Senate confirms Granholm as 16th Energy secretary

By Jeremy Dillon | 02/25/2021 01:30 PM EST

The Senate this afternoon confirmed Jennifer Granholm as Energy secretary.

The Senate this afternoon confirmed Jennifer Granholm as Energy secretary. CNP/Polaris/Newscom

The Senate this afternoon confirmed 64-35 the nomination of former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm to be secretary of Energy.

Granholm will be the 16th leader of the Department of Energy since its inception. She will be the second woman confirmed to lead the agency.

"She has leadership skills, the vision and the compassion for people that we need at the helm of the Department of Energy 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," said Energy and Natural Resources Chairman Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.).

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Fourteen Republicans crossed the aisle to vote with Democrats in Granholm’s favor. Sens. John Cornyn of Texas, Mike Braun of Indiana and Chuck Grassley of Iowa voted to close debate yesterday but opposed the nomination today.

Granholm has preached the economic value of transitioning the power and transportation sectors to a clean energy future. President Biden has called for a $2 trillion investment across clean energy research and development and technology deployment.

Granholm has also worked to reassure Republicans that her tenure would not leave fossil fuel and its workforce behind. Still, many Republicans remained uncomfortable with the administration’s energy actions so far.

ENR ranking member John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) said he would work with Granholm but declined to support her, citing actions like scrapping permits for the Keystone XL pipeline and halting new fossil fuel leases on public land.

"President Biden has declared war on American energy and American energy workers, and I just can’t stand by as this administration tries to crush Wyoming’s economy," Barrasso said.