Joe Biden’s Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm faced some serious ethical complaints in recent days regarding her finances. When the Washington Free Beacon asked the Department of Energy for comment, officials said the “climate crisis” prevented them from being concerned about ethical issues.
Energy spokesperson Charisma Troiano said the department had “no time” to answer questions about ethical violations by Granholm because it is simply too busy dealing with “extreme weather events” and rising temperatures. She said that even though the “planet is warming faster than ever,” she is fielding questions about a “$400 late fee that was already paid on a clerical oversight.”
Troiano also repeated the standard talking points that Granholm is focused on “delivering an equitable clean energy future” and “good-paying jobs.”
The “late fee” Troiano mentioned was the fines Granholm incurred under the federal STOCK Act. That law requires disclosure of certain financial transactions within 45 days. Her untimely filings followed a formal complaint filed by the watchdog group Foundation for Accountability and Public Trust on Friday with the Department of Energy Inspector General. That followed the filing of a federal lawsuit by Protect the Public Trust (PPT) against the department for its failure to provide information about Granholm’s finances and family business.
Granholm’s ethical issues are primarily centered on her ownership of millions of dollars worth of stock in Proterra, a private company that manufactures renewable electric vehicle batteries. Proterra has received an extensive promotion from the Biden Administration.
Granholm sold her preferred shares of Proterra to an unknown buyer for a profit of $1.6 million and then provided government contracts to companies affiliated with Proterra worth tens of millions of dollars.
The PPT lawsuit started with requests for documents under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) submitted last May. Those requests sought documents containing basic information about Granholm’s business and her husband, Dan Mulhern. It was reported that their company provided consulting services to green energy companies overseen by the Department of Energy. According to FOIA, those records have not been provided, and the lawsuit seeks an order compelling their disclosure.
Even though the STOCK Act requires disclosures within 45 days of covered transactions, Granholm did not disclose some transactions from April of last year until December. The watchdog complaint filed Friday also challenges the department’s actions in “signing off” on Granholm’s filings.
The Department of Energy has not yet responded to the FOIA lawsuit or the ethics complaint filed with the Inspector General.