House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Republicans, led by Ranking Member Frank Lucas, wrote to Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Jennifer Granholm today requesting overdue answers on an oversight request about the Department’s new Clean Energy Corps.
The Republicans first wrote DOE in April requesting information about the Department’s plan to hire 1,000 new employees--the largest DOE staff expansion in more than four decades. The plan to significantly increase the size of the Department’s workforce was announced with very few specifics and no strategic plan. Accordingly, the Committee members sent an oversight letter requesting details on the program by May 20, 2022.
DOE has failed to meet this deadline. Additionally, DOE failed to submit adequate responses to questions on this topic that were submitted for the record after a hearing in March.
Troublingly, the Department has proceeded with recruiting efforts for the Clean Energy Corps, including filming a promotional video with Robert Downey, Jr., all while failing to respond to simple Congressional questions about the program’s structure and integration into DOE’s existing programs.
As the legislators wrote when first requesting information on the Clean Energy Corps in April, “if poorly implemented, the Clean Energy Corps has the potential to be a significant waste of taxpayer dollars that, instead of furthering the Department’s work to develop clean energy solutions, will drain resources and focus from critical research activities.”
Today’s letter emphasized the importance of a timely and detailed response to oversight efforts. “As we hear from constituents concerned about threats to our economic security and energy reliability such as a heightened risk of summer power outages, skyrocketing gasoline prices, and evolving threats to our energy infrastructure linked to geopolitical conflict, we must fulfill our responsibility as legislators to oversee the Department’s prioritization of its staffing needs and balancing of its responsibilities,” the Members wrote.