United States Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm talked to China's top energy official just days before the Biden Administration announced it would tap into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) back in 2021 when gas prices were high.
During November of 2021, President Joe Biden and the White House released a statement saying that the administration would be releasing the SPR because Americans were "feeling the impact of elevated gas prices at the pump."
The administration released 50 million barrels of oil with the announcement. With Americans using more than 20 million barrels of oil a day, the emergency release from the SPR would not last long.
According to a report from Fox News, calendar dates show that on November 19 and 21, Granholm spoke to Zhang Jianhua in one-on-one conversations. Jianhua is a high ranking official in the Chinese Communist Party. The press release came out on November 23, 2021.
The calendars obtained by the Americans for Public Trust (APT) and then shared with Fox.
APT Executive Director Caitlin Sutherland said, "Secretary Granholm's multiple closed-door meetings with a CCP-connected energy official raise serious questions about the level of Chinese influence on the Biden administration’s energy agenda."
"The public deserves to know the extent to which Chinese officials are attempting to infiltrate U.S. energy policy and security," Sutherland continued.
A US Department of Energy spokesman commented on the report. The spokesman said that the meeting was about fighting climate change but did not get into specifics.
"Solving the climate crisis means engaging with competitors and allies in clear and substantive discussions — especially among the nations emitting the most carbon pollution," the spokesman said. "We must all address the transnational challenge of climate change to our planet."
In a 2021 press release, the White House said it was making the effort to release the oil "in parallel with other major energy consuming nations including China, India, Japan, Republic of Korea and the United Kingdom."
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