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Biden’s sweeping climate agenda quietly shaped by left-wing group under investigation

Biden’s sweeping climate agenda quietly shaped by left-wing group under investigation


ByGabe Kaminsky

A left-wing organization accused of potentially violating antitrust law is quietly influencing the Biden administration’s push to enact expansive green energy policies, records show.

Ceres, a Boston-based environmental charity accepting large checks from undisclosed sources, says it works through “powerful networks and global collaborations of investors, companies, and nonprofits,” to support federal rules taking aim at the fossil fuels industry. That nonprofit group, which faced a subpoena in June from the House Judiciary Committee over whether it unlawfully facilitated collusion with major corporations, has spent more than $1 million on lobbying in recent years, all while working to shape a new climate disclosure proposal that energy groups argue is unpopular and a free-market overreach, according to documents reviewed by the Washington Examiner.

The ties between Ceres and the government underscore how the Biden administration relies on liberal activist hubs to work on passing unprecedented laws that, in the eyes of Republicans and conservative groups, could lead to national security risks due to the potential that their implementation could lead to a widespread crackdown on appliances reliant on oil and gas. President Joe Biden launched the National Climate Task Force in 2021, and his administration has set aside billions of dollars for green energy initiatives, as well as put forth fossil-fuel restrictions that energy experts have equated to unjust power grabs.

Ceres, which was founded in 1989, notably manages a network with more than 220 institutional investors claiming to handle more than $46 trillion in assets to “accelerate the transition to a just, sustainable, net-zero emissions economy,” tax filings show. Ceres reported on its most recent tax filing, which covers the period between November 2021 and October 2022, that the group raised $26.5 million, with two anonymous grantees apparently providing 35% of that sum. The charity has also taken millions of dollars in recent years from New Venture Fund, a nonprofit organization managed by Arabella Advisors, the largest Democratic-allied dark money network in the United States. Arabella Advisors and its offshoots are under investigation by the Washington, D.C., attorney general over reported financial mismanagement allegations.

Members in the Ceres investor network, which includes investment firms such as Bain Capital and BlackRock, as well as public pension funds and foundations, have sought to “pressure stock exchanges and capital market regulators to improve climate and sustainability risk disclosure, and opportunities to advocate for stronger climate, clean energy and water policies at all levels of government,” according to an archived version of the Ceres website.

At the same time, Ceres has deployed its lobbyists to Washington to convince Congress, the Executive Office of the President, and agencies to support electric vehicle tax incentives, electric vehicle adoption, emissions reductions, and certain climate-related amendments in appropriations bills, among other matters, according to federal lobbying documents filed with the Senate and OpenSecrets, a nonpartisan research group.

And Ceres President Mindy Lubber notably has scored six visits to the White House since 2021, records show.