Granholm’s confirmation, which came in a vote of 64-35 Thursday afternoon, makes her the second woman to lead the Department of Energy, following Hazel O’Leary, who served in former President Bill Clinton’s administration from 1993 to 1997.
Several Republican senators announced opposition to Granholm, including Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), who said prior to her confirmation that he “can’t in good conscience” vote to confirm her nomination.
“I can’t in good conscience confirm her to this position knowing that that’s the approach this administration is taking,” Lee said, according to the
Detroit News. “By executive fiat, they are jeopardizing American energy independence and security and they’re devastating much of Utah’s economy. I can’t support that and will reluctantly vote against her.”
Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) also expressed opposition to Granholm, voting on Wednesday against her advancement.
“By signing executive orders to ban oil, gas and coal production on federal lands, to kill the Keystone XL Pipeline and to rejoin the Paris climate agreement, the president will throw thousands of Americans out of work,” Barrasso said. “Their livelihoods are being sacrificed in the name of the Biden agenda.”
California Democrat Sen. Dianne Feinstein praised Granholm’s nomination prior to the confirmation, telling her Twitter followers she “can think of no one better than Governor Granholm to be Energy Secretary during this transformative period for our country.”
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), who has stated concern over a few of Biden’s Cabinet nominees, expressed support for Granholm, saying she “helped save the domestic auto industry.”
“I saw how she handled the difficult challenges facing her during the Great Recession, when the bottom dropped out of the auto industry in her state,” Manchin said. “She helped save the domestic auto industry; she diversified Michigan’s economy; she brought in new investment in new industry and she created new jobs, leaving no worker behind.”
Granholm previously served as attorney general of Michigan from 1999 to 2003 and later as governor of the state from 2003 to 2011. She also has a history of publicly promoting theories about Russian collusion in the 2016 election.
During her time as governor, Granholm also twice vetoed a ban on partial birth abortions and was caught on camera misrepresenting the true nature of Michigan’s abortion laws, saying they were more restrictive than they actually are in what appears to be an effort to downplay the horrors of late term abortions.