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Former Michigan Gov. Granholm confirmed as energy secretary

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm won Senate confirmation Thursday to be energy secretary and will be a key Cabinet member trying to fulfill President Joe Biden’s commitment for a green economy as the United States fights to slow climate change.

The vote was 64-35, with 14 Republicans, including GOP leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, voting yes.

Granholm, 62, served two terms as governor in a state dominated by the auto industry and devastated by the 2008 recession. She has promoted emerging clean energy technologies, such as electric vehicles and battery manufacturing as an answer for jobs that will be lost as the U.S. transitions away from oil, coal and other fossil fuels.

She tweeted her thanks to senators and said, “I’m obsessed with creating good-paying clean energy jobs in all corners of America in service of addressing our climate crisis. I’m impatient for results. Now let’s get to work!”

Sen. Joe Manchin, chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said Granholm has the leadership skills, vision and compassion needed at the Energy Department to “develop innovative solutions for the climate challenge” while preserving jobs.

Granholm is committed to working every day “to ensure that we don’t leave any workers behind as we move towards a cleaner energy future,” said Manchin, D-W.Va.

During her confirmation hearing last month, Granholm, pushed her plans to embrace new wind and solar technologies. But her position caused tension with some Republicans who fear for the future of fossil fuels.

“We can buy electric car batteries from Asia or we can make them in America,” Granholm told senators. “We can install wind turbines from Denmark or we can make them in America.”

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