Republicans demand answers on Putin’s ‘dark money’ to allegedly fund ‘rabid environmental groups’

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Putin has been accused of promoting and funding environmental groups for years in order to discourage energy independence in Europe and the U.S. so Russia could capitalize on the need for oil and gas and strengthen the communist nation’s stranglehold on the continent.

U.S. leaders are now demanding answers on how deep Russia’s ties are within the environmental community and how that has impacted not only Europe but the United States as well.

“The Russians actually fund some of the most rabid environmental groups in Europe because they sic them on the energy projects that aren’t Russian,” James Carafano, who is the vice president of the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy at the Heritage Foundation, told Fox News Digital in an interview over the phone.

It has long been believed by European leaders that Russia is using a disinformation campaign in connection to environmental groups to discourage fracking so that countries will be forced to turn to them for oil.

“I have met allies who can report that Russia, as part of their sophisticated information and disinformation operations, engaged actively with so-called non-governmental organizations – environmental organizations working against shale gas – to maintain European dependence on imported Russian gas,” Anders Fogh Rasmussen, who is the former prime minister of Denmark and then-secretary-general of NATO, asserted, according to the Guardian.

“We don’t go into the details of discussions among allied leaders, but Russia has been using a mix of hard and soft power in its attempt to recreate a sphere of influence, including through a campaign of disinformation on many issues, including energy. In general, the potential for Russia using energy supplies as a means of putting pressure on European nations is a matter of concern. No country should use supply and pricing terms as tools of coercion,” an unnamed NATO official told the Guardian back in 2014.

In other words, Russia has weaponized energy to be used in its effort to wield power over Europe and the United States while environmental groups have steadfastly denied the mounting allegations.

“The idea we’re puppets of Putin is so preposterous that you have to wonder what they’re smoking over at NATO HQ,” Greenpeace reportedly noted to the Guardian in 2014.

Despite the denials, Russia’s tactics have been working. As of 2016, Scotland, Bulgaria, and The Netherlands had all banned fracking to one extent or another. Russia currently supplies roughly 40 percent of Europe’s national gas supply. It is no surprise that they don’t want to anger Russia even though they fear Putin and are terrified of what he is doing in Ukraine.

“You’re not really an independent nation if you depend on foreign countries so heavily for your energy supplies,” Michael Shellenberger, who is the best-selling author of “Apocalypse Never,” told Fox News.

“Europe produced more natural gas than Russia” fifteen years ago but that all changed as “Russia increased its natural gas production and Europe reduced it,”  Shellenberger remarked.

“Europe decided not to frack in large part in response to climate activists,” he noted. “We now think there is strong evidence suggesting [the climate activists] were supported directly through financing from Russia.”

Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee are now demanding answers from three environmental groups over alleged ties to Russia.

The Republicans, who are led by Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, want the League of Conservation Voters, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the Sierra Club to disclose their ties to a San Francisco-based nongovernmental organization that Russian President Vladimir Putin allegedly uses to heavily influence energy production in the United States.

“Provided the public reporting of Putin’s dark money influence in Europe and the concerns surrounding similar efforts in the United States, we write today to explore your connections with Sea Change,” a letter from the Republicans states. “Any action by President Putin, the Russian government, or Putin’s allies to undermine American energy security must be addressed.”

Naturally, the groups denied any ties to Russia, claiming the accusations are “completely false” and are “rooted in a smear campaign,” and a phony “conspiracy theory.”

“It is vital to our national security to know if Vladimir Putin, the Russian government, or Putin’s allies are meddling with America’s energy affordability and security. If the League of Conservation Voters, the Natural Resources Defense Council, or Sierra Club have nothing to hide, then we look forward to seeing the evidence they provide by March 25th,” Rodgers said, according to Fox News.

Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen Friday that refers to a 2015 Washington Free Beacon report suggesting that the California-based Sea Change Foundation may allegedly be assisting Russian oil interests in funneling money to groups such as the League of Conservation Voters (LCV), the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the Sierra Club, and the Center for American Progress, according to Fox News.

“Russia spent millions promoting anti-energy policies and politicians in the U.S.,” Banks said in a statement. “Now, thanks to Biden’s war on domestic energy, U.S. oil production has dropped 10%, pushing up prices and enriching and emboldening Putin before he invaded Ukraine. Unlike the Russia hoax, Putin’s malign influence on our energy sector is real and deserves further investigation.”

RSC Letter to Treasury on R… by Fox News


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