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Liberal Foundations Poured Tens Of Millions Of Dollars Into Influential Environmental Org Tied To Chinese Government

Major U.S.-based liberal charitable foundations have donated millions of dollars to Energy Foundation China (EFC), a San Francisco-based environmental nonprofit with deep ties to the Chinese government.

U.S.-based liberal charities, such as the Hewlett Foundation and nonprofits managed by left-wing dark money consultancy Arabella Advisors, have poured over $100 million into EFC since 2020, according to a Daily Caller News Foundation review of tax filings and foundation grant databases. EFC uses those funds to bankroll U.S.-based climate activists and to support the development of clean energy in China.

EFC has close ties to the Chinese state; at least nine members of the organization’s leadership and senior staff have previously held positions in China’s government, with one described in a Tsinghua University press release as an “outstanding [Chinese] Communist Party member.”

EFC spent more than $52 million funding green projects and organizations in the United States and China in 2022, according to tax forms.

EFC funds several of the U.S.-based organizations that have played a role in influencing the Biden administration’s climate agenda. American groups funded by EFC have, among other things, opposed the development of new oil drilling sites and promoted renewable energy technologies, like solar panels.

Green Cash

Liberal foundations have poured millions into EFC over the last four years, specifically for climate and energy programs in China, tax documents and grant databases show.

EFC had been a program under the Energy Foundation before breaking off and becoming an independent legal entity in 2019, according to its website. Prior to 2019, grants from charitable foundations to EFC were made out to the Energy Foundation and earmarked for EFC.

The Packard Foundation, Hewlett Foundation and MacArthur Foundation, all major players in American environmental activism, were some of EFC’s largest donors, representing almost 40% of the over $217.1 million the group raised between 2020 and 2022.

The MacArthur Foundation and the Hewlett Foundation donated at least $6 million and $67 million to EFC, respectively, between 2020 and 2023. The Packard Foundation, meanwhile, has donated about $19.3 million to the organization since 2020, according to its grant database.

Likewise, senior employees of the MacArthur Foundation, the Packard Foundation and the Hewlett Foundation hold seats on EFC’s board of directors.

The MacArthur Foundation gave EFC $2 million between 2020 and 2021 to help “China transition to a sustainable energy future,” according to its tax filings.

The Hewlett Foundation, meanwhile, paid out grants explicitly to fund EFC’s pro-Chinese government activities.

The Energy Foundation, which housed EFC at the time, received $8.4 million from the Hewlett Foundation in 2016 in part to fund EFC’s efforts to support the “climate implementation goals for China’s 13th Five-Year Plan.”

China’s Five-Year plan is formulated by the CCP and “sets forth China’s strategic intentions and defines its major objectives” for a five year period, according to the Chinese government.

Furthermore, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund gave EFC $200,000 in 2021 to support “low carbon transportation planning in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao greater bay area.” Rockefeller Brothers spent $200,000 bankrolling a similar project in 2019.

EFC’s donors, while funding the organization’s China-based activities, also served as major backers of domestic liberal activists. The Packard, Hewlett and MacArthur foundations, for instance, have poured millions of dollars into Planned Parenthood and other pro-abortion groups, according to tax filings.

The Energy Foundation’s activities in China also attracted significant support from entities tied to the Democratic Party.

The Heising-Simons Foundation, a California-based family charity founded by Democratic megadonors Liz Simons and Mark Heising. The foundation gave $925,000 to the Energy Foundation for its Chinese operations in 2017 and about $2.3 million in 2018, when EFC was still part of the Energy Foundation, according to tax forms.

Simons and Heising have donated nearly $10 million to Democrats and members of Congress who caucus with the Democrats since 2020, campaign finance records show.

Windward Fund and Hopewell Fund, nonprofits managed by the Democrat-aligned consultancy Arabella Advisors, supported EFC to the tune of nearly $2.5 million between 2020 and 2022, according to tax filings.

Several of the funds managed by Arabella Advisors are “dark money” organizations that are not required to disclose their donors and direct the bulk of their grants to left-wing and Democrat-aligned groups. Hopewell and Windward disclose their donors, however Hopewll received funds from Sixteen Thirty Fund, an organization in Arabella’s network that does not disclose donors, according to tax forms.

