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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.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: Several states report zero COVID deaths for the first time in months — CDC says schools should still universally require masks and physical distancing.
  2. Politics: New York to lift mask mandate for vaccinated people — CDC director says politics didn't play a role in abrupt mask policy shift.
  3. Vaccines: Sanofi, GSK COVID vaccine shows strong immune response in phase 2 trials — Vaccine-hesitant Americans cite inaccurate side effects — 600,000 kids between 12 and 15 have received Pfizer dose since FDA authorization.
  4. Business: How retailers are responding to the latest CDC guidance — Delta to require all new employees be vaccinated — Target, CVS and other stores ease mask requirements after CDC guidance.
  5. World: World's largest vaccine maker expects to resume exports by end of 2021 — Biden administration to send 20 million U.S.-authorized vaccine doses abroad.
  6. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
2 hours ago - World

Scoop: Biden to waive sanctions on company in charge of Nord Stream 2

Angela Merkel (left) with Vladimir Putin. Photo: Adam Berry/Getty Images

The Biden administration will waive sanctions on the corporate entity and CEO overseeing the construction of Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline into Germany, according to two sources briefed on the decision.

Why it matters: The decision indicates the Biden administration is not willing to compromise its relationship with Germany over this pipeline, and underscores the difficulties President Biden faces in matching actions to rhetoric on a tougher approach to Russia.