Senate Confirms Former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm To Lead Department Of Energy

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Varun Hukeri General Assignment & Analysis Reporter
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The Senate confirmed former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm on Thursday evening as President Joe Biden’s pick to lead the Department of Energy.

The Senate voted 64-35 to confirm Granholm, with all Democrats and 14 Republicans voting for confirmation. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was among the Republicans who voted to confirm Granholm alongside more moderate senators including Mitt Romney of Utah, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.

Granholm was sworn in late Thursday by Vice President Kamala Harris and will be the second woman to lead the department.

“I am humbled by the faith President Biden has placed in me to lead this incredible team at the Department of Energy,” she said in a statement. “I am so ready to work alongside them as we kickstart America’s clean energy revolution, create millions of good-paying union jobs, and deliver benefits to American workers and communities across the nation.”

Granholm previously served two terms as Michigan’s governor during the 2008 financial crisis and subsequent bailout of the auto industry. She has advocated for a transition away from fossil fuels in favor of renewable energy and emerging technologies such as electric vehicles. (RELATED: Biden Administration Halts New Oil And Gas Permits)

Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, chairman of the Senate energy committee, said during Thursday’s confirmation vote that Granholm would “develop innovative solutions for the climate challenge” while ensuring “that we don’t leave any workers behind.”

Granholm told senators during her confirmation hearing in late January that some jobs in the fossil fuel industry “might be sacrificed” as a result of the Biden administration’s climate agenda.

Republican Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso, the ranking member of the Senate energy committee, said Thursday that he could not “in good conscience” vote for Granholm. He later said the Biden administration “seems to want to pull the plug on American energy dominance.”

Biden has put forward an aggressive climate agenda that calls for $2 trillion in federal spending over four years and a pathway to net-zero emissions by 2050.