EPW Republicans release in-depth environmental collusion report, “The Chain of Environmental Command: How a Club of Billionaires and Their Foundations Control the Environmental Movement and Obama’s EPA”
July 30, 2014
U.S Environment and Public Works Committee Republicans released a report today highlighting the collusion between environmental activists, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and billionaires using large sums of money to influence environmental public policy.
The report uncovers the sophisticated practice of how wealthy donors, referred to in the report as the "Billionaire's Club," funnel money to far-left environmental activists through public charities. It also shows that current leadership at the EPA is very much an active partner in the far-left environmental movement, and even sponsors their efforts through grants to environmental activists.
Key points from the report:
• The "Billionaire's Club," an exclusive group of wealthy individuals, directs the far-left environmental movement. The members of this elite liberal club funnel their fortunes through private foundations to execute their personal political agenda, which is centered around restricting the use of fossil fuels in the United States.
• Public charities attempt to provide the maximum amount of control to their donors through fiscal sponsorships, which are a legally suspect innovation unique to the left, whereby the charity essentially sells its nonprofit status to a group for a fee.
• Public charity activist groups discussed in this report propagate the false notion that they are independent, citizen-funded groups working altruistically. In reality, they work in tandem with wealthy donors to maximize the value of the donors' tax deductible donations and leverage their combined resources to influence elections and policy outcomes, with a focus on the EPA.
• Environmental Grantmakers Association (EGA) is a place where wealthy donors meet and coordinate the distribution of grants to advance the environmental movement. It is a secretive organization, refusing to disclose their membership list to Congress.
• The Obama Administration has installed an audacious green-revolving door among senior officials at EPA, which has become a valuable asset for the environmental movement and its wealthy donors.
• Former environmentalists working at EPA funnel government money through grants to their former employers and colleagues.
• Under President Obama, EPA has given more than $27 million in taxpayer-funded grants to major environmental groups. Notably, the Natural Resources Defense Council and Environmental Defense Fund - two key activists groups with significant ties to senior EPA officials - have collected more than $1 million in funding each.
• EPA also gives grants to lesser-known groups. For example, the Louisiana Bucket Brigade received hundreds of thousands of grants under former Administrator Lisa Jackson despite challenges by state regulators over the use of such grants.
• In New York and Colorado, a pseudo grassroots effort to attack hydraulic fracturing has germinated from massive amounts of funding by the NY-based Park Foundation, as well as CA-based Schmidt Family Foundation and Tides Foundation.
• Bold Nebraska is another example of faux grassroots where a purportedly local organization is, in fact, an arm of the Billionaire's Club. It is a shield for wealthy and distant non-Nebraskan interests who seek to advance a political agenda without drawing attention to the fact that they have little connection to the state.
• The circumstances surrounding the flow of money from 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) groups, and the likelihood of lax oversight, raises questions as to whether 501(c)(3) nonprofit foundations and charities are indirectly funding political activities.
• 501(c)(4) Green Tech Action Fund receives millions of dollars from green 501(c)(3) organizations, then distributes the funds to other 501(c)(4) groups that donate to political campaigns.
• The Billionaire's Club knowingly collaborates with questionable offshore funders to maximize support for the far-left environmental movement.