“Windward Fund recognizes that the climate crisis is a global challenge,” the organization said in a statement to the DCNF.

The Packard Foundation, Heising Simons Foundation, Hopewell Fund, MacArthur Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund and Hewlett Foundation did not respond to the DCNF’s requests for comment.

The China Connection

Former Chinese government officials have an outsized presence among EFC’s leadership and senior staff.

Zhang Hongjun, who is on EFC’s board of directors, was an official in China’s National Environmental Protection Agency and a legislative director in China’s National People’s Congress, focusing on environmental laws, according to EFC’s website.

The National People’s Congress (NPC) is “the highest organ of State power in China,” according to its website. The NPC operates under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and leaders of the NPC’s standing committee, a powerful subset of the NPC, are “invariably influential members of the CCP and leaders of major mass organizations,” according to the Congressional-Executive Commission on China.

He Kebin, another board member, was a representative in the Beijing Municipal People’s Congress in 2018, according to Sina, a Chinese-language media outlet. The Beijing Municipal People’s Congress works under the direct leadership of the CCP in implementing policy and providing services in China’s capital city, according to a report published by the mayor of Beijing in January 2023.

A group of universities in Beijing awarded Kebin the title of “outstanding member of the [Chinese] communist party” at a celebration marking the 99th anniversary of the CCP, according to a press release from Tsinghua University.

Several board members, including Kebin and Hongjun, are listed as council members on the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development’s (CCICED) website. CCICED was founded in 1992 with the approval of the Chinese government and advises the Chinese government on environmental policy and development, according to the organization’s website.

CCICED reports to the Chinese government’s State Council and its executive committee is staffed by several high-ranking Chinese government officials, according to the organization’s website.

CCICED Chairman Ding Xuexiang is the top-ranking vice premier of the People’s Republic of China and a member of the CCP’s Politburo Standing Committee, a seven-person Chinese government body headed by General Secretary Xi Jinping.

Other EFC board members are listed as special advisors for CCICED, including Shenyu BelskyHongpeng Lei and EFC President Zou Ji.

Zou Ji formerly served as deputy director general of China’s state-run National Center for Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation, and he was a key player in China’s delegation to the Paris Climate Accords in 2015, according to his bio on EFC’s website.

EFC paid Ji almost $500,000 in 2021 for his work as the group’s president and CEO, according to the organization’s 2021 tax filing. Board members Kebin and Hongjun drew compensation of $6,000 and $4,500, respectively, according to the 2021 filing.

EFC’s Senior Program Director of Strategic Communications Hui Jing formerly worked at the state-run National Natural Science Foundation of China, and Lan Yu, a program officer for EFC’s Low Carbon Economic Growth initiative, previously served in China’s finance and environmental ministries, according to their respective bios on EFC’s website.

Xin Liu, who leads EFC’s environmental management division, formerly served as a senior official in the Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau, and Ping He, who is the program director of EFC’s industry program, worked at the state-run Chinese Academy of Sciences for almost a decade, according to EFC’s website.

While the organization’s tax forms say it’s based in San Francisco, EFC also has an office in Beijing, which, according to the group’s website, is “registered with the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau and supervised by the National Development and Reform Commission of China.”

The National Development and Reform Commission of China (NDRC) is a Chinese government agency that exists to “formulate and implement strategies on national economic and social development” and create “strategies, plans and policies for utilizing foreign capital,” according to the NDRC’s website. The commission also is involved with the Chinese military as it “undertake[s] specific tasks of the National Defense Mobilization Committee,” according to its website.

Additionally, EFC disclosed a payment of nearly $400,000 for “consulting services” to the state-run China News Service on its 2020 tax forms.

The State Department designated China News Service as a foreign mission in 2020, meaning that it was found to be effectively controlled by the Chinese government.

‘China’s Ambitious Climate Vision’

Among other things, EFC says its goals are to improve China’s transportation system, to help the communist country achieve clean economic growth and to promote “China’s ambitious climate vision.” EFC aimed to assist China in becoming “the world leader in clean energy production, consumption, and investment, by 2030,” according to an archived version of the organization’s webpage

“Communist China is our enemy, and their ‘green energy’ policies are based on slave and child labor, government subsidies and trade abuses,” Florida Republican Senator Rick Scott told the DCNF.

