In the News

Jennifer Granholm Under Fire for Promoting Proterra, an Electric Vehicle Company She Served on the Board of and Held Stock in

Jacob Bliss, Breitbart News

President Joe Biden’s Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm is the subject of an ethics complaint for promoting, in her role as a member of the executive branch, an electric bus company she sat on the board of and held over a million dollars of stock in.

Granholm — who oversees moving the country toward an electric vehicle transportation system and enjoys newfound powers after the passage of Biden’s infrastructure package — is facing scrutiny for promoting Proterra, a Burlingame, California-based electric bus company she sat on the board of and held 240,520 shares of stock in, which garnered her $1.6 million when she finally divested them 157 days after her nomination.

Granholm has been criticized for promoting Proterra in her official capacity as energy secretary and for hyping grant access to companies with connections to Proterra. These critics argue that Granholm’s promotion of the company, which as of Monday had a market cap of $2.6 billion, has increased Proterra’s visibility and thereby potentially increased the value of Granholm’s stock in the company before she was required by ethics rules to sell her shares on May 24.

All of these potential conflicts of interest caught the attention of Protect the Public’s Trust (PPT), a government watchdog group, which issued a statement raising questions about Granholm’s involvement with the Biden administration’s electric vehicle initiatives.

PPT’s director Michael Chamberlain told Breitbart News, “Protect the Public’s Trust raised questions about Secretary Granholm’s involvement with Proterra months ago. When presented with questions regarding behavior by its leadership that may have crossed the line, DOE’s response has been silence, when not dismissiveness. The American public deserves transparency from the officials who wield power over the public and authority over billions in taxpayer dollars.”

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Watchdog finds pattern of ethical misconduct among senior DOI officials

Art Benavidez, Interior Newswire

A project dedicated to ensuring government officials follow the rules is reporting a pattern of ethical misconduct among senior members of the Department of the Interior (DOI).

Protect the Public’s Trust (PPT), a federal watchdog, submitted a letter to Robert Anderson, DOI solicitor, reporting possible ethical violations by high-ranking officials in the Department. The group also filed ethics complaints with the DOI inspector general and submitted a Freedom of Information Act request for information about a related incident where political appointees allegedly permitted uninvited organizations to attend a Tribal consultation.

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Senator Probes Granholm’s ‘Irresponsible’ Political Activity

Matthew Foldi, Washington Free Beacon

The top Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee blasted Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm for using her government position to campaign against a political referendum.

In a letter sent this month to Granholm, Sen. John Barrasso (R., Wyo.) accused her of violating her own department’s ethics requirements by telling voters to vote against a contentious Maine ballot initiative about the construction of a major proposed power line. Barrasso said Granholm’s political activity, first reported by the Washington Free Beacon prior to the November elections, was “irresponsible” and “contrary to the principles of federalism.”

Federal ethics guidelines mandate that officials “shall act impartially and not give preferential treatment to any private organization or individual.” Barrasso alleges that Granholm’s advocacy violates this principle, given the massive spending for the power line by green energy companies politically aligned with the administration.

Barrasso’s letter is the latest ethical quandary Granholm finds herself in. Earlier in November, the watchdog group Protect the Public’s Trust submitted an ethics complaint with the Energy Department accusing Granholm of improperly boosting Proterra, an electric vehicle battery company where she was a top executive before joining the administration.

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Energy Secretary Granholm Violates Ethics Pledge To Boost Proterra, Watchdog Claims

Glenn Reynolds, Instapundit

CULTURE OF CORRUPTION: Energy Secretary Granholm Violates Ethics Pledge To Boost Proterra, Watchdog Claims. “Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm committed a “flagrant” violation of ethics rules by using her official position to promote products of her former employer, electric bus manufacturer Proterra. . . . Government watchdog Protect the Public’s Trust notified the Department of Energy’s inspector general on Friday of its concerns regarding a Nov. 1 event in which Granholm appeared at an official administration event with Proterra buses prominently displayed behind her. Granholm’s participation in the event, where more than $100 million worth of government grants were announced to support electric vehicle manufacturers, was a ‘conscious, flagrant affront to her ethics obligations,’ the watchdog wrote.”

Energy Secretary Granholm Violates Ethics Pledge To Boost Proterra, Watchdog Claims

Secretary spoke in front of former employer’s buses at November event

Matthew Foldi, Washington Free Beacon

Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm committed a “flagrant” violation of ethics rules by using her official position to promote products of her former employer, electric bus manufacturer Proterra, according to a watchdog complaint obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

Government watchdog Protect the Public’s Trust notified the Department of Energy’s inspector general on Friday of its concerns regarding a Nov. 1 event in which Granholm appeared at an official administration event with Proterra buses prominently displayed behind her. Granholm’s participation in the event, where more than $100 million worth of government grants were announced to support electric vehicle manufacturers, was a “conscious, flagrant affront to her ethics obligations,” the watchdog wrote.

