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Senate committee advances Granholm nomination to lead Energy

Senate committee advances Granholm nomination to lead Energy
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The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee voted 13-4 on Wednesday to advance to the full Senate the nomination of former Michigan Gov. Jennifer GranholmJennifer GranholmOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden officials unveil plan to conserve 30 percent of US lands and water | Watchdog questions adequacy of EPA standards for carcinogenic chemical emissions | Interior proposing revocation of Trump-era rollback on bird protections Granholm backs wind and solar in Biden bid to decarbonize electricity The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by ExxonMobil - Florida's restrictive voting bill signed into law MORE (D) to be secretary of Energy. 

Republican Sens. John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoRepublican seeks to use Obama energy policies to criticize Biden  EPA proposes major rule to reduce certain greenhouse gases Republicans hammer Biden on infrastructure while administration defends plan MORE (Wyo.), Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeRepublicans urge probe into Amazon government cloud-computing bid: report Allowing a racist slur against Tim Scott to trend confirms social media's activist bias Senate passes bipartisan B water infrastructure bill MORE (Utah), Bill CassidyBill CassidyThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Emergent BioSolutions - Biden sales pitch heads to Virginia and Louisiana Republicans hammer Biden on infrastructure while administration defends plan Sunday shows - Biden economic agenda dominates MORE (La.) and Cindy Hyde-Smith (Miss.) voted against Granholm, with some citing concerns about actions already taken by the Biden administration on fossil fuels.

"I can’t support a Biden administration agenda that throws my constituents out of work and kills the economies of the communities in which they live,” said Barrasso, who is slated to be the top Republican on the committee. 

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The nomination will now go to the full Senate, where she is expected to be confirmed. 

In announcing Granholm's selection, President Biden specifically cited her role in bringing clean energy jobs to Michigan when she was governor. 

Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinManchin touts rating as 'most bipartisan senator' Bowser on Manchin's DC statehood stance: He's 'not right' It's Joe Manchin vs the progressives on infrastructure MORE (D-W.Va.), who will become the committee’s chairman, praised her for how she handled the Great Recession in a speech supporting her nomination on Wednesday. 

“She was up to those challenges, she helped save the domestic auto industry, she diversified Michigan’s economy, she brought in new investments and new industry and she created new jobs,” Manchin said. 

“She has the leadership skills, the vision and the compassion for the people we need at the helm of the Department of Energy to face the climate challenge and at the same time preserve our energy security,” he added. 

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Granholm stressed the importance of creating clean energy jobs during a Senate confirmation hearing last week. 

During the hearing, Republicans pressed her on whether she would keep fossil fuels as part of the energy mix. 

Granholm expressed support for using still-developing carbon capture and storage technology to make use of those fuels in a cleaner way. 

She also laid out her vision for the department, saying her top priorities would be ensuring U.S. national security, supporting scientific work at national labs, including their work on climate change, and deploying that research to create jobs. 

The nominee also emphasized using “place-based” solutions, or solutions unique to each state, “to be able to take advantage of expertise and comparative advantages of states and build on that to allow them to diversify inside and outside their main industries.”

There have already been tensions between Republicans and the new administration on energy issues, including over Biden's decision to temporarily halt new oil and gas leasing on federal lands and revoke a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline.

—Updated at 10:55 a.m.