Washington, D.C. — In a new letter, House Energy and Commerce Committee Republican Leader Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) asks Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm why the Biden administration is endangering our national energy security, raising costs, and forcing America to be dependent on China’s supply chains. Leader Rodgers expressed her serious concerns that the Department of Energy (DOE) is not fulfilling its statutory obligations to ensure American energy reliability and security.
Key excerpts from Leader Rodger’s letter:
ON DOE’s STATUTORY OBLIGATIONS: “As Secretary of Energy, you are responsible to ensure DOE is performing its statutory responsibilities to secure reliable and affordable energy for American consumers. Foremost, DOE must lead a coordinated effort to strengthen America’s critical mineral supply chains and reduce our reliance on Chinese minerals to restore our energy independence. The prior administration’s efforts to address supply chain challenges, such as the establishment of the Office of Fossil Energy Minerals Sustainability Division, should continue without political interference.
“Given the growing importance of critical minerals to America’s energy and national security, DOE is failing to provide adequate information to the public regarding the price, supply, and availability of critical mineral commodities. It is also unclear whether DOE is furnishing necessary, objective information or analysis to other Federal agencies, including political appointees within the Biden administration, on the risks of America’s growing dependence on Chinese minerals.”
ON BIDEN’S ENERGY CRISIS: “Rather than support American workers and help to reduce energy bills for consumers, the Biden administration appears intent on making the United States subservient to foreign countries for the critical minerals needed to build electric vehicles and batteries. The administration’s actions and statements, combined with its stated goals to impose even more Federal regulations and mandate economy-wide net zero greenhouse gas emissions, are directly contributing to surging energy prices and America’s growing dependence on unpredictable Chinese supply chains.”
ON CHINA: “The Biden administration’s embrace of Chinese minerals and Chinese-controlled supply chains is a direct threat to America’s energy, economic, and national security. As demonstrated throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, China is not a trusted trading partner or ally. China’s supply chains are not transparent, and goods and materials produced in China are manufactured with insufficient environmental and labor protections. Additionally, a significant amount of China’s solar and battery manufacturing occurs in Xinjiang, a region where the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has carried out mass detentions and forced labor of Uyghurs and other ethnic and religious minority groups.
“In December, Congress enacted into law the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act to combat forced labor and genocide carried out in China. This new law gives the U.S. government tools to prevent goods and materials made with forced labor from entering U.S. supply chains. Under the law, DOE must participate in a whole of government effort to examine U.S. supply chains and strengthen the prohibition against the importation of critical minerals and manufactured products such as solar panels and batteries made with forced labor.”
Leader Rodger’s letter concludes, “I urge you to be honest and transparent regarding the administration’s policies, especially the energy security risks of American’s dependence on Chinese minerals. To that end, I request that you provide me by January 31, 2022, with DOE’s plan to reduce America’s dependence upon Chinese minerals and develop a domestic supply chain for those minerals.
CLICK HERE to read the full letter.