From The Washington Post (Dino Grandoni):
President-elect Joe Biden’s choice of Jennifer Granholm to be his energy secretary is a sign the president-elect’s team will try to spur automakers to sell cars that need little to no gasoline.
The relationship that Granholm, the former two-term governor of Michigan, has with Detroit automakers may prove crucial to the incoming administration’s effort to cut climate-warming emissions spewing from the millions of cars and trucks on American roads.
Biden intends to nominate Granholm to run the sprawling department also responsible for overseeing the nuclear weapons arsenal and managing radioactive waste, Will Englund, Juliet Eilperin and I report.
Cleaning up the transportation sector, now the largest source of greenhouse gas pollution in the United States, will be critical to meeting Biden’s lofty goal of net-zero emissions by the middle of the century.
Biden, the son of a car salesman, pitched no- and low-emissions vehicles not only as a way to combat climate change, but also to create domestic manufacturing jobs. To preserve Michigan’s industrial base undercut by foreign competition, Granholm has also become a vocal proponent of building electric vehicles at home…
The Transportation Department – which under Biden will be run by former South Bend. Ind., mayor Pete Buttigieg, our colleagues Michael Laris, Ian Duncan and Seung Min Kim also reported Tuesday – has “transportation” in its name.
But it is the Energy Department that is the main funder of research into the battery technology responsible for a potential transition to electric vehicles…
During the campaign, Biden promised to install 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations by 2030, provide bigger tax breaks to those who purchase electric vehicles and to tighten fuel-efficiency standards on new cars and trucks…
Today, electric vehicles make up less than 2 percent of new cars and SUVs sold each year domestically. But GM, Ford and other automakers have told investors they plan to build out their fleets of electric vehicles in coming years.