“A full investigation is warranted to understand whether and to what extent Secretary Granholm has violated her legal and ethics obligations as a Cabinet official,” Protect the Public’s Trust director Michael Chamberlain wrote in the group’s letter to agency ethics officials.

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Lawmakers press Haaland on missing calendars

Jennifer Yachnin, E&E News

Republican lawmakers are demanding more details about how Interior Secretary Deb Haaland has spent the majority of her 234 days since ascending to the agency’s helm — criticizing their former colleague for publicly releasing only 12 days of her calendar since March.

Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso, the top Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and Arkansas Rep. Bruce Westerman, the top Republican on the House Natural Resource Committee, are pressing Interior to release more information about Haaland’s schedule.

“The principles of transparency transcend administrations, and the American people deserve to know who is influencing government leaders’ decision making,” the duo wrote today in a letter to Haaland.

The lawmakers continued: “DOI’s current practice raises serious questions about proper records maintenance and if your schedule is being deliberately withheld.”

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Congressmen Demand Interior Secretary’s Meeting Schedules

Michael Ginsburg and Henry Rogers, The Daily Caller

Two leading Republicans in the House of Representatives and the Senate are demanding that Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland provide a schedule of the meetings that she has conducted since her March confirmation to the office.

“The principles of transparency transcend administrations, and the American people deserve to know who is influencing government leaders’ decision-making,” Arkansas Rep. Bruce Westerman, the ranking member on the House Natural Resources Committee, and Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso, the ranking member on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, wrote to Haaland in a letter, obtained exclusively by the Daily Caller.

Citing a bipartisan record of disclosures under the Obama and Trump administrations, Westerman and Barrasso question whether or not Haaland’s schedule is “being deliberately withheld.” They argue that without the schedules, Congress is unable to conduct oversight of  “misguided policies, like locking up access to public lands, limiting water supplies to farmers and communities, and hampering domestic energy and mineral production.”

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Jennifer Granholm Violated Hatch Act in Maine Elections, Watchdog Says

Matthew Foldi, Washington Free Beacon

The complaint is the latest against the energy secretary, who has used interviews in her official capacity to urge voters to elect Democrats. In the last two weeks, watchdogs have cited Granholm’s campaign speech on behalf of Democratic Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe and an interview in which she acknowledged she is subject to the Hatch Act, then proceeded to violate it anyway by calling on viewers to support progressive candidates.

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NIH Director Violated Agency Policy By ‘Intentionally’ Misrepresenting Natural COVID Immunity Study, Watchdog Alleges

Andrew Kerr, The Daily Caller

National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins “intentionally misrepresented” the conclusions of an August study on people with natural immunity from COVID-19 in violation of his agency’s scientific integrity policy, a watchdog group alleged in a complaint Wednesday.

The watchdog group, Protect the Public’s Trust, alleged in its complaint that Collins violated his agency’s policies and procedures when he said on Fox News on Aug. 12 that the study, which reviewed infection rates among Kentucky residents during May and June, proved definitively that people who have natural immunity from COVID-19 are more than twice as likely to become reinfected than those who have received the COVID-19 vaccination.

Protect the Public’s Trust also alleged that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention violated its scientific integrity policy by promoting a similar conclusion from the study. The group urged the Department of Health and Human Services to conduct an investigation into the statements from Collins and the CDC.

Multiple health experts criticized the study and said Collins’s characterization of its conclusion was misleading.

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Ethics Watchdog Files Hatch Act Complaint Against Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm

Jacob Bliss, Breitbart News

Protect the Public’s Trust, an ethics watchdog group, filed a complaint against Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm with the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) to investigate an alleged violation of the Hatch Act by appearing at a campaign event for a Democrat candidate for Virginia governor.

The complaint filed with the OSC argued that the secretary allegedly violated the Hatch Act by appearing in her official capacity as a member of President Joe Biden’s cabinet early in the day — appearing at Virginia’s Portsmouth Marine Terminal to announce a wind turbine facility that will be built — then hours later delivered a campaign speech on behalf of Virginia gubernatorial candidate and former Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) at the Fairfax County Democratic Committee’s event (FCDC Event) called, “Fairfax Meet and Greet with Jennifer Granholm.”

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