Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm's husband held stock in Ford as the Biden administration promoted the company and approved electric vehicle subsidies worth hundreds of billions of dollars, Granholm disclosed in a letter.
The Biden appointee on Friday wrote the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee to inform members of the financial holdings. When Granholm submitted her financial disclosures in 2021 and 2022, she acknowledged in the letter, she failed to report that her husband owned thousands of dollars' worth of Ford stock, a mistake she called an "accidental omission."
Had Granholm disclosed the stock, it almost certainly would have prompted conflict of interest accusations. Both Granholm and President Joe Biden have promoted Ford's electric car fleet, with Granholm last year saying the company's electric Mustang is "cool." Granholm's husband also held stock in the company as the Biden administration greenlit hundreds of billions of dollars in electric vehicle subsidies through the Inflation Reduction Act—subsidies that Ford plans to take advantage of through its battery factories and electric car sales. In April, meanwhile, Granholm tapped Ford lobbyist Christopher Smith to serve on her Secretary of Energy Advisory Board, the Washington Free Beacon reported.
This is far from the first time the Biden administration has promoted a company Granholm stands to profit from. Biden and other top administration officials repeatedly showcased Proterra, an electric bus company that once counted Granholm as a member of its board of directors and that she held a significant amount of stock in. Granholm eventually sold her 240,000 Proterra shares in May 2021, earning a cool $1.6 million.
The Senate Energy Committee's ranking member, Wyoming Republican John Barrasso, hammered Granholm for her "failure to follow basic ethics and disclosure rules."
"Secretary Granholm lied to the committee about her family's stock holdings," Barrasso said in a statement. "This is a troubling pattern. It is unacceptable."
The Energy Department did not return a request for comment. Granholm said her husband sold his Ford stock on May 15.
Beyond her husband's Ford stock, Granholm on Friday acknowledged that she owned stock in six other companies before selling those stakes on May 18. The holdings contradict Granholm's testimony during an April Senate committee hearing, during which the Biden appointee said she did not own any individual stocks.
Despite her long history of ethics issues—Granholm last year failed to properly disclose hundreds of thousands of dollars in stock trades—the energy secretary claimed in her letter that she takes federal ethics standards "very seriously."
"As a public servant, I take very seriously the commitment to hold myself to the highest ethical standards, and I regret the accidental omission of my spouse's interest in Ford," Granholm wrote. "This is a commitment I made to you, the President, and most importantly the American people."