The deep pockets of the “green” left
The “green” left is financially strong, but still presents itself as a brave grassroots outsider.
New IRS disclosures show how well-funded green activism really is.
In 2020 alone, nearly 200 environmental nonprofits have collectively raised $3.2 billion from wealthy donors and foundations to push radical climate laws, fund ideological lawsuits against the oil and gas industry, shut down coal-fired power plants, and train new activists. That number represents an increase of almost half a billion dollars from 2019, when environmentalists reported total sales of almost $2.7 billion.
The massive support for climate activism means these 200 organizations represent just a fraction of the groups pushing for Green New Deal-style politics. For clarity, my list includes only climate- or environment-focused nonprofits, but virtually every group on the left, from the Center for American Progress to the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and Planned Parenthood, supports the same “green” ideology platform.
The same is true for eco-activism’s biggest funders — just seven of them raised a staggering $1.8 billion in 2020 alone, mostly for “green” causes. For example, the ClimateWorks Foundation disbursed $68 million in 2020 to universities that fund anti-oil research and advocacy groups like the Natural Resources Defense Council.
ProPublica reports that the Energy Foundation, another major source for environmental projects, raised $76 million in 2020. How much did she spend? When this author tried to find out, the group’s communications director, Omer Farooque, hesitated: “Please be assured that you will receive the 990s within the 30-day window described in Section 6104(d)(1)(B).” . the Internal Revenue Code, he emailed me.
What is The Energy Foundation is known to pool grants from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Pew Charitable Trusts, Rockefeller Foundation and other left-wing donors to fund “climate crisis” responses. The foundation has close ties to China through its Beijing branch, where it boasts of its role in making the communist country the world leader in “carbon neutrality” — even as China rushes to build coal-fired power plants faster than the rest of the country the world combined.
Many, if not most, of these groups spend heavily to elect Democrats each election cycle. The League of Conservation Voters gave $15 million to its arm of the Super Political Action Committee (PAC) in the 2019-20 cycle, which spent a whopping $42 million hammering Republicans and empowering Democrats. At least $7 million of that total came from the Sixteen Thirty Fund, part of a $1.7 billion progressive funding network operated by consulting firm Arabella Advisors.
The Sierra Club, which raised $255 million through its various nonprofit and PAC arms in 2020, boasts that it helped “nearly $30 billion in dirty fuel infrastructure projects like pipelines and export terminals in the first half alone.” of the year 2020″. The group’s Beyond Coal campaign has shut down at least 335 power plants and castigated America’s most common source of energy as “outdated, backward, and dirty 19th-century technology.” It also aims to ban and permanently block fracking nationwide everything Development of at least 30 percent of the land area.
Then there’s the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), a $200 million-plus lobbying machine whose former Vice President Michael Regan currently runs President Joseph Biden’s Environmental Protection Agency. Since Biden took office, EDF has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars lobbying Democrats for 100 percent renewable energy mandates, the Build Back Better agenda, and a Republican-imposed carbon tax (the misleadingly named MARKET CHOICE Act) to support.
Yet many on the left still cultivate the image that they are brave grassroots activists committed to saving the planet from gas-guzzling polluters and their Big Oil-funded allies. That couldn’t be further from the truth.
In 2018, Drexel University sociologist Robert Brulle published a misleading study purporting to reveal a 10-to-1 disparity between the funding of climate-aware groups and the skeptics who oppose them — making the claim that skeptics 1 Spend billions of dollars a year blocking action on global warming. But he created this impressive figure by using the income by largely right-wing groups focused on everything from telecoms regulation to agriculture, labeling everything climate skeptical expenditure.
A more honest study would show that global warming activists are among the best funded special interests in America.
Almost every major left-wing foundation — including the Open Society Foundations of Ford, Rockefeller, Hewlett, and George Soros — funds climate activism. They also receive significant support from clean energy champions such as ExxonMobil, Shell and BP, all of whom tout their strong support for a rapid transition path away from so-called fossil fuels and towards a “lower carbon future”.
Countless companies are washing themselves with vague promises of “sustainability,” “resilience,” and solving the “climate crisis” by carbon oblivion, a cheap PR ploy to avoid the wrath of the experts climatists and activist shareholders.
But do big oil and gas companies really support policies that would wipe out their industry? ExxonMobil’s chief lobbyist doesn’t think so, revealing to an undercover Greenpeace operative late last year that a carbon tax is “an easy topic of conversation” that “isn’t going to happen.”
Maybe, maybe not. What is clear is that the climate machine in Washington, DC, could not be better funded and is determined to destroy the American economy.
Hayden Ludwig is a senior investigative researcher at the Capital Research Center.