Two key House members call to investigate Russian 'collusion' with anti-fracking green groups

By Thomas Lifson, from American Thinker

[update, I scheduled this the previous night, and was unaware that Dave Middleton would publish the same story a few hours earlier….C’est la vie ~ctm]

Charges of “Russian collusion” may have opened Pandora’s Box for the environmentalist wing of the Democratic Party and the American left.  Republican congressman Lamar Smith, chairman of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, and energy subcommittee chairman Rep. Randy Weber have sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin, calling:

… on the Trump administration to investigate whether Russia is trying to undermine the U.S. energy industry by funding environmental activism as part of a “propaganda war against fossil fuels.”

They lay out the logic of the case:

Russia’s goal is to “suppress the widespread adoption of fracking in Europe and the U.S.,”

according to a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin from House Science, Space and Technology Committee chairman Lamar Smith and energy subcommittee chairman Randy Weber.

“If you connect the dots, it is clear that Russia is funding U.S. environmental groups in an effort to suppress our domestic oil and gas industry, specifically hydraulic fracking,” said Mr. Smith, Texas Republican, in a Friday statement.

“They have established an elaborate scheme that funnels money through shell companies in Bermuda,” he said. “This scheme may violate federal law and certainly distorts the U.S. energy market. The American people deserve to know the truth and I am confident Secretary Mnuchin will investigate the allegations.”

The Republicans said the panel is already conducting oversight into “what appears to be a concerted effort by foreign entities to funnel millions of dollars through various non-profit entities to influence the U.S. energy market.”

Certainly Russia has a motive. The widespread adoption of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling has fueled an energy boom in the United States that threatens Russian exports of oil and natural gas, which accounted for 68 percent of the country’s export revenue in 2013.

The letter pointed to reports that Russian entities may have funneled millions through a Bermuda shell company, Klein Ltd., to the Sea Change Foundation in San Francisco, which has in turn provided grants on anti-fracking groups like the Sierra Club and the League of Conservation Voters Education Fund.

Proving such a link is another matter. The letter acknowledged that the “Russian government and complicit parties have executed a political agenda with little or no paper trail.”

Full story here:

Letter to Secretary of the Treasury here


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July 12, 2017 6:08 pm

Two great Texans and great Americans.
Long may they wave!

Reply to  Gabro
July 12, 2017 9:51 pm

What ever happened to Lamar Smith’s subpoena effort seems to have gone very quiet since with no result.

The letter acknowledged that the “Russian government and complicit parties have executed a political agenda with little or no paper trail.”

Great, more zero evidence claims of Russian “interference”.

Old England
Reply to  Gabro
July 13, 2017 1:18 am

I wonder if they can persuade politicians in Europe to run similar investigations ….. since a numbre of nations, including Germany, have banned fracking … it would be interesting to explore the backstory to these and see where the impetus really came from.

Tom Halla
July 12, 2017 6:12 pm

A good deal of the political narrative in the US looks like projection. At least as far back as Teddy Kennedy or Jimmy Carter, various progressives were playing footsie with the Russians, so it is entirely plausible to them that the other side would do the same sort of thing.

Reply to  Tom Halla
July 12, 2017 6:15 pm

Ted Kennedy and Bill Clinton were and are indubitably guilty of treason. Trump, Sr and Jr, not so much.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Gabro
July 12, 2017 9:03 pm

Something to consider is the following: Trump has been accused of having ties to the Russians. If that was the case, why didn’t he just use his connections to get information to use against Clinton? If it was available to him through his alleged “ties,” there would have been no need for his son to try to find out if Clinton was engaged in ‘treasonous’ activities. Junior has stepped in it in his haste to help his father. However, it would seem that he has inadvertently made a case that the alleged “ties” to Russia are a figment of the imagination of sore losers.
If the Media had been doing its job, there might not have been a need for Junior to try to help his dad. Clinton seems to have inherited that infamous Teflon Suit, thanks to the Media not being objective, and working to support Clinton.
It is all a very sorry mess and the Media seems incapable of seeing that they have become a Fifth Column that has established an adversarial position against the duly elected government.

