House Oversight Begins Probe Into Granholm’s Electric Vehicle Road Trip Fiasco

Jennifer M. Granholm, U.S. Secretary of Energy. (Photo by Thomas Kronsteiner/Getty Images)

OAN’s Brooke Mallory
6:03 PM – Wednesday, September 27, 2023

The House Oversight Committee is commencing a probe into Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm’s summer road trip in an electric vehicle (EV), which gained attention after charging issues led to a family calling the police on staff who were blocking a charging outlet for the official.


In order to “understand the purposes, costs, and consequences” of Granholm’s road trip, Oversight Chairman James Comer (R-KY) and Energy Policy Subcommittee Chairman Pat Fallon (R-TX) asked the agency on Tuesday for documents pertaining to her travels from North Carolina to Tennessee.

Their letter focuses the investigation on an NPR piece that detailed the drive’s difficulties.

“This taxpayer-funded publicity stunt illustrates yet again how out of touch the Biden Administration is with the consequences of policies it has unleashed on everyday Americans,” the letter reads. “Committee Republicans remain committed to preserving freedoms like vehicle consumer choice in the face of an unproven, burdensome, and expensive Biden Administration push to force all Americans to buy EVs.”

After receiving a request for comment from the Washington Examiner, the Department of Energy declined to indicate if it would cooperate with Oversight’s investigation.

“For over a decade, while our global competitors geared up for the clean energy transition, America lagged behind. Now, with President Biden’s historic Investing in America agenda we have over $7 billion to build out convenient and reliable EV charging infrastructure, a portion of which is already awarded to every state, D.C. and Puerto Rico,” the spokesperson said.

“The private sector is following suit with equally ambitious investments — growing our workforce and keeping money in the pockets of hardworking Americans.”

The purpose of Granholm’s trip was to highlight the billions that the Biden administration has invested in EVs and related infrastructure, but as soon as Granholm’s own team saw the difficulties of operating electric vehicles, the message was quickly forgotten.

Her crew tried parking a non-electric vehicle right beside an EV charger to reserve the spot for the energy secretary after realizing that there were not enough charging stations to go around. They were reportedly attempting to “fast-charge a caravan of EVs” in Georgia.

The result was that a traveling family with a very young child was prevented from using the charger. However, the family noticed her staff’s blockage tactics and quickly called the police to report them for “hogging the charging station.”

Granholm’s journey highlighted the challenges that many EV owners encounter when traveling lengthy distances, including the inconvenience of having to wait while the vehicle charges, the difficulty of figuring out where to find a charger in advance of the batteries running out, and the difficulty of finding chargers that are compatible with the car.

Along with drawing attention to the higher prices of EVs than standard internal combustion engines, these are just a few obstacles that form the basis of the GOP’s objections against electric vehicles.

However, House Republicans are not the only ones calling attention to the trip’s failures. The Senate GOP leadership made light of the difficulties the energy secretary encountered when operating her electric vehicle during a weekly press conference earlier this month.

“You can’t make this stuff up… If the Biden administration can’t make it from Charlotte to Memphis without an incident, then how do we expect that all of our nontactical military fleet is going to get transitioned by the year 2030 without having big issues?” said Republican Policy Committee Chairwoman Joni Ernst (R-IA).

The Oversight letter also argues that Granholm’s trip could not have been completed “without the support of the fossil fuel industry, which you and the Biden Administration have been intent to vilify and destroy.”

The vehicle that was used to block off the charging station had a conventional internal combustion engine.

Before October 10th, Oversight is requesting that Granholm deliver a number of documents to the committee on the trip, including ones that outline the cost to taxpayers and a list of all the vehicles used. A staff-level briefing is also demanded in the letter prior to October 3rd.

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