Energy Secretary Granholm announces $3.1 billion in funding opportunities for electric vehicle batteries

During a visit to Detroit, U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm announced $3.1 billion in funding opportunities for electric vehicle battery production.

"Right now, the processing of the materials that go into that battery largely happen in China. We don’t have any processing in the United States, and that means more jobs," she said.

Companies can apply for funding.

"They will have to supply a match of the funding so the $3.1 billion ends up becoming 6.2 billion," she said. "That’s a lot of money to build out this part of the supply, chain and that means that’s a lot of jobs."

Creating jobs means creating a labor force that handle the work. Focus: Hope in Detroit says it's ready for the challenge. 

"You are in the machinist training institute. It is our longest running workforce development program," said Kevin Green, with Focus: Hope.

Republican leaders weighed in on the announcement. 

"Photo-ops and feel-good messages will do nothing to erase the pain Jennifer Granholm and Joe Biden have caused Michiganders as they struggle to afford gas that is over $4.00 per gallon and worry about the repercussions their families will face if Democrats shut down Line 5," said Republican National Committee Spokesperson Preya Samsundar in a statement.

But as U.S. automakers put EVs on the market, Congresswoman Debbie Dingell is confident Detroit will play a key role in processing batteries.

"This state this city put the world on wheels, and we are going to lead the world in continuing to be the mobility leader," she said. "We’re not going tp lead China lead in producing those minerals –  we’re going to bring it home." 

Autoworkers are also excited.

"We’re very excited in the UAW about these investments. This is a moment that will never happen in our lifetime again, a complete transformation of the auto industry," said Cindy Estrada, with UAW.