Tom Halla
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
July 12, 2017 9:14 pm

A good deal of Trump’s purported collaboration with Russian hacking was a rather heavy handed joke by Trump, that if someone was looking for Hillary Clinton’s missing emails, check with the Russians. That sort of deliberately missing sarcasm is a very familiar tactic of trolls and other classes of zealots.

Reply to  Gabro
July 13, 2017 8:49 am

Gabro, you might want to read up on one of the few laws specifically mentioned in the US Constitution, namely Treason.
The requirements that establish “treason” are rather specific and hard to achieve. This was done to counter the penchant of the then prevailing monarchies’ “Off with there heads!” attitudes.

Reply to  Tom Halla
July 12, 2017 6:54 pm

It is amazing how pathalogical liars are compelled to project their misdeads. Liberals, including my ex wife, will tell you exactly what they’re up to if you listen.

Michael darby
Reply to  Cube
July 12, 2017 6:59 pm

It is amazing how pathological liars are compelled to project their misdeeds.
Absolutely correct.
A perfect example is that 70 year old TV reality show guy with the dyed blonde hair that can “get away with it” cause he’s a star.

Reply to  Cube
July 12, 2017 8:21 pm

Well, I suppose I could have voted for a 70 year old who is so mindbogglingly stupid that it never occurred to her for years that using a private server for top secret documents might be a problem (or who knowingly violated the laws in that regard, and then repeatedly lied to us about it, take your pick ; ) and dyed her hare blond . .

Reply to  Cube
July 13, 2017 6:49 am

I really find it fascinating how reflexively you trolls hand on to the narrative, long after it’s been disproved and the rest of the world has begun laughing at you.

Reply to  Tom Halla
July 13, 2017 7:56 am

But collusion with the Russians is OK if it is against those nasty fossil fuels. Collusion is only bad if it runs counter to what green groups want.

July 12, 2017 6:22 pm

Great minds do think alike… 😉
Reply: I scheduled this last night. I’m not real happy about the same story coming up twice. I’ve been away from my desk for the last six hours and was unable to do anything about it. oh well.~ctm

Reply to  David Middleton
July 12, 2017 7:33 pm

Is there a way to merge the posts?

Reply to  David Middleton
July 12, 2017 9:00 pm

As was stated.

James Bull
Reply to  ossqss
July 13, 2017 3:40 am

C’est la guerre
James Bull

July 12, 2017 6:42 pm

Hope they go to jail.
Thank you charles the moderator
You’re doing a really great job

Reply to  chaamjamal
July 12, 2017 9:21 pm

I think so, too.

Reply to  chaamjamal
July 12, 2017 10:42 pm

I think so too, too ; ) . . . with a few possible exceptions ; )

Walter Sobchak
July 12, 2017 7:01 pm

The Arabs are also in the game. Al Gore being paid $100 million for a worthless TV network by Arab interests is not an accident.

Clay Sanborn
July 12, 2017 7:19 pm

This could turn out to be as big as ClimateGate emails, IF (and that is a big if) this is truly pursued to its logical end, and of course there is the purported collusion. But how have the Clintons gotten away with all they have.

Reply to  Clay Sanborn
July 13, 2017 6:50 am

The media doesn’t want to investigate the Clintons, since they have the same agenda.

July 12, 2017 7:33 pm

From the complete article:

The most consequential instance of collusion with leftist political groups was the antiwar movement of the 1960s and ’70s, which actually succeeded in forcing U.S. withdrawal and the fall of South Vietnam under the rule of the communist North regime. The role of communist agents was exposed when the Kremlin archives were opened up.

