The Department of Transportation’s (DOT) inspector general has been called on to investigate a top official in Democrat President Biden’s administration who has been leading the push to force Americans into switching to electric vehicles (EVs).
A complaint was filed by watchdog Protect the Public’s Trust against Ann Carlson, acting administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
In a Monday letter to DOT Inspector General Eric Soskin, the watchdog alleges that Biden violated the Federal Vacancies Reform Act (FVRA) when he appointed Carlson.
The FVRA stipulates that the president cannot appoint an acting officer to a position if the individual did not serve for at least 90 days as the chief assistant to the vacant job or if the president submits their nomination to the Senate for an appointment during the 365 days before the vacancy arising.
The alleged violations of these clauses would mean that Carlson’s appointment was illegal.
According to the letter, that any actions Carlson has taken in the role “shall have no force or effect.”
Carlson, formerly chief counsel for the agency, had served as acting administrator of NHTSA since September 2022.
She assumed the role upon the resignation of the former administrator, according to the White House.
In February 2023, Biden announced that he would nominate Carlson to run the agency permanently.
However, Senate Republicans tanked her nomination, largely because of her previous statements about using high energy prices as a launching pad to advance the globalist green agenda.
Her other comments have also indicated Carlson’s support for hardline climate policy.
The pushback forced Biden to withdraw Carlson’s nomination in May.
Since the withdrawal, she has remained in the post on an acting basis and oversaw the agency’s proposed updates to the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards in July.
The updates would drive up automobile costs and amount to an “EV mandate,” Dan Kish, a senior research fellow for the Institute for Energy Research, previously warned.
“This is becoming standard procedure when the people, through their Senators, reject Biden administration nominees over concerns about experience, activism, and conflicts of interest,” Michael Chamberlain, director of Protect the Public’s Trust, said in a statement.
“That the administration has taken a similar tack with one of Secretary Buttigieg’s top deputies, Ms. Carlson, it appears that yet again the self-proclaimed most ethical administration in history has placed its agenda above constitutional checks and balances.
“This is not the way to restore trust in the federal government.”
NHTSA’s core mission is “to save lives, prevent injuries, and reduce economic costs due to road traffic crashes, through education, research, safety standards, and enforcement,” according to the agency’s website.
Carlson had no distinct prior career experience pertaining directly to the automobile industry or traffic safety before her work for NHTSA, according to Protect the Public’s Trust.
She is one of several officials that the White House has managed to wriggle into influential bureaucratic posts despite their failure to clear the Senate confirmation process.
“Presidential nominees must earn their positions through constitutionally sanctioned procedures, not through back-door attempts to thwart the separation of powers in an effort to enact an administration’s preferred policy outcomes,” the complaint reads.
“The Office of Inspector General should immediately investigate these violations of the Federal Vacancies Reform Act and prevent Ms. Carlson from engaging in any further ultra vires activities.”