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Lawmakers discuss Granholm confirmation process ahead of expected floor vote

Published: Feb. 24, 2021 at 3:40 PM EST
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UPDATE: The Senate confirmed Granholm’s nomination on Feb. 25 by a vote of 64-35

WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - The U.S Senate is expected to confirm former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm as Energy Secretary this week.

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee voted 13-4 last month to advance her nomination to the full Senate. She is expected to be confirmed this week.

As governor, Granholm is credited for bringing clean energy jobs and new industry to Michigan during the Great Recession. Now, she’s poised to take her vision to the national level as Secretary of Energy.

Democrats, like Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chair Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), support Granholm and her promise to “innovate, not eliminate” in the quest for energy dominance.

“She understands when markets shift, and basically leaving people behind that had good jobs and now have a hard time just surviving, let alone living any quality of life they lived before,” said Manchin. “She understands that.”

During her confirmation hearing, Granholm pushed her plans to embrace new wind and solar technologies, but her position is causing tension with some Republicans who fear for the future of fossil fuels.

The administration has pledged to help communities diversify, but Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) says he’s concerned oil and gas workers will be left behind.

“I have a lot of concerns about her answers and her failure to commit to the energy jobs and a full use of American energy,” said Barrasso.

The Energy Secretary is tasked with advancing the energy and environmental security of the United States. According to Sarah Ladislaw with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the cabinet member also oversees the nuclear stockpile.

“I think the question was, do you get a scientist to run the Department of Energy because so much of what they do is science-based?” asked Ladislaw. “Or do you get someone thinking about the innovation cycle?”

Based on Granholm’s history, Ladislaw says Granholm will likely refocus the department in order to follow through on Biden’s climate agenda.

“This is about jobs and economic opportunity and “building back better”,” said Ladislaw.

The full Senate is expected to vote on Granholm’s confirmation no later than Friday.

Copyright 2021 Gray DC. All rights reserved.

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