Former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm was approved by the Senate as President Joe Biden’s energy secretary on Thursday by a vote of 64-35.
“My sincere thanks to the Senate for your confidence in me,” Granholm tweeted shortly after being confirmed. “I’m obsessed with creating good-paying clean energy jobs in all corners of America in service of addressing our climate crisis. I’m impatient for results. Now let’s get to work!”
Fourteen Republicans voted in favor of Granholm’s nomination, joining all 48 Democrats and the two independent senators who often caucus with Democrats.
All 35 Senators voting No against confirming Jennifer Granholm as President Biden's Energy Secretary were Republicans including Minority Whip Thune, Energy Ranking Member/GOP Conference Chair Barrasso, Cotton, Cruz and Hawley. pic.twitter.com/Lom9AhOMOW
— Craig Caplan (@CraigCaplan) February 25, 2021
Granholm has echoed President Biden’s call to “take the vitriol out of politics.” However, she suggested Donald Trump purposefully accelerated COVID-19 transmission during the presidential campaign, claiming in an October 24 tweet that he was “intentionally holding superspreader events across the country, infecting thousands more Americans.”
— Jennifer Granholm (@JenGranholm) October 24, 2020
What kind of human being knowingly, intentionally spreads the virus? What monster does 14 more of these rallies in states where the hospitals are overloaded and the virus is spiking? @realDonaldTrump has caused the death of 700 people. How many more this weekend? https://t.co/6rGgjF10JE
— Jennifer Granholm (@JenGranholm) October 31, 2020
In another tweet on October 31, Granholm said President Trump had “caused the death of 700 people” by holding rallies.
“What kind of human being knowingly, intentionally spreads the virus?” Granholm asked. “What monster does 14 more of these rallies in states where hospitals are overloaded and the virus is spiking?”
She had also tweeted that “the level of incompetence and immorality in @realDonaldTrump’s administration is criminal.”
Granholm, 62, was born in Canada, became a U.S. citizen in 1980 when she was 21, and served two terms as governor of Michigan from 2003-2011 – the first woman elected to that position. She said she worked with then-Vice President Biden during the recession in 2009 on a recovery effort that bailed out the auto industry.
As governor, Granholm reportedly helped secure $1.35 billion in federal funds for companies to produce electric cars and batteries in Michigan. According to the Detroit News, “she pushed renewable energy initiatives during her administration,” which the outlet notes is “something fundamental to Biden’s plans to combat climate change.”
I just love that @JoeBiden is talking about EV batteries, carbon negative strategies, transmission challenges, BTUs, weatherizing buildings, capturing methane and all manner of clean energy job opportunities … does @realDonaldTrump even know what any of that is?
— Jennifer Granholm (@JenGranholm) October 16, 2020
The Associated Press reports, “Granholm has promoted emerging clean energy technologies, such as electric vehicles and battery manufacturing as an answer for jobs that will be lost as the U.S. transitions away from oil, coal and other fossil fuels.”
— USConsulateVancouver (@usconsvancouver) February 25, 2021
A graduate of Harvard Law School, Granholm was Michigan’s attorney general from 1998-2002. She has also worked as a Democratic strategist and CNN analyst. Most recently, Granholm has been an adjunct professor of law at the University of California at Berkeley, where her husband, Daniel Mulhern, is a lecturer at the Haas School of Business and Goldman School of Public Policy.
She takes over a Department of Energy responsible for overseeing the nation’s energy supply, maintaining the nuclear arsenal, reducing the threat of nuclear proliferation, cleaning up nuclear sites from the Cold War, and supervising scientific research conducted throughout the agency’s network of national laboratories.
After a winter storm knocked out power to more than four million people in Texas last week, Granholm said the U.S. must modernize its electrical systems.
One thing is certain: America’s electricity grid is simply not able to handle extreme weather events. Whether it’s wildfires in California or snowstorms in Texas, we need to upgrade our grid infrastructure ASAP.
— Jennifer Granholm (@JenGranholm) February 17, 2021
“One thing is certain: America’s electricity grid is simply not able to handle extreme weather events,” she tweeted. “Whether it’s wildfires in California or snowstorms in Texas, we need to upgrade our grid infrastructure ASAP.”
Republicans have expressed concern that the Biden administration’s environmental and energy policies would result in lost American jobs.
It’s critical that @JenGranholm demonstrates she’s dedicated to all forms of American energy. America needs a broad energy mix that includes renewable sources, nuclear power, & yes, traditional fuels like coal, natural gas, and oil. https://t.co/jIgtQkHZaD pic.twitter.com/7swWyrA6XO
— Sen. John Barrasso (@SenJohnBarrasso) January 27, 2021
The Associated Press reports:
During her confirmation hearing last month, Granholm pushed her plans to embrace new wind and solar technologies. But her position caused tension with some Republicans who fear for the future of fossil fuels. …
Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso, the top Republican on the Senate energy committee, said the Obama administration “went on a regulatory rampage to slow or stop energy production.” Barrasso and other Republicans have complained that a freeze imposed by Biden on oil and gas leases on federal lands is taking a “sledgehammer” to Western states’ economies. The moratorium could cost tens of thousands of jobs unless rescinded, Barrasso said.
He and other Republicans also bemoaned Biden’s rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada to the U.S. Gulf Coast, saying thousands of jobs will be lost and a friendly source of oil left idle.
Granholm assured lawmakers that creating jobs was her top priority – and Biden’s.
Secretary Granholm is President Biden’s tenth Cabinet official to be confirmed and was sworn in by Vice President Kamala Harris on Thursday evening.
— Christian Datoc (@TocRadio) February 25, 2021