Biden’s Choice of Granholm for Energy Secretary Heralds Shift to Clean, Renewable Sources

WASHINGTON – President-elect Joe Biden’s pick of former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm to be energy secretary signals a commitment to the clean energy revolution – a sharp contrast to the Trump administration’s failed attempt to prop up dirty fossil fuels.

As governor of Michigan from 2003 to 2011, Granholm championed strong renewable energy standards for the state and has been a vocal advocate for solar and wind power as the engines of a clean energy economy. As governor, she pushed automakers – major employers in Michigan – to ramp up production of electric vehicles in an effort to protect the industry from collapse during the financial crisis in 2008 and 2009.

“We applaud President-elect Biden for his choice of Gov. Granholm to be the next secretary of energy,” said EWG President Ken Cook. “Biden campaigned on a renewed investment by the federal government in clean, carbon-free sources of energy to power homes, buildings and transportation, and now it falls on Granholm to turn those pledges into policy. If confirmed, she will play a central role in advancing the federal government’s role in the rapid transition to renewables, which will save lives, create jobs and combat the climate crisis.”

Cook said Granholm will bring a fresh perspective to an agency that under Trump has ignored the booming renewable energy industry in favor of empty promises to “bring back coal” and has lowered auto fuel economy standards.

“The days of dirty fossil fuels and exorbitantly expensive nuclear reactors as the nation’s primary energy are in the rearview mirror,” Cook said. “Granholm must lead the government in getting on board with the remarkable and rapid shift to renewables that is currently driven by market forces.”

Cook said Granholm must also ensure that U.S. energy policy fosters environmental and social justice, which the Biden-Harris campaign pledged to make top priorities.

“Communities of color and lower-income communities suffer disproportionately from the dirty air, refinery accidents and pipeline leaks that are the inevitable consequences of producing and burning fossil fuels,” said Cook. “The shift to clean energy must be a just transition that not only makes these communities safer but also provides them with good, stable jobs that don’t endanger their health.”


The Environmental Working Group is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization that empowers people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. Through research, advocacy and unique education tools, EWG drives consumer choice and civic action.

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