House Launches Investigation Into Biden Energy Secretary’s Electric Vehicle Trip

Republican lawmakers have announced an investigation into Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm’s infamous electric vehicle summer road trip across the southeast United States — which was filled with hiccups that included blocking a desperate family from using an EV charger to save it for Granholm’s fleet of electric vehicles.

On Tuesday, the Republican-led House Oversight Committee sent a letter to the Energy Secretary demanding documents and communications “to understand the purposes, costs, and consequences” of the trip — providing her with a deadline of October 10 for the records and requesting a staff-level briefing by October 3.

In the letter, House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. James Comer (R-KY) and Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Energy Policy and Regulatory Affairs Chairman Rep. Pat Fallon (R-TX) cited reports of a controversy during Granholm’s stop in Georgia — which included a family calling the police on her staff.

“We are alarmed by recent reports of your four-day summer 2023 electric vehicle (EV) road trip apparently intended to showcase the Biden Administration’s progress in achieving a radical green agenda,” the Republican lawmakers wrote.

“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,” the letter continued.

“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,” the lawmakers added.

NPR’s Camila Domonoske joined Granholm’s fleet of electric vehicles for the road trip and later shared details about the incident.

“The sheriff’s office couldn’t do anything,” Domonoske reported. “It’s not illegal for a non-EV to claim a charging spot in Georgia. Energy Department staff scrambled to smooth over the situation, including sending other vehicles to slower chargers, until both the frustrated family and the secretary had room to charge.”

In testimony during a hearing of the House Science and Technology Committee earlier this month, Granholm admitted that she had seen the negative reports about the incident — but blamed her staff entirely for the debacle.

“Well, I wasn’t saving a spot, but I’ll just say I have a fantastic young staff. … It was poor judgment on the part of the team,” the Energy Secretary said, adding, “I can only imagine that they wanted to continue moving, but the bottom line is that it’s not going to happen again.”

In their letter to Granholm, Comer and Fallon also cited another major controversy about Granholm’s trip — the Department of Energy’s refusal to allow Tesla vehicles or technology on the trip. The Republican lawmakers asserted that the decision raised questions about “whether the decision was politically motivated” — likely referring to the Biden administration’s obvious animosity toward Tesla CEO Elon Musk and their controversial investigations of Musk and Tesla.