November 28, 2023

Sen. Ted Cruz Pushes Attorney General to Probe Green Activists’ Ties to China, Other Nations

FIRST ON THE DAILY SIGNAL—What started as a congressional probe into the position of environmental advocacy teams, left-leaning foundations, and “dark money” entities in pushing to ban gas stoves has opened new avenues of inquiry into the affect of alleged international brokers for China and different nations.

Since March, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, the rating member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, has despatched letters to a few of these gamers inquiring about their relationship with the Biden administration and the Consumer Product Safety Commission, an impartial federal company.

Cruz significantly is anxious with ongoing interplay between inexperienced advocacy teams and China, the Texas Republican informed The Daily Signal in an emailed assertion.

If the communist authorities in Beijing can use such advocacy teams as a conduit for reaching coverage objectives, it may have extreme implications for America’s financial standing, Cruz warned, saying:

The connections between green-energy advocacy organizations and international governments, together with and particularly China, are deeply regarding and benefit vital investigation and scrutiny. These two teams share the identical primary objectives: rising America’s dependence on international provide chains and destroying America’s financial prosperity. Radical environmentalists use local weather alarmism to advance these objectives, ignoring the truth that China is chargeable for emitting over a fourth of world carbon dioxide and a 3rd of the world’s greenhouse gases.

Since his preliminary letters searching for info, Cruz has joined with House Oversight and Accountability Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., to comply with up on inquiries into environmental activism geared toward implementing a authorities ban on fuel stoves. 

Cruz and Comer additionally name for nearer scrutiny of the connection between environmental advocacy teams such because the Natural Resources Defense Council and hostile international powers. 

Widely often known as the NRDC, the New York-based nonprofit is effectively endowed and has over $180 million in belongings, in accordance to the Capital Research Center, a Washington assume tank that tracks nonprofits. The nonprofit’s relationship with Communist China figures prominently into ongoing congressional investigations.

‘Substantial Ties’ to Communist China

The Natural Resources Defense Council “has substantial ties to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP),” Cruz and Comer say in a joint letter in August to Attorney General Merrick Garland, the nation’s highest legislation enforcement officer as head of the Justice Department.

“Both the NRDC China Program Directors are former CCP officials,” the Cruz-Comer letter says. “On NRDC’s Chinese-language site (which provides information different from the English-language site), NRDC explains it ‘has been carrying out environmental protection work in China since the 1990s’ and ‘actively cooperates and communicates’ with several Chinese government agencies.”

The lawmakers’ letter provides: “Moreover, NRDC acts as a mouthpiece for Chinese propaganda, signaling that it either takes direction from the CCP or that it is willing to self-censor to maintain a positive relationship with the communist regime.”

Cruz and Comer additionally counsel that the Natural Resources Defense Council and different advocacy teams are trying “to skirt compliance” with the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

This federal legislation requires people and organizations to disclose any partnership, actions, and lobbying efforts on behalf of international governments or international pursuits. The Justice Department enforces the statute.

“It is likely that some environmental groups pushing clean energy policies here in the U.S. are acting as foreign agents, but have not registered as such in violation of FARA,” Cruz and Comer say of their letter to Garland. 

Prior to partnering with Comer, Cruz  despatched particular person letters to five organizations: Consumer Reports, the New York-based nonprofit that publishes {a magazine} of the identical title; the Rocky Mountain Institute, an environmental assume tank based mostly in Colorado; The Climate Imperative Foundation, a nonprofit  environmental group based mostly in San Francisco; the Windward Fund, which is a part of the bigger “dark money” community often known as Arabella Advisors; and Rewiring America, a left-of-center nonprofit established by the Windward Fund as a particular venture. 

Stacey Abrams, who ran twice unsuccessfully for governor of Georgia because the Democrat candidate, joined Rewiring America as a special counsel final March. 

‘Completely Independent’

Cruz and Comer despatched joint letters to Consumer Reports, the Climate Imperative Foundation, and Rewiring America in May to comply with up on Cruz’s preliminary inquiries. Copies of all of the letters addressed to suspected unregistered international brokers could also be found here, on Cruz’s Senate press web page. 

In an e-mail assertion Wednesday to The Daily Signal, Consumer Reports defended its place on fuel stoves whereas sustaining that it wasn’t influenced by exterior actors:

Consumer Reports isn’t advocating for a ban on fuel stoves. Last yr, CR examined fuel stoves for emissions, and located excessive ranges of nitrogen oxide in some eventualities. We suggested individuals how to cut back the dangers with air flow, like opening a window or putting in a variety hood. We additionally supply the professionals and cons of going electrical.

