‘Follow The Money’: Steve Scalise Vows To Investigate ‘Radical Environmental Groups’

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House Majority Leader Steve Scalise said Tuesday that the House GOP would investigate the funding sources of “radical environmental groups” that he alleged abused environmental regulations to limit U.S. energy production at a panel hosted by the America First Policy Institute.

“Follow the money, which countries are benefiting by shutting down American production?” asked Scalise. “There’s some bad actors around the world. But if you look at what they do they’ll … abuse the Endangered Species Act and then go to the [Environmental Protection Agency], they’ll go to the [Army] Corps of Engineers. And they’re gaming the system to kill a project that takes you seven, eight years to get the permit.”

Several prominent environmental groups, including The Sierra Club and the World Resources Institute, have well-documented ties to foreign funding sources.

Several high-level staff at the Chinese office of the National Resource Defense Center (NRDC), a prominent environmental group that has connections with the Biden administration, either previously worked for the Chinese government or left the NRDC to take up a position with the government, according to an investigation by Fox News. The organization told Fox that U.S.-based executives have final say regarding any policy positions it took, even those in China.

In February, the Rocky Mountain Institute, a non-profit with links to China, received roughly $750,000 from the Biden administration to “create a roadmap” for electric vehicle electrification infrastructure in California. RMI was a co-author of the December 2022 study that motivated the Biden administration’s consideration of a ban on gas stoves.

In June 2022, a coalition of environmental groups sued to block a Wyoming oil drilling project using the novel argument that the process would release carbon dioxide, which would harm endangered species around the world, according to The New York Times.

Republican Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy has previously said he would support investigations into alleged relationships between environmental groups and foreign entities like China, according to Axios.

Scalise’s comments came after Republican Rep. Bruce Westerman of Arkansas questioned the “political ping pong” of successive Democratic and Republican administrations denying and approving permits for infrastructure projects. A streamlined permitting process for energy infrastructure — including green energy projects — has been a core component of the GOP’s pitch for its major energy package, known as H.R. 1 or the Lower Energy Costs Act. (Inflation Reduction? Dems’ Climate Spending Spree Could Cost $1.2 Trillion, Analysts Say)

“The Obama administration pulled the lease on the Twin Metals project, the Trump administration put it back in place,” said Westerman, referencing a proposed mine in Minnesota. “The Biden administration pulled the lease … What does that signal to investors? … It’s death by a thousand cuts. But that mine in Minnesota has the largest deposit of cobalt, it has nickel, platinum and palladium and copper, and with all the money in the [Inflation Reduction Act] and everything, the left’s looking at creating a non-carbon economy, that mine is absolutely essential, yet they pulled the lease on it.”

Scalise’s office did not immediately respond to a Daily Caller News Foundation request for comment.

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