EFC has also funneled large sums of money into influential, left-of-center environmental groups in the U.S.

Domestic climate groups, like the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), received millions from EFC between 2020 and 2022.

RMI, a nonprofit dedicated to “working to accelerate the clean energy transition,” was behind a study cited by Consumer Product Safety Commissioner Richard Trumka Jr.’s decision to consider a ban on gas stoves, which attracted significant controversy.

The Colorado-based organization also partnered with the Chinese government to produce a report advising a transition away from oil and gas. EFC was also involved in producing that report.

White House officials have met privately with leaders of RMI, Fox News Digital reported.

EFC gave about $1.8 million to RMI between 2020 and 2022, tax forms show.

NRDC, meanwhile, received about $700,000 from EFC between 2020 and 2022, according to tax forms.

NRDC describes itself as the “first national environmental advocacy group to focus on legal action.” NRDC has opposed expanded oil drilling in the United States, power plants that run on coalmining projects and the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

NRDC also has close ties to the Biden administration.

Gina McCarthy, NRDC’s former president, served as the White House’s national climate advisor from 2021 to 2022, Fox reported. The organization’s current president, Manish Bapna, has attended at least two White House meetings and the NRDC regularly communicates with Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry’s office, Fox reported.

“There are those, foremost among them, John Kerry, but there are many others who believe the existential challenge of our time … is climate change, and therefore we must have a more cooperative relationship with China,” House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party Chairman Mike Gallagher told the DCNF.

“That’s nonsense. We need to get realistic before it’s too late. Thinking that Xi Jinping cares about the documents that are signed at [the United Nations Climate Change Conference] is naïve, utopian nonsense. It reflects a profound misunderstanding of how the geopolitical world works.”

NRDC and RMI both have offices in China.

EFC has provided funding to RMI and NRDC’s Chinese programs, though grants to those organizations on EFC’s most recent publicly-available tax forms are earmarked for “education and analysis” operations with no mention of China.

RMI employs a number of former Chinese government officials through its China program. Ting LiMinhui GaoKaidi GuoQiyu Liu and Qian Sun are among the RMI staffers who formerly held posts in the Chinese government.

EFC did not respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.




RELATED ARTICLE: Biden Admin Doubles Down On Climate Cooperation With China As Xi’s Economy Goes On Coal Binge

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Trump Was Right Again And Again About The Biden Family’s Foreign Business Dealings

Former President Donald Trump’s assertions during the 2020 presidential campaign about the Biden family’s foreign business dealings have proven to be accurate.

Trump routinely criticized then-Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden about his son’s dealings with Ukrainian, Russian and Chinese associates when he was on the campaign trail, most notably at the presidential debates leading up to the November 2020 election.


“China ate your lunch, Joe. And no wonder your son goes in and, wha—, he takes out billions of dollars. He takes out billions of dollars to manage. He makes millions of dollars. And also, while we’re at it, why is it — just out of curiosity — the mayor of Moscow’s wife gave your son three and a half million dollars,” Trump said to Biden during a September 2020 presidential debate, according to an official transcript from the Commission on Presidential Debates.

“That is not true,” Biden retorted.

“What did he do to deserve it? What did he do with Burisma?” Trump pressed.

“None of that is true,” Biden shot back.

“My son did nothing wrong at Burisma,” Biden said later in the debate.

” I think he did,” Trump retorted.

“He doesn’t want to let me answer, because he knows I have the truth. His position has been totally thoroughly discredited,” Biden claimed.

“By who?” Trump asked.

“By everybody. Well, by the media, by our allies,” Biden answered.

Trump and Biden continued clashing at the September debate over the Biden family’s business dealings despite moderator Chris Wallace’s efforts to shift the conversation.

“And he threatened Ukraine —,” Trump said.

“Sir,” Wallace interrupted.

” — with a billion dollars,” Trump said.

“That is absolutely not true,” Biden said, before Wallace moved the conversation to racial issues.

Trump made similar comments about Hunter Biden’s foreign business dealings at an October 2022 debate which took place after the New York Post’s reporting on Hunter Biden’s laptop was censored by Twitter and falsely categorized as Russian disinformationThe Daily Caller News FoundationThe New York TimesThe Washington Post and CBS News later verified the Hunter Biden laptop archive.


