Senate confirms former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm as energy secretary

The Senate confirmed Thursday Jennifer Granholm as energy secretary. Photo by Jim Watson/UPI

Feb. 25 (UPI) — The Senate confirmed Thursday former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm, 62, as energy secretary.

Senators voted 64-35 in favor of her confirmation, the roll call shows.

“My sincere thanks to the Senate for your confidence in me,” Granholm tweeted. “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!”

Granholm became the first female Michigan governor in 2002, and was re-elected in 2006 with the largest number of votes case for governor in the state, according to her biography on the state’s official website.

She told the panel during her confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill that she expects technology products that reduce carbon emissions to be a $23 trillion global market by 2030.

During the hearing, Granholm also addressed concerns about people working in the fossil fuel industry. She said that Joe Biden‘s goal of achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 could be met with carbon capture, utilization and storage technologies used as a tool to cut emissions without cutting jobs.

“I think we must use those technologies to keep people employed and to clean up and remain energy independent,” she said at the hearing.

As governor, Granholm’s economic platform included “aggressive measures to grow a new alternative energy sector,” to turn “Michigan’s rustbelt image to a greenbelt reality,” her biography states.

She saw electric vehicles as a way to diversify and keep the state’s industrial base strong while aiding Michigan through auto industry crisis caused by global shift in manufacturing jobs to low-wage countries.

Prior to serving as governor, Granholm was the state’s first female attorney general.

Granholm was previously considered as candidate for energy secretary if Hillary Clinton had won in 2016.

Biden tapped Granholm for the post in December.

“I believe that I was nominated by the president because I am obsessed with creating good paying jobs in America,” Granholm told lawmakers at her confirmation hearing. “Having been the governor of Michigan when the automotive industry was on its knees, I understand what it’s like in the eyes of men and women who have lost jobs through no fault of their own.”

Granholm will leave a position as an analyst for CNN to take the Energy Department position.

She also stepped down from a position as an adjunct professor at the University of California, Berkeley law school, and said she would divest from assets she holds in energy companies.


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