WASHINGTON—Today, Environment Subcommittee Ranking Member Ralph Norman (R-S.C.) raised concerns about U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Jennifer Granholm’s financial stake in Proterra, Inc, an electric vehicle company, and called on her to provide all documents and communications from January 20, 2021 to present related to her divestiture of Proterra stocks.
“I am conducting oversight of a potential conflict of interest relating to your longstanding relationship with Proterra, Inc. At the time of your confirmation as Secretary of the Department of Energy, you held a multi-million-dollar stake in the company and served on the board of directors,” wrote Ranking Member Norman.
Recent reports show Secretary Granholm received an Office of Government Ethics certificate of divesture that would allow the Secretary to divest over 240,000 shares of Proterra stock, but according to DOE officials the sell-off of the stock has not yet occurred. In addition, President Biden recently participated in an event promoting Proterra, Inc. and its initiative to design and manufacture zero-emission electric transit vehicles. The promotion of Proterra, Inc. and Secretary Grandholm’s financial ties is troubling and raises questions about whether the company receives preferential treatment from DOE.
“While you claim to have been uninvolved with President Biden’s virtual visit to Proterra, Inc., you have spent much of your time as Secretary of DOE actively pushing a public relations campaign to endorse electric vehicles, batteries and charging infrastructure. I want to ensure that you are taking your ethics requirements seriously, and not using your position to profit financially.”
In order for Committee Republicans to better understand if there is a conflict of interest relating to Secretary Granholm’s investment in Proterra Inc., the lawmakers are requesting all information by May 26, 2021.
Read the full letter here.