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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