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Energy Sec. Granholm faces another ethics complaint over stocks

PPT previously filed a complaint against Granholm in relation to a grant made to Proterra, a firm of which she was a prior board member.

Published: July 12, 2023 3:56pm

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm faces another ethics complaint related to her stock disclosures, this time over her husband's ownership of stock in the Ford Motor Company while she worked closely with the firm on its electric vehicle initiatives.

Granholm, on April 20 told the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee that she owned no stocks, but later wrote to the panel to clarify that she actually owned no conflicting stocks at the time of her testimony. She further stated that she had divested from the six firms where she owned individual stocks to reconcile fact with her statements.

She has since admitted that her husband retained Ford stock under May of this year, the subject of the complaint. Watchdog group Protect the Public's Trust, in writing to the DOE inspector general, contended that she had a "direct financial interest in one of the companies to which her agency granted millions of dollars from a program she participated in personally and substantially."

PPT highlighted Granholm's appearance alongside Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg in a 2022 video that appeared to endorse a Ford product. The 2022 video shows the pair driving inside a Mustang Mach-E and making positive statements about the vehicle.

"Despite claiming she owned only 'non-conflicting' stocks, she was also forced to admit that her husband had owned the Ford stock, which he reportedly held until May 15, 2023," the letter to the OIG reads. "Working 'closely with the Biden administration and DOE to build out electric vehicles and deploy new battery technologies,' Ford Motor Company is certainly a 'conflicting' stock for the Energy Secretary."

The group further pointed to Ford's receipt of $25 million through the SuperTruck 3 program, in which Granholm participated, as another matter of concern.

"Her involvement, in fact, dated back to one of the very first announcements of the program, in April 2021, when she participated in a call with trucking industry representatives to promote the new funding opportunities," PPT contends. "Secretary Granholm’s participation in matters involving Ford Motor Company while her husband owned stock in the company represents a blatant violation of her ethics obligations."

"We ask that the Inspector General commence an immediate and thorough investigation into Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm’s participation in matters involving Ford Motor Company during the time her husband owned stock in the company and any related violations that have been committed as a result of her actions," the letter concludes.

PPT previously filed a complaint against Granholm in relation to a grant made to Proterra, a firm of which she was a prior board member.

Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on Twitter.

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