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U.S. Dept. of Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm visits ORNL

The Secretary of Energy spoke about gas prices and how ORNL is on its’ way to becoming one of the top labs in the world.
Published: Nov. 22, 2021 at 6:13 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 22, 2021 at 6:28 PM EST
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -On Monday, U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm made a visit to Oak Ridge National Lab.

Granholm toured the lab’s GRID-C building, highlighting Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda for Tennessee.

After the tour, she briefly spoke with media outlets about the increase in gas prices, stating the cause of the increase was due to supply and demand.

“People are buying more and traveling more. It has exceeded the supply, meaning those who are producing fossil fuel energy have not turned on as quickly as the demand, and that has meant the prices have increased. The President is all over this,” shared Granholm.

She continued by saying President Biden is very sensitive to the cost of gas prices at the pump and has been calling for an increase of supply domestically and internationally. In hopes, they will turn on to meet the global and national demand.

Secretary Granholm also expressed her hopes for more people to buy electric cars in the future.

“In the Build Back Better agenda that goes back to the Senate now, but I hope nonetheless there is that incentive so that when you buy an electric vehicle, the initial price tag at the dealer is brought down to be comparable to a gas-powered vehicle. That way people are incentivized to purchase an electric vehicle so that they don’t have to ever fill up their gas tanks or worry about the volatility of gas prices of gasoline,” said Granholm.

Aside from speaking about gas prices, Granholm announced ORNL GRID-C is on its way to becoming one of the top labs in the world, with the lab’s development of an Exascale Computer.

“We saw the final stages of the installation of the Frontier Exascale Computer. That will put this lab as the number one lab in the world for Exascale computing. That is huge for our infrastructure as a nation,” said Granholm.

The Exascale Computer is said by developers to be able to solve calculations up to 50 times faster than today’s top supercomputers.

ORNL leaders said the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda will help accelerate the transition to a more resilient, clean energy-powered future. Bringing economic development and good-paying, local jobs.

Senator Bill Hagerty released a statement ahead of Granholm’s visit saying:

“I regret that my schedule would not allow me to be at Oak Ridge National Lab today, but I do extend greetings to the Secretary of Energy and welcome her to Tennessee. While the Secretary knows my frustrations with the Biden Administration’s energy policies, which are being felt every time Americans put fuel in their vehicles, I trust that what she will see today is a corridor of our state that is on the cutting edge of research and development projects—not only for today but for decades to come. Tennesseans are proud of the critical work being done at Oak Ridge as well as the Y-12 National Security Complex, and the Secretary will see that our highly skilled workforce is leading the way to protect our national security. Maintaining the longstanding commitments and investments from the Department of Energy at Oak Ridge are not only a priority for me, but also Secretary Granholm, and I am confident that her visit today will solidify her belief in that.”

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