Is China really influencing U.S. energy and environmental policies? And if the communist country is, how so?
It’s what Oklahoma Congressman Frank Lucas and other leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee want to explore.
Lucas, along with Reps. Cathy McMorris (WA) who chairs the House Energy and Commerce Committee and Bruce Westerman (AR) who chairs the House Natural Resources Committee, sent a letter to Energy Foundation China President Zi Chou with some questions.
They asked for documents about grants and financial resources provided to American organizations. The request comes after reports that EFC is funneling money to support US-based climate initiatives.
“China has already attempted to influence United States policy and opinion regarding China through covert influence and exploit perceived societal divisions. As such, we are alarmed by reports of China-affiliated organizations attempting to influence United States energy policy,” they wrote, pointing out how China already dominates global renewable energy product supply chains for batteries, solar panels and electrolyzers.
Their concern rose after the Office of the Director of National Intelligence observed that China’s dominance in the markets “could pose a significant risk to U.S. and Western manufacturing and consumer sectors “if the Government of China was able to adeptly leverage its dominance for political or economic gain.”
Among the requests by Rep. Lucas and others was information about all grants and financial assistance to U.S. organizations since 2019, the amount, purpose and all activities financed by the grants and all contracts or agreements regarding the grants.
- EFC is a Beijing-headquartered organization with a stated mission of furthering China’s sustainable energy development and employs staff with significant ties to the Chinese Government.
- EFC’s President and CEO previously served as Deputy Director General of China’s National Center for Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation, under the Chinese government’s National Development and Reform Commission.
- EFC’s Environmental Management Program director, Mr. Liu Xin, previously served as Deputy Director of the Regional Air Quality Management Division of the Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau.
- Prior to 2019, the organization operated jointly with the United States Energy Foundation.
- EFC has awarded substantial funding to other organizations seeking to shape United States energy policy.
- According to tax records, in 2021, EFC provided $195,000 to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) “to support education, analysis, and outreach to build a clean energy future.”
- In 2021, EFC also gave the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) $820,000 to, among other things, “support education and analysis to phase out coal.”
- The RMI has produced a study that it and other advocates for electrification have cited in pushing to eliminate the use of gas stoves.
- The Department of Energy cited this study in one of its recent energy efficiency proposed rulemakings, and Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm also posted it to her account on X, formerly known as Twitter, stating that Americans would have greater access to electric and induction cooktops.
CLICK HERE to read the full letter.