Republicans on the House Natural Resource Committee sent a letter to the Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC) asking the group to clarify its policies and how they affect its relations with the People’s Republic of China. According to Roll Call, the letter states (in part):
“The Committee is concerned about NRDC’s role in aiding China’s perception management efforts with respect to pollution control and its international standing on environmental issues in ways that may be detrimental to the United States,” the lawmakers wrote. “The NRDC’s relationship with China has many of the criteria identified by U.S. intelligence agencies and law enforcement as putting an entity at risk of being influenced or coerced by foreign interests.”
The NRDC’s policy positions are backed by “sound science, U.S. law and the public interest,” according to Bob Deans, its director of strategic engagement.
“We work on behalf of every American to protect our people against dangerous pollution and leave our children a livable world,” Deans added. “Those are American values, American goals, and advancing them is manifestly in our national interest, as we have consistently demonstrated for nearly 50 years.”
The committee members allege the NRDC engages in self-censorship, issue selection bias, and generally refraining from criticizing Chinese officials in its press releases and public information. If true, the letter states, the group could have abridged the Foreign Agents Registration Act.
The NRDC is notorious as being one of the primary opponents of the Trump administration’s efforts at lifting environmental rules, and has filed numerous lawsuits to prevent Trump environmental initiatives from going forward. Yet, when it comes to China, the NRDC is remarkably silent about the country’s pollution, including resulting from China’s military buildup on their artificial islands in the South China Sea.
In a sense one could say hypocrisy is prejudice with a halo, but this is far more serious. The NRDC isn’t remaining silent about criticizing China due to security concerns but because out of solidarity with fellow Marxists. The environmentalist group is silent because, ultimately, they agree with what the Chinese are doing. The NRDC should register as foreign agents, except it should be as operating as agents of the Chinese government in the United States and their non-profit status should be revoked.