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KAUFMAN COUNTY, Texas — I have reason to believe left-wing U.S. environmental groups may have received covert financing from the Chinese government. In a letter to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler, I asked him to investigate potential funding streams from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to a group of organizations that influence American politics.

Following an initial inquiry, Administrator Wheeler has concluded the issue demands further investigation. He referred the matter to U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr, who will oversee a criminal investigation to be conducted by the Department of Justice.

Since 2006, the Sea Change Foundation has spent over $500 million on liberal campaigns to transition our economy away from natural gas and oil. They spend millions supporting Democrat candidates who espouse their environmental priorities. While they claim to be funded entirely by one family of liberal super-donors, there is no way to verify that. Disclosures only point to an offshore holding company registered in Bermuda. They may draw funding from foreign nations as well.

The Chinese Communist Party has a financial motive to support these groups. The Sierra Club advocates for our economy to be run entirely off wind and solar power, while China holds a near monopoly on the production of solar panels and other green technologies. China stands to make a fortune if the Democratic Party’s renewable energy plans are implemented.

If the Chinese Communist Party has infiltrated our politics by back channeling money through “green” political groups, we must find those responsible and hold them accountable.

There is a special unit within the Department of Justice tasked with investigating violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), which requires foreign lobbyists to file disclosures with the Attorney General. Neither the Sea Change Foundation nor the Sierra Club have ever done so. If these groups are in fact operating as agents of the CCP, they could be charged under the law.

I have strong faith in Attorney General Barr and his department to root out any wrongdoing. I will be closely following the issue from Congress and working with my colleagues to bring the American people the truth they deserve.