Biden regime reverses course on $200 million grant to EV battery company with ties to China

The Biden regime has unexpectedly reversed course and will no longer award a $200 million grant to a technology firm that makes lithium batteries for electric vehicles and reportedly has ties to communist China, bowing to concerns expressed by Republican lawmakers.

On a Monday call with congressional staff, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) officials advised that Texas-based Microvast won’t be receiving the massive amount that it was earmarked for in the $1 trillion 2021 bipartisan infrastructure bill that was stuffed with pork for the Democrat Green New Deal and the forced conversion to renewable energy sources of questionable reliability.

GOP lawmakers have been critical of the grant due to the company’s Chinese ties, with one senator sending a letter to Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm last December  saying that Microvast’s relationship with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) raised “serious concerns about the department’s ability to protect U.S. taxpayer dollars.”

“As responsible stewards of American taxpayer dollars, the Department of Energy maintains a rigorous review process prior to the release of any awarded funds, and it is not uncommon for entities selected to participate in award negotiations under a DOE competitive funding opportunity to not ultimately receive an award,” an Energy Department spokesperson said in a statement to Fox News Digital.

“The Department can confirm that it has elected to cancel negotiations and not to award Microvast funds from this competitive funding opportunity,” the statement said.

In a letter that was dated December 7, 2022, Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), the ranking member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources wrote to Granholm “demanding answers on DOE’s $200 million grant to Microvast, a lithium battery company that operates primarily out of the People’s Republic of China (PRC).”

“I write to you with grave concerns as the Department of Energy (DOE) continues to operate in a manner that undermines and endangers our national security. In addition to the misuse of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and security issues that have brought widespread condemnation upon the Department, DOE has awarded $200 million to Microvast, a lithium battery company that operates primarily out of the People’s Republic of China (PRC),” the senator wrote in his letter that stated, “Microvast’s close relationship with China is no secret.”

Barrasso hailed the news that the administration eventually came around and yanked the grant.

“The Department of Energy has finally retreated from sending U.S. taxpayer dollars to Microvast, an electric vehicle battery company with close ties to Communist China,” he said in a statement.

“I’m stunned it took the Biden Administration this long to admit the obvious: no company beholden to Communist China should be considered for U.S. government grants or loans,” Barrasso added. “The administration should immediately reject other applicants with similar ties. It should also overhaul its grant making process and conduct due diligence before issuing press releases.”

Also demanding answers was Rep. Frank Lucas (R-OK), who chairs the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology and who recently grilled administration officials on the grant money to Microvast.

(Video: YouTube/House Science Committee)

“This is a win for taxpayers and American businesses,” Rep Lucas said Monday evening. “On no account should our tax dollars be funding a company with ‘substantial’ ties to the Chinese Communist Party. These funds are intended to strengthen America’s battery production and supply chain, not to tighten China’s stranglehold on these supplies.”

“I’m pleased with DOE’s decision, but incredibly frustrated that it took the Department six months and multiple letters from our Committee to come to such an obvious conclusion,” Lucas added. “We’ll continue to hold the Administration accountable for its funding decisions and ensure that American taxpayer dollars are protected from exploitation by the CCP.”

“What the U.S. government decides about U.S. companies is a matter for the U.S. itself, and I will not comment on it,” said Mao Ning, a spokesperson for China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs at a Tuesday news conference.

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