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By Dan Brouillette, Secretary of Energy

I always enjoy getting back to Michigan. It reminds me of my time in the auto industry and the spirit of innovation that drives both the industry and the state. Seeing the state’s energy progression and where its economic future is heading, it is clear that Michigan will continue to play a vital role in the strength of our nation’s energy and manufacturing industries, particularly in the shift toward electric vehicles.

This week, I was delighted to visit Michigan State University (MSU) in East Lansing and Ford Engineering Laboratory in Dearborn. As I told Michiganders I met during my trip, our ongoing partnership with the private sector is invaluable to DOE’s mission of securing continued prosperity and energy independence for the American people. That’s why we have invested $620 million into the state.

Secretary Brouillette tours Michigan State's FRIB.

In fact, Michigan is an incubator of the Trump Administration’s all-of-the-above energy strategy – a strategy that prioritizes innovation over regulation and leverages all available fuel and power sources. DOE, specifically, is committed to helping support America’s innovators and entrepreneurs through research and development (R&D) that will keep our nation competitive, secure, and the global leader in technology, energy, and science.

Take for instance MSU’s Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB). I was honored to speak at the FRIB designation ceremony and meet the scientists who will tackle some of the nation’s greatest challenges using the facility’s premier capabilities.

This new DOE-funded facility, in partnership with Michigan state government and MSU, is a world-class nuclear research center that will revolutionize our understanding of the properties of rare isotopes, nuclear astrophysics, and fundamental interactions in this field. This research will lead to development in technologies that will impact our society in the areas of medicine, homeland security, and more.

Secretary Brouillette at Spartan Stadium.

As FRIB shows, nuclear research goes far beyond power generation; it has applications that can be used to save lives and strengthen our national security. 

While in Michigan, I also had the chance to see the latest innovative work on electric vehicles. As the picture below shows, the private sector is producing some amazing electric vehicle technology. 

Much of this technology stems from grants and research supported by DOE. We are actively pursuing and investing in R&D focused on new vehicle technologies and battery storage innovations, as well as strengthening our nation’s supply chains. DOE recently established a Battery Recycling Center (ReCell) aimed at developing cost-effective processes to reclaim and recycle critical battery materials, such as cobalt and lithium.

Secretary Brouillette and Under Secretary Dabbar at Michigan State.

We also launched the “Energy Storage Grand Challenge” to create and sustain global leadership in energy storage utilization and exports, with a secure domestic manufacturing supply chain that will be independent of foreign sources of critical materials by 2030.

Americans should be confident that our electric vehicles are faster, more efficient, and more reliable than ever before. This means Americans now have choice in the marketplace which will lead to even greater competition and better products for consumers.

Whether it’s in nuclear research, electric vehicle battery development, or energy storage, Michigan stakeholders are vital to President Trump’s agenda for maintaining America’s energy dominance. Under his leadership, DOE is proud to support work that promotes economic opportunity and employment for Michiganders, keeping America on a path toward even greater progress and achievement.