EPA official’s ties to China-linked university spark questions
- September 21, 2021
Fred Lucas, Fox News
President Biden appointed a senior-level official to the Environmental Protection Agency who did not quit his job at a Hong Kong university – prompting concern among members of Congress and a government watchdog group regarding the university’s links to the Chinese government.
Chris Frey was appointed in February to serve as deputy assistant administrator for science policy at the EPA’s Office of Research and Development. In May, Frey disclosed that he was on an unpaid leave of absence from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.
“This appointment showed a lack of judgment from the Biden administration,” Rep. Ralph Norman, R-S.C., told Fox News. “Frey will be one of the highest-level officials in the EPA.”
Norman led a letter with four other Republicans on the House Oversight and Reform Committee seeking information from the EPA about communications between Frey and the university since Jan. 20; communications between Frey and the EPA related to potential Biden administration policy on China; and all communications among EPA ethics officials regarding Frey’s prior connections with Chinese entities.
The government watchdog group Protect the Public’s Trust first obtained Frey’s May 11 ethics recusal statement through the Freedom of Information Act. The group’s director, Michael Chamberlain, called the university “an arm of the Chinese government.”