It was recently reported that U.S. groups that receive money funneled from Russia would have to register as foreign agents under new legislation Republicans plan to introduce Tuesday to take aim at green energy groups.
Rep. Ted Budd, R-N.C., authored the “Countering Russian Influence in our Politics Act” that would require U.S. organizations that receive funding from Russia to register as foreign agents under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).
“The prospect of Russia funneling money to U.S. environmental groups to do Russia’s bidding and actively oppose U.S. energy is a dangerous form of interference in our politics,” Budd said in a statement to Fox News Digital. “It is time to shine a light on how and why green energy groups undermine American energy dominance, destroy American jobs, and weaken America on the world stage.”
The legislation — which has little chance of success with Democrats in control of Congress — seeks to address a belief among Republicans that Russia has been secretly funneling money to U.S. environmental groups that advocate against domestic oil and gas production in an effort to do President Vladimir Putin‘s bidding to undermine U.S. energy security. The environmental groups and funders have strongly denied they receive any Russian money.
Under Budd’s legislation, organizations that may receive donations coming from Russia and from Russia-backed separatist governments in Ukraine would be subjected to a host of disclosure and reporting requirements when classified as a foreign agent.
For groups that have specifically advocated against domestic energy production, the bill imposes a requirement to report all Russian donations since the Crimean invasion in 2014.
Budd’s legislation comes after House Energy and Commerce Committee Republicans called on certain environmental groups to disclose their ties to a non-governmental organization which is, according to the committee, reportedly used by Putin to make an impact on American energy production.
Three environmental groups — the League of Conservation Voters (LCV), the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Sierra Club — allegedly have ties to the San Francisco-based NGO environmental organization called the Sea Change Foundation, according to Republicans on the committee.
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Budd, Reps. Jim Banks, R-Ind., and Bill Johnson, R-Ohio, sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on March 11 that cites a 2015 report that suggested the California-based Sea Change Foundation may be a conduit for Russian oil interests in funneling money to the League of Conservation Voters (LCV), the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the Sierra Club and the Center for American Progress.