Our thoughts on former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm as Biden’s Sec. of Energy

President-elect Biden plans to nominate former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm as Sec. of Energy. We think that's promising for move us forward towards a cleaner, greener future.

Nathan Murphy

You may have seen the news that Biden plans to appoint former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm as Secretary of Energy. Media has been asking  around wondering what Michigan’s environmental community thinks of this pick because we know a lot about Granholm’s legacy and interest in things we care about like renewable energy and electric vehicles. I recently spoke to MLive reporter Malachi Barrett about my thoughts. The whole article is worth a read, but I’ll include my parts of the article below in italics.

“I think it’s a very insightful pick,” said Nathan Murphy, state director of Environment Michigan. “Gov. Granholm has been a champion of renewable energy, both as our governor and since then. She understands how Michigan’s automotive industry fits into building a path away from dirty fossil fuels.”

Murphy said environmental groups praising Granholm’s selection are looking forward to a complete reversal from the Trump administration’s emphasis on coal and other fossil fuels. Biden reportedly has plans to revise the U.S. emissions standards relaxed under Trump’s presidency, where Granholm’s experience with Detroit automakers could prove vital.

“We’re at a point now where the majority of Americans agree that we need to do some real action on climate change,” Murphy said. “People want cleaner cars, they want better air quality and they want safe water to drink. Working with the new administration, I think we can make a lot of headway in a lot of those policy areas.”

And in the middle of the article I talk about how, after the 2008 energy law updates in Michigan, we found the goals far easier and cheaper to reach than predicted and how that laid the foundation for more aggressive commitments like Gov. Whitmer’s carbon neutral by 2050 commitment. 

“Some people were saying it’s going to be too hard, it’s going to be too expensive. And other people were saying it’s not enough,” Murphy said. “What we found since then is it’s been so cheap to meet that goal, utilities gave money back to their rate-payers. Even though that 10% commitment may have been a modest goal back in 2008, it’s set us up to make more aggressive goals in the future.”

In general, I think Granholm has the knowledge, skills, and experience to help put the country on a course to a cleaner future as America recommits to the Paris agreement and other climate actions. We’re really looking forward to her work in D.C.


Nathan Murphy