by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Alana Goodman of the Washington Free Beacon reports on one Republican U.S. senator’s concerns about a recent Biden administration deal involving communist China.
The top Republican on the Senate energy committee launched an inquiry on Wednesday into a Biden administration grant to a China-based battery company under scrutiny from U.S. financial regulators. The announcement came in the wake of a Washington Free Beacon report about the Biden administration’s attempt to spin the grant as a boon for American-made clean energy.
Sen. John Barrasso (R., Wyo.), the ranking member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said the Department of Energy’s grant to Microvast Holding “endangers our national security” and “undermine[s] the United States’ position in its race against China for technological supremacy,” in a letter to DOE secretary Jennifer Granholm on Wednesday.
The inquiry comes after the DOE gave the $200 million award to Microvast, a holding company that operates primarily in China, to build a lithium-ion battery separator facility in Tennessee, the Free Beacon reported on Tuesday. Granholm said the funding, which came from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, would help “supercharge the private sector to ensure our clean energy future is American-made.”
Barrasso asked Granholm to turn over records detailing the “security review process” for companies receiving DOE funding, and the names of officials who are responsible for approving the payments.
“Microvast’s close relationship with China is no secret,” wrote Barrasso. “I remind you that the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law was ostensibly intended to develop robust domestic manufacturing bases and supply chains free from the predations of the [People’s Republic of China].”
“DOE distributing $200 million in taxpayer funds to a company joined at the hip with China is demonstrably antithetical to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s intent,” he added.
Barrasso asked Granholm to provide him with the information by Dec. 21.