News

Letter Updates


Jan 18, 2023
Press Release

Chair Rodgers: GAO Gain-of-Function Research Report Affirms Our Concerns with HHS P3CO Framework

Washington, D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) offered the following statement after the Government Accountability Office issued a report titled “ HHS Could Improve Oversight of Research Involving Enhanced Potential Pandemic Pathogens ,” which is commonly referred to as “gain-of-function" research.  “Today’s watchdog report affirms many of my concerns with the secretive HHS board that purportedly reviews risky research projects from federal agencies. So far, the risky research proposals of concern only appear to be funded by the National Institutes of Health, specifically by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. The American public deserve to know to what extent their tax dollars are being used to fund pathogenic research that has the potential to cause a pandemic. Whether or not the U.S. government played any role—directly or indirectly—in the creation of COVID-19, our committee’s investigation is uncovering a host of issues that require more attention. Thankfully, we were able to enact some commonsense prohibitions regarding where and how this type of research is funded, but we will continue pushing for more accountability and oversight to start rebuilding public trust in these research agencies.”  KEY EXCERPT FROM GAO REPORT : By working with its funding agencies to identify and share non-sensitive information about how HHS, in coordination with its funding agencies, conducts reviews and makes funding recommendations, researchers, Congress, and the public would have greater assurance that departmental review provides meaningful and effective suggestions to address biosafety and biosecurity concerns about research involving enhanced potential pandemic pathogens. Moreover, doing so could enhance public confidence in the department’s oversight as well as ensure the agency’s goal to exemplify and promote the highest level of scientific integrity, public accountability, and social responsibility in the conduct of science.  Chair Rodgers, along with Reps. Brett Guthrie (R-KY) and Morgan Griffith (R-VA) wrote to Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xaiver Becerra in April of 2022, raising concerns on the “flawed and overly secretive review process of whether risky research for potential pandemic pathogens can be conducted safely and have a justifiable benefit.”  KEY LETTER EXCERPT : “Dr. Chris Hassell, the HHS Deputy Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response and the chair of the HHS P3CO review committee, briefed the committee staff twice during the summer of 2021. During the briefings, when asked about the identities of the members, Dr. Hassell did not provide the names of the members of the review group. However, he indicated which agencies or departments were represented on the HHS P3CO Review Committee. Dr. Hassell noted there were members from the NIH on the review committee, but he specifically pointed out that the NIH members were from the Office of the Director and not from any of the NIH institutes or centers that would be funding entities to avoid conflict-of-interest concerns.   “The minority committee staff requested that HHS provide the names and affiliations of all members of the HHS P3CO review committee. In response, HHS provided some of the names of the HHS P3CO review committee, but on a confidential basis because of personal security concerns.”  You can read the full letter here . 



Jan 17, 2023
In the News

ICYMI: E&C Republicans Turn Up the Heat and Demand Biden Stop Efforts to Ban Gas Stoves

President Biden wants to control every aspect of our lives—from what kind of cars we can drive, how we can heat our homes, and now how we’re allowed to cook food for our families. Last week, it was reported that the Biden administration is looking to ban gas stoves from American homes across the country. This is just the latest in a long line of power grabs by the radical Left. It's not about public safety, but rather about telling the American people the federal government knows what’s best. Nearly 35% of homes in the U.S. – more than 40 million Americans – use a natural gas stove. That’s why Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and 86 of her House Republican colleagues sent a letter to President Biden demanding the administration reverse any attempts to ban gas stoves. Chair Rodgers also sent a letter to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) echoing these concerns.  Highlights and excerpts from the Fox Business exclusive coverage on the letter to President Biden : Furious lawmakers are calling on President Biden to cease any efforts by his administration to ban natural gas stoves inside Americans' homes. Republicans on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce sent a letter to the president Friday writing in "strong opposition" to reported efforts by regulators to ban natural gas appliances. "This kind of intrusion into the homes of Americans by the federal government as a way of forcing rush-to-green, liberal policies is the ‘nanny state’ at its worst," the Republicans wrote. "Banning natural gas stoves is not about public safety – it is another example of government control; like other policies we have seen from your administration, to tell Americans what kinds of cars they can drive, how they heat their homes, and how to live their lives." The Biden administration caused an uproar over gas stoves earlier this week after a commissioner on the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) suggested regulators were considering banning the appliance due to health and safety concerns. From E&E News : House Energy and Commerce Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) is already making plans to bring the issue before her committee. “I’m quite concerned,” Rodgers told E&E News. “I think we need to dig into this more and probably bring them in and ask some questions.” CLICK HERE to read Chair Rodgers’ January 11th statement on President Biden’s plan to ban gas stoves. CLICK HERE to read House Republicans’ January 13th letter to President Biden. CLICK HERE to read Chair Rodgers’ January 13th letter to U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Chairman Alexander Hoehn-Saric.



Dec 20, 2022
Letter

ICYMI: E&C Republicans Question Peer-to-Peer Delivery Services on Fentanyl Deliveries

Last year, more than 100,000 individuals died from drug overdoses with 71,000 lives lost due to overdoses caused by fentanyl or its analogues. Many of the transactions of this dangerous drug have been facilitated online. In response to recent reports of Uber Connect being used to deliver drugs, House Energy and Commerce Committee Republican leaders sent letters questioning peer-to-peer (P2P) delivery services on what actions they’re taking to prevent their services from being used for transporting illegal drugs, including illicit fentanyl.  In the letters, led by Energy and Commerce Committee Republican Leader Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Subcommittee on Communications and Technology Republican Leader Bob Latta (R-OH), Subcommittee on Health Brett Guthrie (R-KY), Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Republican Leader Morgan Griffith (R-VA), and Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce Republican Leader Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), the members highlight the story of Ann Portillo, who lost her 22-year-old daughter, Alex, to a fentanyl poisoning. Alex received the drugs through Uber Connect.  Letters were sent to the CEOs of Uber, Lyft, Roadie, and Alto.  NBC News reported exclusively on the letters:   NBC— House Republicans sent a letter Thursday to Uber asking the tech company to explain what steps it is taking in response to drivers' complaints that they’re being asked to deliver packages they suspect to be drugs.   The letter from members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee cites reporting from NBC News that described the concerns of drivers as well as the case of a 22-year-old Arizona woman who died from an overdose of fentanyl that her mother said was delivered via Uber Connect, a courier service that the San Francisco-based ride-hailing app started at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic so that people could send small items across town.   […]   The letter asks Uber to explain what actions the company has taken in response to drivers' complaints about suspected drugs; how the company would work with law enforcement in such a scenario; how many accounts Uber has deactivated as a result of users sending prohibited items; what information Uber collects about packages; and many other questions.   “Just as we have asked social media companies to do their part to curb the sale of drugs on their platforms, Uber must act to ensure Uber Connect is not used to transport untracked shipments of illicit drugs to Americans,” the lawmakers wrote.   The Hill— They said they have supported the development of new technologies and the benefits that the gig economy provides people, but noted that bad actors might take advantage of the service to send harmful products to unaware recipients.   The representatives said that GOP members of the committee previously sent letters to the heads of social media companies on their responsibility to address the spread of fentanyl but that the “crisis” is not just limited to the scope of such companies.   They asked for information including an explanation of the agreement terms for participants of Uber Connect, the number of accounts that have been deactivated after shipping packages with prohibited contents and what information from the sender and recipient Uber Connect gathers.   CLICK HERE to read the full letter to Uber.  CLICK HERE to read the full letter to Lyft.  CLICK HERE to read the full letter to Roadie.  CLICK HERE to read the full letter to Alto. 



E&C Republican Leaders Demand Briefing with TikTok About the Exploitation of Kids on the Platform

Washington, D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Republican Leader Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Oversight and Investigation Subcommittee Republican Leader Morgan Griffith (R-VA), Communications and Technology Subcommittee Republican Leader Bob Latta (R-OH), and Consumer Protection and Commerce Subcommittee Republican Leader Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) sent a letter to TikTok this week following reports over how the company has failed to address the sexual exploitation of kids on its platform. Excerpts and highlights from the  exclusive coverage  by Forbes: “‘TikTok has been incapable of rooting out the spate of TikTok accounts that are trading illegal child sexual content,’ four House lawmakers wrote Wednesday to TikTok’s chief, citing a November Forbes investigation that revealed how illicit private handles on the platform are hiding child abuse material in plain sight—posted using a setting that makes it visible only to the person logged in. “‘Equally troubling are the livestreams your company hosts that allow adult TikTok users to monetarily persuade children to perform sexually suggestive acts,’ the letter continued, citing a separate Forbes investigation, from April, into how adults use TikTok Live to exploit underage girls—by paying them to engage in provocative, potentially illegal behavior. “‘Considering that about half of all U.S. children use TikTok every day, our concerns enumerated above are paramount. … Therefore, we ask you [to] provide the Committee with a briefing as soon as possible, but no later than December 21,’ the memo concluded. It was led by Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington, the top Republican on the powerful Energy and Commerce Committee who, along with her counterpart on House Oversight, opened an investigation into TikTok in July over China’s ability to access U.S. user data. Reps. Gus Bilirakis of Florida, Morgan Griffith of Virginia and Bob Latta of Ohio also signed onto the letter fired off Wednesday and shared exclusively with Forbes.” CLICK HERE  to read the full Forbes story. CLICK HERE  to read the full letter to TikTok.



Bipartisan E&C Leaders Voice Concern Over Ticketmaster’s Handling of Ticket Sales for Taylor Swift’s Upcoming Tour

Washington, D.C. —  Bipartisan Energy and Commerce Committee leaders wrote to the CEO of Ticketmaster’s parent company Live Nation Entertainment, Inc. today raising concerns about potentially unfair or deceptive practices in the live ticketing industry and the chaotic ticket pre-sale for Taylor Swift’s upcoming concert tour. The Committee leaders requested a staff briefing from the company on the key areas of concern. The letter was signed by Energy and Commerce Republican Leader Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Republican Leader Morgan Griffith (R-VA) and Chair Diana DeGette (D-CO), and Consumer Protection and Commerce Subcommittee Republican Leader Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) and Chair Jan Schakowsky (D-IL). “The Energy and Commerce Committee has previously raised concerns about business practices in the live ticketing industry,”  the Committee leaders wrote.  “The recent pre-sale ticketing process for Taylor Swift’s upcoming Eras tour—in which millions of fans endured delays, lockouts, and competition with aggressive scammers, scalpers, and bots—raises concerns over the potential unfair and deceptive practices that face consumers and eventgoers.” In 2019, the Energy and Commerce Committee  launched a bipartisan investigation into allegations of unfair and deceptive practices in the live event ticketing industry. In February 2020, the Committee  held a hearing  with industry leaders including then Ticketmaster North America President Amy Howe, where she testified, “[Ticketmaster] is thoroughly committed to business practices that promote transparency, deter deceptive practices, and provide customers with the ability to enjoy a concert, show, or game.” The Committee leaders noted that the circumstances surrounding ticket sales for Swift’s upcoming tour as well as other recent major tour ticket sales cast serious doubt on those commitments. “To better understand the obstacles consumers have recently faced and to hear an update on actions the company has taken to maximize the experiences of average consumers, we request a Committee staff briefing with your company,”  the bipartisan Committee leaders continued.  “This should include a discussion on additional fees, insider reserves, dynamic pricing, restrictions on transferability, limited ticket availability, speculative ticketing, verified fan program requirements, and scalping by bots and other scammers.” Full text of the letter is available  HERE .



E&C Republicans to NIH: Turn Over Previously Requested Information Ahead of New Congress

