WASHINGTON-- Washington Sen. Maria Cantwell had a chance to ask questions of President Biden's nominee for Secretary of Energy, former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm Wednesday.

During the Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing, Cantwell pointed out that new Presidential administrations don't understand the enormity of the Hanford clean-up project, and see the Hanford budget as a first stop for easy cuts.

“You and I had a chance to talk about Hanford,” Cantwell said to Granholm during the hearing. “I just wanted to reiterate it being one of the largest cleanup projects in the entire world. Hanford is the federal government’s second-largest obligation behind Social Security and health care. So, as I mentioned to you, often that administrations come in and try to cut corners. Last year, the Trump administration proposed funding at 46 percent below what DOE said was needed for the Tri-Party Agreement compliance."

Cantwell asked Granholm to commit to proving budgets for the Department of Energy that include funding that allows Hanford clean-up to continue in accordance to the timelines laid out in the Tri-Party Agreement.

“You have that commitment,” Granholm responded.

Cantwell also highlighted the energy storage research that is underway at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratories (PNNL) in Richland and asked Granholm to prioritize the work.

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