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Columbia Energy Exchange

Building America’s New Energy Future


Jennifer M. Granholm

Secretary, U.S. Department of Energy


Jennifer Granholm [00:00:03] The president wants to do everything to lower prices for people, and that’s what the Inflation Reduction Act was intended to do. This war in Ukraine and the volatility of the global market, whether it’s OPEC or Russia, tells you that reliance, overreliance on something that’s traded globally makes you more energy insecure. Clean energy is energy security. This is an important piece of the transition, this energy security conversation, in addition to affordability and in addition to moving away from the volatility.

Jason Bordoff [00:00:35] The past two years have been a watershed for American energy policy. A series of new laws, most notably the Inflation Reduction Act, have injected new life into the domestic clean energy industry. At the same time, the war in Ukraine and the volatility in energy markets have put energy security at the top of the agenda as well. In the midst of all this, the Department of Energy has the difficult task of responding to the urgency of climate change and implementing the US’s new climate policies, while also navigating the turbulence in today’s global energy sector. What are the major opportunities and challenges afforded by the IRA? What’s the role of American energy in a time of global upheaval? And what is the Biden administration doing to try to bring about a more just and secure energy transition? This is Columbia Energy Exchange, a weekly podcast from the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University. I’m Jason Bordoff. Today on the show, the United States Secretary of Energy, Jennifer Granholm. Secretary Granholm has overseen the Department of Energy and its nearly $50 billion budget since her swearing in in February 2021. She was previously the governor of Michigan and prior to that, Michigan’s attorney general. She’s also served as a distinguished professor of practice at UC Berkeley’s School of Law. We were lucky enough to host the secretary at the Columbia Global Energy Summit celebrating our 10th anniversary, which took place in New York City on April 12th. She joined me on stage for a fireside chat about the American energy sector, the Inflation Reduction Act, and how the Department of Energy is using its authority to address the climate crisis. This episode of Columbia Energy Exchange is a recording of that live in-person conversation. I hope you enjoy. Let’s start with this transformative moment in the US energy and climate policy, particularly the Inflation Reduction Act. But there’s the CHIPS Act and the infrastructure bill and pieces of it historic piece of legislation full of promise and also challenges. So I want to ask you about each of those. First, just start with the promise of the Inflation Reduction Act. How do you think that is going to change the U.S. energy sector in the years to come? And maybe what are some of the less appreciated ways?

Jennifer Granholm [00:03:00] Well, first of all. We see right now, the tectonic plates are shifting with respect to investment in the United States as a result of the Inflation Reduction Act. When I started to talk about this backstage, but I’m the former governor of Michigan, and over the decades we have just sort of, you know, folded our hands as a nation and watched while other countries that had industrial policy came, took our IP, took our companies and had it as their end, cornered the market on some key technologies, not just factories across, manufacturing across. So the Inflation Reduction Act, as of Monday, since the president took off office, the vast majority of which after the bipartisan infrastructure line, the Inflation Reduction Act, 150 companies who have come or decided to expand in the United States, just in the batteries supply chain. So, you know, whether it’s anode cathode separator material, electrolyte or extraction, critical mineral extraction all over the country. And so the Inflation Reduction Act, number one, is incentivizing the build up again of our manufacturing backbone. Super important, but it’s also giving us the ability to locate factories in communities that have been left behind. And so it incentivizes. So, for example, you get a 30% tax credit for manufacturing, for building a manufacturing. If you choose the investment tax credit. On top of that, you get another 10 to 20%, depending on where you’re located. Could be in tribal nations, could be in a disadvantaged community. So that’s 40%. If you use apprenticeship labor, that’s another 10%. Now you’re talking about a 50% tax credit. So the stackable nature of these tax credits and the incentives to locate in communities that have been disproportionately negatively, negatively affected by the fossil fuels is transformative. And that to me, is hugely exciting. Who new policy matters and what a great thing it is that we have a president who has said no more. Are we going to just stand by and watch these jobs leave? And so that to me is very exciting.

