EXCLUSIVE: House Republicans are preparing to conduct oversight into how the Biden administration’s green energy programs are benefiting China and Chinese-affiliated companies.
Republican leadership on the House Energy and Commerce Committee – which has broad jurisdiction over various federal agencies with climate and energy rulemaking authority – outlined plans to investigate how the administration’s green energy goals could make the U.S. increasingly dependent on Chinese supply chains, adding that “nothing is off the table.”
“Since day one, President Biden has been giving China a pass,” Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., the top GOP member on the Energy and Commerce Committee, told Fox News Digital. “This administration knows that their radical rush-to-green agenda is making us dangerously dependent on Chinese supply chains, yet they continue to advocate for these policies.”
“Next Congress, Energy and Commerce Republicans will be leading on robust oversight into how the Biden administration’s war on American energy is jeopardizing our energy and national security,” she continued.
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The Biden administration has pushed an aggressive transition from fossil fuels to green energy sources of energy like wind and solar as part of its climate agenda. Since taking office, President Biden has unveiled programs curbing fossil fuel production, boosting green energy alternatives and implementing roadblocks for traditional energy infrastructure projects like pipelines.
However, Republicans and industry groups have blasted Biden’s agenda for pushing the technology that is largely manufactured in China. China accounts for about 80% of the world’s solar panel production and the majority of the mining and processing of critical minerals vital for electric vehicle (EV) batteries, wind turbines and industrial battery storage facilities.
“Americans deserve to know why their taxpayer dollars are being used to fund companies, like Microvast, with deep ties to China,” McMorris Rodgers continued. “Nothing is off the table. We have a lot of questions for the Biden administration.”
In October, the Department of Energy (DOE) awarded a $200 million grant to Microvast, a Texas-based maker of a key component of EV batteries, under the $1 trillion infrastructure package Biden signed into law in November 2021.
While the DOE noted the company was headquartered in Texas, it failed to mention that Microvast’s subsidiary is based in Huzhou, China, and that the company produces the battery components in China. Microvast also reported in its most recent financial filings that 69% of its revenue was generated in China and just 3% came from the U.S.
Meanwhile, Microvast acknowledged in the same filings that the Chinese government “exerts substantial influence” over its business activities and “may intervene at any time and with no notice.”
Following reports about Microvast’s deep ties to China, McMorris Rodgers and Rep. Morgan Griffith, R-Va., the ranking member of the Energy and Commerce Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, wrote a letter to Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, requesting a briefing on the matter.
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“We’re going to have to get answers from DOE in relationship to their grant programs. We’ve got to double-check and see what they’re doing on their vetting because Microvast has made no secret that they are a Chinese-owned company,” Griffith said in an interview with Fox News Digital.
“We don’t want Chinese companies using American money to create additional Chinese jobs and Chinese technology and Chinese wealth, even if some of those jobs are in the United States,” he continued. “We have to be very careful, we have to do oversight on that, we have to examine everything that’s going on and we’re going to have to bring in the officials to explain exactly what they’re doing.”
Committee Republicans have repeatedly sounded the alarm that the Biden administration’s climate policies are favoring China.
For example, they have warned that EV mandates would benefit Chinese companies most, noted that China dominates the global supply chains for the critical minerals in solar panels and electric vehicles, and criticized the Biden administration for looking the other way on U.S. tariff violations committed by Chinese companies. They have also ripped the administration for selling oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to China.
McMorris Rodgers and Griffith have also probed several environmental groups over their purported ties to the Chinese government.
“I told Chairwoman McMorris Rodgers, ‘If you give us two days a week, we can do hearings and oversight. We can fill them up,’” Griffith told Fox News Digital. “I’m hoping some of the other subs will also take on some of these hearings because there’s just so much to be done related to a lot of different things, but particularly to China.”