by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
This should come as no surprise to the John Locke Foundation’s Donald van der Vaart: A lawsuit seeks to uncover facts involving covert Russian support of U.S. environmental groups. Jason Hopkins of the Daily Caller reports.
An open records lawsuit filed against the State Department is attempting to uncover whether Russian entities attempted to financially support U.S. environmentalist causes.
The Institute for Energy Research (IER) — a free-market energy group based in Washington, D.C. — filed the lawsuit on Monday. IER has requested that the State Department hand over correspondence concerning hydraulic fracturing, environmental advocacy and Russia that was exchanged to and from high-ranking employees.
The lawsuit follows a Freedom of Information Act request filed by IER back in October. However, the free-market group claims State Department officials are dragging their feet on providing the requested information.
“Any foreign attempts to covertly influence U.S. energy policy must be exposed and met with full consequences,” read a Monday statement from IER President Thomas Pyle. “Particularly given what we have already learned, the State Department’s evident lack of interest in examining this issue of obvious concern to congressional oversight, or in bothering with a substantive response to our request even when pressed, is deeply concerning.”