Senate confirms former Michigan governor Granholm as Energy secretary

The Senate on Thursday confirmed Jennifer GranholmJennifer GranholmEnergy chief touts electric vehicle funding in Senate plan OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Western wildfires prompt evacuations in California, Oregon| House passes bill requiring EPA to regulate 'forever chemicals' in drinking water | Granholm announces new building energy codes Granholm announces new building energy codes MORE to lead the Energy Department, making her the latest Cabinet nominee to secure confirmation this week.

She was confirmed in a 64-35 vote, with 14 Republicans joining all 50 Senate Democrats in supporting her nomination.

Granholm, who served as governor of Michigan from 2003-2011, will be tasked with helping President BidenJoe BidenBriahna Joy Gray: White House thinks extending student loan pause is a 'bad look' Biden to meet with 11 Democratic lawmakers on DACA: report Former New York state Senate candidate charged in riot MORE transition the U.S. toward clean energy as part of his goal to put the country on a path toward carbon neutrality by 2050.

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Her supporters have praised the work she did on jobs and clean energy in Michigan.

“I saw how she handled the difficult challenges facing her during the Great Recession, when the bottom dropped out of the auto industry in her state,” said Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinSenate votes to take up infrastructure deal GOP, Democrats battle over masks in House, Senate Sinema says she opposes .5T price tag for spending bill MORE (D-W.Va.). “She helped save the domestic auto industry; she diversified Michigan’s economy; she brought in new investment in new industry and she created new jobs, leaving no worker behind.”

“She has the leadership skills, the vision and the compassion ... to face the climate challenge and at the same time preserve our energy security, protect our national security, clean up the Cold War legacy and preserve our scientific and technological prowess,” he added in a floor speech ahead of the vote.

After her confirmation, Granholm tweeted: "I’m obsessed with creating good-paying clean energy jobs in all corners of America in service of addressing our climate crisis. I’m impatient for results. Now let’s get to work!"

Some Republicans remain skeptical of her and have raised concerns on the impact of the Biden administration's agenda on the fossil fuel industry.

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“President Biden has declared war on American energy and American energy workers,” Sen. John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoFormer Wyoming Sen. Mike Enzi dies after bicycle accident Overnight Energy: Senate panel advances controversial public lands nominee | Nevada Democrat introduces bill requiring feds to develop fire management plan | NJ requiring public water systems to replace lead pipes in 10 years Senate panel advances controversial public lands nominee in tie vote MORE (R-Wyo.) said on the Senate floor. "I cannot in good conscience vote to approve his nominee for secretary of Energy."

Both Biden and Granholm have stressed they want the transition toward clean energy to create new jobs in various sectors of the economy.

The agency Granholm is set to manage has a broad portfolio that includes the country’s nuclear weapons stockpile. During her January hearing, Granholm said her priorities would be ensuring U.S. national security and supporting scientific work at national labs that extends to work on climate change.

Pressed by Republicans on fossil fuels, Granholm said it is a “good thing” that the U.S. is the world’s largest oil and natural gas producer, and expressed support for still-developing carbon capture and storage technology to produce those fuels in a cleaner manner.

In announcing Granholm as his nominee, Biden touted her record on clean energy and jobs during her time as Michigan’s governor. 

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“Throughout her career, she’s worked with states, cities, business and labor to promote [a] clean energy future,” Biden said in December.

The Senate has been working to confirm Biden's nominees, though many have not yet received a vote.

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Updated at 1:57 p.m.