Barrasso Demands Answers on Granholm’s EV Promotion Tour

September 13, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), ranking member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources (ENR) Committee, sent a letter to U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Jennifer Granholm urging her to answer for the inappropriate actions of her staff during her four-day road trip to promote electric vehicles this past June.


During this trip, Secretary Granholm’s staff blocked the use of a busy charging station that was intended for use by local motorists.


Read the full letter here and below.


Dear Secretary Granholm,


I write to request answers to questions regarding actions taken by you and your staff detailed in the September 10, 2023 NPR article titled, “Electric cars have a road trip problem, even for the secretary of energy.”[1] The article details your four-day road trip to promote electric vehicles this past June.


According to the article, at a stop in Grovetown, Georgia, one of your aides utilized a gas-powered vehicle to restrict public access to an electric vehicle charging station, ensuring exclusive access to you and your vehicle.


The article states:


Her advance team realized there weren't going to be enough plugs to go around. One of the station's four chargers was broken, and others were occupied. So an Energy Department staffer tried parking a nonelectric vehicle by one of those working chargers to reserve a spot for the approaching secretary of energy…In fact, a family that was boxed out — on a sweltering day, with a baby in the vehicle — was so upset they decided to get the authorities involved: They called the police.[2]


These actions appear arrogant, much like the Biden Administration’s efforts to ban the internal combustion engine, gas stoves, and domestic energy production on federal lands. I therefore would like answers to the following questions:


  1. Did you request your staff to block the charger to reserve it for your exclusive use?
    1. If not, who on your staff made it happen?
    2. If it was one of your staff, have they been disciplined?
    3. Have you apologized to the family who was prevented from using the charger?


  1. Why did you or your staff decide to block the charger to reserve it for your exclusive use?
    1. Was it to avoid the embarrassment of missing your next appointment because it takes so long to charge your vehicle?
    2. Was it because you felt that as Secretary of the Department of Energy you had the right to charge your vehicle without waiting like other unfortunate EV users?


I look forward to your prompt response.