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Michigan auto experience guides Secretary Jennifer Granholm in D.C.

Updated: May. 26, 2021 at 12:53 PM EDT
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - Lessons learned in Michigan are fueling the country’s energy future.

Former Governor Jennifer Granholm is credited for bringing clean energy jobs and new industry to Michigan during the Great Recession.

As she nears her 100th day as Secretary of Energy, Granholm reflects on that experience.

“I think the reason why I was asked to be in this position is because [President Biden] knows what Michigan went through during the last recession, during the bankruptcies of the auto industry, and the importance of this whole energy sector as being a job provider,” said Granholm.

With jobs at the epicenter of President Biden’s sweeping infrastructure plan, the administration is calling for massive investments in clean energy research and development.

The plan, detailed here, highlights a $180 billion investment to “establish the U.S as a leader” in climate science and innovation, advance U.S leadership in critical technologies, and jumpstart clean energy manufacturing.

Republican lawmakers have repeatedly expressed concerns about the cost. Senate Republicans revived negotiations this week, saying they would disclose details of a new counteroffer by Thursday.

Meanwhile, the recent Colonial Pipeline hack and unsteady prices at the pump are reigniting concerns about how the administration would handle the transition without leaving the traditional energy workforce behind.

“The traditional energy workforce has been powering our country for a century or more. Depending on where they live, they may feel like the rug has been pulled out from under them,” Granholm responded. “And so, the Biden administration has said, we will not leave people behind.”

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