SST Committee Probes Russian Attempts to Influence U.S. Energy Market
WASHINGTON - U.S. House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and Energy Subcommittee Chairman Randy Weber (R-Texas) sent a letter to U.S. Department of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to request that the Department investigate allegations that Russian state sponsored entities interfered in the U.S. energy market by funneling Russian funds to radical environmental groups opposed to all fossil fuels.
Chairman Smith: “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. They have established an elaborate scheme that funnels money through shell companies in Bermuda. 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.”
According to publicly available reports, the Russian government and complicit parties funneled money originating from Russia through Bermuda-based shell companies to environmental groups in the United States with the aim of disrupting the U.S. energy industry and influencing public opinion of the oil and gas industry. This scheme potentially violates federal statutes pertaining to agents of foreign governments or those lobbying on behalf of domestic and foreign interests. The U.S. Treasury Department is well positioned to track the international money flowing into the U.S.
“U.S. presidential candidates, European officials, and the U.S. intelligence community have all publicly noted that Russia and its government corporations are funding a covert anti-fracking campaign to suppress the widespread adoption of fracking in Europe and the U.S.—all in an effort to safeguard the influence of the Russian oil and gas sector,” the letter states.
The letter to Secretary Mnuchin can be found here.