NIH’s Lack of Transparency at Odds with Its Stated Mission  Washington, D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Republican Leader Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Subcommittee on Health Republican Leader Brett Guthrie (R-KY), and Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Republican Leader Morgan Griffith (R-VA) today sent a letter to National Institutes of Health (NIH) Senior Official Lawrence Tabak following up on 12 unanswered or insufficiently addressed letters that requested information and were sent between March 12, 2021 and October 31, 2022. The letter also serves as a formal notice for NIH to preserve all records and materials related to the topics in the previous letters. Key Excerpt:  “We write to urge the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to respond to our longstanding requests to provide us information related to the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, including matters related to National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases’ (NIAID) grant to EcoHealth Alliance and subgrant to the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), and other subjects. Some of these requests have been outstanding for more than a year. NIH’s persistent lack of transparency with members of its authorizing committee of jurisdiction is troubling. According to its mission statement, a goal of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is ‘to exemplify […] the highest level of scientific integrity and public accountability.’ However, given the overall lack of adequate responsiveness to our oversight letters, the NIH is falling short of the goal set forth in its mission statement.” […] “Furthermore, this letter serves as a formal request to preserve all existing and future records and materials in your agency’s possession relating to the topics addressed in this letter. You should construe this preservation notice as an instruction to take all reasonable steps to prevent the destruction or alteration, whether intentionally or negligently, of all documents, communications, and other information, including electronic information and metadata, that are or may be responsive to this congressional inquiry. This instruction includes all electronic messages sent using official and personal accounts or devices, including records created using text messages, phone-based message applications, or encryption software.” CLICK HERE  to read the full November 30, 2022, letter to Dr. Tabak.   Full copies of the 12 above mentioned letters are available below: March 18, 2021, Letter to Dr. Francis Collins On March 18, 2021, the Republican Leaders sent an eleven-page letter, based on what was known at that time, requesting information related to where SARS CoV-2 originated and how NIH grant dollars at the WIV were used. While documents released in response to Freedom of Information Act requests suggest that NIH had prepared a draft written response, NIH never sent a written response to our questions. June 10, 2021, Letter to Dr. Francis Collins On June 10, 2021, Committee members wrote to strongly express support for a “comprehensive investigation into the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the possibility of an accidental laboratory leak.” To date, NIH has not provided a written response. July 21, 2021, Letter to Dr. Francis Collins On July 21, 2021, Committee Leaders sent another letter reiterating our request for information to our March 2021 letter, which NIH failed to provide written, substantive responses to. NIH has not provided a written response to the specific questions outlined in the July 2021 letter. August 24, 2021, Letter to Dr. Francis Collins   Republican Leaders submitted an August 2021 letter again requesting information about NIAID’s coronavirus grant to EcoHealth Alliance. To date, NIH has not provided a written response. October 27, 2021, Letter to Dr. Francis Collins Based on documents the Department of Health and Human Services arranged for the Committee to review in camera, Republican Leaders highlighted in an October 27, 2021, letter our concerns about NIH’s oversight of EcoHealth Alliance’s research proposal that purported it was not conducting gain-of-function research. NIH has not submitted a written response to this letter. February 14, 2022, Letter to Dr. Francis Collins On February 14, 2022, we sent a letter about concerns that Dr. Collins, while Director of NIH, may have taken steps to actively suppress scientific discussion that COVID-19 could have originated from a research-related incident, not just from natural transmission. A similar letter was also sent to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Director of the NIAID. To date, neither NIH nor NIAID have not sent any written responses to these letters. February 24, 2022, Letter to Dr. Lawrence A. Tabak On February 24, 2022, Republican Leaders raised concerns that NIH failed to effectively enforce its policies and regulations over EcoHealth Alliance. To date, NIH has not sent a written response. April 25, 2022, Letter to Dr. Lawrence A. Tabak On April 25, 2022, Republican Leaders wrote a letter raising concerns that EcoHealth Alliance was potentially omitting key information in research allegedly conducted at WIV in order to obtain a renewal of federal grant funding. While NIH has provided some information in a bipartisan briefing, many questions remain unanswered. NIH has not provided a written response to this letter. July 21, 2022, Letter to Dr. Lawrence A. Tabak   Although required by the NIH Reform Act of 2006, NIH has failed to convene the Scientific Management Review Board (SMRB) since 2015. Republican Leaders wrote asking why this Board, intended to make NIH more efficient and effective, inexplicably stopped convening seven years ago. To date, NIH has not provided a written response. August 11, 2022, Letter to Dr. Lawrence A. Tabak   As highlighted in an August 11, 2022, letter, Republican Leaders received inadequate responses in 2021 as to why NIH failed to remove an alleged sexual perpetrator disciplined in three states from co-chairing an NIH steering committee, even after receiving complaints from female scientists alleging the misconduct. To date, NIH has not provided a written response. October 24, 2022, Letter to Dr. Lawrence A. Tabak   Last month Republican Leaders sent NIH a letter raising concerns about how NIH could contemplate funding a new EcoHealth Alliance grant considering this organization’s past noncompliance with regulatory requirements and grant terms. To date, they have not received a written response from NIH to this letter. October 31, 2022, Letter to Dr. Lawrence A. Tabak Last month Republican Leaders sent a letter requesting information related to a NIAID intramural experiment that would enhance the more dangerous version of the monkeypox virus by making the disease about 1000 percent more lethal in mice. To date, they have not received a response.



