Revelations Confirm Watchdog’s Fears About Potential $27 Billion Greendoggle
- November 16, 2023
Former Biden official who crafted climate policies now tied to group applying for $10 billion from them
Government watchdog Protect the Public’s Trust is again raising red flags regarding the Environmental Protection Agency’s $27 billion Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF), in response to revelations from a Daily Caller investigative report. To truly understand the gravity of the potential greendoggle that PPT initially warned of and that appears to be playing out, it is instructive to highlight who appears to be in line to benefit from this massive program.
Former Obama and Biden Administration official David Hayes is the prototypical Washington insider who has benefitted handsomely from political connections and environmental activism. He has made multiple trips through the revolving door between government service and a range of progressive special interests, most notably serving as billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s top attack dog funding state-based Attorney General lawsuits against President Trump’s administration.
During Mr. Hayes’s stint in the Biden Administration, “his portfolio in the climate policy office included working to promote offshore wind energy development, government efforts to slash methane emissions and climate resilience and adaptation programs.” He worked on “reducing methane and other greenhouse gas emissions, and accelerating the United States’ transition to a clean energy economy through offshore wind, transmission and other projects. Chief among his accomplishments was the establishment of a first-ever, ‘whole of government’ effort to improve the United States’ resilience in the face of climate change.” As part of these efforts, “he assisted in developing and implementing climate-related provisions of the IRA [Inflation Reduction Act] and IIJA [Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act].” [Emphasis added.]
In other words, David Hayes was at the top of the pyramid crafting the Biden Administration’s climate policies and legislative and regulatory push that created unprecedented funding under the IIJA and IRA. PPT has previously warned about the $14 billion in funding that the EPA has stated will be awarded to between two or three non-profit “green banks” that could end up doling out these taxpayer funds to other special interest environmental organizations. The EPA Inspector General himself warned lawmakers the avalanche of money came with “a high risk for fraud, waste and abuse,” and that the programs “did not come with sufficient oversight funding.”
The revelation that David Hayes is a board member of one of the five entities that have applied for the funding, the Coalition for Green Capital (CGC), is both shocking yet altogether predictable. Perhaps coincidentally, Mr. Hayes is also a Senior Fellow at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), which is a partner with CGC. NRDC has recently tried to quell concerns by stating that it does not accept government funding yet the mutual connections to Mr. Hayes and the apparent disregard for the potential conflict of interest that his involvement in the $14 billion program entails (serving as both an architect for the government and an applicant outside the government) leaves the public with little confidence that he – and likely other former government officials involved in developing climate policies in this and previous administrations – would not be in line to benefit from those policies.
“David Hayes’s involvement with an organization attempting to grab an 11-figure award from the taxpayers under a program that he most certainly helped craft is precisely why PPT long ago raised the alarm about the GGRF,” said Protect the Public’s Trust Director Michael Chamberlain. “This is the quintessentially perverse example of the revolving door in action. While it may be one of the most egregious, unfortunately it’s far from the only instance of such behavior in the self-proclaimed most ethical and transparent administration in history.”