House lawmakers have added another twist to the ongoing congressional Russia investigation by asking the Treasury Department to look into allegations Russia secretly funneled money to environmental groups opposed to oil and gas drilling.
Top Republicans want the Trump administration to investigate a Bermuda-based shell company that funneled money to a prominent environmental non-profit that’s given millions to anti-fracking activists. Media reports suggest the Bermuda shell company is tied to Russian oligarchs.
Republicans on the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin asking him to investigate “what appears to be a concerted effort by foreign entities to funnel millions of dollars through various non-profit entities to influence the U.S. energy market.”
“If you connect the dots, it is clear that Russia is funding U.S. environmental groups in an effort to suppress our domestic oil and gas industry, specifically hydraulic fracking,” Republican Texas Rep. Lamar Smith said in a statement.
Letter signatories Smith and Texas Rep. Randy Weber point to media reports of the U.S.-based environmental group, the Sea Change Foundation, taking $23 million from a Bermuda-based shell company with ties to Russian oligarchs in 2010 and 2011.