Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm recently sold off stock in an electric vehicle company, a department spokesman said, divesting her interest after ethics experts and Republican officials pointed out the conflict-of-interest concerns.
The company, Proterra, makes technology for electric vehicles — a key piece of the Biden administration’s energy and climate change plans. Recent events with President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris drew attention to the company, which will become publicly traded this year.
Politico first reported Granholm’s move.
Granholm resigned from the Proterra board to take the Energy Department position and wrote in her ethics agreement that she would “divest my vested stock options in Proterra, Inc., as soon as practicable but not later than 180 days after my confirmation.”
According to the ethics agreement, she forfeited her unvested stocks when she resigned from the Proterra board. And per the agreement, she exercised her vested stock options and then sold the stock for a net capital gains of $1.6 million on the sale, according to the Energy Department spokesman. The transaction was completed sooner than required by her ethics agreement, the spokesman said.
“Secretary Granholm has acted in full accordance with the comprehensive ethical standards set by the Biden Administration and has completed her divestment well ahead of the time required by her ethics agreement,” the spokesman said.
A document filed with the Office of Government Ethics dated May 7 says Granholm sold 240,520 shares.