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Jennifer Granholm, President Biden's nominee for energy secretary, is hinting that the new administration will be supportive of U.S. liquefied natural gas exports — but wants the gas sector to get cleaner too.

Driving the news: Her position is spelled out in newly available answers to written questions from lawmakers on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

  • "I believe U.S. LNG exports can have an important role to play in reducing international consumption of fuels that have greater contribution to greenhouse gas emissions," she writes.
  • "If confirmed as Secretary, I also look forward to working with U.S. industry in ways to reduce emissions associated with this commodity," added Granholm in her response to GOP Sen. John Barrasso.

Why it matters: The new administration's approach to U.S. LNG exports, which have soared over the last half-decade, has been rather unclear. For more on that, see this detailed piece in Energy Monitor.

  • Brookings Institution analyst Samantha Gross, in the article, notes that it's a "big pickle" for the Biden administration, given the importance of the U.S. gas industry and his push for tough climate policies.
  • "The administration will be facing opposing forces with respect to gas policy and I am not sure which way they will go," she said.

What's next: The Senate committee is expected to vote in favor of Granholm's nomination later this morning, clearing the way for confirmation by the full Senate.

Go deeper

Senate confirms Pete Buttigieg as transportation secretary

Photo: Stefani Reynolds - Pool/Getty Images

The Senate on Wednesday voted 86-13 to confirm Pete Buttigieg as secretary of transportation.

Why it matters: The former South Bend, Indiana, mayor is the first openly gay man to be confirmed as a Cabinet member. At 39, he is also the youngest person to head the department.

NASA estimates Tonga volcano exploded with force of 5-6 megatons

A satellite image of Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha’apai volcano on Dec. 24, before the eruption. Photo: Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies

NASA scientists estimate the power of Tonga's volcanic eruption over the weekend to have been 5-6 Megatons of TNT equivalent.

Threat level: Saturday's eruption of the Hunga Tonga Hunga Haʻapai volcano and subsequent tsunami killed at least three people. Scientists warn an "ash-seawater cocktail" poses a potentially toxic health threat, and drinking water could be contaminated.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

New York AG alleges "significant evidence" of Trump Organization fraud

Combination images of former President Trump and New York State Attorney General Letitia James. Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images; Scott Heins/Getty Images

New York's attorney general filed a motion Tuesday seeking to compel former President Trump and his two elder children to appear for sworn testimony in her office's civil investigation into the Trump Organization's financial dealings.

Why it matters: Attorney General Letitia James revealed new details in the court filing and a statement on her office's investigation into the Trump Organization's business practices, including a preliminary finding alleging the company used "fraudulent and misleading asset valuations to obtain economic benefits."