In the political lexicon, “The Swamp” connotes the murky world of self-serving bureaucrats and conflicts of interest that abound in Washington, D.C. Swamp creatures are the slick operators who work the Foggy Bottom system from the White House to the Potomac River.
A textbook case of this is found in the Biden administration, particularly surrounding the massive Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF) and its nontransparent web of activities.
David Hayes, a former senior climate official for the first two years of the Biden administration, exemplifies The Swamp revolving door phenomenon, as he goes from President Joe Biden’s policy architect of a $27 billion climate fund to a becoming a grant applicant now on the short list to receive a chunk of that taxpayer money.
After playing a pivotal role in crafting the GGRF, Hayes stepped down, ostensibly to take a “breather.”
Yet, his next steps show the Swamp in action. Hayes, who had also served in the Clinton and Obama White Houses, joined the board of the Coalition for Green Capital, a prime candidate for receiving substantial funds from the National Clean Investment Fund grants, under the umbrella of the Inflation Reduction Act.
The Inflation Reduction Act, a $750 billion behemoth targeting “energy security and climate change,” represents a lucrative pool of resources that invites waste, fraud, and abuse. The president himself has said that the Inflation Reduction Act has nothing to do with inflation but is, in fact, a climate change “investment.”
During his tenure with the Biden Administration, Hayes’ portfolio spanned the climate-change scam. It included promoting offshore wind energy, reducing methane emissions, and spearheading a “whole of government” approach to climate resilience. This means the neo-religion of climate change is infused into every particle of the federal government.
Hayes was instrumental in the development and implementation of climate-related provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act, and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
Now, Hayes’ involvement with Coalition for Green Capital (CGC) and his role as a senior fellow at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), which partners with CGC, raises significant conflict-of-interest concerns.
The NRDC’s assurance of not accepting government funding does little to alleviate worries about Hayes’ dual roles in government policy creation and as a grant applicant.
After all, as revealed in The New York Times, the NRDC has itself shifted away from its work on toxic chemicals, radioactive contamination and wildlife protection in order to focus on climate change. So is the Sierra Club, Defenders of Wildlife and the Environmental Working Group, all of which have been working on issues that are suddenly no longer fashionable and are switching up their missions.
Why? Follow the money. The massive federal funding has shifted to climate change and it’s the “whole of government” strategy.
The Coalition for Green Capital has, itself, morphed to mold to the money. In 2010, the group described itself on its website as an effort to “establish a government-owned, wholesale, non-profit bank that would fill the void that exists in clean-energy legislation in America today.”
“As currently envisioned in the Waxman/Markey Bill the Green Bank is established as the Clean Energy Deployment Administration (CEDA). The CEDA/Green Bank would ensure that electricity rates remain flat for consumers in all 50 states while financing the U.S. transition from ‘carbon to clean’ energy,” the group wrote in its self-description.
But today the coalition is now marketing itself as a public-private partnership: “Through strategic partnerships and innovative financing, we can expand the reach of state and local green banks, CDFIs, and other finance institutions, to equitably drive accessibility to clean energy financing and empower communities to embrace a greener future. We accelerate investments in the clean economy to reduce emissions and improve the quality of life for all Americans. By leveraging both public and private partnerships and the power of responsive financing, our network works to remove barriers to clean technology and increase energy abundance by, for, and with communities.”
In other words, the coalition is moving with the money.
This greasy-palmed scenario is not isolated to the Coalition for Green Capital. Across the swamp, groups reposition their missions to vie for the billions of dollars in the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund and other similar buckets of big, unlessly supplied taxpayer bucks. These groups are run by a revolving door of eco-activists with ties to the Democratic Party or past Democratic administrations.
It’s a tax-revenue skimming industry that produces nothing. The “greenhouse graft” is what our tax dollars are paying for.
It’s especially obnoxious knowing that the Inflation Reduction Act also requires corporations to pay a 15% minimum tax on their profits by enacting a 1% excise tax on stock buybacks and redemptions.
The money is going to groups like the CGC, whose principals are, without a doubt, kicking back some of their proceeds to the campaign account of The Big Guy.
Suzanne Downing is founder of Must Read Alaska and serves as its managing editor.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller News Foundation.
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