Pete Buttigieg, Jennifer Granholm

More Biden Cabinet picks! The AP reports that Joe Biden will name former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm to be secretary of Energy, and today, he nominated his former 2020 campaign rival Pete Buttigieg as secretary of Transportation. Both are expected to play big roles in Biden's plan to commit every part of the federal government to fighting climate change.

America, are you sick of competent people in top government positions yet? Neither are we!


Granholm served as Michigan's attorney general before being elected to two terms as governor of the state that brought America the internal combustion engine, and hence a significant chunk of the CO2 that's warmed the planet. The Energy Department's main job is maintaining and securing the US nuclear arsenal, which comes as a surprise to some, like Trump's first Energy secretary, Rick Perry, who thought he'd be making big oil deals. But it's likely that Granholm will also expand its role in research and development of energy sources, too, making it a key part of moving the US toward green energy. That should be right up her alley (which has an electric car charging station, we assume). The New York Times notes,

Ms. Granholm, a longtime champion of renewable energy development, is widely credited during her two terms as Michigan governor with steering her state through a recession and working with the Obama administration on a 2009 bailout of the automobile industry that included clean energy investments and incentives for carmakers to invest in technologies like battery storage.

After her second term ended, in 2011, she became an advocate for renewable energy development. She has given a TED Talk on how investing in alternative energy resources can bolster state economies, something Mr. Biden has focused on in his coronavirus recovery plan.

Buttigieg, if confirmed at Transportation, would become the first openly gay member of a presidential Cabinet, which is both kind of awesome and also almost but not quite boring anymore. He too will be doing a lot of green stuff. Beyond the obvious things like promoting adoption of zero-emission vehicles, the Transportation Department, what with all its infrastructure projects, will be a key player in building sustainably and planning for climate resilience.

Good heavens, we may finally get a real Infrastructure Week that results in infrastructure getting built, for once:

Oh dear. Does that mean we'll need new punchlines? And will they require environmental impact statements?

Also too, you'll be glad to know CNN's Chris Cillizza is on hand to ask the stupid questions like "Isn't [Transportation secretary] a little, well, small, for someone of Buttigieg's political abilities and ambitions?"

Yeah, it's only a freaking Cabinet position responsible for hundreds of billions in spending on good jobs and, under Biden, helping to remake the American economy. Won't a policy nerd get bored? Fortunately, Cillizza more or less ends up getting to that, as well as noting Buttigieg is great on TV. He's already a big hit with transportation nerds, thanks to his advocacy of smart streets and even "smart sewers" as South Bend mayor.

Honestly, the only downside we see to Buttigieg as Transportation secretary will be all those James Joyce quotes on freeway signs. By the time you finish reading "riverrun, past Eve and Adam's, from swerve of shore to bend of bay" you'll have missed your exit. Also, it could be a problem if the GPS systems start trying to send drivers to meander around Dublin in 1906.

But at least the GPS voice will be great: "In 100 feet yes turn left and your heart is going like mad and yes I said left I will Yes ... recalculating Yes."

Open thread!

[AP / NYT / NPR / CNN]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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