Oct 18, 2022
Letter

Top Energy & Commerce, Financial Services Republicans Seek Answers Regarding PayPal’s Anti-Free Speech Policy

Washington, D.C. —  Today, House Energy and Commerce Committee Republican Leader Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and the top Republican on the House Financial Services Committee, Patrick McHenry (R-NC), along with Morgan Griffith (R-VA) and Tom Emmer (R-MN), the top Republicans on each Committees’ Oversight Subcommittees, sent a  letter  to PayPal President and CEO Dan Schulman. The Republican Leaders are seeking answers regarding the recently published, and later removed, changes to PayPal’s Acceptable Use Policy that would stifle free speech.  Read the letter to PayPal  here  or below:  “Dear Mr. Schulman:  “Thank you for the briefing provided to Minority staff of the House Committees on Energy and Commerce and Financial Services (the Committees) on October 11, 2022. As a follow-up to the briefing, we write to request more information on the changes made to PayPal’s Acceptable Use Policy (AUP). On October 8, 2022, PayPal updated its AUP to prohibit users from transactions that ‘involve the sending, posting or publication of any messages, content, or materials’ that are objectionable as determined by ‘PayPal’s sole discretion.’ A fine of $2,500 would be imposed on objectionable violations, including transactions that promote misinformation, or depict or promote criminal activity. Later that day, a PayPal spokesperson stated that the updated user agreement ‘went out in error’ and ‘included incorrect information.’ A copy of the since removed AUP is attached.  “As a leading financial technology company, it is concerning that a user agreement that contemplates the restriction of free speech was uploaded and disseminated to PayPal users – even if in error. We understand your company is currently investigating this matter. Upon the conclusion of your investigation, we request that you provide a briefing for the Committees as soon as practicable. In addition, to assist the Committees in better understanding PayPal’s processes for changing its AUP, please provide written answers to the following questions:  Where and with whom did the text of the October 8, 2022 AUP originate?  What is PayPal’s approval process for changes made to the AUP? Are there PayPal guidelines that document this process? If so, please share the guidelines related to the AUP. Who is authorized to make the changes?  Did the text that was updated October 8, 2022 go through the typical approval process?  Were the changes made to the AUP on October 8, 2022 ever contemplated within PayPal?  How and at what frequency is the AUP updated?  Were any entities affected by the updated AUP issued October 8, 2022? If so, please list these entities.  What are your internal control policies for making changes to PayPal’s AUP?  What is the notice requirement given to PayPal customers for an updated AUP?  Is there any indication an external party updated the AUP? If not, how do you know?  Are third-party contractors held to same internal protocols and standards as PayPal employees?  With respect to violations of the AUP, is a fined individual notified with specificity?  Is there an appeals process for violations of the AUP? If so, what is it?  In the briefing you provided to the committees you indicated that the company was handling the investigation internally. Can you please provide the process for that investigation?  What is the timeline of your investigation?  Have any PayPal employees met with the Executive Branch regarding disinformation initiatives? If so, please name the employees, their affiliations, and the dates of the meetings.  “Please provide your response as soon as possible, but no later than Thursday, October 27, 2022.” 



Oct 14, 2022
Letter

E&C Republicans Urge EPA Not to Shortcut Review of Proposed Air Quality Standards to Avoid Destroying Local Economies

Washington, D.C. —  House Energy and Commerce Committee Republican Leader Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Environment and Climate Change Subcommittee Republican Leader David McKinley (R-WV), and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Republican Leader Morgan Griffith (R-VA) sent a letter to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael Regan requesting that any effort by the EPA to revise national air quality standards—particularly, PM2.5 standards—must ensure ample time for public comment and evaluate whether any changes clearly improve public health.  Excerpts and highlights from the letter to EPA Administrator Regan: EPA MUST PROVIDE BETTER REGULATORY CERTAINTY:  “Less than two years ago, EPA, pursuant to Clean Air Act requirements, completed an exhaustive review of the PM2.5 standards, concluding that existing standards protect public health with an adequate margin of safety. However, just six months later, in June 2021, you directed the agency to review that decision. We understand EPA recently submitted the resulting reconsideration proposal to the White House for interagency review. “When EPA seeks public comment on that proposal, you should ensure the agency follows its own past precedents as well as requirements under the Administrative Procedure Act to accept comment on retaining the existing standards. Furthermore, we believe you should ensure the public has at least 90 days to submit comments once any proposal is published.” […] “EPA’s reconsideration of the 2020 PM2.5 standard comes at a time of ongoing improvements to air quality. EPA, states, and the regulated community have successfully worked together to slash PM2.5 emissions, resulting in a 37% improvement in related air quality since 2000. These emissions reductions will continue under existing programs without changes to the PM2.5 standard.” PROTECTING PUBLIC HEALTH, JOBS, AND THE ECONOMY: “Lowering the standard will create a regulatory burden that undermines community business investment, reduces tax revenue that support local schools and first and frontline responders, and effectively hamstrings efforts to overcome tough economic times. These impacts reverberate to every part of the country already reeling from a recession.” […] “Moreover, the consequences of lowering PM2.5 standards extend even to areas meeting those standards. New projects and major expansions in these areas require permits demonstrating that they will not exceed the standards. Manufacturing businesses trying to make such demonstrations are already pinched between PM2.5 standards set near levels of emissions that naturally occur or are transported from other countries, and EPA modeling designed to over predict PM2.5 concentrations. Lowering PM2.5 standards further would eliminate the small margin left for manufacturers and to obtain the necessary approvals for new, state-of-the-art projects. This could force companies operating in areas meeting PM2.5 standards to install controls even more costly than those required in areas that fail them – or to simply not build at all.” BOTTOMLINE: “Changes to the PM2.5 standards should therefore clearly improve public health – especially with PM2.5 emissions already on a continuing, downward trajectory. It is critical, then, for EPA’s reconsideration to get the science and the rulemaking process right. That requires accepting comment on the full range of issues, including retaining existing standards, and providing stakeholders sufficient time, at least 90 days, to file comments.” CLICK HERE  to read the full letter.



