Federal official cannot confirm to Stauber that ‘green’ tech is not built with child slave labor

Scott answered that she would "have to do a little bit more digging into that topic."

Rep. Pete Stauber/Twitter

Rep. Pete Stauber of Minnesota asked a federal official at a recent committee meeting if she could confirm that the construction of “green” technology purchased by the United States did not involve any child or slave labor.

The official, Janea Scott, could not confirm it.

Since the inauguration of President Joe Biden, Scott has served as senior counselor to the U.S. Department of the Interior’s assistant secretary for land and minerals. Prior to that, she served on the California Energy Commission from 2013 to 2020.

In a clip posted to his Twitter account, the congressman from Duluth asked Scott a rhetorical question on whether or not she supported child slave labor. Upon her reply that she didn’t, Stauber followed up by asking if she could confirm that “permitted wind, solar, and geothermic resources will not be built with child and slave labor.”

After a three-second pause, Scott answered that she would “have to do a little bit more digging into that topic.”

“I don’t know the answer to that. That’s something that I’m also happy to take back to the Department to get a response for you.”

“So you can’t confirm to the committee today that the solar panels, critical minerals that we purchase as the United States will not be born from child slave labor? You can’t answer that today?” replied Stauber.

“I don’t know where the companies who are wanting to build these projects are purchasing from, I don’t know,” said Scott.

One of Stauber’s top legislative priorities is to crack down on the use of taxpayer money to purchase “green” technology made with minerals procured by child slave labor in Africa. To that effect, he tried to include an amendment to a bill during committee markup in September, but Democrats voted it down.

“I don’t understand for the life of me why this is controversial,” he said during the markup. “Why is this controversial? What does the Chinese government have over certain people? This is unbelievable.”

Chinese companies own some of the Congolese mines from which these “green” minerals come. Not only are Congolese children used to mine these resources, Chinese slaves are said to be involved in the process as well.


Evan Stambaugh

Evan Stambaugh is a freelance writer who had previously been a sports blogger. He has a BA in theology and an MA in philosophy.