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On Thursday, May 13, Axios co-founder Mike Allen, editor-in-chief Nick Johnston and managing editor for politics Margaret Talev unpacked how the American Jobs Plan could create green jobs and shift infrastructure to tackle climate change, with Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D).

Secretary Granholm discussed energy independence as a national security issue, investing in US-based manufacturing, and the rapid growth of the cleantech industry.

  • On investing in cleantech in the US and increasing exports: “We shouldn't be buying wind turbines from Denmark. We should be building them here and stamping a made in America. And, by the way, we could be exporting them as well."
  • On the jobs of the future in cleantech: "I'm super bullish on the technologies that will get us to the goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050...The next generation of both solar and wind technology is material science, buildings, district heating. There's so much happening in the clean energy space that creates jobs."

Sen. Wyden unpacked how policymakers can support jobs in the clean energy sector, as well as bipartisan support for these initiatives.

  • On the existing tax codes around energy: "What I'm prepared to do now as chairman of the Finance Committee is really make a bold transformation with respect to the tax code. It is an outdated, crazy quilt that keeps us from having the certainty and predictability that the country needs in order to really tackle the climate challenge and produce more clean energy jobs."

Gov. Whitmer discussed the manufacturing industry in Michigan, the recent news around the Enbridge pipeline, and the future of cleantech jobs in the state.

  • On the economics of electric vehicle manufacturing: "Electric vehicles [are] putting people to work. This is good for our economy. It's good for our climate change goals, and it's good for individuals seeking great jobs and then protecting the Great Lakes."
  • On the Enbridge pipeline: "The manufacturing came to Michigan because of the water. We've got to protect this water. And this pipeline going through the Straits of Mackinac is a ticking time bomb...We can be great stewards of our environment and keep people in good-paying jobs all at the same time. It's not one or the other."

Thank you Climate Power for sponsoring this event.

Go deeper

Private equity crowds renewables deals, with investors willing to pay the price

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Private equity is pouring billions into renewable energy assets — it’s what LPs want, it’s what society demands and it’s what the world needs. But the classic private equity dilemma has surfaced: too much money chasing too few deals.

Why it matters: With heated competition for deals, prices for prime wind and solar power assets are getting bid up — and return expectations, in many cases, are coming down.

Biden's climate communications challenge

Illustration: Megan Robinson/Axios

The United Nations IPCC's alarming sixth assessment report, released Monday, was splashed across newspaper front pages, at the top of most mainstream news websites, and received significant TV coverage on cable and network broadcasts.

Yes, but: The report — the panel's most comprehensive look at how humans are altering the planet's climate in sweeping ways — failed to register, let alone resonate, with swing voters, according to an unscientific sampling from two Engagious/Schlesinger focus groups conducted Tuesday evening.

Biden rejects Trump's latest executive privilege claims

Photo: Jim Watson and Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The White House on Monday rejected two more of former President Trump's claims of executive privilege over documents that the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot requested, CNN first reported.

Why it matters: Trump's legal team is seeking to block some of the panel's requests for records by invoking executive privilege, which can allow presidents and their aides to sidestep congressional scrutiny. The Biden administration has maintained that it will evaluate on a case-by-case basis.