Dec 15, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Biden expected to nominate Jennifer Granholm as energy secretary

Jennifer Granholm
Former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm. Photo: Sopa Images/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden is expected to tap former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm to serve as secretary of energy, people familiar with the matter tell Axios.

Why it matters: Granholm will play a key role in making good on Biden’s promise to shift the U.S. to clean energy. Her prior experience in the auto industry is largely seen as a strength that will appeal to blue-collar workers, Politico, which first reported the news, writes.

Our thought bubble, via Axios' Amy Harder: Granholm is likely to satisfy — or at least not upset — most corners of the Democratic Party.

  • Her track record of working with the auto industry, especially its evolution to electric vehicles, will be a key asset of fulfilling Biden's climate agenda.

The big picture: Granholm, the first woman elected governor of Michigan, served two terms from 2003 to 2011, during which she focused on revitalizing the auto and manufacturing sectors.

  • She also served as Michigan's attorney general from 1998 to 2002.
  • Co-chair of Hillary Clinton’s transition team in 2016, she has thrown her support behind low-carbon economic recovery and would oversee Biden’s plan to reduce emissions as energy secretary.
  • Granholm has also served as an adviser to Pew Charitable Trusts’ Clean Energy Program.
  • If confirmed, she would be the second woman to head the department since it was established in 1977.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with additional information on Granholm's background.

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