Several “green banks” with connections to the Biden administration may be in line to reap taxpayer dollars through several Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) programs, according to research conducted by Protect the Public’s Trust.
The EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF) features the National Clean Investment Fund, Clean Communities Investment Accelerator and Solar for All programs and will shell out a combined $27 billion in taxpayer funds, much of which will go to “green banks” that will finance various green energy projects. Several prospective awardees are staffed by politically connected officials from the Biden administration, and one has connections to the Obama administration, according to Protect the Public’s Trust.
“With $27 billion dollars sloshing around, the American public should be on high alert for waste, fraud and abuse,” Michael Chamberlain, director of Protect the Public’s Trust, said of his organization’s findings. “This is especially true in light of the incestuous associations of Washington’s regulators and prominent environmental special interests, the revolving door at EPA whirring fast enough to power a small city, and the seemingly never-ending incidents of lax ethics enforcement PPT has exposed at agencies such as EPA and the Department of Energy (DOE).” (RELATED: ‘Highly Irregular’: Biden EPA Invited Well-Connected Green Groups To Chat About $20 Billion Fund, Emails Show)
Biden admin’s National Climate Adviser Gina McCarthy says “climate change is “the most significant public health challenge of our time.”
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The D.C. Green Bank’s CEO, Trisha Miller, was until recently a senior director in the White House Domestic Climate Policy Office, while a board member, Deborah Loomis, currently serves in a presidentially appointed post as a senior advisor to the Secretary of the Navy for Climate Change, according to their LinkedIn profiles.
“All applications submitted to the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund competitions will be put through a rigorous evaluation and selection process in line with the high standards of EPA’s Competition Policy, which ensures that the competitive process for EPA funds remains fair and impartial,” an EPA spokesperson told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Additionally, the chair of the board, Brandi Colander, used to be the deputy assistant secretary for Land and Minerals Management within the Department of the Interior for the Obama administration, and was also former deputy general counsel for the White House Council on Environmental Quality during the Obama years, according to her LinkedIn profile.
There are several other “green banks” that employ personnel tied to the Biden administration that may end up receiving GGRF cash, according to Protect the Public’s Trust. Jon Monger, formerly the assistant deputy administrator of the EPA, now serves on the board of the Montgomery County Green Bank, located in Montgomery County, Maryland, according to his LinkedIn profile.
“We applied for funding as a potential sub-recipient, and specific to the GGRF priority investment areas in our geography,” a spokesperson for the Montgomery County Green Bank told the DCNF. “We do have an expectation that funding will be awarded in our market to catalyze these types of projects, but that could be with us or local partner institutions,” the spokesperson continued, adding that “there is a robust governance structure around approvals for funding, products, procurement, transactions, and audit that limit the ability of undue influence and conflicts of interest.”
Gwen Yamamoto Lau is the executive director of the Hawaii Green Infrastructure Authority, Hawaii’s green bank, according to her LinkedIn profile. Lau also sits on the EPA’s Environmental Financial Advisory Board, according to an EPA press release from July 2022.
The White House, the D.C. Green Bank, the Connecticut Green Bank and the Hawaii Green Infrastructure Authority all did not respond immediately to requests for comment.
This article has been updated with comment from the EPA.
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