Company officials insisted that the Chinese government had no influence over its operations and that the Republicans’ attacks were only on political points.
The Energy Department has assured lawmakers in recent months that it conducts a due diligence review before any money goes to the company, as is the department’s standard procedure.
“As the custodians for US taxpayer funds, the DOE maintains a rigorous review process before any award funds are released, and it is not uncommon for entities selected to participate in award negotiations under a competitive DOE funding opportunity to ultimately not receive it,” he said. A spokesperson for the Department of Energy on Monday.
Microvast representatives did not respond to requests for comment.
context: Member of the Senate for Energy and Natural Resources John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) raised concerns about Microvast last year, pointing in part to a recent Securities and Exchange Commission filing in which the company located its operations in China.
As recently as February, the Department of Energy appeared to be behind the selection.
The Microvast award will go toward “strengthening domestic supply chains for lithium-ion batteries and creating well-paying jobs in the United States,” Acting Undersecretary for Infrastructure Kathleen Hogan He wrote to lawmakers that month.
Hogan noted that, as with any award, the Microvast Scholarship was subject to a “thorough risk-based post-selection and due diligence review” and the DOE reserves the “right to cancel award negotiations and deselect when any failure to meet applicable laws or policy is determined or Other [Funding Opportunity Announcement] requirements.”
Last month, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said the department still went through a standard vetting process before any money went out, making clear it was still a “choice” and not a grant award.
reaction: Science chair at home Frank Lucas (R-Okla). the obvious.”
“These funds are intended to enhance battery production and supply chains in America, not to tighten the Chinese stranglehold on these supplies,” Lucas said, referring to the bipartisan Infrastructure Act funding for battery materials and manufacturing.
In a statement, Barrasso said the department should “immediately reject other applicants with similar relationships.” Republican lawmakers have It raised concerns about a broader group of companies Selected for awards.
“It should also reform the grant-making process and conduct due diligence before issuing press releases,” Barrasso added.
During a hearing Tuesday, the Energy and Commerce Board Chairman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) He echoed looming concerns about the DOE’s process for vetting applicants for such large awards.
“I’m concerned that the department may be getting other problematic awards, and just decided not to move forward with it after our congressional scrutiny,” she said.
Highest Democratic Committee Frank Palloni New Jersey reported that the de-selection was evidence that management was complying with its oversight duties.
He added, “Although we don’t know the details behind this decision, it shows that the Department of Energy takes its oversight of taxpayer money very seriously.”
Heather Vaughan, a Republican spokeswoman for the Science Council, said Republican lawmakers will continue to pressure the administration about the decision.
“I don’t have specifics on why the decision was made – what part of the internal review process [Microvast] Vaughan said in an email. “We have some follow-up questions, among them — will this money go to another company? Will the rest of the previously announced companies still get their grants?”
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