The chairman of the House Oversight and Accountability Committee, Representative James Comer (R-KY), has launched an investigation into the actions of the Special Presidential Envoy for Climate (SPEC), John Kerry.
Rep. Comer has accused Kerry of conducting negotiations with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) that could “undermine American interests” under the “guise of climate advocacy.”
In a letter sent to Kerry, Rep. Comer stated that the committee has requested documents and information to understand Kerry’s role and provide transparency over the SPEC and its activities.
Comer criticized Kerry for failing to respond to previous requests for information and accused him of disregarding American national security and taxpayer dollars.
The Kentucky representative also expressed concern about the insufficient understanding of the SPEC office’s activities, spending, and staffing, adding that Kerry has been too lenient on China’s human rights violations while promoting climate negotiations that the CCP does not seem interested in following.
“The Committee on Oversight and Accountability is investigating your role in the Biden Administration and the nature of your negotiations with the Chinese Communist Party. In the 117th Congress, we requested information from you regarding your position as special presidential envoy for climate (SPEC)—a cabinet-level position that does not require Senate confirmation despite your apparent ability to bind the United States to international agreements —and SPEC employees’ ties to outside organizations,” wrote Comer.
“To date, you have failed to respond to any of our requests. Yet, you continue to engage in activities that could undermine our economic health, skirt congressional authority, and threaten foreign policy under the guise of climate advocacy. The Committee requests documents and information to understand your role and provide necessary transparency over the SPEC and its activities.”
“As a member of the President’s cabinet, you should be representing the United States’ interests. Your statements, however, consistently show disregard for American national security and taxpayer dollars,” continued Comer. “Your office continues to ignore requests for information. We are left with an insufficient understanding of your office’s activities, spending, and staffing.”
Kerry, who was appointed by President Biden as the U.S. SPEC shortly after taking office in 2021, has a spot on the president’s cabinet and National Security Council. He has a $13.9 million annual budget and approval for 45 personnel.
The climate czar has been traveling globally to attend high-profile climate summits and diplomatic engagements in an effort to push for a transition from fossil fuels to green energy alternatives.
Kerry has also held private talks with Chinese counterparts, including two meetings in China in 2021.
Following a regional climate summit in April 2021, he told CNBC efforts to thwart so-called climate change was “not about China.” “This is not a counter to China,” he added. “This is about China, the United States, India, Russia… a bunch of countries that are emitting a pretty sizable amount.”
Kerry made these statements despite China accounting for about 27% of total global emissions, amounting to triple the total in the U.S., and continues to approve and construct a large amount of coal power plants.