Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm found herself at the center of a controversy following an incident involving her staff’s “poor judgment” during her electric vehicle (EV) road trip.
The incident took place in Grovetown, Georgia, and involved her staff blocking EV chargers with a gas-powered car, leading to a 911 call.
Granholm’s exchange with Florida Rep. Scott Franklin, during a House Science and Technology Committee hearing, revealed that the incident occurred during her four-day EV road trip in June. The event angered several EV drivers, as evidenced by a 911 call obtained by Fox News.
“I’m calling because I’m in the Grovetown Walmart at the charging station and there’s literally a non-electric car that is taking up a space and said they’re holding the space for somebody else,” the woman who made the 911 call told a police dispatcher in the recording. “And it’s holding up a whole bunch of people who need to charge their cars.”
“There are other people who are waiting to charge and they’re still here and they’re not in electric cars,” she elaborated. “The sign says you can’t park here unless you’re charging.”
Granholm was called to account for the incident in her exchange with the Floridian congressman.
“Let me just say, I have a fantastic young staff, just fantastic,” Granholm told Franklin when asked about the incident. “It was poor judgment on the part of the team.”
“I can only imagine they wanted to continue moving,” Granholm said, addressing Franklin’s query regarding the reason her staff blocked the charger.
Granholm’s office had organized the trip to spotlight the significant investments the White House is making in green energy and clean cars. The incident, however, highlighted the challenges that still plague the adoption of zero-emissions vehicles, which Granholm, President Biden and Democratic-led states are fervently promoting.
The Biden administration, since its beginning, has prioritized transitioning the economy from traditional gas-powered vehicles to electric alternatives, aligning with its climate objectives. President Biden has ambitiously targeted 50% of all new car sales to be electric by 2030. The Environmental Protection Agency, earlier this year, proposed stringent tailpipe emissions, anticipating that by 2032, 67% of new sedan, crossover, SUV and light truck purchases would be electric. This was followed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration introducing fuel economy standards, compelling automakers to significantly enhance fuel efficiency in new vehicles, a move that could potentially escalate prices.
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