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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.

"Neanderthal thinking": Biden slams states lifting mask mandates

States that are relaxing coronavirus restrictions are making "a big mistake," President Biden told reporters on Wednesday, adding: "The last thing we need is Neanderthal thinking."

Driving the news: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said Wednesday he will end all coronavirus restrictions via executive order, although some businesses are continuing to ask patrons to wear face masks. Mississippi is lifting its mask mandate for all counties Wednesday, per Gov. Tate Reeves (R).

Cuomo: "I am not going to resign"

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo apologized Wednesday for acting in a way that made women feel "uncomfortable," but insisted that he has "never touched anyone inappropriately" and said he will not resign.

Driving the news: Cuomo reiterated in his first public appearance since sexual harassment allegations surfaced that he will fully cooperate with a team of independent investigators appointed by New York Attorney General Letitia James, but suggested that demands for his resignation from were simply "politics."