4

Wikipedia's Liz_Cheney; Tenure says:

In September 2020, Cheney asked the Justice Department to investigate environmental groups such as the NRDC, Sea Change and the Sierra Club, saying that "robust political and judicial activism – combined with the fact that these groups often espouse views that align with those of our adversaries – makes it all the more critical that the Department is aware of any potential foreign influence within or targeting these groups. I urge the Department to investigate Chinese and Russian attempts to influence environmental and energy policy in the United States".71

71The Hill 09/17/20 Cheney asks DOJ to probe environmental groups

and that item says:

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) has asked the Justice Department to investigate some of the country’s leading environmental groups, arguing that Russia and China are attempting to influence U.S. policies through the groups.

The third-ranking House Republican, in a letter to Attorney General William Barr this month, asserted that the interests of environmentalists align with those of foreign governments when it comes to energy policy.

The Daily Caller first reported on Cheney's letter this week.

Her letter rehashed some old claims from Republicans that foreign countries have influenced these organizations, a charge the groups have firmly denied.

“Environmental groups are major contributors to U.S. political campaigns and have filed hundreds of lawsuits against the Trump Administration in an effort to advance their agendas,” Cheney wrote.

“This robust political and judicial activism—combined with the fact that these groups often espouse views that align with those of our adversaries—makes it all the more critical that the Department is aware of any potential foreign influence within or targeting these groups,” Cheney added.

“I urge the Department to investigate Chinese and Russian attempts to influence environmental and energy policy in the United States, including within or through such groups as the NRDC, Sea Change, the Sierra Club, and others,” she concluded.

Question: What was US Representative Liz Cheney's evidence that US environmental groups "often espouse views that align with those of our adversaries (making) it all the more critical that the Department is aware of any potential foreign influence within or targeting these groups...”?

Was it simply that any calls to limit oil production for environmental reasons were seen as somehow aligning with China and Russia? Is there something more here?

fyi I've just asked separately Was US Representative Liz Cheney able to start that DOJ investigation of foreign influence on environmental groups? If so, was any found yet?

0

1 Answer 1

6

Was it simply that any calls to limit oil production for environmental reasons were seen as somehow aligning with China and Russia? Is there something more here?

Pretty much exactly this, if you include natural gas as well. Environmentalists want the United States to extract and sell less fossil fuels to combat climate change. Russia and China want the same thing to prop up the prices of their natural gas and oil. The boom in American natural gas in particular lead to an economic downturn in Russia and threatens their biggest trump card in an economic showdown; the ability to turn off Europe's gas.

A copy of the Cheney's letter is still on her website, and the Russia-natural gas concern makes up the bulk of the letter. Cheney also cites a more obscure concern about environmental groups' lawsuits against the U.S. Navy to prevent military exercises in the Pacific, which they are concerned would damage marine life. Obviously, it would also be in China's interest to halt those exercises.

It's worth stressing here that Cheney's claim was only that environmentalists' views and Russia and China's views aligned. Her claim was never that environmentalists pursue anti-fracking policies because they hate America or that China is sincerely concerned about climate change, just that they wanted the same policies, albeit for completely different reasons. Her assertion of alignment is pretty self-evidently true, whether or not the infiltration claims are or have been proven (I'll leave any debate on that to your linked question).

2
  • Thanks for the speedy yet well-sourced answer, the link to Cheney's original letter is quite helpful. "...often espouse views that align with..." The linked question asks about influence (which can include donations) rather than "infiltration" but lets see where the answers take us.
    – uhoh
    Feb 9 at 0:55
  • 2
    Cheney may also find expedient to throw some red meat to the Rep faithful, since she is facing some criticism re lack of fealty to Trump. Politically, not a bad way to do it. Feb 9 at 20:11

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .