Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm has been facing significant backlash from conservative lawmakers following her recent publicity stunt “summer road trip” in an electric vehicle. House Oversight Chairman James Comer and Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Energy Policy, and Regulatory Affairs Chairman Pat Fallon issued a strongly-worded letter to Granholm, expressing their “alarm” over her actions.
The letter notes that the Department of Energy (DOE) staff traveling with Granholm used an internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle to block off an EV-only charging station on her route, causing unnecessary inconvenience to an electric vehicle driver with a low charge and an infant passenger in sweltering Georgia heat. Granholm ultimately blamed her staff’s “poor judgment,” but the lawmakers argue that this taxpayer-funded publicity stunt was another example of the Biden Administration’s “out of touch” policies.
Americans deserve to drive whatever car they choose.
They don't deserve to be put at risk by unelected bureaucrats taking a taxpayer-funded joyride. https://t.co/mk8ID5MyPn
— Rep. Pat Fallon (@RepPatFallon) September 26, 2023
The letter strongly emphasizes the House Republicans’ commitment to preserving consumer choice in the face of the “burdensome” Biden Administration’s push to force all Americans to buy electric vehicles. They demand documents and information related to the cost and consequences of Granholm’s summer road trip, noting that she relied on ICE vehicles at every point along the journey and refused to include Tesla vehicles or technology—despite their acknowledged superiority in charging stations and significant presence in the U.S. market.
The Oversight Committee members also take aim at the Biden Administration’s anti-energy policies and China’s consolidation of critical minerals necessary for EVs, which they argue has left American domestic energy producers struggling for answers. They criticize Granholm’s failure to recognize the importance of the fossil fuel industry, which supported her EV road trip and made it possible for her fleet to complete the journey.
The letter asserts that Granholm’s EV road trip came just before President Biden announced another prohibition on oil drilling on millions of acres in the Arctic, leaving American energy producers searching for solutions. The lawmakers express concern over the cost of the road trip to taxpayers, including fuel, promotion, lodging, meals, and any reimbursement associated with the excursion. They demand all DOE documents and information relating to the road trip, as well as any related communication between Granholm, her staff, and the White House or any other executive agency.
Overall, the tone of the letter is extremely conservative and anti-Biden Administration, highlighting the administration’s perceived failures and attacking Granholm’s actions as part of an out-of-touch and costly publicity stunt. The lawmakers emphasize the importance of consumer choice and the fossil fuel industry, while demanding transparency and accountability for Granholm’s actions and expenditures.