The Biden administration is facing criticism for its decision to outsource a key part of its climate agenda to a foreign non-profit tied to a behemoth left-wing dark money network.
President Biden announced late last year, during a speech at a global climate summit, that his White House would issue requirements for federal contractors to disclose their greenhouse gas emissions, share climate-related financial risks and set emissions reduction targets. The regulations, though, will leverage criteria set by the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi), a U.K.-based group linked to left-wing, dark money funding streams.
“The federal government should not be in the business of picking winners and losers,” said House Science, Space, and Technology Investigations and Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Jay Obernolte, R-Calif., during a hearing last week. “However, that is exactly the case in this instance.”
“The choice of SBTi is not the only concern this Committee has with this proposed rule. Because of its poor drafting, it has multiple practical, financial, and national security issues,” he continued. “For instance, ceding this authority to a foreign entity means that we cannot verify that SBTi’s processes are based in sound science. We will have very little oversight of the decisions being made.”
According to Obernolte, the White House failed to conduct a competitive selection process before choosing SBTi to assess federal contractors’ emissions targets under the proposed rule. And documents shared to the committee by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) suggested SBTi leaders met just twice with the White House and didn’t submit any documentation before it was selected.
Further, he questioned the constitutionality of the rulemaking which, he said delegates a “quasi-government regulatory authority” to SBTi.
“The Biden administration has proposed forcing companies to use SBTi, as opposed to any other climate group, to support their left-wing dark money laundering scheme,” said Rep. Claudia Tenney, R-N.Y., a member of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee.
“It should come as no surprise that the beneficiaries of this corruption are Democrat mega-donors, using their wealth to bankroll policies that work to support expanding the Supreme Court, partisan gerrymandering, defunding our military, abortion on demand, and more. I remain committed to getting to the bottom of this network of corruption and preventing this dark money chain from funding left-wing priorities,” Tenney added.
SBTi was founded in 2014 in an effort to coordinate private sector climate commitments. The group, which only began the process of incorporating as a legal entity in June, boasts that, in 2022 alone, it validated the climate targets of nearly 1,100 companies and financial institutions.
The group states that once companies develop climate initiatives, it reviews and validates them against its criteria. If the targets are determined to be aligned with SBTi requirements, then the company or financial institution is considered to have an “SBTi-validated science-based target” and can publicly communicate as such, SBTi stated in its 2022 annual report.
However, SBTi deliberately refuses to validate or consider targets proposed by the oil and gas industry. It rejects companies with “any level of direct involvement in exploration, extraction, mining and/or production of oil, natural gas, coal or other fossil fuels.”
“It’s not surprising that they would use foreign sources to influence U.S. domestic policy on energy or on environmental issues, because that’s the only way they get anything done,” Daniel Turner, founder and executive director of Power the Future, told Fox News Digital in an interview.
“They have to use outside groups, outside money, outside influence to get it done domestically,” he continued. “The foreign funding, I think, is really troubling and a growing threat because you play out the logical extensions of the green agenda and foreign countries are the ones who benefit.”
SBTi’s funding is tied to a massive dark money network which fuels a variety of progressive social and economic causes worldwide.
The group states that it was developed as a collaboration of multiple non-governmental organizations including the We Mean Business Coalition. SBTi also identified the We Mean Business Coalition as a core funder until late last year around the time Biden announced the emissions target rulemaking. The group, it appears, scrubbed reference of We Mean Business from its “funders” page.
We Mean Business Coalition is, in turn, a project of the New Venture Fund, a massive left-wing group that raised nearly $1 billion in 2021, a large portion of which it doled out to a wide array of progressive groups. While New Venture Fund isn’t required to report its funding, the organization’s funding has been tracked back to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Wyss Foundation and billionaire George Soros’ Foundation to Promote Open Society.
“While SBTi filed its official incorporation in the United Kingdom, it appears that it is currently not registered in the United States,” Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla., wrote in a letter last month to OMB Director Shalanda Young. “SBTi is funded and managed by We Mean Business, an organization closely linked to the New Venture Fund, a known Democratic ‘dark money’ group that does not disclose its donors.”
“SBTi’s connection to groups that routinely fund Democratic causes and campaigns exacerbates concerns that they were arbitrarily selected to perform this task and that this Administration is potentially directing millions of dollars in business revenue to an organization that is closely tied to its donors,” Lucas said.
“Congress needs to know immediately if this Administration has been attempting to improperly use the rule-making process to funnel money to anonymous partisan corporate entities.”
In a statement to Fox News Digital, a White House spokesperson declined to comment on Republicans’ concerns about its proposed rule, instead providing information about the rule.
“The Federal Supplier Climate Risks and Resilience Rule is a proposal by the Department of Defense, General Services Administration, and National Aeronautics and Space Administration as the agency members of the FAR Council that, if finalized, would require certain Federal contractors to disclose specified greenhouse gas emissions and climate-related financial risks,” a the spokesperson said.
“The FAR Council agencies are currently reviewing public comment on this proposed rule.”
SBTi didn’t respond to a request for comment.
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