by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Michael Bastasch of the Daily Caller reports continuing concerns about connections between American environmental groups and hostile foreign countries.
House lawmakers sent a letter Monday to the environmental group Earthjustice demanding documents regarding its ties to foreign officials and environmental activists, The Daily Caller News Foundation has learned.
The letter from top Republicans on the House Committee on Natural Resources is the fourth sent to environmental groups over their ties to foreign governments. It’s the second letter related to environmental opposition to the U.S. military presence in Okinawa, Japan.
Lawmakers say Earthjustice’s political activities may require them to register as a foreign agent, according to a copy of the letter obtained by TheDCNF. Earthjustice is an environmental law firm often represents environmental activists in litigation.
“The Committee is concerned that your organization’s political activities within the United States in opposition to the relocation of [Marine Corps Air Station] Futenma and the continued military presence in Okinawa may require compliance with” the Foreign Agents Registration Act, Republicans wrote to Earthjustice president Abigail Dillen. …
… “Beyond serving as the coalition’s attorney, Earthjustice has directly participated in the publicity campaign condemning the base relocation such as by sending open letters to the President of the United States and Japanese Prime Minister,” wrote Reps. Rob Bishop of Utah and Bruce Westerman of Arkansas.
Bishop chairs the House natural resources committee, and Westerman chairs the subcommittee on oversight and investigations.
Both lawmakers also signed letters sent to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and World Resources Institute (WRI) over their ties to the Chinese government.
Lawmakers asked if environmentalists’ desire to maintain good relations with the Chinese is affecting the group’s U.S. activities — effectively making them foreign agents of China’s communist government.