Senior EPA Official’s Secret Ties To China Revealed

( According to documents obtained in late August by the watchdog group Protect the Public’s Trust, a high-ranking EPA political appointee received approval to maintain his professional relationship with Hong Kong University while his is serving in the Biden Administration. And now Republicans on the House Oversight and Reform Committee want some answers.

In February, President Biden appointed Chris Frey to serve as deputy assistant administrator for science policy at the EPA’s Office of Research and Development. Protect the Public’s Trust found that Frey disclosed in his May ethics recusal statement that he had taken a two-year unpaid leave of absence from Hong Kong University following advice by the EPA’s Office of General Counsel.

The ex officio chancellor of the Hong Kong University, Carrie Lam, is also Beijing’s hand-picked choice to serve as the chief executive of Hong Kong.

This information, however, was not publicly available. Frey’s association with Hong Kong University was not disclosed when President Biden first appointed him to his post, nor is it included in his bio on the agency’s website. And while Frey’s LinkedIn profile makes mention of the fact that he was a visiting professor in the environment and sustainability division of Hong Kong University, his profile indicates his employment there ended in January.

Five House Republicans from the Oversight Committee, led by South Carolina Congressman Ralph Norman, are now seeking information from the EPA about the communications between Frey and the university since January 20. They also want any communications between Frey and the EPA that have anything to do with the Biden administration’s policy on China. Finally, they are looking to obtain all communications between EPA ethics officials concerning Frey’s prior connections with Chinese entities.

In a press release last month, Protect the Public’s Trust said that it’s “difficult to argue that Dr. Frey’s employer is anything short of an arm of the Chinese government,” adding that if he is claiming to be on a leave of absence, no doubt he intends to return to Hong Kong University after his tenure at the EPA is over.

This is also the concern of House Oversight Republicans. In their letter to the EPA, they wrote that, at a time when the White House is pushing climate change “solutions” that benefit China, it is concerning that the EPA would have such a high-ranking official who has “such strong ties” to the Communist Chinese government.