Much of the energy sector budget is dedicated to maintaining the country’s nuclear arsenal, but it also operates 17 national laboratories that have helped develop advanced technology used in the production of renewable, nuclear and fossil fuels. Under former President Barack Obama, the energy sector oversaw billions of dollars in loan guarantees and subsidies that expanded the acceptance of solar and wind power, which helped drive a sharp drop in the price of renewable electricity. Those achievements were tarnished at the time by the scandal over a solar technology company called Solindra, which collapsed after taking more than $ 500 million from federal funds.
The DOE will play a key role in reducing emissions from the country building, which is another target of Biden’s climate program. The DOE is responsible for setting application standards, researching innovations such as electric heat pumps, and overseeing building and residential energy efficiency projects.
Cronhome sought to position himself as a person who could help transform American industry into a cleaner energy economy, a process by which Biden has developed his first four goals.
“[T]The private sector needs more support and political will from our policymakers to help us fully realize the potential of a zero-carbon future, ”Granhome wrote on November 7. Op-ed in Detroit News. “The economy is clear: now is the time for low carbon recovery.”
If confirmed, Cronhome, who won the second term as governor of Trump Education Secretary Betsy Divos – only the second woman to lead the department since its creation in 1977.
Cronhome actively encouraged him to consider the job, saying those familiar with the matter were using his will to show how Biden’s clean energy goals could be matched with his desire to revive the Rust Belt economy. If Clinton wins the 2016 election, she has long been considered likely to win a seat in Hillary Clinton’s cabinet.
“He worked very hard in 2016 to establish himself as Energy Secretary with the Clinton team,” said Skip Press, which directs the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Development under Cronhome. “He’s really a student [energy] Change. If you ask me what a limit is in Michigan, I would say she was a little ahead of time. “
He was approved by a shortlist of candidates including former energy secretary Ernest Monis and DOE deputy secretary Arun Majumdar. Environmentalists pushed hard against Monis, saying he was very close to the fossil fuel and nuclear industries.
Cronhome’s Michigan contacts with the automotive industry and his ability to gain support for the transition to electrified transportation will be central to Biden’s vision of the U.S. economy and the country’s climate change puzzle. Transportation is the largest greenhouse gas emissions sector in the United States, so electric cars, trucks, buses, trains and planes must be widely accepted for Pitton’s quest to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
“He will be unique to the DOE,” said Dan Kammen, an energy professor who worked with Granhome at the University of California-Berkeley. “She understands technology, she understands deployment, she knows how to run a big company.”
Ben LeBreau contributed to this report.