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In a shocking turn of events, the president of the venerable Brookings Institution was forced to resign. John Allen wasn’t alleged to have stolen money from the group or engaging in sexual harassment. But what he did is nonetheless troubling, and that violation could be the first of similar ethical questions soon facing liberal groups.

Allen is under federal investigation for suspicion that he lobbied for the government of Qatar without filing the proper paperwork as required under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).

There may be similar uncomfortable questions about FARA violations leveled at establishment green groups. If there’s a conservative takeover of Congress in the upcoming elections, those poised to assume key positions on Capitol Hill promise to rekindle scrutiny they tried to enforce in the past.

An article by Kevin Mooney for the Daily Signal noted that conservative members of Congress plan to “reactivate investigations into the relationship between hostile foreign governments and activists who oppose American energy production” next year.

National Center Senior Fellow Bonner Cohen, Ph.D., cited in the article, told Mooney that this “would contrast sharply with recent House hearings targeting American energy companies.”

While the current liberal leadership of Congress has called out fossil fuel producers in a series of hearings titled “Fueling the Climate Crisis,” House conservatives want to restart investigations into the relationships between groups including the Natural Resources Defense Council, Center for Biological Diversity and World Resources Institute and Communist China. The reason is to discover the extent their advocacy against legacy energy production may be based on the goals of foreign governments.

Prior to 2019, before the congressional leadership changed leadership, House conservatives pressed these groups to explain their relationships with the Chinese government and explain why they were not filing FARA paperwork. Liberal National Resources Committee chairman Raul Grijalva squashed committee conservative’s inquiries. Previous inquiries were also ignored.

Bonner said that, if the concerns of House conservatives turn out to be true, environmentalists’ influence over energy policy would be “far beyond” just FARA violations. He said:

Their collective disdain for the people who will bear the burden of energy poverty is matched by their complete indifference to the geopolitical consequences of their actions. As evidence surfaced a few years ago of cozy relationships between American environmental groups and foreign powers, notably China and Russia, that stood to benefit from “keep it in the ground” policies in the U.S., the House launched investigations into this under-the-radar collusion.

Those investigations, which were bearing fruit, came to a screeching halt after Democrats took power in the House in January 2019. In light of soaring energy prices in the U.S. (and elsewhere in the world), those investigations should be reopened if the House changes hands in January.

This should go far beyond violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act. The entire network of interlocking relationships involving environmental groups, purveyors of renewable energy, foreign powers, woke corporations pushing ESG [environmental, social and governance] agendas, and Wall Street firms seeking to redirect capital from fossil-fuel producers to taxpayer-subsidized wind and solar power in which they are heavily invested needs to be exposed.

A congressional staff member told Mooney: “Certainly, we will keep up this drumbeat if we take back the House in November as well, particularly given these organizations’ general opposition to American energy independence.”

To read all of the this Daily Signal article – “House Republicans Ready for New Scrutiny of Biden Climate Goals, Green Foreign Agents” – click here.

Author: David Almasi