Chair Rodgers: The DOE Should be Here Today to Answer for Microvast Grant
The American people deserve every assurance their dollars are not being funneled to China
Washington, D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) delivered opening remarks at today’s Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee hearing titled “Growing the Domestic Energy Sector Supply Chain and Manufacturing Base: Are Federal Efforts Working?”
KEY: Regarding the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) decision last night to reverse its decision to award $200 million to Microvast, Chair Rodgers said, “The Department’s refusal to participate in the hearing is even more concerning in light of this development. I’m concerned that the Department may be entertaining other problematic awards and only decided not to proceed with this after our congressional scrutiny.”
Read more on FoxNews.com: “Biden energy official rejects GOP hearing invite as admin pulls grant from Chinese-linked company”
Excerpts and highlights of Chair Rodgers’s opening remarks below:
SECURING OUR SUPPLY CHAINS
“We should all agree that our country must have a stable, secure supply chain for people to power our homes and businesses, fill up our gas tanks, and find opportunities for a better life.
“We cannot be energy secure if we are at the mercy of our adversaries.
“China, for example, has been crystal clear of its ambitions to rival the United States for economic supremacy and dominate the entire value chain for new technologies.
“The threat of losing ground to China grows more intense as President Biden rushes to force America to run on entirely renewable energy as part of his rush-to-green agenda.
“As the Subcommittee on the Environment, Manufacturing, and Critical Materials discussed last month, this forced, rushed transition hands China even greater control of our energy supply chain.
“According to a recent International Energy Agency report, China dominates every stage of electric vehicle battery production downstream of mining.
“China also possesses 97 percent of the world’s solar wafer capacity.”
“The Biden administration has stated it will address this problem, at least in part, through the tax breaks, financial awards, and expanded loan authority in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) and Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).
“Heavily subsidizing renewable energy and shoveling money in the form of financial awards out the door is not the solution.
“These policies undermine our energy security and financially burden Americans already struggling with a high cost of living and would leave us even more reliant on China.
“The Department of Energy created three new offices, including the Office of Manufacturing and Energy Supply Chains—or ‘MESC,’ which is charge of several IIJA and IRA programs.”
DOE’S FAILURES SURROUNDING MICROVAST
“As Chair Griffith said, we have posed a lot of questions about the Department of Energy’s proposed award to Microvast, a company whose production is based in China.
“Yesterday evening, the Department informed the Committee that it has decided not to proceed with the $200 million dollar award to Microvast.
“While the Department did not provide a reason for this decision, this development reinforces our concerns about the process for vetting applicants for these substantial awards.
“The Department’s refusal to participate in the hearing is even more concerning in light of this development.
“I’m concerned that the Department may be entertaining other problematic awards and only decided not to proceed with this after our congressional scrutiny.
“The Department’s refusal to appear today does nothing to alleviate our fears, and this refusal to answer questions from the American people’s elected representatives is completely unacceptable.
“On May 9th, this subcommittee formally invited Acting Director David Howell to appear before us at this hearing.
“The Department refused to have Acting Director Howell or any other witness appear on this date.
“In its official response, the Department told this committee that it had already furnished two witnesses to the Committee recently.
“I will include in the record the Committee’s May 9th invitation to Acting Director Howell and DOE’s response, dated May 19, refusing our invitation.
“The Department of Energy, not only refused to provide transparency to this committee, but they’re refusing to be transparent to the American people, who deserve every assurance that their tax dollars are not being funneled to China.
“We will continue to demand transparency and accountability from the administration to guard against federal waste of funds through poor investments and further dependence on our adversaries.”
BUILDING A MORE SECURE FUTURE
“Since day one of the 118th Congress, my colleagues and I have led to celebrate American innovation and our energy dominance to build a better, more secure future for those we serve.
“Today’s hearing is just another step towards that goal.
“We are asking the tough questions to make sure the Biden administration’s spending spree on rush-to-green programs is not weakening our manufacturing sector or supply chain security.
“We are disappointed that the Department and Acting Director David Howell decided not to participate in today’s hearing, especially given DOE’s poor judgement regarding the Microvast grant.
“I am grateful, however, to our witnesses for appearing today to lend their expertise to our efforts to secure our energy sector from threats posed by foreign rivals and enhance our international competitiveness.”