Barrasso Pushes for Answers on Anti-car, Anti-mining Report by Officials of Department of Energy Partner

March 2, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), ranking member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources (ENR), sent a letter to Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Jennifer Granholm regarding a report produced in part by officials at UC Davis’s Energy and Efficiency Institute, a “partner” of DOE. 

The report highlights the alleged benefits of reducing “car dependency,” “densifying” low-density suburbs, and expanding “high-density urban spaces.” It notes that increasing use of “mass and active transit” may help create safer communities.

In the letter, Barrasso requests details about DOE’s involvement in producing the report.

Read the full letter here and below. 

Dear Secretary Granholm, 

In January 2023, the University of California, Davis (UC Davis) and the Climate and Community Project published a report entitled Achieving Zero Emissions with More Mobility and Less Mining. This report advocates for “reordering the US transportation system through policy and spending shifts to prioritize public and active transit while reducing car dependency.” The report concludes that in order to reduce our need for lithium, Americans should move to cities and avoid buying cars. 

The notion that the government should tell people where to live or how to get around is on its face ridiculous. In my home state of Wyoming, people rely on their cars to cross the vast stretches of highway between towns, over plains, and through the mountains. People live in Wyoming because they want to get away from federal overreach, not to have Washington bureaucrats dictate their lifestyles. 

The Department of Energy (DOE) is listed as a “Partner” of UC Davis’s Energy and Efficiency Institute. Each of the UC Davis staff members credited with writing this anti-car and anti-mining report are involved in UC Davis’s Energy and Efficiency Institute. Additionally, Shalanda Baker, Director of the Office of Economic Impact and Diversity, is listed on the Climate and Community Project’s website as a member. 

This prompts several questions about DOE’s involvement in such areas of study. DOE should be promoting American industries and American energy, not stifling growth and constraining the choices of individual consumers. 

I have attached a series of questions to the end of this letter. In order to keep the American taxpayer appraised of how their money is being spent, please answer each question thoughtfully and respond by March 17, 2023.