Two GOP lawmakers sent a letter to an environmental group Wednesday requesting documents and information regarding work done with foreign organizations and Japan.
GOP Reps. Rob Bishop of Utah and Bruce Westerman of Arkansas signed the letter to the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD). Both members hold senior positions on the House Natural Resources Committee, Bishop as chairman and Westerman as the chairman of one of its subcommittees.
SCBD has worked with foreign organizations, environmental groups and the Japanese government to advocate against relocating a U.S. military base in Okinawa and other operations since 2003. CBD’s work and connections to foreign entities may require the organization to register as a foreign agent under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) or risk breaking federal law, the legislators warned.
“CBD appears to have arranged meetings with U.S. politicians and their representatives, held press conferences, and coordinated other publicity events in support of foreign anti-base activists, environmental groups, and members the Okinawan government opposed to the U.S. military’s presence,” the letter said. “The Committee seeks clarification about the nature of CBD’s advocacy work to influence U.S. environmental and natural resources policy in light of CBD’s close relationship with Okinawan government officials and foreign environmental groups.”
There are exceptions that may keep some organizations from needing to register as a foreign agent; however, CBD likely does not qualify for one, according to the congressmen. (RELATED: Top House Democrat Took $50K From Taxpayers To Keep A Former Staffer Quiet)
CBD has connections with one of the top Democrats on the House Natural Resources Committee. Democratic Rep. Raúl Grijalva of Arizona sits on CBD’s advisory board to its Climate Law Institute.
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