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Lawmakers Demand Answers From Leftist Environmental Groups Over Possible Collusion with Russia

AP Photo/Wayne Parry

Following Townhall's renewed coverage of a 2018 congressional report outlining evidence of a Kremlin propaganda campaign to undermine oil and gas projects in the United States and weaken American energy security, Republicans in Congress are demanding answers from environmental groups listed as top recipients from a shady non-governmental organization with apparent ties to Russia.

In 2017 and 2018, the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology collected and published information that seemed to show Russia's government was using Klein Ltd., a shell company in Bermuda, to funnel tens of millions of dollars to the Sea Change Foundation which then passed the funds that originated in Russia to American environmental organizations like the Sierra Club, Conservation Voters Education Fund, and others. Those organizations then knowingly or unknowingly pushed the Kremlin's desired narrative — one that conveniently aligned with leftist climate activists — with Russian money that had been scrubbed of its red tint.

On Thursday, Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee sent letters to several American recipients of funds from the Sea Change Foundation demanding information on their relationships and whether they were aware of SCF's alleged ties to Kremlin propaganda efforts aimed at kneecapping U.S. energy in order to enrich and empower Russia.

Specifically, letters were sent to the League of Conservation Voters, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the Sierra Club — all of which were identified by E&C as "as top recipients of Sea Change grants since 2006" — asking the organizations:

  • To identify the total amount of funding they received from Sea Change since 2006.
  • To identify the specific efforts the funding was designed to support.
  • To disclose if they are aware of concerns that Sea Change may be a conduit for Russian funding.
  • If they currently or ever have received funds from the Russian government or anyone connected with the Russian government.
  • If they have taken any action at the request of the Russian government or anyone connected with the Russian government.
  • Due to the recent bilateral pact between Russia and China on defeating sanctions, if they have received funds from the Chinese Communist Party or taken any action on their behalf.

As the E&C letter to the Sierra Club notes, "Publicly available information suggests that Russian President Vladimir Putin funds certain environmental non-governmental organization (e-NGOs) around the world to create fear among other nations' use of hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") to ensure dependence on Russian gas."

"Any action by President Putin, the Russian government, or Putin's allies to undermine American energy security must be addressed," the letter explains. "Accordingly, to assist in our effort to uncover any attempt by Russia to weaken America, we ask that you please provide responses no later than March 25, 2022."

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