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Former Michigan governor Granholm confirmed this as Secretary of Energy

WASHINGTON – Former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm received Senate endorsement as Energy Secretary Thursday and joined President Joe Biden’s cabinet. The vote took place between 64 and 35, with all Democrats and 14 Republicans, including Kentucky GOP leader Mitch McConnell, voting yes. The 62-year-old Granholm was twice governor in a state dominated by the auto industry and devastated by the 2008 recession. She has promoted emerging clean energy technologies like electric vehicles and battery manufacturing in response to jobs that will be lost in the US transition from oil, coal and other fossil fuels. Granholm, who was sworn in late Thursday, is only the second woman to serve as an energy secretary. She tweeted her thanks to the senators, saying, “I’m obsessed with creating well-paying clean energy jobs in every corner of America to help us face our climate crisis. I’m impatient for results. Now let’s get to work!” Senator Joe Manchin, chairman of the Senate’s Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said Granholm has the leadership, vision and compassion that the energy department needs to “develop innovative solutions to the climate challenge” while maintaining jobs. Granholm is committed to Work Every Day “to ensure we don’t leave workers behind as we are on the path to a cleaner energy future,” said Manchin, DW.Va. During their confirmation hearing last month, Granholm urged their plans to introduce new wind and solar technologies, but their position has created tension with some Republicans fearing for the future of fossil fuels. “We can buy electric car batteries from Asia or make them in America,” Granholm told senators. Or we can make them in America. “John Barrasso, Senator from Wyoming, the top Republican on the Senate Energy Committee, said Biden” seems to be getting America’s energy dominance under control. So I cannot in good conscience vote to approve his candidate for energy minister. Barrasso and other Republicans have complained that a state freeze on oil and gas leases imposed by Biden is putting a “sledge hammer” on the economies of Western states. The moratorium could cost tens of thousands of jobs if not lifted, Barrasso said. He and other Republicans also lamented Biden’s rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada to the US Gulf Coast, saying that thousands of jobs will be lost and a friendly oil well will remain idle. Granholm assured lawmakers that job creation is their number one priority – and Biden’s. “We cannot leave our people behind. In West Virginia and other fossil fuel states, we have the opportunity to specialize in carbon dioxide reduction technologies, apply those technologies here, get people to work here, and look for other ways to diversify. ‘she said at her hearing on January 27th. During her introduction as Biden’s nominee, Granholm described arriving in the US at the age of 4 brought by a family from Canada looking for an opportunity. She said her father found work as a bank clerk and retired as a bank manager. “Because of my family’s journey and my experience of fighting hard-working families in Michigan, I am obsessed with getting high-paying jobs in America in a global economy,” she said. In another action on Thursday about Biden’s cabinet candidates: General surgeon Dr. Vivek Murthy said Americans shouldn’t lose sight of opioid addiction and other health emergencies amid intense national focus on overcoming the coronavirus pandemic. Speaking to the senators at a hearing, he said, “We cannot neglect the other public health crises exacerbated by this pandemic, particularly the opioid epidemic, mental illness, and racial and geographic health inequalities.” After a slight dip, opioid deaths have risen again, due to street formulations containing the strong pain reliever fentanyl. Murthy told the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee that the overdose rescue drug naloxone should be even more widespread and that drug treatment needs to be expanded. Murthy, who was a surgeon general in the Obama administration, has received opposition from gun rights groups for his assessment that gun violence is a public health issue. But he tried to dispel the idea that he was going to launch a weapons crusade. He told Senator Mike Braun, R-Ind., While helping the government investigate the issue, “My focus is not on this issue and if confirmed it will be COVID, mental health and substance use disorders . Sales agent Biden’s election for a US trade agent pledged to work with America’s allies to combat China’s aggressive trade policies, indicating a break with the Trump administration’s standalone approach. Katherine Tai told the Senate Finance Committee that rebuilding international alliances would be a priority, as would “reintegration into international institutions” to present Beijing with “a united front of US allies”. Tai ignored whether the Biden administration would drop former president Donald Trump’s tariffs on imported steel and aluminum or whether it would revive the Trump-killed trade deal between the Obama administration’s Asia-Pacific administration. Chuck Grassley, GOP Senator from Iowa, told reporters he would not support her nomination. He and Alaska Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski were two Republicans who were seen as potentially attainable votes for the White House, as Grassley said earlier I had had good conversations with Tanden. Murkowski has not yet said how she would vote. With a handful of other key centrists, Re Tanden’s path to confirmation depends largely on Murkowski and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., Neither of whom have disclosed their positions. The White House was forced to look for a Republican to support Tanden after West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin announced his opposition last week. Lawmakers have largely quoted Tanden’s controversial and at times extremely critical tweets about members of both parties to explain their opposition to them. ___ Associate press writers Alexandra Jaffe, Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar and Paul Wiseman contributed to this report. Matthew Daly, The Associated Press

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