House Leaders Question Environmental Group’s Ties With China


Congressional leaders are pressing their case against environmental activists who are closely aligned with Chinese government officials.

In a letter Wednesday to the Washington-based World Resources Institute, Reps. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, and Bruce Westerman, R-Ark., ask the leader of the nonprofit international research group to document compliance with federal law covering agents of foreign powers.

Bishop and Westerman note that World Resources Institute consistently has praised China’s actions through certain media platforms even as it sharply criticizes recent U.S. policy under the Trump administration:

While WRI criticizes policies of the U.S. government, WRI is silent on Chinese human rights violations such as arrests of environmental protesters and the mass detention of ethnic minorities. By contrast, WRI advocates on behalf of the rights of indigenous peoples and ethnic minorities in other countries. On important issues for Chinese leadership, WRI’s position appears to closely reflect China’s goals and objectives.

Bishop is chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee and Westerman is chairman of its oversight and investigations subcommittee.

The Foreign Agents Registration Act requires anyone who acts as an agent of foreign principals “in a political or quasi-political capacity” to disclose that relationship periodically with the U.S. government, according to the Justice Department. The …read more