Senate committee advances Granholm nomination to lead Energy

Senate committee advances Granholm nomination to lead Energy
© Getty Images

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 & Environment — Presented by ExxonMobil — Biden administration breaks down climate finance roadmap Regulators can no longer rubber-stamp expansion of the oil and gas industry Obama to attend Glasgow climate summit MORE (D) to be secretary of Energy. 

Republican Sens. John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoSenate appears poised to advance first Native American to lead National Park Service Sunday shows preview: Senate votes to raise debt ceiling; Facebook whistleblower blasts company during testimony The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - After high drama, Senate lifts debt limit MORE (Wyo.), Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeCawthorn, Lee introduce bills banning interstate travel vaccine mandate Retreating economy creates new hurdle for Democrats in 2022 McConnell vows GOP won't help raise debt ceiling in December after Schumer 'tantrum' MORE (Utah), Bill CassidyBill CassidyTrump goes after Cassidy after senator says he wouldn't support him for president in 2024 Cassidy says he won't vote for Trump if he runs in 2024 Hillicon Valley — Presented by American Edge Project — Americans blame politicians, social media for spread of misinformation: poll 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. 

ADVERTISEMENT

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 ManchinSanders on Medicare expansion in spending package: 'Its not coming out' Glasgow summit raises stakes for Biden deal Sunday shows preview: CDC signs off on 'mix and match' vaccine boosters 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. 

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.