This Monday, the DOE decided to revoke a grant of $200 million previously given to Microvast Holdings, a business directly under the direction and control of the Chinese Communist Party.
Despite having been invited, officials from the DOE were not present during the hearing, thus missing the opportunity to speak on the nine-figure reversal. This has left many wondering whether the DOE will address the matter in due time or if they will simply avoid the topic altogether. While the public awaits their response, it is clear that the absence of DOE officials has hindered the hearing from gaining a complete and balanced perspective.
“In light of this development, the Department’s unwillingness to take part in the hearing is even more troubling. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, a congresswoman from Eastern Washington, made the opening remarks at the hearing on Tuesday. “I’m concerned that the Department may be entertaining other problematic awards and only decided not to proceed with this after our congressional scrutiny,” she said.
She said, “We cannot be energy secure if we are at the mercy of our adversaries,” before juxtaposing the Biden Administration’s goal of having America operate entirely on renewable energy with China’s utter hegemony in that sector of the manufacturing industry. A conflict that may make China the benefactor of American renewable energy policy.
She cited a recent International Energy Agency assessment that demonstrated China’s total dominance in the production of electric car batteries. The research claims that after mining, China “dominates” all subsequent stages of production, holding between 50 and 75 percent of the market share in all but one of the manufacturing categories for battery components.
The comments and research underline the possibility that China’s dominance in the industry may have been strengthened with the $200 million award intended for Microvast, a battery technology firm for electric vehicles.
During the hearing, McMorris Rodgers emphasized that “China also possesses 97% of the world’s solar wafer capacity.”
Before she concluded her remarks, she said, “The Department of Energy is refusing to be transparent to the American people, who deserve every assurance that their tax dollars are not being funnelled to China. They are refusing to be transparent to this committee as well.”
McMorris Rodgers criticized DOE officials on Twitter after the meeting, writing, “They still refused to come to our hearing and answer for why this decision was made in the first place.”