Joe Biden’s climate czar Ali Zaidi privately met with a Colorado-based Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), an eco group pushing gas stove bans.
On March 17, 2022, Zaidi met Jules Kortenhorst, RMI’s CEO at the time; John Coequyt, RMI’s government affairs director; and Sarah Ladislaw, RMI’s former managing director and U.S. program leader, according to visitor logs.
The three officials have pushed for net-zero, various climate policies, and abolishing fossil fuels.
“This meeting was about adding to President Biden’s historic record of bringing more manufacturing jobs back to America and lowering energy costs, not a debunked conspiracy theory,” White House spokesperson Abdullah Hasan told Fox News.
“While the cynics try to serve up a story about Zaidi without sizzle or steak, he is working overtime to deliver substance — good jobs, cost savings, and a stronger American energy sector than ever before.”
The topics discussed were not included in the visitor logs.
Zaidi, who leads the White House Climate Policy Office, met with leaders of RMI not long after reports that Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm met with Kortenhorst a year earlier.
The Department of Energy claimed the meeting focused on gaining support for the infrastructure law passed later that year, not gas stove bans.
But the White House meeting shows how the Biden administration developed a close relationship with RMI, a group that aims to accelerate the global green energy transition by economy-wide electrification.
As Fox News reported:
The White House visitor logs also showed that Kortenhorst and Coequyt were also in attendance at the White House ceremony celebrating the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act. RMI’s Twitter account thanked Biden for inviting members of the RMI public policy team to the White House for the event.
“To all of our friends in the climate movement who never gave up, thank you, thank you, thank you!”- @SenSchumer on the #InflationReductionAct passing.— RMI (@RockyMtnInst) September 13, 2022
Thank you @POTUS for inviting @RMIPolicy to The @WhiteHouse to celebrate this historic milestone. 👏 pic.twitter.com/lOI3s8KMWM
RMI staff also raised $13,132 for Biden’s campaign in 2020, according to election filings. And Ladislaw, who was one of the officials who participated in the March 2022 meeting with Zaidi, departed RMI last month to join the White House National Security Council in a climate and energy role.
Another former top RMI official, Elizabeth Hartman, joined the Department of Energy as its strategic innovation and outreach program manager this month. Hartman had worked at RMI in various roles, including chief of staff and the manager of the group’s electricity practice.
Gas stoves bans
“Across the United States, millions of homes and apartments rely on gas appliances for heating and cooking,” RMI states on its website.
“Burning gas in buildings is not only a threat to climate action but also to human health, as these appliances are sources of indoor air pollution.”
RMI funded a study that warned of the supposed public health dangers posed by gas stove usage, which Democrats like Alexandria Ocasio Cortez have also cited.
Bloomberg cited the study in early January, which included comments from a Consumer Product Safety Commission member who said a gas stove ban was “on the table.”
However, following criticism from industry groups and Republican lawmakers, the White House was forced to come out against a gas stove ban.
But the DOE and other federal agencies are continuing to move forward with hundreds of actions regulating appliances, including gas stoves, as part of Biden’s climate agenda.
The actions were also championed during the White House Electrification Summit in December.
“Are we going to get ahead of the game and harness the full economic opportunity that’s in front of us?” Zaidi remarked during the summit.
“We talk about electric heat pumps, we talk about electric tractors now, we’re talking about literally electricity in every sector of the economy,” he added. “Industrial processes shifting to electricity, agricultural processes shifting to electricity, buildings shifting to electricity.”
Meanwhile, Democratic-led cities and states have already approved measures prohibiting natural gas hookups in new build homes.
It should also be noted that RMI has significant ties to Communist China.
For example, the group collaborated with the Chinese state agency National Development and Reform Commission to study net-zero pathways for the nation, and is a member of the China Clean Transportation Partnership, a green group with significant ties to the Chinese government.
RMI board member Wei Ding was also the chairman of the China International Capital Corporation, a bank owned by the Chinese government.
“Who benefits from all this? Communist China,” Sen. J.D. Vance, R-Ohio, told the Washington Free Beacon in January. “I think it’s time for the chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission to answer some questions before Congress—under oath.”