Update: On February 25, 2021, the Senate confirmed Jennifer Granholm as Secretary of Energy.
President-elect Joe Biden is poised to name Jennifer Granholm to lead the U.S. Department of Energy, which oversees key energy efficiency standards, research, and development. Granholm is a former two-term governor of Michigan and a champion of using a clean energy transition to spur economic growth.
During the Trump years, the department repeatedly tried to defund important clean energy research programs. The department also weakened energy efficiency standards for appliances, light bulbs, and other consumer products. These actions damaged our country’s ability to reduce carbon pollution, combat climate change, and help those most burdened by high energy bills.
The Biden administration and Granholm must make energy justice a focus of their policy agenda. Here are five top priorities they can start on right away:
These recommendations only scratch the surface of actions that the department — and the whole of the federal government — can take to advance smart energy practices and a just transition to clean energy. To make that a reality, the Biden administration should encourage Granholm to work with the EPA, the Department of Transportation, the Department of the Interior, and other agencies to ensure our nation’s energy policies are equitable and climate-focused. Where these agencies need new or updated authority, Congress should step in with effective legislation.
To find more proposals and recommendations for the Department of Energy, Congress, and other federal agencies, check out CPR's Climate, Energy, Justice report.
Editor’s note: This post is part of the Center for Progressive Reform’s Policy for a Just America initiative. Learn more on CPR's website.