“You got three-and-a-half million dollars. Your family got three-and-a-half million dollars and you know someday, you’re gonna have to explain — why did you get three-and-a-half?” Trump asserted, according to the official debate transcript.

“I have not taken a penny from any foreign source ever in my life,” Biden responded.

“Number two, I don’t make money from China, you do. I don’t make money from Ukraine, you do. I don’t make money from Russia. You made three-and-a-half million dollars, Joe, and your son gave you— They even have a statement that we have to give 10% to the big man. You’re the big man, I think. I don’t know, maybe you’re not. But you’re the big man, I think. Your son said we have to give 10% to the big man,” Trump said later in the debate.

“I carried out U.S. policy. Not one, single, solitary thing was out of line. Not a single thing, number one. Number two, the guy who got in trouble in Ukraine was this guy, trying to bribe the Ukrainian government to say something negative about me, which they would not do, and did not do, because it never, ever, ever happened. My son has not made money in terms of this thing about — what are you talking about — China. I have not had it. The only guy that made money from China is this guy. He’s the only one. Nobody else has made money from China,” Biden hit back.

“His son didn’t have a job for a long time, was sadly no longer in the military service, I won’t get into that. And he didn’t have a job. As soon as he became vice president, Burisma — not the best, not the best reputation in the world — I hear they paid him 183,000 a month. Listen to this, 183, and they gave him a $3 million upfront payment, and he had no energy experience. That’s 100% dishonest,” Trump followed up.

“Look, there are 50 former national intelligence folks who said that what this, he’s accusing me of, is a Russian plan. They have said that this has all the characteristics — four, five former heads of the CIA, both parties, say what he’s saying is a bunch of garbage. Nobody believes it except him and his good friend Rudy Giuliani,” Biden said later on.

Joe Biden was citing a letter signed by 51 former intelligence officials which claimed Hunter Biden’s laptop was part of a “Russian information operation” without evidence to back it up. One of the letter’s signatories, former CIA official Michael Morrell, testified to the House Judiciary Committee about how Biden Secretary of State Tony Blinken orchestrated the letter, which Morrell signed to help Biden defeat Trump in the 2020 presidential election.

Trump’s assertions about Ukraine, China and Russia appear to be based on a Senate report released in September 2020 detailing Hunter Biden’s foreign business dealings and the New York Post’s October 2020 reporting on the Hunter Biden laptop archive.

Trump made similar assertions on Twitter beginning in late 2019, before Biden won the 2020 Democratic presidential primary. Ahead of the 2020 presidential election, Trump tweeted on numerous occasions about the Biden family’s business dealings with ChineseUkrainian and Russian business partners.

Hunter Biden’s consulting firm was wired $3.5 million by Russian oligarch Elena Baturina in February 2014 as part of a consulting agreement, the Senate report found. Baturina was married to former Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov and her net worth is estimated at $1.3 billion.

Hunter Biden’s former business associate, Devon Archer, testified to the House Oversight Committee Monday about how Joe and Hunter Biden dined with Baturina in the spring of 2014 at a cafe in Washington, D.C., according to a transcript of Archer’s testimony.

Trump’s statement about Biden threatening Ukraine with a billion dollars was based on what then-Vice President Biden told the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) in September 2016 when Biden bragged about getting Ukrainian prosecutor Viktor Shokin fired in early 2016.

“You remember last year I was authorized to say we’d do the second tranche of a billion dollars. And he didn’t fire his chief prosecutor. And because I have the confidence of the president, I was there, and I said: I’m not signing it. Until you fire him, we’re not signing, man,” Biden told CFR. Biden made similar comments at a January 2018 event with CFR when he was out of office.

When Shokin was fired, Hunter Biden was being paid $83,000 a month as a board member of Ukrainian energy firm Burisma, another detail confirmed by Archer’s testimony. Archer also testified about a dinner Joe Biden attended a dinner with Burisma executive Vadim Pozharskyi and how the Biden family “brand” prevented Burisma from going out of business.

One of Hunter Biden’s former business partners, James Gillar, called Joe Biden “the big guy” in emails first reported by the New York Post. Another former business associate, Tony Bobulinski, confirmed to the outlet the “big guy” moniker was referring to Joe Biden.