Walled cities would often surrender to Genghis Khan and others of his ilk because they knew the alternative was to be wiped from the face of the planet. The British won the Boer War by being absolutely ruthless. They invented concentration camps for the Boer civilians to deprive the fighters of support. link A few short years later, they couldn’t do the same sort of thing in southern Ireland and they lost there.
If you’re going to conquer a country, it helps if you are willing to kill everybody.
Vietnam was ‘special’. The guy selling you tea in the afternoon would be out sniping at you in the middle of the night. link
America could have won in Vietnam and the Soviets could have won in Afghanistan as long as they would have been willing to kill most of the populations. Asymmetrical warfare takes advantage of that. link
The threat of Soviet involvement was a big factor in Korea and the threat of Chinese involvement was a big factor in Vietnam. Did we really want to start WW3? Soviet undercover mischief probably had some effect in America, but I think the outcome would have been the same without it.

Reply to  commieBob
July 12, 2017 9:29 pm

“America could have won in Vietnam and the Soviets could have won in Afghanistan as long as they would have been willing to kill most of the populations.”
America did win in Vietnam and didn’t have to kill most of the population to do it. Then the anti-war Liberals took power in the U.S. and threw all the military gains away, and sentenced millions of innocent people to death and displacement in the process.
Kind of like what they did in Iraq when Obama withdrew American combat troops and allowed the Islamist Terror Army to rear its ugly head and go on to slaughter countless innocent people and displace millions.
Neither loss had to happen, but you can’t tell stupid Liberals anything. They haven’t a clue when it comes to national security, which they prove every time they get the reins. Trump is going to spend most of his first term cleaning up the messes Obama has left here and there.

Reply to  TA
July 13, 2017 6:53 am

For liberals it’s all about virtue signaling.
They don’t care what the results of their actions are, so long as they can strut their stuff at the next party.

Reply to  commieBob
July 13, 2017 6:52 am

The American’s had already won in S. Vietnam. You don’t have to kill the civilians, you merely have to convince them that you are the good guys, and it’s the other side who will kill your children in their sleep.

Marlo Lewis
Reply to  commieBob
July 13, 2017 12:30 pm

Hey CommieBob,
You quote from the article: “The most consequential instance of collusion with leftist political groups was the antiwar movement of the 1960s and ’70s, which actually succeeded in forcing U.S. withdrawal and the fall of South Vietnam under the rule of the communist North regime. The role of communist agents was exposed when the Kremlin archives were opened up.” I recall reading about that in the 1990s but don’t remember where. Have you seen a good source on that?

Reply to  Marlo Lewis
July 13, 2017 5:11 pm

There’s lots of evidence that it was real. There’s even a wiki page on it.

Russian GRU defector Stanislav Lunev said in his autobiography that “the GRU and the KGB helped to fund just about every antiwar movement and organization in America and abroad,” and that during the Vietnam War the USSR gave $1 billion to American anti-war movements, more than it gave to the VietCong … link

When I was a kid we were raised on the notion that our freedom was our strength. The Soviets might subvert some of the weak minded among us but we would prevail because of our freedom rather than in spite of it. We won the cold war … so QED.

Cold in Wisconsin
Reply to  commieBob
July 14, 2017 3:27 pm

Here is another perfect example from the Russian archives:
Ted Kennedy approached the Russians with the express intent to interfere in the 1984 presidential election. Liberal hypocrisy knows no bounds.
Now as to proving the Russian connection to the green groups, perhaps we can enlist the aid of Wikileaks or some talented hackers, Russian or American. They might not have left a paper trail, but that does not mean that there is no electronic trail.

July 12, 2017 7:42 pm

[update, I scheduled this the previous night, and was unaware that Dave Middleton would publish the same story a few hours earlier….C’est la vie ~ctm]

This post is a much better and more serious effort than my post.

July 12, 2017 8:09 pm

With 68% of their export income from petroleum, the Russians are desperate to keep the competition away from their prime markets. The leverage of the stranglehold on their customers is also immense, as they are proud to demonstrate on Ukraine from time to time.
As original sponsors of the anti-nuclear movements that eventually morphed to Green, they also suppress the development of the practical alternative energy sources.
Do we hope the Chinese develop practical Gen IV nuclear power and take over the Russian role….or not?

