Lucas questions influence of environmental activist groups on Biden administration


Just how much influence do environmental activist groups carry with the Biden White House? Are they in essence writing some of the controversial new rules?

It’s a question Oklahoma Congressman Frank Lucas wants answered in his capacity as chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. California Republican Rep. Jay Obernolte, chair of the Investigations and Oversight Subcommittee, joined Lucas is sending letters as part of the investigation into the Biden Administration’s efforts to divert regulatory authority to environmental activist organizations.

This follows the Committee’s recent preliminary investigation memo detailing substantial evidence of inappropriate influence and conflicts of interest baked into a Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council’s proposed rule.

In the first letter, Lucas and Obernolte write to Chair Brenda Mallory of the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), requesting clarification regarding public statements made by CEQ. In these statements, Mallory disputed the Committee’s findings but failed to produce any evidence to substantiate CEQ’s claims.

When pressed by Chairman Obernolte at a recent House hearing, Chair Mallory doubled down stating the findings were “unfounded” and that the Committee only “released information on a narrow set of stakeholders, who were involved when we did a broad review of the stakeholders involved.”

However, Lucas and Obernolte refute this claim in the letter.

“To be clear, the Committee never received any documents from CEQ showing a broad review of other stakeholders. The documents the Committee received from CEQ show that CDP and SBTi were the only groups that CEQ engaged with in communications regarding standard setting and validation.”

“If more documents do exist, as you now claim, then CEQ intentionally withheld these documents from the Committee. Please clarify if CEQ has indeed withheld important information from the Committee, and, if so, please provide all relevant information and documents to the Committee immediately,” the Members concluded.

In the second letter sent to Ms. Sherry Madera, Chief Executive Officer of the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), Lucas and Obernolte request information regarding CDP’s involvement with CEQ and efforts to influence the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council to write the federal acquisition regulations to unfairly benefit favored environmental activist groups. CDP stands to benefit the most from the proposed rule, which would require all public disclosures of greenhouse gas emissions to be made through CDP and the validation of these targets to be conducted by a former CDP subsidiary, SBTi.

“According to documents obtained by the Committee, at least one senior official at CEQ working on this proposed rule was a previous employee of CDP and steered the rule’s drafting to benefit CDP,” the Members stated. “Several emails between CDP staff and CEQ show that CDP was aware of these potential conflicts of interest and appears to have leveraged them for its benefit.”

Lucas and Obernolte want a response by no later than February 28 of this year.

Read the letter to Chair Mallory here.

Read the letter to Ms. Madera here.