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911 call released as Biden’s energy secretary accused of hogging EV charger for a photo op

 September 13, 2023

According to a recorded 911 call, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm's team recently created disruption by occupying electric vehicle (EV) charging spots with a gasoline-powered car, as Fox News reported.

Granholm's Team Faces Charging Controversy in Georgia

On a four-day EV journey from North Carolina to Tennessee in June, members of the Energy Department utilized a gasoline-driven car to reserve an EV charging space for Granholm at a Walmart in Grovetown, Georgia.

This blockade frustrated another family, which found itself unable to access the charger because of the gas-powered car. They ultimately called the authorities for assistance.

A 911 call made by a frustrated EV driver detailed the issue, saying, "I'm calling because I'm in the Grovetown Walmart at the charging station, and there's literally a non-electric car that is taking up a space and said they're holding the space for somebody else. And it's holding up a whole bunch of people who need to charge their cars."

She further pointed out that several people were waiting to charge, yet some vehicles present weren't electric. She also mentioned that the sign clearly states parking is only for vehicles being charged.

The dispatcher assured the caller that a deputy was en route, and although an officer responded, no formal report was made.

The Administration's Push for EVs

Granholm's journey aimed to spotlight the substantial investments the current administration is making in green energy and eco-friendly vehicles.

Though meticulous planning was in place for this promotional journey, the hiccup at the Georgia Walmart highlighted the practical issues certain EV owners face, especially during long-distance travel.

NPR's auto reporter, Camila Domonoske, emphasized the pressing nature of these challenges, noting the difference in her experience with various electric vehicles.

Under President Joe Biden's leadership, there has been a noticeable shift towards electric vehicles, setting ambitious targets such as ensuring that half of all new cars sold by 2030 are electric.

These efforts are further supported by policies such as the EPA's stringent emissions requirements, which project that by 2032, 67% of new cars will be electric. Additionally, new fuel efficiency standards could substantially increase the cost of gas-powered vehicles.

Concerns and Responses

Critics of the administration's green initiatives raise concerns about the viability of these ambitious goals.

For instance, Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) commented, "If the Biden administration can't make it from Charlotte to Memphis without an incident, how do they expect to transition our military's nontactical fleet to electric by 2030? Their greenie push is unreliable, absurd, and fully dependent on China. Let's call it what it is – a road to nowhere."

Last year's data showed that gas-powered cars comprised 93% of all new car sales. In terms of affordability and efficiency, gas vehicles appear to have an advantage. For instance, in the previous year, the average EV cost was over $64,000, significantly higher than its gas-powered counterpart at $26,000.

Furthermore, the average range of gas-powered vehicles exceeds that of electric ones by a notable margin.

However, a spokesperson from the Energy Department highlighted the nation's progress, "For over a decade, while our global competitors geared up for the clean energy transition, America lagged behind. Now, with President Biden's historic Investing in America agenda we have over $7 billion to build out convenient and reliable EV charging infrastructure."

The spokesperson added that the initiative has received significant backing from the private sector, creating jobs and promoting financial savings.