In a shocking turn of events, the Department of Energy (DOE) is under fire for its questionable decision to pull a $200 million grant from Microvast, an electric vehicle battery component firm. Senator John Barrasso, the top Republican on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, is demanding answers and expressing his deep concern over the impact of this abrupt reversal.
According to Barrasso, Microvast’s stock price experienced wild fluctuations after the federal grant was announced in October and subsequently withdrawn in May. It skyrocketed by over 40% upon the initial announcement, only to plummet by a staggering 36% when the grant was abruptly pulled. This kind of market volatility is simply unacceptable.
Senator Barrasso minced no words in his scathing letter to Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm. He pointed out the outrageous nature of the federal government’s role in manipulating the stock price of a single company. Barrasso stated, “It is inappropriate if not unethical that the federal government has played such an outsized role in a single company’s stock price.” He also emphasized that the DOE’s actions, fueled by funds from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the Inflation Reduction Act, have created massive fluctuations in financial markets due to government misinformation.
Furthermore, Barrasso has called for full cooperation from the Department as Congress delves into the details of the award negotiations with Microvast, as well as other Department selectees. The senator from Wyoming is determined to shed light on the processes behind these grants and ensure transparency and accountability.
The Biden administration touted these grants as a part of their commitment to fostering increased domestic manufacturing. However, the sudden withdrawal of the grant raises questions about the DOE’s credibility and the reliability of its press releases. The DOE claimed that the initial announcement was merely the start of “negotiations” and not a guarantee that Microvast would receive the grant. Yet, this explanation fails to convince many Republicans and investors who have suffered due to the misleading information.
It’s important to note that concerns were raised about Microvast’s ties to China, with 69% of its revenue generated in China and a mere 3% coming from the United States. The company’s own financial disclosure revealed that the Chinese government holds substantial influence over its business activities and can intervene without notice. These alarming facts further solidify the need for a thorough investigation into the DOE’s decision-making process.
In the interest of transparency and accountability, Senator Barrasso has called upon Energy Secretary Granholm to provide clarity regarding the criteria used when announcing award negotiations and canceling them. The lack of transparency surrounding the DOE’s award processes has created confusion and uncertainty for investors, and this is an issue that must be addressed.
As Republicans demand answers, the DOE must respond to these concerns promptly. The American people deserve to know the truth about the handling of grants and the impact on financial markets. Senator Barrasso’s unwavering dedication to shedding light on this matter should serve as a rallying cry for all Republicans who value transparency and accountability.
Source Fox News