WASHINGTON – President-elect Joseph R. Biden to name Jennifer M. Granholm, former Michigan governor and long-time champion of renewable energy development, to be the next energy secretary, according to four people close to the transition team of the elected president.
If confirmed, Ms Granholm, 61, will be the second woman, after Hazel R. O’Leary, who served under President Bill Clinton, to head the vast department, which oversees the states nuclear weapons complex- United as well as 17 national laboratories. and a wide range of energy research and development initiatives.
Several people close to the transition said advisers struggled with whether the energy department should be headed by someone grounded in its core mission of ensuring the security of the country’s nuclear arsenal, or whether Mr. Biden should choose someone with a vision to lead a clean cleanup. -energy transformation.
Ms. Granholm was widely recognized during her two terms as governor of Michigan for leading her state through a recession and working with the Obama administration on an auto industry bailout in 2009 that included investments in clean energy and incentives for automakers to invest in technologies such as battery storage. .
At the end of her second term, in 2011, she became an advocate for the development of renewable energy, including giving a TED Talk on how investing in alternative energy resources can strengthen state economies. Mr Biden has focused on his coronavirus recovery plan.
“The economy is clear: Now is the time for low-carbon clawback,” Ms Granholm wrote this year in The Detroit News, advocating for Michigan and other states to adopt low-emission clawback measures of carbon to help rebuild from the economy hit by the coronavirus pandemic.
The decision to choose Ms Granholm was seen as a nod to environmental groups, some of whom had campaigned against Ernest J. Moniz, a former energy secretary who had long been seen as the leader in taking head of the department a second time. Although he was a favored candidate of labor groups and a close advisor to Mr Biden, activists strongly opposed his financial ties to the fossil fuel industry and the positions he had taken in favor of the continued development of natural gas.