Reply to  Betapug
July 13, 2017 6:54 am

This fact alone argues that the Russians would have no interest in helping Trump win, since he was promising to take the shackles off of the American fossil fuels industries.

Crispin in Waterloo but really in Beijing
July 12, 2017 8:45 pm

The money finds its way through the US organisations to Canadian NGO’s that oppose pipelines. The Premier of B.C. decried the rent-a-mob personnel who show up at all demonstrations. They are paid, ultimately, by what appeared to be US funds.

July 12, 2017 9:10 pm

The first LNG from the U.S. arrived in Poland July 7. Much more to come.

Lewis p Buckingham
Reply to  siamiam
July 12, 2017 9:20 pm

An example of soft diplomacy.
By doing so Trump makes sure that the Poles are not hostage to Russian Oligarchs cutting off the gas and
by extension freeing them from Putin.
He bolsters a country, once the centre of the Warsaw pact, and gives it independence.
If this is conspiracy, it is not working in Russia’s favour.

Cliff Hilton
Reply to  siamiam
July 12, 2017 9:23 pm

I’m glad you folks there got that. Did it come from Texas or Louisiana?

Reply to  Cliff Hilton
July 12, 2017 9:32 pm

It came from a pipeline… portions of it probably came from several places. Even more so than crude oil, natural gas is a fungible product.

Reply to  siamiam
July 12, 2017 9:31 pm

“The first LNG from the U.S. arrived in Poland July 7.”

Moderately Cross of East Anglia
Reply to  TA
July 13, 2017 2:44 am

The Poles will also be delighted because if they were given a free hand they would tell Germany and its absurdly destabilising and costly green energy impositions on the EU to take a hike. Likelihood is that they may do so anyway along with a few other Eastern European countries where sanity still prevails.

Reply to  siamiam
July 13, 2017 2:43 am

First of many shipments of US shale ethane arrived in Scotland 28th September last year. Current policy here is very much anti fraccing amidst rampant ruinous greenism.
Stick that up your cooling towers, greenies.

July 12, 2017 9:21 pm

Hey !! What about when Trump gave away 20% of American Uranium to a Russian backed company ??
Oh wait, that was Hillary..
Well, what what about when Trump gave the Russians that big red RESET button ?
Oh wait, that was Hillary..
Ok, how about when Trump said ” I will have more flexibility when I win the next election” ??
Oh crap, that was Obama….
Never mind…..

George Tetley
Reply to  Butch2
July 13, 2017 1:52 am

oh ho Butch2, 100%

Reply to  Butch2
July 13, 2017 9:38 am

Actually, the button didn’t say “reset”; it said “overcharged”. Just another thing that Hillary screwed up.

Reply to  Taphonomic
July 13, 2017 5:26 pm

To call her Reset initiative sophomoric is an insult to high school students.

Pamela Gray
July 12, 2017 9:28 pm

This new darling media topic, “Evidence of Collusion” has now entered the twilight zone once occupied by the topic we all love, “Evidence of CO2 Global Warming Negative Effects” Pretty soon the media will report that Collusion will cause domestic pets to suddenly drop dead.

jim heath
July 12, 2017 9:28 pm

Let’s get this straight. The Republicans publish the complete email, and the Democrats don’t allow the FIB access to their computers and smash phones with hammers. Hmmmm. funny that.

Reply to  jim heath
July 12, 2017 9:33 pm

That’s the difference between someone who has nothing to hide and someone who does have something to hide.

July 12, 2017 9:29 pm

This story seems like an attempt to try and divert interest from possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. How else do you explain the fact that only now when Trump Jr. is at the centre of a media story do 2 republicans write a letter about allegations that first surfaced in 2011 and which were also reported widely in the media in 2014. Reading the letter there would appear to be no new facts that have arisen since the story was reported in 2014 so I would like to know why the letter was released today.

