Biden to select former governor Jennifer Granholm for Energy Secretary

Granholm was reportedly a top contender for the post if Hillary Clinton had won the presidency in 2016.

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President-elect Joe Biden is expected to nominate former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm to head the U.S. Department of Energy.

For years, Granholm has been passionate about clean energy issues. The Democrat was reportedly considered a top contender for the post if Hillary Clinton had won the 2016 election.

Former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm speaks onstage last October during TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco 2019 at Moscone Convention Center. (Photo by Steve Jennings/Getty Images for TechCrunch)

Instead, Granholm worked as a CNN contributor and later a consultant to the Biden campaign. She helped the former vice president prep for the 2020 presidential debates.

After serving as the state’s attorney general, Granholm was elected governor of Michigan in 2002 and played a role in securing a bailout of the auto industry during the Great Recession.

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Her connection to the automotive industry and dedication to progressive energy policy could be an advantage as the Biden administration seeks to invest in electric vehicles and a nationwide network of charging stations.

Politico was first to report the potential pick, saying Granholm’s nomination could strengthen the president-elect’s support among blue-collar manufacturing workers who could benefit from new green energy manufacturing jobs.

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The Energy Department primarily oversees the country’s nuclear weapons arsenal. However, investments in the power industry through gas, wind, and solar energies will top Granholm’s agenda.

The DOE will also be a key player in the battle to combat climate change. Biden has pledged that the U.S. will rejoin the Paris Climate Accord in his first 100 days.

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Granholm is devoted to helping the U.S. transition to a clean energy economy. In a Detroit News op-ed piece last month titled “Low-carbon economic recovery a better path for Michigan,” she wrote, “The private sector needs greater support and political will from our policymakers to help us fully realize the potential of a zero-carbon future. The economics are clear: the time for a low-carbon recovery is now.”

The former governor’s passion for energy issues was limited during her term as governor only because, as one expert described it, “she was ahead of her time.”

If confirmed, Granholm would be the second woman to lead the department since it was created in 1977.

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