DOE: There is no time to respond to questions of Granholm's ethics violations because... global warming

Stefani Reynolds/Pool via AP

There is simply no time for answering questions about the ethics violations lodged against Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm. The reason given by her spokeswoman is that the department is preoccupied with rising temperatures and “extreme weather events.” Yes, really.

We’ve heard some pretty silly claims about global warming from the loony left in recent years. Along with racism, global warming is blamed for just about everything. The fossil fuel industry is under attack by environmental extremists and the United States is no longer energy independent. Yet, Secretary Granholm has some ‘splaining to do and her office appears to be less than cooperative. Remember on their very first day in office Press Secretary Jen Psaki held a press conference at the White House to show how open they would be to the press? Biden promised the most transparent administration ever, though his administration has turned out to be one of the least transparent in recent history. Psaki said that Biden would “bring transparency and truth back to the government to share the truth, even when it’s hard to hear.” Good time, good times.

Last week Granholm was at the center of a growing storm of ethics complaints about her personal financial transactions. When the Washington Free Beacon reached out to her office for comment, a spokesperson said there isn’t time to handle such frivolous matters. They are completely bogged down with the whole global warming crisis. I’d like to say this person was joking, but, sadly, no. Welcome to Biden’s America.

A Department of Energy spokeswoman said the agency has no time to respond to questions about Granholm’s ethics violations because it is preoccupied with rising temperatures and “extreme weather events.”

“The planet is warming faster than ever, the cost and impact of extreme weather events are intensifying, and yet what some people are spending their time on is a $400 late fee that was already paid on a clerical oversight,” spokeswoman Charisma Troiano told the Free Beacon. “As we do every day, DOE and the Secretary remain focused on tackling the existing climate crisis and delivering an equitable clean energy future that will bring cheaper power, cleaner air and good-paying jobs for more Americans.”

The planet is warming so quickly that they can’t keep up with it, or something. And, of course, there is weather every day. While I can appreciate that her job is to spin for Granholm when these pesky questions arise, to brush it off as a “$400 late fee” is a bit much. And, why do government staffers act like hundreds of dollars in personal fines for violating codes of ethics is no big deal? Ok, that’s a rhetorical question.

Troiano is referencing the fines Granholm incurred under the STOCK Act for failing to disclose financial transactions within the mandated 45 days. The secretary’s delayed filings were at the center of a complaint that the Foundation for Accountability and Public Trust (FACT) filed on Feb. 11 with the department’s inspector general. Earlier that day, watchdog group Protect the Public’s Trust (PPT) sued the Department of Energy over the department’s failure to disclose information about Granholm’s family business following the group’s request to do so last year.

Granholm has faced increased scrutiny since the Free Beacon reported that she owned millions of dollars of stock in the renewable car battery manufacturer Proterra, which the Biden administration has repeatedly promoted. After Granholm sold her non-public shares of Proterra to an undisclosed buyer for a $1.6 million profit, she handed out tens of millions of dollars of government contracts to Proterra-tied companies, prompting further criticisms from watchdog groups such as PPT.

I suppose $400 isn’t any big deal when a profit is $1.6M. Nonetheless, Granholm is subject to the same disclosure rules as everyone else. Watchdog groups have questions and though DOE is busy, they would like some answers. Granholm isn’t a newbie on answering about her personal finances – she is a former two-term governor. She doesn’t have a good track record.

Jennifer Granholm is the current Secretary of Energy. She was previously a two-term governor of Michigan, a CNN political commentator, and held several profitable board memberships and consulting roles. One such board membership is Proterra Inc., – dubbed the “Tesla of electric buses” – which is currently being promoted by President Biden himself as a likely beneficiary of his renewable energy agenda. Fortunately for Granholm, another former client is Media Matters, a non-profit organization that has since defended her continued ownership of Proterra investments in the face of media scrutiny and Capitol Hill demands for investigation.

Granholm served as Governor of Michigan from 2003-2011. During her tenure, she led efforts to provide state taxpayer funds to selected companies in the electric vehicle and other renewable energy sectors. One company, Renewable and Sustainable Cos., was headed by a paroled convict who had previously gone to prison for embezzlement but was able to join then-Governor Granholm on stage to tout the supposed benefits his company would provide. Ultimately the company failed and the founder was sent back to prison after receiving over $9 million in tax benefits from Michigan. Many other companies that received investments under Granholm’s administration also went bankrupt and failed to provide either the jobs or revenue they and Grandholm promised the taxpayers.

Sounds like the bad old days of the Obama-Biden administration and such stories as Solyndra, right? Too bad she received Republican votes during her confirmation. Granholm is incompetent and it looks like she’s as corrupt as Biden, Inc. The Big Guy always gets 10%.

From a press release by Protect the Public’s Trust, a second FOIA lawsuit has been filed against DOE.

When officials are pursuing what they believe to be righteous agendas, ethics concerns can be the most important guardrails on misconduct. This statement, combined with the volume of complaints, indicates legal and ethics compliance may not be prioritized at DOE. With trust in its government already at an all-time low, the American public has legitimate concerns if the lack of commitment to legal and ethics obligations is what they can expect from DOE as long as Jennifer Granholm is leading the Department. This is especially troubling at an agency that has been far from immune to high-profile boondoggles and which is poised to receive significant increases in funding.

The Department’s budget was more than $39.5 billion in fiscal year 2021 and DOE requested nearly $46.2 billion for 2022, a 16.66% increase. With ever more billions of taxpayer dollars committed to the agency, the necessity for those in charge of setting policy and overseeing the expenditure of those funds to adhere to the ethics guidelines put in place to protect the interests of the American public has even greater importance.

Apparently DOE thinks the laws are for little people, not them, since they have such important work to do, or something. It’s more arrogance coming from the Biden administration. Admitting that answering questions about the secretary’s ethics behavior is a low priority is a bad look for any office. Taxpayers deserve answers.