The House Oversight and Accountability Committee has launched an investigation into Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm’s recent electric vehicle (EV) road trip, which resulted in police being called on her and her team. Republicans, led by Oversight Chairman James Comer and Subcommittee Chairman Pat Fallon, are questioning the purpose and cost of the trip, calling it a “publicity stunt” to promote the Biden administration’s push for green energy.
In a letter to Granholm on Tuesday, the lawmakers expressed concern over the “charade of the effectiveness of green energy” and the “out of touch” approach of the Biden administration towards the consequences of its policies. They also highlighted the importance of preserving consumer choice in the face of the administration’s efforts to mandate EV usage.
The controversy surrounds Granholm’s four-day road trip from North Carolina to Tennessee earlier this month. Reports emerged that Energy Department staffers used a gas-powered car to block off an EV charger for the secretary at a Walmart in Grovetown, Georgia. This angered a family trying to use the charger, leading them to call the police.
The woman who made the 911 call expressed her frustration at the situation, saying that a non-EV was taking up the space and preventing others from charging. The incident, which was first reported by NPR, has raised questions about the logistics of EV charging and highlights the ongoing challenges in implementing zero-emission cars.
During a House Science and Technology Committee hearing on Sept. 14, Granholm was questioned about the incident. She acknowledged that her team showed “poor judgment” in the situation but did not take responsibility for it. The incident has raised concerns about the practicality of using EVs for long trips, especially in states where charging infrastructure is not fully developed.
The Republican lawmakers also criticized Granholm and her team for not making informed decisions about the vehicles used for the trip. Despite the Department of Energy carefully planning and preparing for charging stops, the Georgia incident shed light on the challenges associated with EVs.
The investigation by the House Oversight and Accountability Committee is aimed at understanding the purposes, costs, and consequences of the EV road trip. The lawmakers are demanding documents and information from the Department of Energy to gain a better understanding of the situation.
While the Biden administration and Democratic-led states are aggressively pushing for the adoption of EVs, this incident highlights the challenges and logistical issues that still remain. The use of a gas-powered car to block an EV charger and the resulting police involvement has sparked further debate about the practicality and feasibility of transitioning to zero-emission vehicles.
The Department of Energy has not yet responded to requests for comment on the investigation. As the investigation unfolds, it remains to be seen how this incident will impact the Biden administration’s efforts to promote green energy and drive the country towards a zero-emissions future.