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FIRST ON FOX: A climate-focused nonprofit with significant operations in Beijing has wired millions of dollars to fund climate initiatives and environmental groups in the U.S., according to tax filings first obtained by Fox News Digital.

While the Energy Foundation’s financial filings indicate that the group is technically headquartered in San Francisco, a Fox News Digital review determined that the majority of its operations are conducted in China with a staff that boasts extensive ties to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Its recently filed tax form show the group, which refers to itself as “Energy Foundation China,” contributed $3.8 million to initiatives in the U.S. like phasing out coal and electrifying the transportation sector.

“The Energy Foundation’s ties to China are both extremely disturbing and reprehensible,” Tom Pyle, the president of the Institute for Energy Research, told Fox News Digital in an interview. “These environmental organizations, the recipients of this money, are, in essence, sacrificing our national security and empowering China.”

“We are the richest energy nation in the world with respect to coal, oil and natural gas,” he continued. “And yet the Biden administration and the environmentalists fueled by China are promoting policies that would increase our dependence on China, which controls all the minerals and materials needed for batteries and wind and solar, and curtail our production of oil and gas here at home.”

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According to its financial filings, the Energy Foundation’s grant revenue declined 30% year over year to $56.7 million in 2022, but its grant contributions to outside groups and initiatives worldwide increased to $52.1 million, up 27% compared to last year.

Among its more than a dozen grants in the U.S. last year, the group wired $900,000 to the Rocky Mountain Institute, a Colorado-based think tank that has engaged the White House on climate policy and advocates phasing down fossil fuel reliance and net-zero policies. The group also funded a study in 2022 highlighting the dangers of natural gas-powered stovetops, which ultimately led to calls for bans on the appliance.

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The Energy Foundation sent another $480,000 to the Washington, D.C.-based International Council on Clean Transportation, which advocates for widespread EV adoption and policies decarbonizing the transportation sector broadly. It also wired grants — one to the University of Maryland and another to the Jackson Hole Center for Global Affairs — worth a total of $450,000 and earmarked for projects to phase out coal power reliance.

Stovetop

It further sent $375,000 to the Natural Resources Defense Council, a group founded as “America’s first litigation-focused nonprofit dedicated to making dirty industries clean up their pollution” and which has filed dozens of legal challenges pushing far-left green measures. Through its legal efforts, the NRDC has opposed domestic fossil fuel drilling, coal plants, the Keystone XL oil pipeline and critical mineral mining projects.

And the Energy Foundation contributed $350,000 to Harvard University, a grant earmarked for “outreach to build a clean energy future.”

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“The Energy Foundation’s grant-making is almost exclusively focused on making it hard to produce energy and move it around here at home,” Pyle told Fox News Digital. “These organizations have little to do with the environment and everything, almost everything, to do with advancing this redistribution agenda.”

“If they’re successful, they’ll make America weaker and China stronger,” he said.

The group — which, according to its 2022 financial statement, leases two office facilities in China under operating leases that have terms through April 2024 — has significant ties to the CCP.

For example, Energy Foundation CEO and President Ji Zou previously served as the deputy director general of China’s National Center for Climate Change Strategy, an agency within the Chinese government’s National Development and Reform Commission. 

Liu Xin, who heads the group’s environmental management division, previously served in a high-ranking role at the Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau. And Ping He, the program director of the group’s industry program, worked for eight years at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, a leading state-run research institution.

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The revelation of the Energy Foundation’s extensive funding for U.S.-based climate initiatives comes amid an ongoing congressional probe led by House Natural Resources Committee Republicans over the CCP’s growing influence on the American environmental activist movement. The panel has probed a series of nonprofits with ties to China.

“For years, the CCP has used U.S. nonprofits to influence American public opinion and policy decisions,” a Natural Resources Committee aide told Fox News Digital. “The vast and well-funded CCP nonprofit influence machine is particularly focused on promoting Chinese energy interests and weakening America’s competitiveness.”

“Sadly, radical eco-activists in America do more to advance the interests of the CCP than promoting commonsense energy and environmental policies in the United States,” the aide added.

House Natural Resources Chairman Bruce Westerman (R-AR) speaks at a press conference following a House Republican meeting at the U.S. Capitol on March 28, 2023 in Washington, DC. The Republicans met to discuss their new energy plan which would increase domestic energy production and eases environmental review on energy and mining projects. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

Overall, while the U.S. is the largest global producer of oil and gas, which still drives every major industry from transportation and power to manufacturing and construction, Chinese companies have established a major foothold in green energy markets.

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), for example, China produces about 75% of all lithium-ion batteries, a key component of EVs, worldwide. The nation also boasts 70% of production capacity for cathodes and 85% for anodes, two key parts of such batteries.

In addition, more than 50% of lithium, cobalt and graphite processing and refining capacity is located in China, the IEA data showed. Those three critical minerals, in addition to copper and nickel, are vital for EV batteries and other green energy technologies. Chinese investment firms have also been aggressive in purchasing stakes in African mines in recent years to ensure a firm control over mineral production.

China also continues to dominate the global solar supply chain even as Western nations attempt to increase domestic manufacturing capabilities. According to a July 2022 IEA report, China has a greater than 80% share in all the manufacturing stages of solar panel manufacturing. China further produces a staggering 95% of all global polysilicon, ingot and wafer supplies necessary for solar products.

The Energy Foundation didn’t respond to a request for comment.

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