Granholm’s DOE Won’t Say How Much Taxpayers Are on the Hook for from UN Climate Conference
- June 22, 2022
PPT files lawsuit to obtain records revealing money and other taxpayer resources expended for Glasgow summit
Today, watchdog Protect the Public’s Trust announced a federal transparency lawsuit against the Department of Energy for records regarding taxpayer resources expended for Secretary Jennifer Granholm and other DOE staff to attend a European climate conference last year.
Shortly after the conference’s November conclusion, PPT submitted Freedom of Information Act requests to agencies, including DOE, whose principal had attended the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (“COP26”) in Glasgow, Scotland. The requests sought records related to each agency’s planning and spending for the COP26 conference. The American public deserves to know how much money and other resources were used for DOE staff to attend COP26.
After some exchanges between PPT and DOE officials regarding the FOIA request, the agency estimated in April that it would be providing records by the end of that month. Not only has DOE not provided any records, more than a month-and-a-half after the expiration of that period, PPT has not heard anything from the agency since. The response to this FOIA request lies in stark contrast to the declaration of Attorney General Merrick Garland that “transparency in government operations is a priority of this Administration and [the Department of Justice].”
“At a time when the Department of Energy is coming under fire for sky-high fuel prices and possible ethical missteps, one might think they could focus on complying with their obligations in other areas,” stated Michael Chamberlain, Director of Protect the Public’s Trust. “But, despite the Biden Administration’s promises to be the most transparent ever and Attorney General Garland’s direction to agencies to prioritize openness, DOE appears to be falling down in this area as well. It’s little wonder the American public’s trust in its government continues to tumble.”