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How Russia Reportedly Funded Attacks on U.S. Energy Independence


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Any policy that compromises U.S. energy independence favors Russia, Iran, and China. From his first days in the White House, Biden weakened American oil production and froze future oil and gas exploitation. In another column, I mentioned visible business relations between the Russian gas company Gazprom and environmentalist politicians who made Europe dependent on Russian gas.

But in Washington too many accusations of collusion with Russia by Democratic politicians have turned out to be false, so the independent press will be suspicious that by pointing to Kremlin financing of the “green” Democratic left, the Republicans will resort to the same trick.

Recall that on February 15 Michael Goodwin explained in his New York Post column how the mainstream media still denies Hillary Clinton’s responsibility over the “Russia’s hoax” against Trump, detailed by Gregg Jarrett in his book The Russia Hoax: The Illicit Scheme to Clear Hillary Clinton and Frame Donald Trump.

On March 18, the New York Post pointed to the 51 intelligence experts who labeled the corruption traces found on a Hunter Biden laptop as “Russian disinformation“, noting that even the New York Times finally admitted that the laptop was real.

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a plenary session during the REW 2021 Russian Energy Week international forum at the Manege Central Exhibition Hall in Moscow, Russia, 13 October 2021. The forum takes place from 13 to 14 October. (Russia, Moscow) EFE/EPA/SERGEI ILNITSKY / POOL

Republicans pointed to alleged Russian funding of Democratic environmentalism since 2017. A letter from Representatives Lamar Smith and Randy Weber to then-Treasury Secretary Steven Munchin indicated that Russia may be funding environmental opponents of U.S. energy independence through a front company in Bermuda. Merrill Matthews recalled in January in The Hill that that letter from Smith and Weber quoted then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton claiming in 2016 that:

 “We even confronted fake environmental groups, and I’m a big environmentalist, but these were funded by the Russians…”

Matthews also pointed out that:

“…environmental groups have had some success with their efforts against fracking. New York, Washington and Maryland have banned fracking. California Governor Gavin Newsom issued an executive order last year banning fracking in the state by 2024.”

With or without Russian money behind it, the current “green” policy increases inflationary government spending, destroys energy independence, and impoverishes Americans. In March, Republican Representatives Jim Banks and Bill Johnson sent another letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen asking her to investigate alleged Russian funding to U.S. “green groups.” The letter states that Russian money would flow from a Bermuda shell company to the Sea Change Foundation—a 501(c)(3) nonprofit—and from there to environmentalists and Democratic politicians.

As an American 501(c)(3) foundation, Sea Change must disclose what funds it received from the Bahamas, but a Bahamian company or trust is not required to disclose the source of its funds. The Banks and Johnson letter states that:

“According to Sea Change’s tax filings, in 2010 the group received $23 million, half of its annual contributions, from a Bahamian shell corporation linked to the Russian government. Sea Change then passed that money on to groups like the Sierra Club and the Center for American Progress that lobbied politically against fracking (…) In 2020, the Center for American Progress donated more than $800,000 exclusively to Democratic groups and politicians and the Sierra Club Independent Action spent $3 million $700,000 supporting Democratic candidates.”

Rep. Banks stated on Fox News that:

“…thanks to Biden’s war on domestic energy, U.S. oil production has fallen 10%, driving up prices, enriching and emboldening Putin before he invaded Ukraine (…) Unlike Russia’s deception, Putin’s malign influence on our energy sector is real and deserves further investigation.”

According to Banks and Johnson, influential environmental organizations reportedly received a total of $10 million a year from the American Sea Change Foundation, whose representatives and beneficiaries denied to Fox News that they had received Russian-sourced funds.

Guillermo Rodríguez is a professor of Political Economy in the extension area of the Faculty of Economic and Administrative Sciences at Universidad Monteávila, in Caracas. A researcher at the Juan de Mariana Center and author of several books // Guillermo es profesor de Economía Política en el área de extensión de la Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Administrativas de la Universidad Monteávila, en Caracas, investigador en el Centro Juan de Mariana y autor de varios libros

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