Embarrassed Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm confirmed Thursday that her staff hijacked an electric car charging station during a summer trip, prompting authorities to get involved.
Granholm, 64, was on a four-day road trip from North Carolina to Tennessee with a caravan of electric and non-electric vehicles when a member of his advance team used a gasoline car to reserve a charging spot, which angered a family who had been waiting in line.
“Yes, I’ve seen the reports,” Granholm told Rep. Scott Franklin (R-Fla.) when he asked during a House Science, Space and Technology Committee hearing whether an NPR report from last weekend describing The incident was valid. TRUE.
When Franklin pressed the former Michigan governor, she responded: “Let me tell you, I have a fantastic young staff. Just fantastic.”
Franklin then interrupted her again.
Scott Franklin recalled that during a trip to California all the gasoline cars were rented and he was left with an electric vehicle. Twitter/@SteveGuest
“Well, that’s neither here nor there,” he interjected. “Is it true that… one of your representatives parked at an electric charging spot to reserve the spot for you so you could do it and not be deterred from your travels?”
“It was bad judgment on the team’s part,” Granholm admitted.
“Bad judgment,” Franklin agreed. “But why do you think they did that?”
“I can only imagine they wanted to keep moving,” the energy secretary responded. “But the bottom line is it won’t happen again.”
Franklin used the anecdote to highlight some of the shortcomings of electric vehicles, particularly the lack of infrastructure and slow charging times.
Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm has also come under fire from Republicans over stock ownership. Twitter/@SteveGuest
The Biden administration has sought to promote electric vehicles to combat climate change.Getty Images
“I personally don’t have a problem with electric vehicles,” he said. “The technology is not there to support what this administration is doing.”
While using a gas-powered car to reserve a charging spot is subject to a $100 fine in Washington, D.C., the Columbia County (Ga.) Sheriff’s Office took no action against Granholm staff, as that the practice is not illegal there.
The trip was intended to highlight the billions the Biden administration has invested in green energy and electric cars, including a $7.5 billion investment to expand electric vehicle charging stations.