Jason Bordoff [00:05:24] So that’s the promise, as you said, as a former governor of Michigan, seeing a lot of those jobs being created here, a lot of those tax credits require that the manufacturing be done here or the technologies and components and parts be assembled here or maybe in free trade agreement countries, some other countries don’t like that, particularly in Europe. There’s been concerns about I think the trade impacts.

Jennifer Granholm [00:05:42] Their concern has alleviated a bit with some of the Treasury guidance. So I think and you know, honestly, there has been we hope that this Inflation Reduction Act will create a virtuous cycle, a race to the top, if you will. And we have seen that in Europe. In Europe, they have. And this is what we’ve said to Europe, put your own incentives on the table where there’s enough to go around. I mean, Bloomberg has said that this is going to be a $23 trillion sector, this clean energy sector, and the products that are in it by 2030. Believe me, there is enough room to go around. Same thing with Canada. Also adopted incentives to be able to attract manufacturing. So that’s great. Let’s let’s all do this because we have a huge job ahead to get to our goals from the Paris Agreement.

Jason Bordoff [00:06:26] So if the concern is incentives so large will pull investment away from wherever you’re talking about Europe or elsewhere, the response in the Biden administration is we need more of that, We need more do not do.

Jennifer Granholm [00:06:37] And it’s also because we are you know, your previous panel just was talking about the geopolitical implications in terms of this whole realignment that’s happening globally around around energy, much of it. And so we don’t want to replace, you know, some a dependent. We want to be able to not rely upon countries for supply chains that don’t share our values. And so the ability to be stronger from NATO’s allies point of view, because you have a strategy that enables you to rely upon, supply it from countries that you trust and that have your share your values is really important as well.

Jason Bordoff [00:07:19] Yeah, I mean, those supply chains are everyone’s thinking differently about security of supply chains after the pandemic. When you look at the supply chains for clean energy, particularly on things like critical minerals, most of the processing we’re finding done in China, we need to scale clean energy so quickly, but so much steel around as fast as possible to get to these these climate goals and the volume of minerals and metals we need is so large, we still need to be dependent, I think. Tell me if you agree on global trade and the global economy. But what does that mean, sort of near shoring, French shoring? How do we think differently? And what can the what’s the Biden administration doing to make sure that we’re engaging in global trade? So because we want clean energy to be cheaper, not more expensive, but deal with those security concerns.

Jennifer Granholm [00:08:02] Yeah. I mean, I think this is important. The the French shoring component of things, particularly as it relates to critical minerals. Now we have a lot of critical minerals. It just takes us a long time in the United States to be able to extract them, permitting and all of the other concerns. There are other countries who are very close to us where there’s Canada, Australia, that have do a better job of it more quickly. And but Canada, for example, doesn’t do processing and they’d prefer that that happen. You know, we can share a bit of that so that we have a North American strategy. We don’t you know, China has done the vast majority of processing of critical minerals. We are starting to incentivize the processing component of the supply chain in the United States. But there are other countries that can do that as well, that are friends. So that notion of being able to create a sort of a buyers club, if you will, or, you know, allies club of being able to supply the key components is an important part of the strategy, even as we want to do as much of it as possible in the United States. And really that’s what the Inflation Reduction Act tax credits incentivize.

Jason Bordoff [00:09:12] The other, as we said, we had input. We need to build so much stuff so quickly, put steel in the ground, build infrastructure. And obviously, one of the topics high on the list in Washington is how to make that happen faster permitting reform or whatever else we need to do to let the clean energy projects happen faster. A lot of that sits outside the Department of Energy, but can you talk about how the administration views that that brought it?

Jennifer Granholm [00:09:33] There is I mean, the president is really obsessed with getting permitting reform done. I mean, there is.

Jason Bordoff [00:09:37] What does that look like?

