How Oakland County Can Help Make Jennifer Granholm’s Energy Department a Success And Vice-Versa
Updated: Jan 5
By Fred Miller
Joe Biden’s pick of former Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm for Secretary of Energy shows a big commitment to the greening of the automotive industry. Up to now, the focus of the Department of Energy has largely been on the safety and security of nuclear facilities, especially those that produce nuclear weapons. Early on in the transition, many expected Biden to ask Ernest Moniz, a nuclear physicist, to reprise his role as energy secretary in
the Obama cabinet.
While Granholm has little experience addressing nuclear security, she spent much effort while governor on the future of the automotive industry, and she championed electric vehicles.
The Energy Department already plays a significant role in battery research and development, a key to electrifying transit, including buses and other public transit, and other parts of the economy. Under Biden and Granholm, it is expected that the Energy Department will become more and more a center for addressing climate change through electrification, replacing fossil fuel usage with electricity produced more and more by renewable sources.
Oakland County is home to over 75 leading automotive supply companies, as well as Fiat
Chrysler, and has more than 200 automotive research and development facilities. It’s perfectly placed to be a leader on electric vehicle research and development.
Turn Oakland County Green proposes that Oakland County do its part by making a
transition to electric buses a part of the next public transit plan, by working to multiply the
number of vehicle charging stations in the county, and by making all new county vehicle
purchases electric. In addition, to make the electric vehicle transition effective in curbing climate change, the production of electricity by DTE has to go renewable and emissions-free much sooner than the company is now planning, and Oakland County needs to advocate for this transition with DTE and the Michigan Public Service Commission.
Climate change success on the national level will require action at every level. Oakland
County should be a leader.
**The Oakland County Climate Campaign is a coalition which encourages views from a variety of sources for its blog. The thoughts reflected in these posts do not necessarily reflect the views of any of the particular member organizations of the Oakland County Climate, its affiliates, or other participating groups.**