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Dec. 15, 2020, 6:32 p.m. EST

Biden to pick former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm to lead Energy Department

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By Timothy Puko and Andrew Restuccia

WASHINGTON — President-elect Joe Biden is expected to choose former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm to lead the Energy Department, according to people familiar with the matter, turning to a renewable energy advocate to fill a cabinet position that will play a role in implementing his climate change policies.

Granholm, who endorsed Biden for president in March, served as Michigan’s Democratic governor from 2003 to 2011 and as the state’s attorney general for the preceding four years. One of her signature policies as governor was a mandate for the state to increase the share of its energy derived from renewable sources like solar and wind.

If confirmed as energy secretary, Granholm would oversee U.S. scientific research and the country’s nuclear arsenal and could help incentivize the development of low-carbon energy sources through the distribution of federal loans. She would also likely work closely with other senior officials, including the incoming head of the Environmental Protection Agency and the White House climate coordinator, to pursue Biden’s campaign pledge to achieve net-zero emissions in the U.S. by 2050.

Granholm didn’t respond to requests for comment. A spokesman for Biden’s transition team declined to comment.

As governor, Granholm pushed a renewable portfolio standard requiring 10% of the state’s energy to come from renewable sources by 2015, a percentage that was later increased. During her tenure, she also worked closely with the Obama administration to help the auto industry, which faced collapse following the economic downturn. She has credited Biden with playing a key role in bolstering General Motors Co. /zigman2/quotes/205226835/composite GM -4.35%  and Chrysler during that period.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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