Energy Sec. Granholm dodges questions on gas crisis as aides whisk her away, block camera: video

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Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm refused to answer questions from a Fox News reporter on Wednesday while her aides scrambled to push reporters away in an altercation that was caught on video.

“Hi, Secretary Granholm,” Fox News Senior Political Editor Andrew Murray asked the secretary as she walked down a hallway flanked by her aides following her speech at CERAWeek by S&P Global in Houston. Granholm recoiled in surprise as Murray attempted to ask her a question about Iran and gas prices.

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“Is there any talk about bringing Iran back to the table because of gas prices,” Murray asked.

Granholm continued walking while her press secretary, Charisma Troiano, asked reporters to direct questions to her instead of Granholm while aides physically blocked reporters from getting close to the energy secretary. 

Both Granholm and Troiano refused to answer multiple questions including another question from Murray about increasing pipelines in the United States with Troiano saying that she would address the questions later.

At one point, a camera operator could be seen and heard bumping into a podium as the group chaotically passed through the venue.

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Shortly after Murray identified himself as a journalist with Fox News Digital, another aide placed a folder in his face blocking his cell phone camera.

The Department of Energy did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Fox News regarding the incident and the answers to the questions Murray asked had not received any answers from Troiano at the time of publication of this article.

Pipes for the Keystone XL pipeline stacked in a yard near Oyen, Alberta, Canada, on Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021. U.S. President Joe Biden revoked the permit for TC Energy Corp.'s Keystone XL energy pipeline via executive order hours after his inauguration, the clearest sign yet that constructing a major new pipeline in the U.S. has become an impossible task. Photographer: Jason Franson/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Pipes for the Keystone XL pipeline stacked in a yard near Oyen, Alberta, Canada, on Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021. U.S. President Joe Biden revoked the permit for TC Energy Corp.’s Keystone XL energy pipeline via executive order hours after his inauguration, the clearest sign yet that constructing a major new pipeline in the U.S. has become an impossible task. Photographer: Jason Franson/Bloomberg via Getty Images

“In this moment of crisis we need more supply,” Granholm told attendees during her speech. “Right now we need oil and gas production to rise to meet current demand.”

Granholm said the Biden administration has been reaching out to partners around the world to try to encourage additional output.

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The Biden administration has been widely criticized by Republicans and Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin for not publicly calling for increased energy production in the United States amid Russia’s disruption of the oil markets while also downplaying the need for the Keystone XL pipeline.

“If we’re trying to bring about more supply that does not address any problem,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in response to a question about the pipeline Wednesday. “The pipeline is just a delivery mechanism – it’s not an oil field, so it does not provide more supply into the system.”

UNITED STATES - MARCH 8: Gas prices are displayed outside an Exxon station in Washington on Tuesday, March 8, 2022. (Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

UNITED STATES – MARCH 8: Gas prices are displayed outside an Exxon station in Washington on Tuesday, March 8, 2022. (Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

When pressed further on whether restarting the pipeline is something the White House is considering, Psaki said: “There’s no plans for that, and it would not address any of the problems we’re having currently.”

The Keystone XL would have moved about 840,000 barrels of Canadian oil per day across the US to Texas for refining and sale. US imports of Russian oil peaked at about 800,000 barrels per day in 2021. Biden canceled the pipeline via executive order during his first days in the Oval Office. 

Reuters contributed to this report.

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