Reply to  Germinio
July 13, 2017 4:24 am

Look up the definition of “collusion.” “Collusion” would be if a police officer says to his daughter – “give me the social security number of this new guy you’re dating and I’ll run an (illegal) background check.” Collusion is not “Hey, I just heard some gossip on your new boyfriend, come on over and I’ll tell you about it,”

Reply to  Germinio
July 13, 2017 6:56 am

I’m still waiting for actual evidence of this so called collusion.
The most recent claim was regarding a woman who was only let into the country because of special efforts by the Obama administration. She also spent days with the Obama team and only a few hours with Trump Jr.

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  MarkW
July 13, 2017 3:20 pm

Chiefio did a nice deconstruction of the whole sordid mess at his blog. The nub is, whoever left the digital “fingerprints” at the scene of the crime was apparently using a tool set originating and widely distributed in Russia. Additionally, the site was so wide open for so long that every political entity on the planet made a copy. There is almost no way for the feebs to prove who actually passed the intel to Assange.

M Seward
July 12, 2017 9:50 pm

Have the loony, latte lapping, liberal left hooked them selves up to their own petard?
Will they go down in history as traitors, turncoats, quislings, ‘useful’ idiots… as the true “deplorables”?
Will THEY get spit roasted for being in bed with the Russians?
Will Gaia, vicious old bitch god that she is, shut the Sun down for a few years so we all freeze our arses off (well comparatively speaking) and the quisling filth get blamed for everything they have conspired about?
Too good to be true? Maybe but popcorn futures look prospective.

Pamela Gray
July 12, 2017 9:52 pm

Elected officials colluding to do this, that, or the other thing???? Oh the shock!!!! I bet it is easier to count the number of times elected officials did NOT collude!

Reply to  Pamela Gray
July 13, 2017 7:53 am

Imagine if a lawyer from Russia told Podesta or Rodes they had dirt on DJT last summer. Anyone standing in the doorway would have been trampled (sort a like standing ‘tween Schumer and a microphone).
So how is this accusation different from hiring an ex British intelligence office to dig up “op research” on Trump which turned out to be bogus, for which money changed hands?

Luis Anastasia
Reply to  George Daddis
July 13, 2017 8:11 am

The difference is simple. The British intelligence officer worked for our ally Britain. The Russian lawyer worked for not-our-ally Russia. Besides, you overlook the fact that Christopher Steele was initially funded by the GOP candidates running against Trump.

Reply to  George Daddis
July 13, 2017 9:55 am

Yeah Luis, Steele has claimed he was funded by a Bush PAC and later by a Democrat PAC. These claims have been denied by both PACs. Those claims are probably as credible as the whole dossier. Steele got played by the Russians. Look at that, Russian collusion against Trump.

July 12, 2017 11:00 pm

Odds of the MSM addressing Clinton campaign contributions from Russian fumded Sea Change Foundation? Meh…slim.

Leo Smith
July 13, 2017 12:20 am

I’ve been trying to say this for years. The only explanation for green anti-nuclear anti-fracking anti-coal stance together with their insistence on windmills must be that they are funded by gas producers, since gas is the only viable way to make renewables work in the absence of massive hydro.
The European Green movement is the marketing arm of GazProm.

July 13, 2017 1:05 am

The hard left progressive-democrat-media blok are so obsessed with attacking Trump, in contempt of all the Americans who voted for him, that they are blissfully ignorant of how obvious it is to everyone outside their twisted circle that they have abandoned themselves to unrestrained anti-Russian racism. They are a cabal or total racists who would make Hit1er proud. They don’t care who knows that they consider Russians as untermenschen.

Reply to  ptolemy2
July 13, 2017 2:18 am

Watching the BBC news on Monday I was amazed that it was all about Trump ! From 1300GMT to 1600GMT the word Trump was spoken 114 times (with repeats ) Dark America ( the cause of all the worlds problems ) was what the news was about, not one word about British problems BBC talk about “fake news” this requires a new terminology

Reply to  ptolemy2
July 13, 2017 2:25 am

..I repeat…
Hey !! What about when Trump gave away 20% of American Uranium to a Russian backed company ??
Oh wait, that was Hillary..
Well, what what about when Trump gave the Russians that big red RESET button ?
Oh wait, that was Hillary..
Ok, how about when Trump said ” I will have more flexibility when I win the next election” ??
Oh crap, that was Obama….
Never mind…..

