GOP leaders from three key House panels are investigating an environmental organization linked to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) for its financial support of U.S. climate efforts.
Frank Lucas (R-OK), Chair of the Science, Space, and Technology Committee; Bruce Westerman (R-AK), Chair of the Natural Resources Committee; and Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, wrote a joint letter to Ji Chou, CEO and President of the Energy Foundation, disclosing an investigation into the group’s activities. The letter follows recent revelations that the Energy Foundation had contributed $3.8 million to American climate organizations.
The correspondence asked for specific documents and contracts related to the Energy Foundation’s financial activities. This inquiry is part of a comprehensive effort by Republicans to investigate how Chinese entities might influence environmental groups. They are particularly concerned about the increasing collaboration between these groups and the Chinese government on climate change issues.
The Energy Foundation emerged as a separate entity after separating from the United States Energy Foundation. Both groups share a San Francisco address, as indicated in the tax forms of the Energy Foundation. The Energy Foundation retained the original tax identification details it held before the split occurred.
Although the Energy Foundation’s financial documents suggest it is based in San Francisco, most of its operations occur in China. The organization’s staff is strongly connected to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). In its 2022 financial report, the group disclosed leasing two office spaces in China through operating leases that extend until April 2024.
Before joining the group, Liu Xin, the head of the Energy Foundation’s environmental management division, held a senior position at the Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau. Ping He, the program director for the industry program, spent eight years at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, a prominent state-owned research institution, before joining the organization.
Chou, the CEO and President of the Energy Foundation, formerly served as the deputy director general of China’s National Center for Climate Change Strategy, a division under the Chinese government’s National Development and Reform Commission. The Energy Group notes on its website that it is “registered with the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau and supervised by the National Development and Reform Commission of China.”
The Republicans noted in their letter to Chou that If renewable energy usage and electrification rise in the United States, China will significantly enhance its economic and geopolitical standing. China currently leads global renewable energy product supply chains, including solar panels, batteries, and electrolyzers.
“China has already attempted to influence United States policy and opinion regarding China through covert influence and exploit perceived societal divisions,” the letter read. “As such, we are alarmed by attempts of China-affiliated organizations attempting to influence United States energy policy.” The letter emphasized the Director of National Intelligence’s observation that China’s dominance in green energy poses a “significant risk to the West.”
Last year, among its numerous grants in the U.S., the Energy Foundation transferred $900,000 to the Rocky Mountain Institute, located in Colorado. This think tank collaborates with the White House on climate policy and supports initiatives to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and promote net-zero policies. Additionally, the foundation financed a study in 2022 that highlighted the risks associated with natural gas-powered stovetops, prompting discussions about banning such appliances.
An additional $375,000 was allocated to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) by the Energy Foundation. The NRDC was established as the first litigation-focused nonprofit in America dedicated to compelling “polluting industries” to “clean up their act.” It has initiated numerous legal challenges advocating for far-left green initiatives and contested domestic fossil fuel drilling, coal plants, the Keystone XL oil pipeline, and critical mineral mining projects.
The Energy Foundation also allocated $480,000 to the International Council on Clean Transportation, headquartered in Washington, D.C. This organization advocates for the widespread adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) and policies to decarbonize the transportation sector. Further, the foundation provided grants totaling $450,000 to the University of Maryland and the Jackson Hole Center for Global Affairs for projects aimed at phasing out reliance on coal-powered energy. It gave $350,000 to Harvard University for grants dedicated to “outreach to build a clean energy future.”
Tom Pyle, the president of the Institute for Energy Research, pointed out that the United States possesses abundant reserves of coal, oil, and natural gas, making it the wealthiest energy nation globally. He heavily criticized the Biden administration and environmental groups supported by China for advocating policies that would heighten reliance on China. He highlighted China’s control over essential minerals and materials necessary for batteries, wind, and solar energy while they advocate policies that reduce domestic oil and gas production.
As the nation veers towards a precarious dependency on China, it’s like watching a rollercoaster run off the tracks as Biden runs the ride. It seems increasingly like the Biden presidency is the ultimate quid-quo-pro for his financial windfalls from communist China.