Last Updated on January 26, 2021
As a windfall to her nomination as Energy Secretary by President Joe Biden, former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm stands to pocket over $5 million when she steps down from a prominent corporate board position with a Silicon Valley energy company.
In accepting the nomination from Biden, Granholm will necessarily have to step down from her position on the board of directors for Proterra, Incorporated, an electric-vehicles manufacturer.
She will also have to divest in her stock holdings in the company. Granholm’s stock in Proterra, reported on disclosure statements, is valued between $1 and $5 million.
Granholm will also be liquidating her stock and cutting ties with other energy companies, including First Solar, a solar-panel company, and Duke Energy, an electric company.
The former Michigan Governor’s intimate ties to the energy industry will, no doubt, raise conflict-of-interest concerns on Capitol Hill.
Biden’s nominee for Energy Secretary, Jennifer Granholm, has conflicts of interests in her energy investments. She must keep her promise to recuse herself and divest quickly.https://t.co/QGENcFMHnQ
— Citizens for Ethics (@CREWcrew) January 23, 2021
In addition to her board position with Proterra, Granholm engages in consulting work for startup companies and smaller corporations in the clean-energy and transportation sectors. Her potential conflict of interest comes in that as Energy Secretary, Granholm would be advocating for climate policies that would serve to benefit the companies for whom she has consulted.
The “green” renewable-energy sector will expand under the Biden administration as he seeks to achieve his net-zero greenhouse-gas emissions by 2050. To achieve this goal, a strong push to advance the electric-vehicle industry will be undertaken. Companies, like those Granholm represents such as Proterra – a leading electric-bus manufacturer, will necessarily benefit from Biden’s policies.
Jennifer Granholm, Joe Biden’s nominee for Secretary of Energy, holds more than $1 million worth of stock options in an electric bus and battery maker set to go public later this year https://t.co/FImWjRwI3x by @mtindera07 pic.twitter.com/cDn4iKs9mw
— Forbes (@Forbes) January 21, 2021
Granholm also co-owns a firm with her husband, Daniel Mulhern, that does consulting for clean-energy companies. Granholm Mulhern Associates will dissolve after she is confirmed as Energy Secretary but her husband has stated he will launch a new firm, solely in his name, which will service current clients.
Andrew Bates, a Biden transition spokesman, said Mulhern will divest from his stocks in First Solar and Duke Energy and will not consult with energy companies during his wife’s tenure with the Biden administration.