Jennifer Granholm [00:09:38] What? Some hope? Well, I mean, there’s some hope in Congress that we will achieve that. You know, what we really need to do is to make sure that you respect the goals of NEPA, but just move more rapidly. And we can do that. We’ve got the technology to be able to do that. We can do permitting in a in a you know, it doesn’t have to be in a consecutive way. It can be in a concurrent way. There are ways to shorten the timeframes for review. We can do that. And it’s one of the reasons why I mean, the president’s not just relying on Congress, but he has also developed a series of SWAT teams inside of the White House and with the agencies, the land based agencies to be able to do that. So, for example, on transmission, we need to basically double the size of our electric grid by adding clean gigawatts. We have to add over 2000 gigawatts to the electric grid, which is huge. If we’re going to get to this goal of 100% clean electricity by 2035. So it’s a massive amount of expansion that we need to do by adding clean. So that means transmission and whether it’s reconnecting existing transmission lines to get double the amount of energy across the lines or adding new lines themselves, we need to move more quickly. So today, for example, the Department of Interior just permitted the Trans West Line. We have really that’s been 15 years in the making. That’s insane. If we want to be able to get to these goals. So there is a provision within the Federal Power Act that allows for, for example, us to put firm deadlines on the amount of time it takes to permit. And and we are and we’re finishing up, in my view, inside the White House that will allow all the agencies to agree to these timelines and and to call the question. So we’re working on processes inside and that’s for that’s for transmission on public land. We also have an issue with transmission offshore. And so we have another group working on on that. So the president’s looking to every way, both using executive power as well as certainly going to Congress to speed up those.

Jason Bordoff [00:11:39] And DOE has some authorities to designate transmission corridors. And are.

Jennifer Granholm [00:11:43] You right? Of course. Well, of course, we have we have several studies that are ongoing to be able to designate what the corridors are and that we have a whole new we have set up the department in a whole new way as a result of these authorities that have come to us in clean energy. And one of the new offices is the Grid Deployment Office. And they are they are finishing up the studies related to the corridors across the country that will be necessary to get all this transmission going.

Jason Bordoff [00:12:11] Talk about how you’re how you are organizing. I mean, it’s hard to get 400 billion maybe it’s a trillion different. There are different estimates of how much this bill will cost to get all that money through Congress, but then to spend it is not easy either. The people, the systems, the processes. How are you reshaping the Department of Energy? And there might be a lot of Columbia young people here who want to go with you.

Jennifer Granholm [00:12:33] So we first of all, the Department of Energy historically, you know, if you look at the spectrum of development of an idea, you know, we were on the sort of conception, the research, the development, the early stage demonstration side of the equation. And we’ve now added a whole effort on large scale demonstration and deployment. So we have added a whole new undersecretary for infrastructure in the department. We have to do both of. Course, still work on the technology advances and work on deployment. And so on the deployment side, we’re hiring you know, we’re hiring hundreds more people. We’ve hired about 470 people. We have 62 new programs that are have funding that go through them, about $100 billion worth of funding coming through just the Department of Energy, of course, coming through Treasury and others a lot more. But the bottom line is it is the biggest expansion of the Department of Energy since its inception. And we are very excited about the folks we’re hiring. We have a whole office, for example, the Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations, which is going to be a center of excellence around large scale demonstrations. And it’s through that office that you’ll see hydrogen hubs, clean hydrogen hubs populate the country. We want to create a whole new hydrogen economy, clean hydrogen economy. You have to think about what that means in regions. And so the final stage of those applications just came in, and we’ll be evaluating those and hopefully announcing them during the summer. But the point is, a lot of place based strategy for the development of these clean energy solutions. And we’re going to need people to be able to do project management, to be able to help engineer, to be able to make sure we do the connect connectivity with the supply chains on the ground, all of that. We need people for for every one of these 62 programs, hydrogen hubs are just one of them.

Jason Bordoff [00:14:28] I want to ask you about energy prices and energy production in the U.S. You’ve celebrated efforts to bring down gasoline prices, called on domestic energy companies to increase production. To help achieve that, there’s probably some students here studying economics who would say, if we want to use less of something, you want it to be more expensive, not less. So if if we have goals of decarbonizing faster, do we want gasoline prices to be higher or lower? Do we want U.S. oil production to be higher or lower?

Jennifer Granholm [00:14:55] I think we have to recognize that this is a transition and it’s not going to happen overnight. I consider this to be growing the energy pie, adding as much clean as possible so that that transition becomes smooth when the time is right. Obviously, we have until 2050 to get to net zero. We know that oil and gas is going to be around for a while. We want to decarbonize as much as possible. But if people start paying $5 a gallon for gasoline again or more here in New York, there’s a backlash that can also happen. And so there’s a there’s a, you know, a social dimension that we have to consider as well. So the point is the president wants to do everything to lower prices for people. And that’s what the Inflation Reduction Act was intended to do. This war in Ukraine and the volatility of the global market, whether it’s OPEC or Russia, that tells you that reliance, overreliance on something that’s traded globally, liquid fuels, LNG, for example, as well. It makes you and this is to your point, I think you just wrote a beautiful article, but to your point, it makes you more energy insecure. If you can grow homegrown solutions like clean energy, which is cheaper, more reliable, the technology continues to cause the price to go down reliably as opposed to doing this. That is a much more secure solution. It’s a much more cost, affordable solution. We all know that solar and wind now are among the cheapest forms of energy. And so the the purpose of being able to be energy secure means also being able to produce your own solutions in a clean way at home. And no, I mean, I a minister Aman from Ireland has this observation, which is that no country has ever been held hostage to access to the wind or to access to the sun. Clean energy is energy security. And so this is an important piece of the transition, this energy security conversation in addition to affordability and in addition to moving away from the volatility.

Jason Bordoff [00:17:15] And we see do you see this energy crisis sort of Fatih Birol is talked about this. Is this in the end, is it accelerating a transition or is it We also.

Jennifer Granholm [00:17:24] See we had a hiccup last year clearly because people had to turn the lights on. And this again, gets to the point of we have to recognize that on Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs, people need to be able to, you know, turn on the lights, heat their food, keep their food cold, whatever it is. So we have to understand that. But that acceleration last year, I think, is very much a temporary one. I mean, all of the new energy that was added in the past year was 90% was clean. So we’re going to continue to see this acceleration to clean, even as countries are desperate, of course, to provide energy security for their people in the mean. That are available at the moment. And LNG, obviously, as your previous panel was discussing, was one of those ways.

Jason Bordoff [00:18:07] Yeah, And I mean, there may be some here wondering. I suspect so because we talked about it in class a lot who see a potential conflict between those U.S. energy exports and or Europe’s investing in short term or medium term infrastructure for fossil fuels, including LNG and the longer term goal of moving away from fossil fuels or decarbonizing it to as much as we can. How do you think about that? How do you.

Jennifer Granholm [00:18:34] I think I mean, it clearly is if you were thinking in a pure way about either clean or fossil energy security, it but it’s not a not it’s not a just a binary choice. It’s really non-binary. You really have to do both to ensure that there’s not a backlash on the clean side and to make sure that people have power. And then when you have the the luxury of being able to have energy security through whatever means, you can really accelerate the clean side because then you get to the the values that people really care about. In addition, people still have to be persuaded that the cost of clean is is cheaper. And they have to see that in real terms and in many place them in Europe, it is cheaper. In the U.S. we still have a ways to go to ensure that all pieces, including the storage of renewable energy, makes the whole system cheaper. And we’re working on that.

Jason Bordoff [00:19:38] All of that. One of the tools, obviously, the government has to deal with higher gasoline prices or oil price volatility and disruptions are the strategic oil stocks, the SPR and you’ve made some comments recently. It may be difficult to fill that in the coming year. Just help us understand what are the administration’s plans for refilling the US?

