In a stunning turn of events, the Department of Energy’s decision to pull a $200 million grant from an energy technology firm has caused market fluctuations and raised serious concerns among Republicans. Sen. John Barrasso, the top Republican on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, wasted no time in demanding answers from Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm.
Barrasso expressed his unease over the department’s handling of the situation. He highlighted the fact that Microvast, the electric vehicle battery component firm in question, experienced a surge in its share price of over 40% after the federal grant was announced in October, only to suffer a 36% drop after it was abruptly withdrawn in May. This rollercoaster ride is alarming, to say the least.
The senator went on to call out the federal government’s outsized role in the stock price of a single company, branding it as inappropriate, if not unethical. Barrasso argued that the Department, fueled by funds from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the Inflation Reduction Act, is responsible for these significant market fluctuations due to government misinformation.
Demanding full cooperation from the Department, Barrasso vowed to gather information related to the award negotiations with Microvast and other selectees. He emphasized the need for transparency and accountability, especially regarding the criteria used by the Department when announcing and canceling award negotiations.
The October announcement by the Department of Energy and the White House, where a total of $2.8 billion was awarded to 20 companies, including Microvast, was meant to showcase the Biden administration’s commitment to domestic manufacturing. However, the grant was ultimately withdrawn, with the DOE explaining that the October announcement was merely the start of negotiations and not a guarantee of receiving the grant.
The lack of clarity surrounding the Department’s award processes has led to confusion and uncertainty for investors, as highlighted by Barrasso. Moreover, the revelation of Microvast’s strong ties to China further raised concerns among Republican lawmakers, who had called for the grant to be rescinded.
Microvast’s financial disclosure revealed that a staggering 69% of its revenue was generated in China, while only 3% came from the United States. This revelation, coupled with the acknowledgment that the Chinese government exerts substantial influence over the company’s business activities, raises serious national security questions.
It is clear that the Biden administration’s deceptive press releases played a significant role in misleading investors. Barrasso cited posts by apparent Microvast investors on an online message board as evidence of the confusion caused by the Department’s actions.
As we await a response from the Department of Energy, it is imperative that American taxpayers and investors understand the criteria used in award negotiations and cancellations. Transparency and accountability must be the guiding principles to ensure confidence in our government’s decision-making processes.
Source Fox News