Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm to visit MSU, Detroit on Monday

Breana Noble
The Detroit News

U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm on Monday will visit Michigan for a ribbon cutting and major American manufacturing announcement spurred by federal support.

The trip will be the former Michigan governor's third to the Great Lakes State since taking the cabinet post in February 2021. It's part of an effort to prioritize underserved communities most vulnerable to climate change and underscore the need for additional legislation to address energy costs and strengthen domestic supply chains, according to a media advisory.

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm speaks during a press briefing at the White House, Nov. 23, 2021, in Washington.

“Michigan holds the keys to rev-up domestic manufacturing by building the technologies needed to power this country with clean energy and combat the effects of climate change,” Granholm said in a statement. “It is wonderful to head back home to Detroit — the backbone of America’s vehicle manufacturing — alongside a stellar set of leaders who understand the urgency to boost domestic supply chains, drive towards our energy independence and strengthen our clean energy economy.”

Granholm will make stops in East Lansing and Detroit on her visit. She first will travel to Michigan State University for a ribbon cutting at the new Facility for Rare Isotope Beams. Home to the world's most powerful heavy-ion accelerator, according to the university, it will allow researchers to create and study isotopes — versions of elements whose protons and neutrons don't hold together forever — that are so rare, some may never have been produced on Earth.

Scientists hope the research will provide greater understanding of the universe's formation and innovations in cancer treatments, other medicine, nuclear security and environmental sciences.

The Energy Department's Office of Science partially funded the $730 million project in partnership with the university and the state of Michigan. Granholm will be joined by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Lansing, and U.S. Reps. Elissa Slotkin, D-Holly; Brenda Lawrence, D-Southfield, and Tim Walberg, R-Tipton.

In Detroit, Granholm will visit Focus: HOPE, a community development nonprofit in the city. There, she will make an announcement stemming from the clean energy provisions included in the $1 trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Law signed in November following Granholm's first visit to Michigan as energy secretary in August when she was promoting the legislation with other Biden administration officials and got a look at the building of the new GMC Hummer EV pickup.

The infrastructure deal included more than $62 billion for the Energy Department. For manufacturing, that includes more than $7 billion in growing the battery supply chain and $1.5 billion for hydrogen manufacturing and advancing recycling research and development.

But more funding is needed for the United States to be a technological leader, according to the administration. Granholm during her trip will promote the Bipartisan Innovation Act, which would provide $90 billion to fund research and development; education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics; and domestic manufacturing.

In March, the secretary also visited Michigan, stopping at battery manufacturer Xalt Energy and Hemlock Semiconductor Operations LLC in mid-Michigan to promote solar energy legislation.

Granholm, 63, was Michigan's first female governor from 2003 to 2011. She was the state's first female attorney general before that from 1998 to 2002. After leaving office in Michigan, she moved to California and taught policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley.

Twitter: @BreanaCNoble