Fox News host Martha MacCallum challenged National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan directly on American energy independence, and he appeared to struggle with an answer to her question.
Sullivan joined MacCallum for a morning interview on “Fox News Sunday,” and she pressed him on the United States’ dependence on foreign sources for energy despite being a net exporter of energy prior to President Joe Biden taking office.
“Why not reopen the Keystone Pipeline and reopen federal leases on U.S. land? Because we had energy independence and that was large leverage for the United States over Russia. Now we don’t have that anymore,” MacCallum began. “In fact we now buy more fuel from Russia than we have in the past, so how – why wouldn’t you want to revisit those in order to increase our leverage over Russia?”
“Well, first, Martha, the United States is still a substantial producer of energy,” Sullivan pushed back. “Second, we have worked with partners around the world to take steps to ensure that Russia’s attempts to use energy as a weapon get frustrated.”
Sullivan went on to say that the United States was prepared to “find cargoes of liquefied natural gas elsewhere in the world” and make sure that those got redirected to Europe in the event that Putin chose to “turn down” the amount of energy that Russia was supplying to Europe.”
“But you do concede we are no longer energy independent, Jake? And we were before,” MacCallum pressed again.
Sullivan appeared to be caught off guard by the question, pausing briefly before he skipped over it completely and pivoted instead to explain that the United States planned to be leader in transitioning to clean energy.
“What I would say is that the United States is investing massively in being a leader in energy transition in which, yes, for now, we continue to use fossil fuels but over the course of years and decades, we become a clean energy superpower, because that ultimately is not just where the jobs are. It’s where the strategic advantage will lie, because we can’t just look at next year or the year after,” Sullivan said. “That’s not what China is doing. We have to look out ten, 20, 30 years and over those years, President Biden’s investments and his visions for how to make the United States the world’s clean energy superpower, that’s what’s going to put us in the best strategic position alongside democratic like-minded allies and partners.”
MacCallum was quick to point out the fact that Russia and China might see that answer as a green light to go ahead with whatever they had planned, adding, “Some might say that Russia and China would look at that answer and feel that they are in a pretty good position. They came out and said you know we have a deep friendship, we have an unshakable alliance now, the two of us are in lockstep. What’s the White House reaction to that statement from them on Friday?”
Sullivan pushed back on MacCallum, arguing that Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping had not actually used the word “alliance.”
“They used some other phrases, but did not actually go so far as to call themselves allies,” he said.
“Let me just put this up on the screen for you,” MacCallum replied. “It says, ‘a friendship between these two states has no limits, there are no forbidden areas of cooperation’ and they also suggested China would have Russia’s back on their decisions with regard to Ukraine and the same would be true for Russia of China’s decisions with regard to Taiwan. That sounds like an alliance.”
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