The Department of Energy’s recent decision to withdraw a $200 million grant from an energy technology firm has sparked concerns and market fluctuations, leaving Republicans demanding answers. Sen. John Barrasso, a prominent Republican on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, wasted no time in expressing his unease and seeking clarification from Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm.
Barrasso highlighted the impact of the grant withdrawal on the company’s share price, which surged over 40% following the grant announcement in October but plummeted by 36% after its sudden withdrawal in May. Such market volatility raises questions about the government’s role in the stock price of a single company and the potential misinformation fueling these fluctuations.
In his letter to Granholm, Barrasso emphasized the importance of transparency and accountability. He called for information regarding the award negotiations with Microvast, the energy technology firm, as well as the award processes for other selectees. The senator demanded clarity on the criteria used by the Department when announcing and canceling award negotiations.
The initial announcement by the Department of Energy and the White House in October showcased the allocation of $2.8 billion to 20 companies, including Microvast, as part of the 2021 infrastructure package. The goal was to bolster domestic manufacturing. However, the grant was ultimately withdrawn, with the DOE clarifying that the October announcement merely signaled the beginning of negotiations and not a guaranteed award.
The lack of transparency surrounding the Department’s award processes has caused confusion and uncertainty among investors. Furthermore, concerns have been raised over Microvast’s substantial ties to China. According to their financial disclosure, 69% of the company’s revenue was generated in China, with a mere 3% coming from the United States. These figures, combined with the acknowledgment that the Chinese government has significant influence over the company’s operations, raises national security concerns.
Sen. Barrasso highlighted the misleading nature of the White House and the Department of Energy’s press releases, which played a significant role in misinforming investors. He pointed to posts by Microvast investors on an online message board, highlighting their confusion caused by the Department’s actions.
As the Department of Energy’s response is awaited, it becomes crucial for American taxpayers and investors to understand the criteria guiding award negotiations and cancellations. Transparency and accountability are essential in ensuring confidence in the government’s decision-making processes.
Source Fox News