Likewise, Archer confirmed to the House Oversight Committee “my guy” was a nickname Hunter Biden used to describe his father in an April 2014 email.

Archer told Daily Caller co-founder Tucker Carlson it was “categorically false” to say Joe Biden was not aware of his son’s business dealings, referencing a personalized letter Biden sent him in 2011. In the same interview, Archer said Shokin was a “threat” to Burisma’s business and recalled a purported raid on Burisma founder Mykola Zlochevsky’s property overseen by Shokin’s office.

In addition, Hunter Biden received payments from a Chinese firm, CEFC China Energy, whose chairman, Ye Jianming, was linked to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and People’s Liberation Army (PLA), according to the senate report.

IRS whistleblower Gary Shapley testified to the House Ways & Means Committee about a threatening text Hunter Biden allegedly sent a CEFC associate with Joe Biden in the room. Shapley provided a transcript of former Biden business associate Rob Walker’s interview with the FBI where Walker said Joe Biden met with CEFC officials in May 2017, shortly after his vice presidency concluded.

The House Oversight Committee revealed in late June a text allegedly sent by Hunter Biden on Aug. 3, 2017 to a CEFC associate about how the Bidens are “the best” at assisting his boss. The next day, Owasco P.C., one of Biden’s shell companies, was paid $100,000 by CEFC, the committee disclosed.

On Aug. 8, 2017, Hudson West III, a business entity formed by Hunter Biden and a CEFC business partner, was wired an estimated $5 million, the Senate report found.

Hunter Biden earned about $1 million from Hudson West III in 2017, according to his guilty plea agreement with Department of Justice (DOJ) prosecutors which fell apart in court. Biden admitted during his late July court appearance he made $664,000 from CEFC in 2017, court transcripts show.

IRS whistleblower Joseph Ziegler testified to the House Oversight Committee that Hunter Biden and his business associates took an estimated $17 million from Chinese, Ukrainian and Romanian business interests. The Oversight Committee released a memo in May 2023 outlining more than $10 million in alleged payments from foreign companies to Biden family members.

Two months prior, the House Oversight Committee released a memo showing Walker took $3 million from a Chinese energy company and allegedly sent $1.3 million worth of payments to Biden family members. Republican Kentucky Rep. James Comer, Chair of the House Oversight Committee, said in July more bank records would be released showing Hunter Biden’s alleged dealings with Russian business partners.

The White House said President Biden “was not in business with his son” when Shapley’s testimony was publicized, a shift from Biden denying any knowledge of his son’s business dealings.

“Any verifiable words or actions of my client, in the midst of a horrible addiction, are solely his own and have no connection to anyone in his family,” Hunter Biden’s lawyer said in the wake of Shapley’s testimony.

Hunter Biden was charged by the DOJ in June with two tax misdemeanors and a felony gun charge. Both IRS whistleblowers accused prosecutors of slow-walking and obstructing the Hunter Biden case based on their knowledge of the investigation.

The president’s son was expected to plead guilty to the tax charges and sign a diversion agreement for the gun charge, until a disagreement with the DOJ about the immunity clause hidden inside Biden’s diversion agreement caused Biden’s plea deal to implode. The DOJ investigation into Hunter Biden is still ongoing and

“He confirms President Biden was not involved in his son’s business,” White House spokesperson Ian Sams tweeted about Archer’s testimony. Sams told multiple media outlets the investigation into Hunter Biden’s business dealings is an “evidence-free wild goose chase” following Archer’s testimony.

The day after Devon Archer’s testimony to the House Oversight Committee, Trump was indicted by Special Counsel Jack Smith for charges related to his efforts to contest the 2020 presidential election results. Trump pleaded not guilty to the charges Thursday at an arraignment in Washington, D.C. He continues to lead the 2024 Republican presidential primary by wide margins.

The Trump campaign did not respond to a request for comment.

Jack Moore contributed to this report.



Investigative reporter. James Lynch can be reached on Twitter @jameslynch32.


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IRS Whistleblower Says Hunter Biden’s Attorneys Made ‘False Statements’ And ‘Threatened’ Prosecutors

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EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.