Position In Biden Administration:

Secretary of Energy

Nomination Details:

  • Nomination Announced: December 17, 2020
  • Confirmation Status: Pending

Past Work:

  • Governor of Michigan (2003-2011)
  • Attorney General of Michigan (1999-2003)

In Her Own Words:

About Granholm:

Jennifer Granholm was governor of the state of Michigan from 2003 to 2011. According to Greenpeace, “Jennifer Granholm has forcefully spoken out against both the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines and advocated for shifting investment from oil and gas to renewable energy solutions.”

Supporters of Granholm say that her ability to focus on electric vehicles makes her a strong candidate to head the U.S. Department of Energy. However, promoting alternative energy and EV’s was one of her major focuses as governor—a policy agenda she pursued by picking specific firms and industries to back with state supported funds. The Michigan Economic Growth Authority conducted an analysis of the main program used by Granholm (a tax credit program) and found that only 2.3 percent of its projects met their projections and only 10 percent of the promised jobs were actually created.

Questions for Granholm:

  1. As governor of Michigan, you focused on promoting electric vehicles by selecting particular businesses and industries to back with state taxpayer support.  However, according to the Mackinac Center,  even though the state-approved billions of dollars in tax credits and grants for the chosen companies, nearly every single one fell far short of the job projections hailed by the Granholm administration in press releases, and a good number of the companies went bankrupt. Why will this time be any different?
  2. Your track record picking winners and losers in the energy industry is so embarrassing that, under your leadership, the Michigan Economic Growth Authority awarded a $9.1 million deal to a man who was on parole for embezzlement. Would you care to explain how it is that you came to share a stage with Richard Short? What was it about his company (Renewable and Sustainable Cos.) that was so compelling that your administration was prepared to subsidize his business?
  3. As governor, you joined Senators Debbie Stabenow, Carl Levin, and President Barack Obama in celebrating a company called A123 Systems. The company was a manufacturer of electric car batteries which had received $249 million in federal subsidies and $141 million in state subsidies. In the end, the company had to perform a product recall and was eventually restructured in federal bankruptcy court. How will your vision to move the American economy toward electric vehicles avoid these sorts of pitfalls that are inherent to government picking winners and losers?

Fun Facts:

  •  Perpetuator of the green jobs myth.

Learn more about the Biden administration’s energy policies here.