White House Watch

EPA Awards Billions From Biden’s Landmark Climate Bill To Orgs Loaded With Dem Insiders

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded nearly $14 billion Thursday to three organizations with deep ties to the Biden administration and the Democratic Party.

The EPA announced the winners of $20 billion of funding from the massive Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF), a program created by President Joe Biden’s signature climate bill, the Inflation Reduction Act. Among the selected awardees are Climate United, the Coalition for Green Capital and Power Forward Communities, three groups that are taking home almost $14 billion combined to establish financing operations for a wide variety of green technology and energy projects under the GGRF’s National Clean Investment Fund.

“Protect the Public’s Trust and others have been raising alarms about this program’s potential for misuse and cronyism. Sure enough, the three announced recipients are organizations closely tied to the Biden administration and the Democratic party,” Michael Chamberlain, the executive director of the government watchdog group Protect the Public’s Trust, told the Daily Caller News Foundation following the EPA’s Thursday announcement. “These awards could not have been more of a poke on the eye to those concerned about conflicts of interest, the revolving door, and protecting taxpayers from potential greendoggles.”

The three organizations are variously made up of activist groups and regional, politically-connected “green banks,” or financial institutions that issue loans and other financing options specifically for green technologies.

The nonprofits had been rumored to be on the shortlist for the EPA awards, and the DCNF reported on their extensive connections to the Democratic Party in November 2023. Chamberlain described the three groups as a “veritable who’s-who of insiders” at the time, while an EPA spokesperson told the DCNF that the application process was “rigorous” and “competitive” process.

“To nobody’s surprise, the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund appears to be another slush fund for friends of the Biden administration. The EPA is handing out billions of taxpayer dollars to the administration’s associates, political allies and, perhaps, future coworkers without any assurance that money won’t make it into the coffers of our foreign adversaries like China,” Pete McGinnis, the communications director for the Functional Government Initiative, a government watchdog organization, told the DCNF after the EPA announced the awardees. “Oversight and accountability seem to be afterthoughts to the goal of rolling out loads of cash to collaborators on the radical agenda that inhibits our nation’s efforts for energy independence. Today, the swamp is getting deeper and our government more dysfunctional.”

Climate United is taking home nearly $7 billion, the Coalition for Green Capital is receiving $5 billion and the EPA is giving Power Forward Communities $2 billion in taxpayer funds, according to the agency. Each of the three organizations are planning to route at least 50% of their investments to “low-income and disadvantaged communities,” in line with the Biden administration’s “Justice40” commitment to ensure that at least 40% of the benefits of climate-related spending flows to such communities to pursue “environmental justice.”

Phil Angelides, a Climate United board member, chaired California’s Democratic Party and served as the state’s treasurer before a failed run for governor in 2006, according to his personal website. Anthony Foxx, who is also on Climate United’s board, was the secretary of Transportation for the Obama administration.

Biden put Harold Pettigrew, a Climate United board member, on the Treasury Department’s community development advisory board in 2021. Patrice Willoughby, another board member, worked as the executive director of the Congressional Black Caucus from 2008 to 2011; Willoughby is now a senior vice president at the National Association for Advancement of Colored People.

The Coalition for Green Capital’s board of directors includes individuals like David Hayes, who now works for the Natural Resources Defense Council after stints in the Clinton, Obama and Biden administrations; Cecilia Martinez, the Bezos Earth Fund’s chief of environmental and climate justice and a former official in the Biden White House; and Julie Greene Collier, chief of staff for the American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations, a major labor organization that is poised to be a key institutional supporter of Biden’s reelection campaign.

Hayes’ affiliation with the Coalition for Green Capital is “possibly most egregious” of all prospective conflicts of interests or examples of political patronage, Chamberlain told the DCNF.

Power Forward Communities is a coalition of several organizations, including Rewiring America, a group that advocates for massive societal mobilization to get rid of fossil fuels and make the American economy reliant on green energy.

The coalition’s board of directors features several individuals with links to the Democratic Party establishment. Shaun Donovan, the board’s chairman, was the Housing and Urban Development secretary and the director of the Office of Management and Budget for the Obama administration.

The board’s two vice chairs are also Obama administration alums. Phyllis Caldwell served in the Obama Treasury Department and Ari Matusiak, the founder and CEO of Rewiring America, was the special assistant to Obama and as the administration’s director of private sector engagement. Rewiring America’s website says that it is a sponsored project of the Windward Fund, a nonprofit managed by the liberal dark money behemoth Arabella Advisors.

The EPA and the White House did not respond immediately to requests for comment.

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Nick Pope

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Nick Pope

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