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Press Release Published: Jul 13, 2021

Norman & Environment Subcommittee Republicans Launch Probe into Biden Energy Appointee Using Position to Benefit Former Employer

WASHINGTON—Subcommittee on Environment Ranking Member Ralph Norman (R-S.C.) and Representatives Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) and Yvette Herrell (R-N.M.) today wrote to Department of Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm raising concerns that Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Kelly Speakes-Backman, may be using her position to advance the interests of the Energy Storage Association where she was most recently the CEO. 

The Energy Storage Association represents more than 200 businesses and is dedicated to advancing energy storage. Assistant Secretary Speakes-Backman has continuously mentioned the Energy Storage Association while appearing in her official capacity and has even suggested publicly that the Department of Energy will implement initiatives that would likely benefit the association and its members. Additionally, she has made several statements regarding new Department of Energy initiatives that are similar to those proposed by the Energy Storage Association and delivered a keynote address at an event where her sponsor was a leadership circle member of the energy association.  

“There appears to be lack of transparency and pattern of ethical issues at Biden’s Department of Energy,” said Subcommittee Ranking Member Norman. “We previously raised concerns about Secretary Granholm potentially using her position for profit and now it appears Assistant Secretary Speakes-Backman may be using her position to benefit her previous employer. These potential conflicts of interest raise serious ethics questions and the Biden Administration must provide the American people with answers and transparency.”  

In the letter to Secretary Granholm, the Republican lawmakers call for all documents and communications related to Assistant Secretary Speakes-Backman’s potential conflict of interest and those related to the Energy Storage Association.  

The letter to Secretary Granholm can be found here.