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October 26, 2020

Chairwoman Johnson Questions DOE Secretary Brouillette on Pattern of Suppressed or Modified DOE Funded Reports

(Dallas, TX) – On Friday, Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) sent a follow up letter to Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Brouillette requesting the agency brief Committee staff on the multi-laboratory research effort called the Interconnections Seam Study. Seams was made available on DOE’s website on October 22 after a delay of over two years.  The Chairwoman expressed concern in the letter that Seams may be part of a pattern over roughly the last two years in which DOE-funded reports on renewable energy, energy efficiency, transportation electrification, and the electricity grid have been unduly delayed or modified by senior DOE officials. Furthermore, the Cha irwoman also noted that DOE’s recent changes to processes for report review and media engagement contravene the Department’s scientific integrity policy and enable interference.

“These papers are largely technical in nature, and such papers typically are able to move through the DOE headquarters review process within just a few weeks,” said Chairwoman Johnson in the letter. “We have seen no evidence that delays of six months or longer can be explained away as a legitimate quality control exercise. I note that there is a time-value of information related to renewable energy, energy efficiency, transportation electrification, and the grid, as new innovations are advancing rapidly across the globe. Substantial delays in DOE reports undermine our ability to understand, implement and export new technologies and threaten our nation’s competitive advantage.”

A copy of the letter can be found here.