Former Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm, President Joe Biden’s pick for energy secretary, could pocket up to $5 million for stepping down from a prominent position with a Silicon Valley energy company.
Granholm will relinquish her spot on the board of Proterra, Inc., an electric-vehicles manufacturer, if she is confirmed by Congress. She will also sell off all stocks in the company, resulting in a windfall. Disclosure forms show that Granholm’s stock in Proterra is valued between $1 and $5 million. She will also divest from other energy companies, including First Solar, a solar-panel company, and Duke Energy, an electric company. These investments would bring Granholm an additional $2,000 to $30,000.
Granholm’s close ties to the energy industry are likely to raise conflict-of-interest concerns. In addition to her role with Proterra, Granholm does consulting work for startups and businesses in the clean-energy, transportation, and advanced-manufacturing sectors. As energy secretary, Granholm would push Biden climate policies that would provide a lucrative boost to those sectors.
The industry has already seen an uptick since Democratic victories in the 2020 elections and Georgia runoffs.