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GOP Rep. Jim Banks demands Biden investigate whether Russia is backing activist climate groups in the US

  • IRS filings allegedly show a shell company that’s heavily connected to Russian oil interests donated $23 million in 2010 and 2011 to a San Francisco group
  • The group, Sea Change, distributed $100 million in grant money to four prominent US-based environmentalist organizations during that time
  • Banks’ letter to the Treasury Department is similar to one sent by two House Republicans in 2017, demanding it investigate if Russia is funding US green aims
  • In 2014 NATO ex-secretary-general said Russia was funding environmental non-governmental organizations in Europe to maintain its dependence on Moscow
  • Hillary Clinton reportedly said during a private speech in 2014: ‘We were even up against phony environmental groups … these were funded by the Russians’ 
  • Russia’s attack on Ukraine threw the global gas supply chain into chaos
  • Biden said it should motivate the US to ‘accelerate’ transition to clean energy 

Republican Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana is demanding the Biden administration investigate allegations that Russia had backed far-left environmental groups in a letter sent late last week.

GOP lawmakers have been sounding the alarm on such claims since at least 2017, though they gained fresh urgency after Russian President Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine in late February.

The unprovoked and brutal attack threw the global energy supply chain into chaos, with the price of fuel reaching crippling record-highs in the US and Europe in recent days.

The invasion also revamped the Biden administration’s push toward clean energy as a more permanent and long term solution to depending on unsavory international actors for oil.

Moscow’s aim in allegedly funneling cash to green groups is to undcut US fossil fuel production while maintaining Russia’s, whose economy depends more heavily on energy exports. The massive country is among the top oil and gas producers in the world.

Banks’ Friday letter, which is also signed by Reps. Bill Johnson of Ohio and Ted Budd of North Carolina, points to a 2015 Washington Free Beacon report that alleges a Bermuda-based shell company with ties to Russian oil interests transferred $23 million to California group Sea Change Foundation in 2010 and 2011, citing IRS tax documents.

Sea Change also reportedly donated money to well-known organizations like the Sierra Club, the Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC), the League of Conservation Voters (LCV), and the Center for American Progress during those years.

‘Russia spent millions promoting anti-energy policies and politicians in the U.S.,’ Banks told Fox News, who first published the letter.

‘Now, thanks to Biden’s war on domestic energy, U.S. oil production has dropped 10%, pushing up prices and enriching and emboldening Putin before he invaded Ukraine.

‘Unlike the Russia hoax, Putin’s malign influence on our energy sector is real and deserves further investigation.’

Banks’ letter also highlights a private 2014 speech given by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in which she says: ‘We were even up against phony environmental groups, and I’m a big environmentalist, but these were funded by the Russians.’