Jennifer Granholm [00:19:56] We are planning on filling it, refilling it. We want to get it to the place it would have been had it not been for the war and the sales as a result of that. The way the SPR works, it’s got four sites, four main sites, two of them are in maintenance right now and two of them are selling oil on the market right now because Congress has mandated the sale of 26 million barrels from previously in order to fill budget holes. And so we have we have a legal obligation to do that. And because of the way the SPR works, you cannot sell and take in at the same time. And so those sales or the Congress’s requirements will be finished in the June-July timeframe. And then we will look to be to take advantage of prices if it is advantageous to the taxpayer in the rest of the year. So we hope that we’ll be able to start refilling. But it’s it’s a lot to refill. I mean, meaning it was 160 million barrels. So we’ve got to it’s actually a little bit more than that. So we’ve got to recognize and this is another odd thing about the Strategic Petroleum Reserve is that it takes more time to put the oil back in than it does to take it out. And so.

Jason Bordoff [00:21:12] The flow rate, a slower.

Jennifer Granholm [00:21:13] Rate is significantly slower than the the sell rate than the outgoing rate. So so but but we are doing that. So we’ve got a plan to do it. We’re going to cancel some of the sales that Congress had had mandated about 140 million barrels worth of sales. So that we’ll get back up to where we would have been had it not been for these sales. We still have the largest strategic petroleum reserve in the world right now. So be clear about that. We have lots of reserve, but we also want to take advantage if the market is right.

Jason Bordoff [00:21:45] So it’s still a tool that can be used if there are problems moving forward.

Jennifer Granholm [00:21:48] Yes. In the in the event of an extreme supply disruption, which is what the law requires, such as a war in Ukraine, which takes, you know, a significant amount of barrels off the market.

Jason Bordoff [00:21:58] You switching topics, you said something I thought was interesting recently, which is that D.O.D. has historically done a terrible job on energy and environmental justice. And you talk a little bit about what the what the you are doing, what the Biden administration is doing with the Justice 40 initiative, how you calculate the impact of all of the policies being implemented. We’ve talked about how you calculate the benefit going to disadvantaged communities and what you’re trying to do to reverse that poor historical.

Jennifer Granholm [00:22:26] And I don’t mean to say that I don’t want to like, castigate the department. It just hadn’t been a focus. I’ll just say that because our focus had been on research and development and I will say this is true. We want to make sure that we have a research and development, a STEM workforce that looks like America. And so we want to both inside the department as well as the investments that we’re making. We want it to reflect the president’s commitment to justice. 40, 40% of the benefits of all of these investments should go to communities that have been at our front line or fence line. Communities, communities that have been disproportionately negatively affected by fossil fuels. So I just have to say, I was in Ravenswood at the at the plant yesterday here in Queens, and they’re converting fossil generators. They’re again converting the power over to clean. That’s exactly the kind of project we love. And so the incentives, as I mentioned from the Appalachian Reduction Act will do some of that work for us. But we’re also evaluating the grant proposals that we get in based upon community benefit agreements. So we want to make sure that communities have been consulted and that there are that 20% of the projects of the evaluation plan it’s based in has to consider that and how the impacts are for the Justice 40 initiative. So it’s you know, people talk often about structural inequality where we are trying to take in structural equity into the grants that we’re doing.

Jason Bordoff [00:24:05] Yeah, and that’s where.

Jennifer Granholm [00:24:06] I’ll say let me just say this is for communities of color and it’s also for communities like fossil communities that are transitioning as well, rural areas that have seen the loss of jobs. So it’s both both sides.

Jason Bordoff [00:24:20] Yeah. What that the benefits going to those communities. And then you mentioned sort of before, let’s honor and respect the history of NEPA. So there’s a question here from the audience about we talked about a little bit, but just expand how you promote. For example, massive amounts of additional mining across this country and do that in a way that is sensitive to the environment and the potential community impacts from that kind of industrial activity.

