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Committee Probes CBD on Relationship with Foreign Entities, Opposition to U.S. Military Operations


WASHINGTON, D.C., June 20, 2018 -

Today, House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop (R-Utah) and Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Chairman Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.) sent a letter to Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) Executive Director Kieran Suckling seeking information on CBD’s work on behalf of foreign entities and non-U.S.-based environmental groups, and information on the group’s efforts to hinder U.S. military presence and operations in Okinawa, Japan. The letter also seeks clarification on CBD’s status as a foreign agent under the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

“Since 2003, the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) has represented a coalition of Japanese and American environmental groups in litigation attempting to stop the planned relocation of Marine Corps Air Station Futenma (MCAS Futenma), located on the Japanese island of Okinawa.   In addition, CBD appears to have engaged in political activities within the United States on behalf of the government of the Japanese Prefecture of Okinawa and other foreign entities to influence plans regarding MCAS Futenma’s relocation... 

“For example, CBD appears to have arranged meetings with U.S. politicians and their representatives,  held press conferences,  and coordinated other publicity events in support of foreign anti-base activists, environmental groups, and members the Okinawan government opposed to the U.S. military’s presence. The Committee seeks clarification about the nature of CBD’s advocacy work to influence U.S. environmental and natural resources policy in light of CBD’s close relationship with Okinawan government officials and foreign environmental groups... 

“The Committee is concerned that your organization’s political activities in the United States in opposition to the relocation of MCAS Futenma and the continued U.S. military presence in Okinawa may require compliance with the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).”    

Click here to read the full letter.  

Background:

The letter is part of an ongoing investigation led by the Committee to further examine foreign influence on U.S. natural resources and environmental policy. 

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Contact: Committee Press Office 202-226-9019

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