Biden with Xi at an earlier time.
By Kevin Roberts
In Jan. 1976, Henry Kissinger wrote a letter to the president of Zaire, Mobutu Sese Seko, apologizing for the United States’ failure to develop the Tenke Fungurume mine. Then, as now, the United States was engaged in a global conflict with a formidable enemy, and Kissinger, with his typical foresight, was determined to keep the mine’s massive stores of cobalt — which has become one of the most important raw materials in the production of electric car batteries — in American hands.
What Kissinger could not have predicted, however, was that 40 years later America’s leaders would squander his work and sell the mine directly to our number one adversary. Yet in 2016, that’s exactly what Hunter Biden did. While his father — who was then serving as the Vice President — pushed aggressively for clean energy policies that increased the demand for cobalt, Hunter’s firm facilitated the $2.65 billion sale of the Tenke Fungurume mine from the American company Freeport-McMoRan to the CCP-sponsored mining outfit China Molybdenum.
Apparently, Burisma — a Ukrainian energy company with holdings in natural gas and other fossil fuels that Democrats want Americans to go without — wasn’t paying enough. Meanwhile, with Biden Sr. back in the White House, Americans have seen prices skyrocket on essential goods like gas and groceries, lost jobs as manufacturers shut their doors, and been lectured on the virtues of purchasing an electric vehicle by their supposed moral betters.
Now, as evidence mounts incriminating the first family and congressional Republicans seriously consider an impeachment inquiry, they would do well to remember that the Bidens aren’t the only ones selling the middle class out to China under the guise of the “green revolution.” Indeed, our entire ruling class needs correction, and that starts with laying bare how the Left’s concern for climate—sincere or not—is shipping America’s wealth to the Chinese.
You don’t have to be a conspiracy theorist or a so-called “climate denier” to see this scheme for what it is. You simply have to understand that for all the feigned consternation about China, our elites’ first priority is the climate agenda.
In practice, this means that our elites are working to phase out America’s innate strengths in oil, natural gas, and car manufacturing while mandating that Americans invest in green technology and buy electric vehicles—both of which require rare earth metals like cobalt that China increasingly has a stranglehold over. Indeed, as the Financial Times reported on August 9, “China is responsible for the production of about 90 per cent of the world’s rare earth elements,” as well as “at least 80 per cent of all the stages of making solar panels and 60 per cent of wind turbines and electric-car batteries.”
In other words, the determination to “go green” amounts to pre-emptive surrender.
Beijing, of course, is aware that the American climate lobby cannot achieve its goals without their assistance and is taking full advantage. The CCP supports ESG standards in American financial institutions, advocates for more U.S. climate legislation, and aggressively promotes “Net-Zero” policies in international forums.
Earlier this summer, at the World Economic Forum’s “Summer Davos” meeting in Tianjin, China, the very first session of the program was titled “Pulling Together for the Energy Transition.”And last year, the Shanghai Haixun Technology Co., while orchestrating elaborate campaigns to disseminate pro-China narratives online, even went so far as to finance in-person protests in Washington, D.C., one of which was notably aimed at “criticizing U.S. policy impacting the import of solar industry-specific components from Xinjiang—a key supplier of cheap critical components used by the solar panel manufacturing industry.” At home, of course, China doesn’t follow these same rules. The CCP approved plans for nearly two new coal-fired power plants per week in 2022 and aggressively persecutes activists who stand against their agenda. But while pointing out Beijing’s hypocrisy is helpful, it’s no substitute for seeing that the Left’s climate agenda has the United States trapped in Chinese handcuffs, playing the role of junior partner in the emerging global hierarchy because Washington elites are unwilling to let go of their ridiculous attempts to reach “net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.”
The good news: it doesn’t have to be this way. The Left’s kowtowing climate agenda is as self-imposed as it is self-defeating. By putting America first, rather than abstract climate numbers, strong conservative leadership can boot our corrupt elites from power, defeat China, and restore America’s energy independence in one fell swoop.
Dr. Kevin Roberts is president of the Heritage Foundation.