Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm Addresses ASME Members During Inaugural ASME Policy Impact Event

Jun 7, 2021

by ASME.org

During ASME Government Relations inaugural ASME Policy Impact, Tom Costabile, ASME’s Executive Director/CEO, opened the virtual floor to the event’s keynote speaker, Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm. Costabile shared how ASME has long advocated for the critical role that the Department of Energy (DOE) plays in supporting research and development across the energy technology community. As Secretary of DOE, Granholm is charged with helping America achieve President Biden’s goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 by advancing cutting-edge clean energy technology innovation. During her keynote address to the ASME community, Secretary Granholm provided insight into the Biden Administration’s clean energy agenda.

Secretary Granholm shared three main pillars of the Biden Administration’s clean energy agenda:
  1. Achieve 50-52% reductions in emissions by 2030
  2. Attain 100% clean electricity by 2035
  3. Reach net-zero emissions by 2050 
Secretary Granholm went on to share how the nation’s economic rivals are racing to stake their claim in this new, clean energy market. Granholm asserted that the nation to come out on top in the clean energy transition will have the inside track on leading the global economy through the 21st century. For the United States to be a leader in addressing climate change and reap its economic benefits, the full force of the federal government is needed.
 
During her address, Secretary Granholm shared the need for science and engineering innovation at a scale the world has never seen. She believes it will require every ounce of talent and grit the nation has to offer and pointed to ASME members as integral in ushering in the technology necessary for a clean energy transition. “If we marshal the full potential of American society,” said Secretary Granholm, “we really do believe we can win this race.”
 
Researching, designing, and deploying innovative technologies will be key to America’s clean energy future. ASME has always been a leader in these areas. Whether it is modeling and simulation, novel reactor materials, advanced manufacturing, smart grid and building technologies, or renewable energy, ASME has long supported the work being done at the Department of Energy and values it as a critical partner of the engineering and energy community.
 
Secretary Granholm also discussed President Biden’s American Jobs Plan and how the Department of Energy believes it is a crucial enabler for the nation to meet its clean energy targets. Secretary Granholm shared that the policies outlined in the plan intend to accelerate the work DOE is doing with regards to developing groundbreaking technologies such as advanced nuclear and utility-scale storage. $100 billion alone will be invested in modernizing the grid, meaning the technologies need to be there to add capacity to the grid as well as make it more resilient.
 
The Jobs Plan will also invest $180 billion in establishing America as a leader in research and development, with a flood of investment for national labs, research institutions, and universities across the nation. Funding will also go towards building a robust STEM workforce that is as diverse and inclusive as possible. As Secretary Granholm noted, these technologies do not just appear out of thin air; rather, the nation needs skilled scientists and engineers to bring them to life.
 
A full recording Secretary Granholm’s address will be made available on the Policy Impact event page and on ASME’s YouTube page in the coming days and a link will be provided in future editions of the “ASME Capitol Update Newsletter.”

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