Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm blamed her “fantastic young staff” for blocking an electric vehicle charging station with a gas-powered vehicle earlier this summer, which reportedly resulted in a young family calling the police.
According to a report by NPR, during a trip promoting the Biden administration’s green energy policies, one of Granholm’s staffers on the advance team “realized there weren’t going to be enough plugs to go around” for Granholm’s electric vehicle, so the staffer parked a gas-powered vehicle to block the only free charging spot for the Energy Secretary. One family with a baby in their vehicle on the hot day in Georgia became upset with Granholm’s team and called the police before another spot eventually opened up.
Granholm was questioned about the incident by Rep. Scott Franklin (R-FL) during a House Science and Technology Committee hearing Thursday, and the Biden administration official pinned the blame for the debacle on the “poor judgment” of her staff.
“Can you attest to the validity or the veracity of the situation you had a few months ago with the trip where you had a staffer who parked in a charging spot to hold position for you so you and your entourage could recharge vehicles? Was that situation true?” Franklin asked.
“Yeah, I’ve seen the reports,” Granholm answered before Franklin interjected.
“Well, you were there — regardless of reports,” the representative pushed.
“Well, I wasn’t saving a spot, but I’ll just say I have a fantastic young staff. … It was poor judgment on the part of the team,” Granholm said.
“I can only imagine that they wanted to continue moving, but the bottom line is that it’s not going to happen again,” she added.
— Daniel Turner (@DanielTurnerPTF) September 15, 2023
While the local sheriff’s department couldn’t do anything about the situation since the Energy Secretary’s entourage didn’t break any Georgia law, according to NPR, the incident resulted in a round of mockery on social media for Granholm and the Biden administration who are pushing for increased production of EVs. The incident also highlighted the recurring problem of finding a charging station that EV drivers face as they travel long distances.
Another Biden official, Secretary of Transporation Pete Buttigieg — who owns a hybrid minivan — complained that he recently went to charge his vehicle at a park only to find that the charger was broken.
“Imagine what it would be like if you couldn’t be sure when you pulled into a gas station that you’d actually get gas out of it,” Buttigieg said.