EXCLUSIVE: Ex-Biden Admin Official Hit With Ethics Complaint After Allegedly Funneling Billions To His Current Org

(Photo by Rick Friedman/Corbis via Getty Images)

Daily Caller News Foundation logo
Nick Pope Contributor
Font Size:

A government watchdog filed an ethics complaint Thursday against a former Biden administration official who sits on the board of an organization that received billions in taxpayer cash.

Protect the Public’s Trust asked the U.S. Office of Government Ethics and the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) inspector general’s office to investigate long-time Democratic insider David Hayes and his relation to the EPA’s massive Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF) program, citing the Daily Caller News Foundation’s past reporting.

The complaint centers on Hayes’ position on the board of the Coalition for Green Capital (CGC), an organization that ultimately received billions of dollars from the GGRF after Hayes left his job in the Biden White House as a climate adviser in 2022.

“Based on recent reporting, there is reason to believe that former White House Special Assistant to the President for Climate Policy David Hayes may have breached his ethics obligations by engaging in influence peddling to funnel billions of dollars in Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund funds to an organization where he serves as board member,” the complaint states. “To uphold the integrity of the White House and the EPA, avoid a loss of public trust in the government’s mission and impartiality, and ensure tens of billions of dollars of taxpayer dollars are not misdirected for private gain, we request that you immediately investigate Mr. Hayes’s conduct.” (RELATED: Biden EPA Giving Millions To ‘Immigrant Justice’ Groups Registering, ‘Mobilizing’ Dem-Leaning Voting Bloc)

PPT Ethics Complaint Re Dav… by Nick Pope

The GGRF is a $27 billion program endowed by the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), the Biden administration’s signature climate legislation. The funding is meant to subsidize efforts to reduce emissions, according to the EPA.

The CGC’s slice of the GGRF came from the National Clean Investment Fund, a $14 billion pot shelled out to groups like the CGC that will use the money to provide green energy projects with affordable financing.

“The optics of Mr. Hayes’s entrance into the Biden administration and departure from it are troubling,” the ethics complaint states. “Mr. Hayes left CGC’s board for a relatively brief stint in the White House and presumably worked at the highest level on the very GGRF program from which CGC sought funding upon his return. This timing is suspect considering CGC itself publicly announced his return to its board as part of its effort to obtain GGRF funding.”

The DCNF reported in November 2023 that the rumored shortlist for GGRF awardees included several organizations laden with Democratic Party insiders or affiliates of Democrats’ institutional allies. Months later, the EPA announced that the CGC took home $5 billion from the program.

Before his stint in the Biden administration, Hayes was the deputy secretary at the Department of the Interior for both the Clinton and Obama administrations, according to a biography page on the New York University School of Law’s website. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: GOP Lawmakers Demand Answers From Biden Admin On Massive Grants For ‘Environmental Justice’ Program)

“This greendoggle is precisely the type of situation that has helped destroy the public’s trust in its government. Hayes’s own description of his work at the White House sounds like he helped create the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund program,” Michael Chamberlain, executive director of Protect the Public’s Trust, told the DCNF. “And by some combination of incredible coincidence and amazingly good fortune, the organization he left to serve on the board of somehow ends up getting $5 billion from that program. It just doesn’t pass the smell test. Protect the Public’s Trust and others have been sounding alarms about the potential for abuse of the massive GGRF program for over a year. Each time more information emerges about its details and implementation, we find our concerns are more than justified.”

Other insiders on the CGC’s board include Cecilia Martinez, the Bezos Earth Fund’s chief of environmental and climate justice and a former official in the Biden White House and Julie Greene Collier, a former employee at the Democratic National Committee and the Biden administration who is now chief of staff for the American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations, a major labor organization that is poised to be a key institutional supporter of Biden’s reelection campaign.

The EPA has emphasized in prior correspondence with the DCNF that the GGRF funds were administered with “significant oversight and rigor,” and that the agency has “built in a host of post-award requirements for grantees to manage the risks of fraud, waste, and abuse.” Congressional Republicans have also moved to probe the GGRF after the DCNF reported on the program and its awardees.

The EPA and the White House did not respond immediately to requests for comment. The DCNF contacted the CGC seeking comment on Hayes’ behalf, but the organization did not respond immediately to the inquiry.

All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact