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Energy Secretary Is Urging Oil Firms not to Become Kodak

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said during a virtual event that oil firms in the United States would diversify or risk falling behind during the energy transition. She said, “The bottom line is you have got to move. You cannot hang on and be the Kodak or the Blockbuster Video of the energy world. You have got to diversify.”

The most well-known examples of companies that failed to recognize which way the wind was blowing and therefore fell off the racetrack are Kodak and Blockbuster Video. According to the Energy Secretary, if oil companies in the United States continue to operate as normal, they risk facing the same fate. Granholm did admit, however, that certain businesses are reorienting themselves in the right direction.

Big Oil has begun to diversify, with each of the supermajors, like ExxonMobil, developing a plan to transition to lower-carbon business operations. It is primarily a shift to power generation and an increase in natural gas output for the European supermajors. It’s a proposal to develop a massive carbon capture plant in Texas for Exxon.

This is far from the first time the current Energy Secretary has encouraged the oil industry to cease to exist. In reality, she used her first speech after being appointed to alert oil companies that they could either participate or be left behind in the green transition. She also said, “I’m not going to sugarcoat how hard transitions are. The bottom line is this particular growth of clean energy and reduction of carbon provides a huge opportunity and I’m extending a hand of partnership.”

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