Joe Biden will choose former Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm to head the Department of Energy in his administration, Politico reported on Tuesday.
Granholm served two terms as governor from 2003 to 2011, and has experience dealing with the auto industry and the United Auto Workers union. In an op-ed for The Detroit News in November, Granholm called for an economic recovery plan in Michigan that supports clean-energy jobs.
“Investing in a low-carbon economy will ensure that Michigan remains a leader in the auto industry,” Granholm wrote. “State automakers like Ford and General Motors are producing a greater number of EVs, but policy incentives are needed to ensure that the cost-saving and environmental benefits are available to everyone.”
Granholm cited a number of reports to argue that investing in electric vehicles and retooling job to make them energy-efficient would boost wages and Michigan’s overall economy. Most of the Energy Department’s budget is directed toward maintaining the U.S. nuclear arsenal, however the department also oversees development of energy sources and can disperse grants and loans to U.S. energy companies.
Biden’s climate change plan calls for the U.S. to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, meaning that most of the country would need to convert to electric vehicles for transportation. Biden drew controversy before the November general elections when he said he would “transition” away from the oil industry during the final debate with President Trump.
“I would transition from the oil industry, yes,” Biden said. “It has to be replaced by renewable energy over time….And I’d stop giving to the oil industry—I’d stop giving them federal subsidies. [Trump] won’t give federal subsidies to solar and wind. Why are we giving it to the oil industry?”