Jennifer Granholm [00:24:44] I mean, this is exactly why we have got to make sure the community is at the table and that we I mean, part of the land agencies, there’s all sorts, you know, Fish and Wildlife Service, Forestry Service, there’s, you know, Bureau of Indian Affairs. We’ve got to make sure that the agencies within the federal government who respect the pieces that are also considered under permitting are at the table and are working together to make sure that this is done right. But being done right doesn’t mean you have to take 15 years. You can have a decision that is sooner. You can have mitigation strategies that are rapid and there are best practices for sustainable mining. And you know, we have a ton of public lands. Some of them some of those public lands do not implicate, you know, certainly tribal or indigenous sites, historical sites or, you know, you know, wildflowers that are maybe endangered, etc.. We have a ton of sites that can do that, and we just have to match those up. But we also want to pair ourselves with the countries that have the ability to do things quicker, too.

Jason Bordoff [00:26:01] I think when I when I when we have conversations like this and when I teach students, sometimes people don’t realize the full scope of what Dewey does, how significant nuclear security is, and and R&D and the national lab system is a national treasure and you oversee it. So I’m just wondering, since you have come into your your position, what’s most surprised you about the national labs and what are you most excited about for what you see coming now?

Jennifer Granholm [00:26:24] We have 17 national labs and I have visited most of them. There’s a couple that I’m still I visited all of them virtually, but there’s a couple that I haven’t visited in person. These national labs are astonishing. They are massive investments by the public into our research infrastructure as a nation. And the president, through the chips and science acted signed a bill, of course, that had even further investment in the infrastructure of our labs, huge facilities. I mean, you may have heard that we achieved ignition fusion ignition in December, one of our national labs, the National Ignition Facility. That is no small feat as billions of dollars. And by the way, decades of work to try to say that fusion can actually be achieved here on Earth. And for decades, people had been trying to achieve that. The the complexity and the breadth and the depth of that infrastructure has is is I mean, I hadn’t visited national labs before. I was aware of some of them. Not all everybody knows about the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Not sure that everybody is aware of what Idaho National Lab is doing on next generation nuclear small modular reactors, for example. Not sure about what people know about the Princeton plasma lab, etc.. I mean, there’s there’s so much happening inside the labs that you’d be so excited about. And one of the things that we that that’s an outgrowth of the lab, the lab system is that we want to continue to make sure that we are reaching high for big goals. So we have developed in partnership with the labs and with our Undersecretary for Science and Technology. These Earth shots, which are big, hairy, audacious goals to get to lower costs for certain technologies for so, for example, a hydrogen clean hydrogen earthshot to lower the cost to $1 for one kilogram within one decade or to a floating offshore wind earthshot to lower the cost for offshore wind platforms to $45 megawatt hour, or an enhanced geothermal earthshot to lower the costs for, you know, extracting the heat beneath our feet, which is a 24 seven baseload power, drives me crazy that we haven’t spent more effort on that, and especially the oil and gas industry that has expertise about the subsurface. They know what’s under there. But if they’re there, you know, hydraulic fracturing technology can be used to help extract heat from below. There is enough geothermal to power the country, you know, multiple times over. So we are we want to pursue all of these Earth shots at the same time as we’re pursuing the deployment strategies.

Jason Bordoff [00:29:16] Yeah, I see several leaders in that and the oil and gas sector who are here in the room. And I was wondering what your message is there for the role they can play in these clean energy technologies. But we’re also at a moment where at least some companies are sort of said, well, maybe we’re going to go a little slower and than we had planned, and the market seems to be rewarding that. So how do. They navigate that tension?

