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US energy secretary nominee Jennifer Granholm
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Letter from the US: Granholm treads the centre ground… for now

The energy secretary nominee’s rhetoric is thus far placatory. But her record suggests the oil and gas industry should buckle up

Fossil fuels will remain a key component of the US economy even as it transitions to a greener future. Thus President Joe Biden’s nomination for energy secretary, former Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm, told her confirmation hearing. But previous form suggests the latter aim will take greater priority over the former. “If we're going to get to net carbon zero emissions by 2050, we cannot do it without coal, oil and gas being part of the mix,” says Granholm. Against that, on the campaign trail, Biden advanced a $2tn promise to achieve net-zero emissions from the power grid by 2035 and for the economy as a whole by 2050. That ambitious spending plan has raised eyebrows. But Biden’s top c

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