The Biden administration has been facing some heat for its dealings with a Chinese company, Microvast Holdings. A House committee is examining why Biden’s Department of Energy (DOE) sought to funnel $200 million of American taxpayers’ money to this company.
The DOE made an abrupt about-face this week, canceling the generous grant previously destined for Microvast Holdings. Interestingly, this company operates under the watchful eye of the Chinese Communist Party. DOE officials, however, were noticeably absent from a recent hearing into the matter, thus failing to explain their nine-figure rollback.
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) had stern words during her opening remarks at Tuesday’s hearing. “The Department’s refusal to participate in the hearing is even more concerning in light of this development,” she remarked. According to Rodgers, this situation suggests that the Department might be pursuing other questionable awards.
While the Biden administration is rushing towards a 100% renewable energy agenda, McMorris Rodgers warned that we could not be “at the mercy of our adversaries.” Indeed, this could make America’s renewable energy agenda indebted to China, the dominant player in renewable energy manufacturing.
Rodgers’ remarks are well-backed by an International Energy Agency report. It highlights China’s stronghold over battery manufacturing for electric vehicles and how it controls the lion’s share of the market in nearly all battery component manufacturing stages.
The proposed $200 million grant for Microvast, a battery technology company for EVs, may have inadvertently bolstered China’s dominance in this arena. However, Rodgers did not miss the chance to underscore that China also controls “97% of the world’s solar wafer capacity.”
With the Department of Energy being evasive and refusing to ensure transparency, Rodgers said the American people deserved better. She added that they needed assurances that their tax dollars weren’t being funneled to China.
Last night, the Biden administration reversed its decision to award $200 million to a company with ties to China.
This morning, they still refused to come to our hearing and answer for why this decision was made in the first place. pic.twitter.com/JJI7xxkOEH
— CathyMcMorrisRodgers (@cathymcmorris) May 23, 2023
The congresswoman took her displeasure with the DOE to Twitter, where she questioned why the decision to award $200 million to Microvast was made in the first place. She pointed out that the Department’s absence from the hearing only further exacerbated the issue.
Ultimately, McMorris Rodgers urged for transparency and accountability from the administration, striving to prevent federal waste of funds and guard against undue dependence on adversaries.
The Biden administration’s questionable decision and subsequent retraction concerning the Microvast deal have not gone unnoticed. While the Department of Energy is yet to provide a satisfactory explanation, this incident has unveiled potential pitfalls in the rush-to-green agenda. It has raised the specter of American energy security being compromised, all while China continues to solidify its dominance in the renewable energy sector.
Indeed, as America strives to lead in clean energy, it’s imperative to scrutinize how taxpayer dollars are spent. While pursuing a green agenda is commendable, it shouldn’t come at the cost of undermining our energy security and economic sovereignty.