CENTER FOR BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY & SIERRA CLUB UNDER INVESTIGATION FOR FOREIGN INFLUENCE. LEGISLATION PENDING.
(Washington DC - 5/3/2023) - Recent national security reports have uncovered efforts by China, Russia and other countries hostile to the United States to shape domestic policies that harm our country’s national security, food security, energy independence and technological advancements.
“Make no mistake, we are at war - not in the traditional military sense - but a new kind of war that strikes at the very fabric of our country. China, Russia and others are aggressively pursuing economic, social, and cultural warfare type tactics to divide Americans and weaken America from the inside - out,” stated Steve Crim, Common Sense America Executive Director. “The use of front groups is one of their key weapons in this war.”
The Office of National Intelligence (ONI) released the 2023 threat assessment for America and this report reveals the growing threat America faces from foreign interests, such as China and Russia. Specifically, the report found foreign interests are “Using a variety of tools”, like front groups, in order to “build influence at the state and local level to shift U.S. policy in [their] favor because of the belief that local officials are more pliable than their federal counterparts.”
A Congressional Committee found that the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD), arranged meetings with US politicians, held press conferences and coordinated publicity events on behalf of foreign activists in efforts opposed to America’s national defense.
“Countries seeking to do us harm may be working in concert with extreme special interest groups on both sides of the aisle to exploit American liberties and destroy our freedoms,” Crim continued.
In 2018, the Center for Biological Diversity and other environmental groups were the subjects of a congressional investigation concerning foreign influence and underreporting of taxpayer funds received through "sue and settle" lawsuits. The Center for Biological Diversity routinely files lawsuits to stop the production of critical minerals; Navy and Airforce training; building and expanding military bases; and most recently trying to stop our space and rocket program by suing the FAA over SpaceX. Collaborating with local activists, these legal actions extend from the federal level to municipal government entities.
Legislation is now pending in Congress to enhance transparency and reporting over foreign influence over these groups; end the use of “sue and settle” tactics that misuses money meant for the Endangered Species Act; and ensures access to critical minerals important to our supply and food chains regarding national security.
A Common Sense America (CSA), a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting transparency and accountability, has called on the Governors and Attorneys General of Idaho, Florida, and South Carolina, as well as the congressional Committee on Natural Resources, to further investigate foreign influence on environmental groups, including the Center for Biological Diversity and Sierra Club. The Committed began an investigation in 2018 and CSA has an ongoing investigation.
To learn more on how Common Sense America is bringing a common sense approach to our government on our website.
Download Common Sense America’s letter to Congress here: Read our Letter to Congress
Common Sense America is a 501c4 grassroots organization committed to bringing a common sense approach to our government. Our mission is to highlight failed extremism on both ends of the political spectrum and hold our leaders accountable to the overwhelming majority of Americans who do not feel represented by the extremist policies being forced upon them.
As an organization, we advocate for a common sense approach to policies and solutions. We support efforts that will strengthen the economy, promote energy diversification and innovation and drive mainstream solutions that make our communities safer.