Jennifer Granholm [00:29:36] Well, I hope that, you know, I see Vicki here from Occidental. You know, the work that Occidental is doing, for example, on carbon capture and making sure that we are developing that technology to remove CO2 both from atmosphere as well as point source. We really want to make sure that we are partnering with the oil and gas industry as well as all others who want to move in this direction. There are a number, as I’m sure folks here are aware, of, oil and gas industry majors that have really plunked significantly in this clean energy transition, and we’re grateful for that. Like to see more of that. I mean, Orsted obviously used to be fully in the fossil arena and now they’re offshore wind and we want to make sure that that works for them as well. I mean, there’s challenges along the way for this, for growing this whole clean energy economy. Three burdens, three hurdles that are most important for us to to tackle right now for almost all forms of energy is permitting workforce and supply chains. All of those have to be addressed. And so we are trying to knock down as much as we can in each of those in each of those areas, even as we are accelerating the deployment strategy. And, you know, largely this administration has had a deployment strategy that is based upon carrots. But you saw this morning, perhaps if you if you read the papers that the EPA is announcing as well, some regulatory strategy, some sticks associated with transportation and making sure that we really move in the direction of limiting greenhouse gas emissions from tailpipes. And that’s that’s a very exciting piece of the agenda as well.

Jason Bordoff [00:31:25] A final message. You’ve been elected politics. You now serve in the cabinet. There are a lot of students here who may be thinking about public service, but I don’t know. Washington can look a little dysfunctional sometimes. What is your message to students here in the room today about.

Jennifer Granholm [00:31:40] Government service come and fix it. Do it? No, we do. We need great people who are willing to suffer the slings and arrows of that outrageous fortune and and help to move us in the direction we should be moving. And it is it is the next generation that is going to do this for us who are having none of this nonsense, a lot of which they are seeing in Washington and perhaps around the country. We really need people to raise their hand and not to say I am afraid of being attacked. I’m afraid of if you can do it. Remember, it’s not about you. It’s about maybe the policies that you’re trying to change. And we need people who are willing to stand tall for the changes that must move this country forward. If you love this nation, I hope you can consider serving it well.

Unidentified [00:32:36] Thank you. It’s a moment, a climate challenge and.

Jason Bordoff [00:32:41] An energy security challenge and the Department of Energy squarely in the middle of it. So thank you for being with us today. And thank you.

Jennifer Granholm [00:32:46] Congratulations on ten years. It’s great. Looking forward to.

Unidentified [00:32:49] The next ten.

Jason Bordoff [00:32:55] Thank you again, Secretary Granholm, and thank you for listening to this week’s episode of Columbia Energy Exchange. The show is brought to you by the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. The show is hosted by me, Jason Bordoff, and by Bill Loveless. The show is produced by Stephen Lacy and Aaron Harnick from Postscript Media. Additional support from Noah Kaufman, David Hale, Paul Tabar, Matt Bowen, second time Sahar Daniel Prop, Natalie Volk and Kyu Lee Roy Campanella engineered the show. For more information about the podcast or the Center on Global Energy Policy, visit us online at Energy Policy, Columbia dot edu or follow us on social media at Columbia View Energy. And please, if you feel inclined, give us a rating on Apple Podcasts. It really helps us out. Thanks again for listening. We’ll see you next week.

The past two years have been a watershed for American energy policy. A series of new laws – most notably the Inflation Reduction Act – have invigorated the domestic clean energy industry. At the same time, the war in Ukraine and the volatility in energy markets have stressed the importance of energy security. 

In the midst of all this, the US Department of Energy has the difficult task of responding to the urgency of climate change and implementing the United States’ new climate policies. 

What are the major opportunities and challenges afforded by the IRA? What is the role of American energy in a time of global upheaval? And what is the Biden administration doing to bring about a more just and secure energy transition?

This week, host Jason Bordoff talks with United States Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm. They discuss the American energy sector, the Inflation Reduction Act, and how the Department of Energy is using its executive authority to address the climate crisis. 

Secretary Granholm has overseen the Department of Energy and its nearly $50 billion budget since February 2021. She previously served as governor of Michigan from 2003 to 2011 and as Michigan’s attorney general from 1999 to 2003. Secretary Granholm was also a distinguished professor of practice at the University of California, Berkeley’s School of Law.

This episode of the Columbia Energy Exchange is a recording of a live, in-person conversation that took place last week on April 12 during the Columbia Global Energy Summit 2023.

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