Tags: environmental community | house republicans | foreign governments

GOP Probe Targets Green Groups Over Foreign Ties

GOP Probe Targets Green Groups Over Foreign Ties
House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop

By    |   Wednesday, 27 June 2018 09:22 AM

Representing a new front in the battle between the GOP and the environmental community, House Republicans are insinuating that some green groups are illegally advocating for foreign governments, The Hill reported on Wednesday.

House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop and Rep. Bruce Westerman have launched an investigation and have written letters to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) demanding documents they say would prove whether the groups are foreign agents.

The documentation requested includes any payments NRDC has received from Chinese officials, as well as documentation of its registration as a "foreign agent" or an explanation of why it should not be registered as required by law for those who lobby on behalf of a foreign government, according to inside climate news.

The probe come as green groups such as the NRDC and the CBD have taken on major roles in lobbying and litigating against the agenda of President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans, The Hill reported.

In a letter to the NRDC, Bishop and Westerman question NRDC’s ties with China, where it has a significant presence. They say the group has helped Beijing with "perception management efforts” related to reducing pollution and how the world views China environmentally, insisting that “The NRDC’s relationship with China has many of the criteria identified by U.S. intelligence agencies and law enforcement as putting an entity at risk of being influenced or coerced by foreign interests."

The NRDC insists it is working in the interests of the United States, not those of China, with the group’s director of strategic engagement Bob Deans telling The Hill that "NRDC is a public interest group, working at the behest of our senior leadership, to advance the long-established national interest in protecting the environment and public health. Any suggestion to the contrary is false."

He added that the group is working in China along with hundreds of other NGOs because, as the world’s most populous country, its role in the global environment is significant.

The Republican probe is also focusing on efforts by the CBD to stop the Marine Corps from relocating an air station in Okinawa, Japan, saying that is an example of the group working on behalf of a foreign government.

CBD executive director Kierán Suckling rejected those charges, saying Rep. Bishop is "using our very reasonable opposition to the Department of Defense breaking environmental laws as a publicity stunt, as a way to malign and attack environmentalists who are opposed to the Republican agenda."

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Representing a new front in the battle between the GOP and the environmental community, House Republicans are insinuating that some green groups are illegally advocating for foreign governments, The Hill reported on Wednesday.
environmental community, house republicans, foreign governments
419
2018-22-27
Wednesday, 27 June 2018 09:22 AM
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