Skip Pruss on GM and Shift Away from Gasoline

January 29, 2021

If you want a good read on where we are in the energy transition, you might want to speak to Stanley “Skip” Pruss, former Chief Energy Advisor to former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm, who is incoming Secretary of Energy. (pending confirmation)
I spoke to Skip on January 19 about the massive acceleration in electrification of the Auto industry.

Not 10 days later, GM’s huge announcement of a 2035 target to exit Internal Combustion, for good.

Green Tech Media:

In a Wednesday Senate hearing, former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm echoed previous commitments to create clean energy jobs and focus on U.S.-made equipment if confirmed as U.S. Energy Secretary.

Beyond helping carry out President Biden’s target of 100 percent clean electricity by 2035, the Energy Secretary oversees 17 national labs and manages the U.S.’ nuclear capabilities and cleanup efforts. Despite Biden’s grand clean-energy ambitions, the latter responsibilities make up most of the department’s current budget.

Granholm’s confirmation hearing, however, largely focused on how the Biden administration will carry out its energy targets. On Wednesday Biden signed several climate-focused executive orders that direct federal agencies to buy carbon-free electricity and start U.S. goal-setting for emissions reductions under the Paris climate agreement, among other measures.

Granholm, who as governor helped steer Michigan and its auto industry through the financial crisis of the late aughts, has centered her nomination around clean-energy employment and manufacturing in support of the Biden-Harris administration’s wide-reaching climate goals.

“I believe that I was nominated by the president because I am obsessed with creating good-paying jobs in America,” Granholm said in testimony at the hearing. “Having been the governor of Michigan when the automotive industry was on its knees, I understand what it’s like to look in the eyes of men and women who have lost jobs through no fault of their own.”

“The experience I had in Michigan seared my soul on behalf of workers,” Granholm said later in the hearing, discussing the anxiety associated with job losses in legacy energy industries.

2 Responses to “Skip Pruss on GM and Shift Away from Gasoline”

  1. Macker Says:

    Lols, yep another 30,ooo,ooo or so more ICE vehicles from GM!

  2. J4Zonian Says:

    The US auto industry’s near-death experience was caused by its own choice to focus on high-profit ICEV SUVs and trucks, rather than begin a serious transition to EVs, as the world desperately needed. Saving jobs might have been one motivation but I think saving corporate profits was far more important, because rather than force them to correct their disastrous direction, replace those who set it, and begin that transition, or even improve mileage faster or insist on worker control (as if!), as a condition of getting enormous amounts of welfare, Obama and the corporate duopoly party just handed the money over. It left the US auto industry in the same bad position relative to other car-makers around the world, with the same bad leadership, while the world was forging ahead with better transportation choices. China’s bold and massive actions on EVs, batteries, EV buses, rail, and high speed rail, for example, (while cleaning up and up-grading the grid that powers them) have made US car-makers close to obsolete, except for Tesla. The actions of China, Scandinavia, Germany, Nicaragua, Kenya, and many other countries and regions, are making large parts of the US obsolete.

    I don’t know if Granholm had anything to do with the sellout bailout, but since she’s a Michigan corporate Democrat, I can guess which side she was on on forcing the industry to do anything. Either way, she bears some responsibility for the inexcusable party line before that, then and since. As long as the somewhat-less-right-wing major party in the US is more focused on justifying their psychopathology and terrible choices rather than making better ones, our chances of real change in time to avoid global catastrophe are near zero.

    “Biden’s grand clean-energy ambitions” are not grand; they’re timid and unrealistic. 2035 is too long to leave the grid pumping out carbon, let alone delay the huge changes we need in primary energy, agriculture, flying, shipping, concrete, steel, plastics, and other industries. As with Biden himself, we can do better.


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