An open letter to Secretary Granholm

April 6, 2021, 9:09AMANS NewsCraig Piercy

Craig Piercy

Madam Secretary:

Congratulations on becoming America’s 16th secretary of energy! Welcome to one of the most misunderstood, confounding, yet important and underappreciated agencies in the federal government.

Even the name—the U.S. Department of Energy—is misleading. Given that the majority of its funding and operational focus is dedicated in some form or another to the splitting and fusing of atoms, the DOE should probably be called the Department of Nuclear Technology and Other Energy and Science Stuff.

Secretary Granholm addresses WMS2021

March 10, 2021, 6:55AMRadwaste Solutions

Secretary Granholm during a live stream of the 2021 Waste Management Symposia.

Newly appointed Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm promised a more “collaborative and inclusive approach” to working with communities hosting and surrounding Department of Energy cleanup sites during a video address to the 2021 Waste Management Symposia on March 9. Granholm is the highest DOE official to ever address the annual conference dedicated to radioactive waste management, which is being held virtually this year due to the ongoing pandemic.

“Our work is about more than just restoring the land,” Granholm said of the DOE’s environmental management program. “It is really about keeping our promises to the American people. It is our responsibility to lift this burden from communities that have shouldered the burden of our safety and help them achieve a more vibrant and sustainable future.”

DOE official opens WM Symposia with 2021 EM priorities

March 9, 2021, 12:00PMRadwaste Solutions

William “Ike” White, the DOE's acting assistant secretary for Environmental Management. Source: DOE

William “Ike” White, the Department of Energy’s acting assistant secretary for environmental management, helped open the 2021 Waste Management Symposia by announcing a new era for the department’s Office of Environmental Management (EM) and its cleanup mission. Speaking via live stream during the virtual meeting’s plenary session on March 8, White said, “Today, EM is at the start of a new era, with a new administration and a new set of priorities for the year, and, hopefully, the start of a new post-pandemic world.”

The new priorities that White touted are contained in EM’s Calendar Year 2021 Mission and Priorities, which outlines specific planned goals across the cleanup complex for the coming year. According to the DOE, the calendar serves as a marker for EM’s continuing success in addressing the legacy of nuclear weapons production and government-sponsored nuclear energy research.

Manchin voices strong support for nuclear energy

February 26, 2021, 7:03AMANS Nuclear Cafe


Speaking at a U.S. Senate committee meeting this week, Sen. Joe Manchin (D., W.V.) said that continuing support for nuclear energy would be essential in meeting the country’s goals of reducing the emissions that fuel climate change, according to the Politico Pro newsletter.

Details: Manchin, who heads the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, was highly critical of anyone suggesting that climate change can be addressed without nuclear energy being in the mix.

Granholm confirmed as new DOE head

February 25, 2021, 2:47PMNuclear News


The Senate earlier today confirmed Jennifer Granholm as the nation’s 16th secretary of energy. The final tally was 64–35, with several Republicans joining Democrats in support of the former Michigan governor. Granholm becomes the second woman (after the Clinton administration’s Hazel O’Leary) to hold the post.

Picked to helm the Department of Energy last December by then president-elect Biden, Granholm testified before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on January 27, and on February 3, the committee voted 13–4 to advance her nomination.

Initial takes on Biden’s pick for DOE secretary

December 22, 2020, 9:30AMANS Nuclear Cafe


Two op-eds published recently discuss president-elect Joe Biden’s pick—former Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm—to run the Department of Energy. The first is from Llewellyn King, the creator of The White House Chronicle, and the second op-ed is from Hayes Brown, a columnist for MSNBC.

Both op-eds reach similar conclusions in that they do not see Granholm as the right choice to head the DOE, mainly because “despite its name, dealing with energy production isn’t the Energy Department’s main function,” as Brown points out.