Comer threatens to subpoena Granholm for testimony on SPR withdrawals, LNG export pause

House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer (R-Ky.) on Friday threatened to subpoena Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm to ensure her appearance at a May 15 hearing.

“Secretary Granholm must avoid further delay & appear for a scheduled hearing on May 15. I’m prepared to issue a subpoena,” Comer posted on the social platform X, linking to a letter first shared with The Daily Caller.

In the letter, Comer called on Granholm to testify on matters including the Biden administration’s pause on new liquefied natural gas export approvals and withdrawals from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR).

The Biden administration withdrew 50 million barrels of oil from the SPR in November 2021 as part of efforts to stabilize gas prices. The administration would go on to withdraw 1 million barrels a day for 180 days, the largest-ever withdrawal from the reserve, in the wake of Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine.

The Energy Department has vowed to fully replenish the SPR, so far buying back about 32 million barrels. The reserve was just over half full as of April, containing about 363 million barrels, compared to 600 million before the invasion of Ukraine.

Most recently, the department canceled a planned purchase of about 3 million barrels, set to be delivered to a Louisiana facility, earlier this month.

Comer also sought information about a road trip Granholm made to promote electric vehicles in 2023. The trip itself is the subject of a separate probe by the Kentucky Republican, who wrote to the department last September with Rep. Pat Fallon (R-Texas), chair of the Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Energy Policy, and Regulatory Affairs, for further information on the trip and its costs.

In the letter, the lawmaker said the Energy Department had offered to make Deputy Energy Secretary David Turk available for testimony, which Comer deemed “unacceptable.” Comer pointed to Granholm’s appearance on ABC’s “The View” earlier this week as an indication of her availability.

The Hill has reached out to the Energy Department for comment.

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