July 13, 2017 2:21 am

There are very serious concerns with the UK anti-fracking groups & the militant left groups like Momentum and association with the Russian Federation! I hope these are investigated by the appropriate authorities!

July 13, 2017 3:26 am

The “Russian phobia” appears to be at fever pitch.

Reply to  toorightmate
July 13, 2017 6:59 am

Interesting how the left tries to deflect attention from their activities by declaring that anyone who disagrees with them is suffering from a “phobia”. The next step is usually to send those who continue to disagree with them to mental hospitals.

I Came I Saw I Left
July 13, 2017 3:29 am

Sounds like more Russia hysteria. I doubt they have that kind of money. The Saudis, on the other hand…

Reply to  I Came I Saw I Left
July 13, 2017 6:59 am

Doesn’t take much money to fund a couple of hippies.

David Chappell
July 13, 2017 3:40 am

Given that Mrs Clinton seemed to spend her whole campaign slagging off Trump, is anyone sure that she or her minions didn’t try the same thing. Those deleted e-mails might just tell an interesting story.
However, my main point is, can ANYONE explain why trying to establish a dialogue with a long-term enemy to turn them into friends for mutual benefit is, unacceptable, treasonous or whatever. Does the left need an enemy to be able to survive?

July 13, 2017 4:05 am

It’s doubtful Russia organised the environmental movement. They felt compelled to fight it in 2012.

Naturally this doesn’t exclude some taking the opportunity presented by some well-intended, but misguided fools.

July 13, 2017 5:02 am

So, does this new religion have a name yet, something besides fanaticism? What!?! You don’t think that’s what it is?
You KIDS!!! Fanaticism is an all-encompassing term for ‘join us or die’ – that sort of thing. I expect to see temples built to accommodate this New World Religion. I think they are called ‘banks’ right now, because Mammon, the God of Money, drives everything. Riots and demonstrations cost money.
Maybe I could talk Shu, the Egyptian God of the Atmosphere, to send torrents of rain to places that depend on solar platforms for electricity. Now that would be awesome!

July 13, 2017 5:07 am

The Russians have history in this practice. They were instrumental behind the anti-nuclear campaign in the UK during the cold war.

Reply to  Hivemind
July 13, 2017 7:01 am

Interesting that to a very large degree, it’s the same groups that were once funded by the Soviets that are now at the forefront of the CAGW movement.

July 13, 2017 5:33 am

Russia has been doing these kinds of subversive acts for a century! What do they think Russia was doing during the Cold War? LMAO.
This recent Russian scaremongering is a tool for our own home-grown Marxists/liberals and it’s really getting tiresome.

Bob Hoye
July 13, 2017 6:57 am

Obama’s DOJ gave special permission so that the Russian Natalia could enter the US.
In 1917, Germany provided a special conduct to get Lenin through to Moscow.

July 13, 2017 7:57 am

In Canada the real foreign influence is very detailed in this website
Green US billionaires of Tides and other “charities” are the culprits… not the Russians…

Jan Christoffersen
Reply to  TomRude
July 14, 2017 8:37 am

Vivian Krause is absolutely brilliant.

July 13, 2017 7:34 pm

Well this is nothing new. Here in Canada the left supported USA environmental groups like Tides and the Sierra club have been spending money trying to stop any energy development. Millions went to stop the Enbridge Gateway line from Edmonton to Prince Rupert. The last election was very much influenced by foreign left groups to push Harper out in favor of pretty boy Trudeau.Any pipeline or energy plant is attacked using this foreign funding. The Suzuki foundation is a clearing house for these foreign funds and a lot of it ends up in first nations hands to push the fight for them.

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