Oct 11, 2022
Letter

E&C Republicans Vow Strict Oversight Over Massive DOE Loan Guarantee Program

Washington, D.C. —  House Energy and Commerce Committee Republican Leader Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Energy Subcommittee Republican Leader Fred Upton (R-MI), and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Republican Leader Morgan Griffith (R-VA) are vowing vigorous oversight over the implementation of Department of Energy’s (DOE) loan programs, which Democrats expanded in their massive tax and spending sprees. The Energy and Commerce Republicans warn that $450 billion in new spending and loans for President Biden to achieve his radical energy transition is at significant risk of waste, fraud, and abuse. As Leader Rodgers says, it’s “ Solyndra on steroids .” She added, “The hardworking people of this country are paying for record high energy and food prices because of President Biden’s war on American energy. They cannot afford for him to waste hundreds of billions of dollars on a political agenda that forces an expensive ‘green’ energy transition, threatens energy reliability, increases costs, and makes America reliant on the Chinese Communist Party for batteries and solar panels. Energy and Commerce Republicans will hold DOE accountable for every cent spent to ensure taxpayer dollars are not wasted and the American people are protected.” KEY EXCERPT FROM THE E&C GOP LETTER:  “We write with regard to the Department of Energy’s (DOE) implementation of new programs and spending authority provided in the reconciliation legislation enacted this past August and the infrastructure legislation enacted in November 2021.  All told, these two spending laws, enacted in less than a year and with little Congressional scrutiny of long-term taxpayer risks, appropriated more than $100 billion to the Department for use across its applied energy, electricity, and efficiency programs and provided new authorities for $350 billion in loan guarantees.” […] “The scope and scale of this expanded loan authority, related credit subsidies, and rapid four-year timeline for making commitments, raise questions about increased risks of waste, fraud and abuse, especially if the administration uses the program for its rush-to-green agenda.  Under the Obama administration, DOE’s loan program failed to put taxpayer interests first, and the Secretary allowed a political agenda to take over decision-making.” To best oversee the DOE’s loan programs, the Members are asking Sec. Granholm to provide information to the Committee by October 25, 2022, including: Provide a list of all current loan and loan guarantees in the Loan Program Office portfolio, including the specific borrowers, the statutory program under which commitment for loan or loan guarantee was made, technology sector, project status, disbursement status, repayment status, and any information pertinent to the current ability of the borrowers to repay the loans. Provide a list of all open funding and financing opportunities, by statutory category, and include the number of applicants and technology in each category, including whether the applicants seek guarantees for first-of-a-kind technology. Explain what the Department has done to address the four major risk areas to the Loan Program identified by the DOE Inspector General Special Report issued this past June 7, 2022. Explain the Department review process for loan guarantee decisions, including for approval by the Secretary, and the role of independent departmental reviews and risk oversight. Identify specific measures or requirements the Department implements to ensure loan guarantees will protect intellectual property, and not subsidize loss of intellectual property to China or other American adversaries. CLICK HERE  to read the letter to Secretary Granholm.