Jennifer Granholm: Education, Auto Industry, Political Career

Jennifer Granholm is the U.S. Secretary of Energy. Nominated by President-elect Joe Biden in December 2020, she was confirmed by the Senate on Feb. 25, 2021, and sworn in later the same day.

Granholm was the attorney general of Michigan from 1998 to 2002 and served two terms as the governor of Michigan from 2003 to 2011.

She is the author of A Governor's Story: The Fight for Jobs and America's Future.

Key Takeaways

? Jennifer Granholm is the U.S. Secretary of Energy under President Biden.

? She served two terms as the governor of Michigan.

? Granholm was the first woman elected as the attorney general of Michigan.

Early Life and Education

Jennifer Granholm was born on Feb. 5, 1959, in Vancouver, British Columbia. She earned a bachelor's degree from the University of California, Berkeley in 1984 and a Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School.

Granholm began her career as a judicial clerk for Michigan's Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. In 1990, she became a federal prosecutor in Detroit. She was appointed Wayne County Corporation Counsel in 1994.

Leading Michigan

in 1998, Granholm became the first woman elected to serve as the attorney general of Michigan.

She was elected governor of Michigan in 2003 and was the first woman chosen to lead the state. Granholm served two terms as governor until 2011. She played a key role in guiding Michigan, which is heavily dependent on the automobile industry, through the Great Recession in 2008.

She is the founder of the American Jobs Project, a multi-state, multi-university initiative promoting technological advancements and clean energy policies to stimulate job creation.

Auto Industry

In 2008, as the Great Recession began, layoffs at auto plants and auto parts suppliers were expected to reach 250,000 workers. As Michigan was heavily affected, General Motors and Chrysler were financially wounded and bankruptcy was a possibility for the corporations.

Working with the Obama administration, Governor Jennifer Granholm helped to secure a 2009 bailout of the auto industry, which included investments in clean energy. A study conducted in November 2010, estimated that the auto rescue, avoiding the worst-case scenario that would include lengthy bankruptcy proceedings, saved an estimated 1.14 million U.S. jobs.

Clean Energy

Energy from renewable, zero-emission sources that do not pollute the atmosphere when used, as well as the energy saved through energy efficiency efforts.

Following economic downturns caused by the Great Recession and meltdown in the automotive and manufacturing sectors, Jennifer Granholm led efforts to diversify Michigan's economy by strengthening its auto industry and adding emerging sectors such as clean energy. Today, one-third of all North American electric vehicle batteries are produced in Michigan and the state is one of the top five states for clean energy patents.

Secretary of Energy

As head of the U.S. Department of Energy, Granholm oversees the country's nuclear weapons program in collaboration with the Department of Defense. She promotes energy research and conservation initiatives, and energy policy, including the development of innovative energy technologies.

Jennifer Granholm has the support of environmental groups and has been an advocate for clean energy policy throughout her career. She is expected to play a key role to implement President Biden's climate policies and a clean energy economy.

In April 2021, Granholm commented that President Joe Biden "has a goal of getting to net-zero carbon dioxide for this country by 2050. And that means that we have got to figure out ways to clean up our fossil fuel industry."

What Is the War Room With Jennifer Granholm?

After leaving her position as governor of Michigan, Granholm hosted The War Room, a political and news commentary feature, on Current TV for two years.

How Does Jennifer Granholm Support Nuclear Power As Secretary of Energy?

As Energy Secretary, Jennifer Granholm is interested in additional investment in domestic manufacturing of low-enriched uranium as well as other forms of uranium needed for some advanced nuclear reactors, noting the on Russian imports is a “vulnerability” for both national and economic security.

How Has Jennifer Granholm Promoted Clean Energy?

In 2011, Jennifer Granholm joined the faculty of the University of California, Berkeley in the Goldman School of Public Policy, focusing on the intersection of law, clean energy, manufacturing, policy, and industry. She also served as an advisor to the Clean Energy Program of the Pew Charitable Trusts.

The Bottom Line

Jennifer Granholm serves as the Secretary of Energy for the Biden Administration. In her position, she directs energy policy, research, and new initiatives, including clean energy. Granholm previously served as the governor of Michigan.

Article Sources
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  1. U.S. Department of Energy. "Jennifer M. Granholm Sworn in as 16th Secretary of Energy."

  2. Jennifer Granholm and Dan Mulhern. "A Governor's Story; The Fight for Jobs and America's Economic Future." PublicAffairs, 2011.

  3. Michigan Supreme Court Historical Society. "Jennifer Granholm."

  4. Energy Council. "US Secretary of Energy, Jennifer Granholm – A Brief Biography."

  5. Berkeley News. "Berkeley Scholar Jennifer Granholm to Serve as Biden Energy Secretary."

  6. Politifact. "Did President Obama Save the Auto Industry?"

  7. Politifact. "Obama Auto Rescue Saved 28000 Middle Class Jobs."

  8. Center for Automotive Research. "The Impact on the U.S. Economy of the Successful Automaker Bankruptcies," Page 8.

  9. U.S. Department of Energy. "Jennifer M. Granholm."

  10. PBS. "Energy Secretary Granholm: Focus on Renewable Energy Will Protect U.S. Manufacturing Backbone."

  11. Berkeley Law. "Current TV Launches 'The War Room With Jennifer Granholm'."

  12. Bloomberg. "Energy Chief Asks for Uranium Enrichment Funds."

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