House committee looks into Biden canceling $200 million to Chinese company
Wed, May 24, 2023 4:30 PM
By Timothy Schumann, The Center Square
The U.S. House Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee is seeking answers to why Biden’s Department of Energy is allocating hundreds of millions of dollars in grant monies to companies with ties to the Chinese Communist Party.
The DOE made a decision earlier this week to roll back a previous grant awarded in the sum of $200 million dollars to Microvast Holdings, a company under the direct regulation and control of the Chinese Communist Party.
Despite an invitation to the hearing, DOE officials were not present to comment on the nine-figure rollback.
“The Department’s refusal to participate in the hearing is even more concerning in light of this development. I’m concerned that the Department may be entertaining other problematic awards and only decided not to proceed with this after our congressional scrutiny,” said Eastern Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Spokane, during her opening remarks in the hearing Tuesday.
“We cannot be energy secure if we are at the mercy of our adversaries,” she went on to say before contrasting the Biden Administration’s desire for America to run on 100% renewable energy with China’s absolute dominance in that manufacturing category. A dichotomy that could result in America’s renewable energy agenda being beholden to China.
Her remarks referenced a recent International Energy Agency report showing that China is in complete control when it comes to battery manufacturing for electric vehicles. Downstream of mining, the report states, China “dominates” every other step of the manufacturing process, controlling 50 to 75% of the market in every single category of battery component manufacturing save one.
The remarks and report punctuate the fact that the $200 million grant slated for Microvast, a battery technology company for EVs, could have been spent on furthering China’s dominance in the field.
“China also possesses 97% of the world’s solar wafer capacity,” McMorris Rodgers highlighted during the hearing.
“The Department of Energy not only refused to provide transparency to this committee, but they’re refusing to be transparent to the American people, who deserve every assurance that their tax dollars are not being funneled to China,” she added before the end of her statement.
After the hearing, McMorris Rodgers took to Twitter to lambast DOE officials, saying, “They still refused to come to our hearing and answer for why this decision was made in the first place.”