Texas reps: Russians fund anti-fracking campaign,
Congressmen allege money was funneled to environmental groups.
On June 29, U.S. Reps. Lamar Smith and Randy Weber wrote a letter to the U.S. Department of the Treasury alleging a massive Russian disinformation campaign aimed at shaping public opinion.
But not the one you are thinking of.
The target of the Texas Republicans’ ire was not Russian election interference but what Smith and Weber allege was a complex funding operation in which Russian energy interests funneled money through a Bermuda-based corporation to American anti-fracking environmental groups with the hope of hurting the American fossil fuel industry.
The Texas Tribune could not verify or refute Smith and Weber’s claims, which drew wide coverage from national conservative outlets — and hardly caused a stir among larger mainstream publications.
Critics of the letter claim it is a thinly veiled attempt to distract from President Donald Trump’s Russia-related political woes. Its defenders say that if environmental groups are getting money from shady sources, they should to be investigated. The compa-
U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith, R-San Antonio, has long defended energy interests.