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House Republicans probing Energy Secretary’s taxpayer-funded EV trip

House Republicans are investigating a taxpayer-funded trip that Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm took with electric vehicles last summer — during which a Georgia family called the police on her staff for using a gas-powered vehicle to hog access to a charging station on the secretary’s behalf.

House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) and House Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Energy Policy, and Regulatory Affairs Chairman Pat Fallon (R-Texas) sent a letter to Granholm on Tuesday, requesting records “to understand the purposes, costs, and consequences” of her EV excursion.

The House panel chairmen called the energy secretary’s four-day trip from Charlotte, N.C., to Memphis, Tenn. in a Cadillac Lyriq a “publicity stunt” that demonstrated “how out of touch the Biden Administration is with the consequences of policies it has unleashed on everyday Americans.”

“Using an internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle, your Department of Energy (DOE) staff blocked off an EV-only charging station so you could stay on a schedule which was ‘painstakingly mapped out ahead of time’ because of limited, slow, and nonworking EV chargers along your route,” they wrote.

“In ‘sweltering’ Georgia heat, your staff’s actions caused a family with an infant child and low charge on their EV battery to call the police out of urgency while waiting at this charging station.”

When asked about the trip during a congressional hearing earlier this month, Granholm blamed her staff for “poor judgment,” but confirmed that her caravan had blocked other EV vehicles from charging.

An NPR journalist who accompanied the secretary and her staff also noted that “the trip route lacked fast, reliable, and available chargers,” according to the Republican lawmakers.

“Your summer 2023 EV road trip was reportedly ‘intended to draw attention to the billions of dollars the White House is pouring into green energy and clean cars,’” Comer and Fallon said.

“Yet at every point on this journey, you relied upon ICE vehicles using gasoline to try to boost the charade of the effectiveness of green energy.”

A spokesperson for the Energy Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The House Republican chairmen further drew attention to the secretary’s decision to avoid using a Tesla vehicle, suggesting that it was a “politically motivated” move against CEO Elon Musk.

Comer and Fallon also noted the ongoing United Auto Workers strike against “job losses due to the shift toward EVs.”

President Biden joined UAW members on the picket line Tuesday in Wayne County, Mich., en route to California for a re-election campaign fundraiser.

Comer and Fallon also noted the ongoing United Auto Workers strike against “job losses due to the shift toward EVs.”

The Biden administration in April proposed automobile pollution standards that would force two-thirds of new vehicles produced in the US to be electric within the next decade — roughly 10 times the number currently sold.

“Your fleet of EVs could not complete the trip without the support of the fossil fuel industry which you and the Biden Administration have been intent to vilify and destroy,” the GOP chairmen said.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


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