Energy Department Blames Focus on ‘Climate Crisis’ for Ethics Oversight

Energy Department Blames Focus on ‘Climate Crisis’ for Ethics Oversight

  • February 11, 2022

Matthew Foldi, Washington Free Beacon

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm weathered a storm of ethics complaints about her personal financial transactions this week. But when the Washington Free Beacon reached out for comment, her department said it can’t concern itself with ethics issues because of the climate crisis.

A Department of Energy spokeswoman said the agency has no time to respond to questions about Granholm’s ethics violations because it is preoccupied with rising temperatures and “extreme weather events.”

“The planet is warming faster than ever, the cost and impact of extreme weather events are intensifying, and yet what some people are spending their time on is a $400 late fee that was already paid on a clerical oversight,” spokeswoman Charisma Troiano told the Free Beacon. “As we do every day, DOE and the Secretary remain focused on tackling the existing climate crisis and delivering an equitable clean energy future that will bring cheaper power, cleaner air and good-paying jobs for more Americans.”

PPT in May submitted a Freedom of Information Act request for basic information about Granholm’s business dealings with her husband, Dan Mulhern. The Free Beacon reported that Granholm and Mulhern’s company provides consulting to the same sorts of clean energy companies the secretary oversees and to which she provides funding. The group wants to determine whether the pair “are acting consistently with all of the laws, rules, and regulations that govern the actions and activities of high-ranking and non-career government officials.”

A hundred days after PPT requested the documents, the department asked the watchdog to narrow its request. The watchdog complied, but the department has yet to provide information. PPT says it is now “well beyond the statutory period for federal agencies to make a determination with respect to a FOIA request.”

Now, PPT is suing the Department of Energy to get the records it originally requested.

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