U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm wrapped up her comments about about the need for more investment in efficient, sustainable infrastructure through President Biden’s Build Back Better bill — and then hopped right into a big “gas-guzzler” Chevy Suburban to make her way out of Fenway.
Granholm had spent part of the afternoon oo-ing and ah-ing over the funky new Boston Arts Academy building, chatting with the builders are cheerful Boston pols about the state-of-the-art windows and the lack of fossil fuels in the heating system before making a pitch about the multi-trillion-dollar bill that Biden and Democratic leaders in Washington are working to move along.
“We need to act quickly both on environmental justice but also on saving the planet,” Granholm told reporters inside the in-progress shell of the striking new Arts Academy overlooking Fenway Park. “So much of your greenhouse gas emissions involves buildings and vehicles. And so those two pieces are embedded in the Build Back Better agenda.”
A few minutes later, she and several members of her entourage were getting into the large white Chevrolet Suburban Premier they’d rolled up in, an SUV whose New Mexico plates indicate is a likely rental.
The Department of Energy did not respond to a request for comment about the Suburban and how that squares with the discussions of sustainability and efficiency. It wasn’t immediately clear what year the SUV was.
The webpage maintained by Granholm’s own Department of Energy that is the government “official source” for fuel economy lookups pegs the 2021 Suburban at somewhere between 16 and 23 miles per gallon overall, depending on whether it’s using diesel, premium gas or regular gas. For city driving — as the slow going in the area right around Fenway is — the SUV can get as few as 14 miles per gallon.
A couple of quick Google searches show the Suburban showing up on multiple top-10 “gas-guzzlers” lists. The federal fuel lookup page lists multiple hybrid and electric SUVs with overall mile-per-gallon marks of 35 to 95.
The Premier version is the middle of the three Suburban makes in terms of price and luxury. Next year’s Premier starts at $66,300.