President-elect Joe Biden will nominate former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D) to lead the Energy Department, the agency that would be instrumental in fulfilling Biden’s commitment to move the country away from fossil fuels.
Politico first reported the news.
The two-term former Michigan governor’s familiarity with the auto industry is reportedly seen as an advantage to Biden as the President-elect aims to accelerate the distribution of electric vehicles and charging stations for them as part of his plans to address climate change. Biden seeks to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
Biden’s team views Granholm’s staunch support of the auto industry as a potential way to bolster his appeal to blue-collar workers and the manufacturing sector as the incoming administration develops its plans for a climate-centric economic transformation.
Granholm’s appointment as Energy secretary would also starkly contrast President Trump’s first Energy secretary, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R), who promoted natural gas exports and coal as a power source.
Although the majority of the Energy Department’s budget is allocated to the maintenance of the country’s nuclear weapons arsenal, it also operates the 17 national labs focused on the development of advanced technology used in renewables, nuclear energy and fossil fuel production.
The Energy Department will also assist the incoming administration in reducing emissions from the nation’s building.
Granholm has championed the auto industry’s transition to a clean energy economy, which is a process in line with Biden’s top four goals. According to Politico, Granholm used her op-ed published in The Detroit News last month as a way to boost her profile as a candidate for Energy secretary in the incoming administration.
“[T]he private sector needs greater support and political will from our policymakers to help us fully realize the potential of a zero-carbon future,” Granholm wrote in a Nov. 7 op-ed in The Detroit News. “The economics are clear: The time for a low-carbon recovery is now.”
Granholm — who won her second term as governor against Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ husband — would be the second woman to lead the department if confirmed.