Top Energy Committee Republican calls for ethics investigation of Energy Secretary

Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), the top Republican on the Senate Energy Committee, called on the Energy Department’s Office of Inspector General to investigate Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm after she conceded to wrongly telling the committee she does not own any individual stocks.

Granholm testified in April that she owns no individual stocks, but in a June 9 letter to Chairman Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) said she “mistakenly told the Committee that I did not own any individual stocks, whereas I should have said that I did not own any conflicting stocks.”

The Wyoming Republican also pointed to Granholm’s admission that, despite testifying that both she and her husband had divested from Ford stock, her husband owned Ford stock in a separate account, which Granholm says was sold in May. Barrasso pointed to Granholm’s promotion of Ford’s electric vehicles during the period before that stock was sold.

Barrasso also cited her ownership of stock in electric vehicle manufacturer Proterra during a period in which both President Biden and Vice President Harris promoted the company, as well as multiple violations of the STOCK Act, which requires disclosure of all stock sales within 45 days. The department has called the late stock disclosures, which were made in December 2021 despite the sales occurring from April to October, a “clerical error.”

“Secretary Granholm’s repeated noncompliance with established financial rules and regulations, in addition to her disregard for ethical standards, has contributed to the erosion of the public’s trust not only in her, but the Department of Energy as a whole,” Barrasso wrote.

“It is imperative that impropriety on the part of cabinet officials is taken seriously, the dignity of the offices in which they serve is upheld, and that officials are held accountable when they fail to follow the letter of the law,” he added.

The Hill has reached out to the Energy Department and the department OIG for comment.

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