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Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm admonished vehicle owners at a press briefing on Tuesday, telling drivers they wouldn’t be impacted by the Colonial Pipeline cyberattack and resulting gasoline shortage if they instead owned electric vehicles. 

During Tuesday’s White House briefing, Granholm was asked by a reporter how the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack would impact the Biden administration’s efforts “to move in more of a renewable direction since this is going to have an impact on people at the pump?”

“I mean, we obviously are all in on making sure that we meet the president’s goals of getting to 100 percent clean electricity by 2035 and net-zero carbon emissions by 2050,” Secretary Granholm answered.

If you drive an electric car, this would not be affecting you, clearly.”

Granholm’s comments came as thousands of gas stations across the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic had run out of gasoline amid a near week-long shutdown of the nation’s largest fuel pipeline.

Regarding Secretary Granholm’s suggestion that motorists should instead purchase EVs to avoid such a gas crisis, the average cost of an electric vehicle (EV) in 2020 was $52,000, according to a May report.

Granholm’s statement renewed criticism from the media and calls from Senate Republicans to launch an investigation into a potential conflict of interest for the Energy Secretary, as Granholm owns up to $5 million in stock options from Proterra, a manufacturer of EV charging stations and car batteries. 

EVs are a core element of President Biden’s proposed infrastructure package, which contains $174 billion in taxpayer money to be used subsidizing EVs and EV charging stations. 

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