Biden Pick for Energy Chief Vows to Create Jobs in Clean Energy

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President Joe Biden’s nominee for Energy Secretary told a Senate committee Wednesday she would prioritize creating jobs while deploying new energy technologies if confirmed.

Jennifer Granholm, the former governor of Michigan, also said she would seek to deploy clean energy technologies being developed by the Energy Department and its 17 national laboratories.

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

Biden Pick for Energy Chief Vows to Create Jobs in Clean Energy

Granholm, in her testimony before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, focused on her role helping her state recovery from the 2008 recession, recalling how she helped auto-dependent Detroit recover by diversifying to clean energy, a feat she said could be repeated across the nation.

“This is a sector that every state can benefit from: The products that reduce carbon emissions will create a 23 trillion dollar global market by 2030,” Granholm said. “That’s a massive opportunity.”

If confirmed, Granholm, 61, will take over an agency with an annual budget of $35 billion and a sprawling mission that includes maintaining the nation’s nuclear warheads, its emergency stockpile of oil and researching subjects as varied as super computers and carbon dioxide emissions.

Under the Biden administration, the department is expected to have a major role fulfilling the president’s campaign promise to decarbonize the electric grid by 2035 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. The Biden administration is expected to restart the department’s energy efficiency standards shop, which ground to a halt under Trump, as well as reinvigorate the agency’s loan programs which holds billions of dollars in loan authority for clean energy projects.

Granholm also said she would focus on the clean up nuclear waste left over from the development of the atomic bomb during the Cold War with Russia, a massive task that has left highly polluted sites in Washington state and elsewhere across the nation estimated to cost hundreds of billions of dollars.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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