A lawsuit filed in federal court on Wednesday alleges mass favoritism in the Department of Energy’s decisions to award federal grants to major car companies to develop electric vehicles, according to a legal complaint obtained by Scribe.
The plaintiff, San Francisco-based XP Technology, says in a complaint filed in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims that “corruption and negligence” pervaded DOE’s decision to award loan guarantees to Ford, Nissan, Tesla Motors, and Fisker Automotive for the development of electric vehicle technology.
“Investigations have shown that DOE officials intentionally stalled numerous applicants’ reviews in order to force them out of business and protect favored players,” the complaint claims. It adds:
XP has received information demonstrating that the unprecedented number of failures in the DOE program relative to what DOE officials have claimed to be “the most expensive and extensive due diligence in history” is explained by manipulated reviews, in the due diligence effort, on behalf of what the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) investigations found to be “favoritism” in published investigation reports. A senate ethics investigation states, in published reports, that “negligence and mismanagement by DOE officials” was a regular occurrence.
XP, which applied for federal backing under the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing program, “is seeking to have applicants who were “targeted” receive fair re-reviews, in a transparent manner, if they so desire.”
In addition to an unfair selection process, XP alleges that DOE retaliated against the company for reporting evidence of negligence and corruption incorporated into the various investigations into the ATVM program.
After XP staff first reported the incidents, becoming “whistle-blowers”, by reporting the evidence to GAO, Justice Department, The White House Press Office and The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, among others, they received threats and personal attacks. Over time, the volume of third party investigations, which have validated the charges of questionable acts by DOE staff have become voluminous.
The Energy Department did not return a request for comment by press time.
Lachlan Markay works to advance The Heritage Foundation . http://www.heritage.org/ policy solutions by breaking hard-hitting investigative news stories as a reporter for the think tank’s Center for Media and Public Policy.