“We wish oil costs to go down,” says the US Secretary of Power

Volatility is still weighing on oil markets, US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said on Saturday, reiterating calls for additional supplies.

When asked to comment on the state of oil markets, she told CNBC’s Sri Jegarajah that “there is no doubt that there is a volatile environment” — a situation the White House is monitoring.

“There is a lot of excitement in these markets and as such we are deeply concerned about the way things are going,” added the energy secretary.

Granholm requested additional production to lower prices.

“We want to see more supply … It gets dangerous when the prices are that high,” she said. “I think the prudent way is to make sure transportation is affordable for people, and of course that means the supply is stable.”

Some members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and their allies — collectively known as OPEC+ — are voluntarily cutting production by a total of 1.66 million barrels per day through the end of 2024. In addition, coalition heavyweights Saudi Arabia and Russia announced further voluntary cuts in July and August, each including 1 million barrels per day in production and 500,000 barrels per day in exports.

High crude oil prices continue to pose a challenge for the Biden administration, and cutting costs remains a priority.

“We want the prices to go down. The President is really focused on the impact on real people who have to go to work and can’t afford that bounty,” Granholm said.

The US has historically been vocal about lower prices at the pump to ease consumer budgets and curb inflation. Washington has repeatedly asked OPEC+ producers to help those efforts by increasing their output — culminating in a brief war of troughs with Saudi Arabia last October.

The US is now facing lower inflation, with the CPI showing a 3% yoy increase in June.

Renewable energy

Granholm also discussed the importance of the transition to renewable energy – a key theme of this year’s energy summit.

“China and the United States are the world’s largest emitters… Their citizens are feeling the effects of these extreme weather events,” Granholm said, adding that the US is interested in “finding an oasis” by working with China on clean energy deployment.

“We have to do everything, everywhere and at once. Provide, provide, provide clean energy. Because if we don’t do that, our planet will be on fire and we have to do something about it.”

Correction: This story has been updated to accurately reflect a quote from US Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm regarding supply and production.

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