Our checks and outcomes are at all times utterly impartial from any exterior group or affect. At CR, we imagine in client selection and offering individuals with the proof they want to make the most effective choice for his or her wants and life-style.

The Daily Signal requested the Justice Department whether or not Garland, as lawyer normal, had any response to the letter from Cruz and Comer. The division had not responded as of publication time.

The Daily Signal requested the Natural Resources Defense Council to reply to the allegations that it could function as a international agent with out registering with the Justice Department. The Daily Signal did the identical with different advocacy teams that heard from Cruz and Comer.

So far, solely Consumer Reports and the NRDC responded. 

“NRDC receives no funding from the Chinese government and does the bidding of no government anywhere,” NRDC spokesman Bob Deans informed The Daily Signal in an e-mail. “Assertions to the contrary are false.”

However, Cruz and Comer insist of their letter to the lawyer normal that the Natural Resources Defense Council has maintained “obvious ties to China” whereas making vital inroads with “key government officials” within the U.S.

Looking at Biden Allies

The lawmakers contend, for instance, that former Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., Biden’s particular envoy on climate issues, has “worked hand-in-glove with the NRDC and other radical environmental groups.” 

Comer’s Oversight and Accountability Committee obtained emails between Kerry and environmental teams that present the Natural Resources Defense Council “appears to lead on multiple initiatives.”

The NRDC’s affect with the Biden administration isn’t restricted to its collaborative efforts with Kerry, who was Democrats’ presidential nominee in 2004. 

One of the group’s previous presidents and CEOs is Gina McCarthy, a former administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency who was Biden’s prime home adviser on local weather points earlier than leaving the White House in September. 

The Daily Signal sought remark from Kerry and McCarthy and can replace this text if both or each responds.

The Natural Resources Defense Council additionally has burrowed into the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC, the company that regulates interstate transmission of pure fuel, oil, and electrical energy, in accordance to Freedom of Information Act information.

Since May 2022, the nonprofit Institute for Energy Research, which helps free-market power insurance policies, has filed a sequence of lawsuits in opposition to FERC underneath the Freedom of Information Act that time to coordinated efforts between the NRDC and the federal government fee. 

Tom Pyle, president of the Institute for Energy Research, mentioned in a cellphone interview that American shoppers needs to be involved concerning the affect exerted by the NRDC within the Biden White House and the Democratic Party as a complete. 

“The NRDC has a long history of close collusion with the Democratic Party,” Pyle informed The Daily Signal, including:

During the run-up to what the Obama administration referred to as the Clean Power Plan, which needs to be referred to as the Creating Poverty Plan, it was extensively reported that NRDC virtually drafted the complete plan. The e-mail information we have now from the Biden administration by FOIA [the Freedom of Information Act] level to yet one more instance of how the Democratic Party has merged with NRDC.

‘Providing Cover for China’

The local weather agenda superior by the Natural Resources Defense Council in cooperation with the Democratic Party in the end works to the drawback of middle- and lower-income Americans whom it claims to characterize, Pyle mentioned. 

“The big money donors to the NRDC are not going to be impacted by the high energy costs that result from the policies the NRDC advocates,” he mentioned. “The high gas prices, the high electricity prices, and higher food prices that result from the inflationary impacts that we have thanks to Bidenomics will fall on average Americans and Americans with modest incomes. A big chunk of the inflation we are seeing comes from policies promoted by the NRDC.”

With regard to China, Pyle mentioned the Natural Resources Defense Council goes to nice lengths to keep away from circulating unfavourable publicity concerning the communist authorities whereas persistently criticizing the United States.

“They continually bash American energy producers while providing cover for China, which has an abysmal environmental record, and also uses slaves to build their solar panels,” he mentioned.

Cruz apparently hasn’t acquired what he considers to be  substantial responses from environmental teams that tackle the questions and issues he has raised. 

For instance, the Cruz-Comer letter to the Climate Imperative Foundation states that it “responded with only a general, and vague, narrative” and sidestepped particular questions. The lawmakers’ letter asserts that suspected international brokers are a part of an “interrelated network to which NRDC also belongs.” 

The Climate Imperative Network, for instance, made a grant of $2.9 million to the Natural Resources Defense Council in 2021 to “accelerat[e] early peaking and decarbonization of China’s power sector,” in accordance to the Cruz-Comer letter. 

As The Daily Signal beforehand reported, international affect over U.S. environmental advocacy teams have been the topic of investigations by the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee and the House Natural Resources Committee in 2017 and 2018.

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