WATCH LIVE: Senate holds confirmation hearing for Energy secretary nominee Jennifer Granholm
Energy candidate Jennifer Granholm answers questions from senators
It is expected that one of its priorities will be the development of the production of electric vehicles.
Energy secretary candidate Jennifer Granholm speaks at a Senate hearing on Wednesday. As previously reported, Senators are focusing on the administration’s intention to compete with China on electric vehicles..
From 2003 to 2011, Granholm served as Governor of Michigan, which is one of the centers of the automotive industry in the United States. Under her leadership, the state has secured $ 1.35 billion in federal funding for electric vehicle and battery companies..
As energy secretary, 61-year-old Granholm wants to step up efforts to help the U.S. compete with China on electric vehicles and green technologies such as advanced batteries, solar and wind power..
“We have to be leaders, not passive observers, otherwise we will allow other countries, including China, to take over this market,” she told ABC News last month..
If approved, Granholm will become the second female secretary of energy in US history: the first was Hazel O’Leary in the 1990s. Since the moment Biden announced her intention to nominate Granholm for this post, she appeared in the media little, but said that she was “deeply immersed” in the work of the department and highly appreciated the professionalism of the scientists working there..
Senators are also expected to ask her about the Lending Programs Office (LPO), which was created in 2009 under former President Barack Obama. The agency provided loans to successful companies such as Tesla, but some Republicans criticized it for supporting bankrupt Solyndra, which was involved in solar projects..
LPO has more than $ 40 billion in loans and guarantees for the development of advanced technologies. This funding was not used during the Trump administration. Around $ 18 billion could be allocated in direct loans for cleaner cars, but more radical changes will likely require Congressional approval.
Granholm will likely also be asked about other areas of the agency’s work, including oversight of 17 national laboratories, the nuclear arsenal, and the strategic oil reserve..
Energy ministers usually promote the interests of fossil fuel companies, but with Biden pledging to make climate change a priority for his administration, Granholm may have less focus on the oil and gas industry than her predecessors Dan Bruyette and Rick Perry..