvania, Granholm answered a series of statements by the congressman regarding China's pollution and energy policies.
"At the time you made that comment, were you aware that 30% of the world's [carbon emissions] came from China?" the congressman asked.
"Oh yes," Granholm replied.
The energy secretary agreed to other statements about China causing more emissions than the United States and European Union combined, as well as remarks regarding Chinese coal plants and more.
Granholm had previously stated that America can "learn from what China is doing" regarding climate change and that China "has been very sensitive, and has actually invested a lot in their solutions, to achieve their goals," before adding that "we can all learn from what China is doing."
The congressman asked Granholm if she would like to "retract [her] praise for China."
"My praise for China was on what they are doing to invest in clean energy, even as they are the world's largest emitter," the secretary answered.
"They're the world's largest emitter, and we should be studying what they're doing?" Reschenthaler asked.
"They're also the largest investor in clean energy technology. They invest four times more than the United States," Granholm replied.
After the congressman pointed out that China is opening two coal plants per week and said the energy secretary is "praising" China as she is trying to "shut down [coal plants]" in the United States, Granholm fired back saying "just to be clear, I was praising their investment in clean energy."
Granholm continued to support the "green energy" spending, but also admitted that China has "a terrible record on greenhouse gas emissions."
The Republican then recalled a 2022 remark by the energy secretary, in which she said the U.S. doesn’t “have much moral authority” to criticize China over its energy policies. Reschenthaler asked Granholm how she can make such a claim knowing China's record of human rights violations.
"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," Granholm replied, insisting that she was being taken out of context and referring to the communist party's energy program, not referring to "moral authority" regarding human rights.
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