Electric Bus Company Biden Energy Secretary Once Had Stake In Goes Belly Up

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Nick Pope Contributor
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Proterra, the electric bus company at the center of an apparent conflict of interest involving Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, has filed for bankruptcy, Reuters reported Monday evening.

Granholm drew immense scrutiny when it was revealed that she maintained her financial positions in the firm, for which she used to sit on the board of directors, after she assumed her post as the leader of the Department of Energy (DOE) and began to direct policies which could have favored her own financial interests. Granholm eventually closed her position in the firm late in May 2021, and netted capital gains amounting to about $1.6 million.

Granholm did not sell her shares in the company until after the House Oversight Committee opened an investigation into the apparent conflict of interest earlier in May of 2021. Additionally, Granholm is alleged to have violated the STOCK Act nine times in 2021, a fact which a DOE spokesperson said at the time was attributable to “an inadvertent clerical oversight.” (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Top Republicans Sound Alarm On Energy Secretary’s ‘Dubious financial Dealings’)

Proterra filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which means that the company can stay in business while it restructures its obligations, according to a Monday press release announcing the news. The bankruptcy filing marks a fall from grace for the electric bus and battery producer, which had received a $1.6 billion valuation in a January 2021 merger with another firm, according to Reuters.

“The company intends to continue to operate in the ordinary course of business as it moves through this process and plans to file the customary motions with the Bankruptcy Court to use existing capital to fund operations, including paying employee salaries and benefits, and compensating vendors and suppliers on a go-forward basis in accordance with Chapter 11 rules, all while ensuring business continuity for customers,” the press release reads. “The foundation we have built has set the stage for decarbonization across the commercial vehicle industry as a whole, and we recognize the great potential in all of our product offerings to enable this important transformation,” said Gareth Joyce, the company’s CEO, according to the press release.

The DOE did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

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