When Will Media Report That Corporate Cash is Behind Green Activism?

light bulb/moneyPolitico reported yesterday that “it’s not easy being green anymore,” allegedly because of environmental groups’ failure to score political victories even when news events are in their favor, such as the BP Gulf of Mexico oil disaster and the Japan nuclear reactor drama. And initiatives such as cap-and-trade failed despite the environoiacs’ having a Democrat-dominated Congress and executive branch in 2009 and 2010. From the news story:

“I don’t understand how these guys, the funders, don’t ask for their money back or start suing for political incompetence,” a longtime Democratic strategist said of the Washington-based environmental movement. “You’re judged by how many campaigns you win, lose or come damn close. They haven’t gotten anywhere with that.”

I guess the EPA’s implementation of a greenhouse gas regulation structure under the Clean Air Act doesn’t count. Nor does the fact that the Obama administration severely curtailed leasing for oil and gas drilling on federal lands and waters.

But the line from Politico reporter Darren Samuelsohn that was the ultimate laugher was this: “It’s no secret environmentalists are outgunned when it comes to cash.”

I guess he doesn’t spend much time looking into liberal/environmental foundations. If so, he’d find billions of dollars that have flowed to Green causes — especially global warming. Among them are some of the most wealthy and recognizable names in America: Teresa Heinz, Ted Turner, The Rockefellers, former President Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, and many other celebrities and rich folks.

One of the biggest misrepresentations that the legacy media and left-wing activists make is that the corporate world and its executives monolithically contribute to anti-environmental efforts. All that’s needed to debunk that concept is to view the membership of the U.S. Climate Action Partnership, whose membership includes Alcoa, Chrysler, Dow Chemical, Duke Energy, DuPont, Exelon, Ford Motor Company, General Electric, and many other companies.

Another example is the collaborative effort of many current and former (some deceased) corporate executives’ foundations that are pouring their millions into a fight against global warming. The Energy Foundation has been a funnel for their efforts, receiving more than $91 million in revenues in 2009 while sitting on over $68 million in assets. EF’s climate mission:

The Climate Program seeks to spur informed debate about national policy that would put a cap and a price on carbon. Based on the scientific imperative of avoiding dangerous climate change, our goal is to put greenhouse gas emissions on an immediate downward trend and set the U.S. on a trajectory of 80 percent carbon reductions by 2050.

EF receives millions of dollars in contributions from several other climate alarmist foundations, many established by corporation founders or leaders: The Grousbeck Family Foundation (Continental Cablevision co-founder), The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation (Hewlett-Packard), The David and Lucile Packard Foundation (Hewlett-Packard), The Kresge Foundation (K-Mart), The McKnight Foundation (3M), The Schmidt Family Foundation (Google CEO Eric Schmidt), and The TOSA Foundation (Cisco).

EF has four programs, which issue grants that are all related to renewable energy or climate: Power, Buildings, Transportation and Climate. According to the grant information at its Web site, EF has awarded $111.4 million since late 2008. The number and amounts of grants to both large (like Natural Resources Defense Council, Friends of the Earth, and many others you would recognize) and small (state and local environmental groups) are phenomenal. It appears that EF has a come-one, come-all attitude to feed the multitudes. Many of the grants are for the purpose of lobbying, education, mobilizing grassroots, outreach and organizing to get public officials to implement policies that will mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.

Many of the same donor foundations to EF also banded together to form ClimateWorks Foundation. The Hewlett, Packard and McKnight Foundations “made commitments” to “support public policies that prevent climate change and catalyze sustainable global prosperity” through ClimateWorks, which is also listed as a “partner” of Energy Foundation.

One of the hundreds of EF grantees is Ceres, the environmental group that National Legal and Policy Center reported about weeks ago. Ceres pressures corporations to report their greenhouse gas emitting activities and disclose climate risk in their Securities and Exchange Commission filings, among their other efforts to get the business community in line with the group’s global warming agenda.

EF has awarded Ceres more than $2.3 million over the last two-plus years, with $1.57 million intended for its “We Can Lead” program. The primary contact for the project is communications consultant Michael Meehan, who was senior communications adviser for Sen. John Kerry when he ran for president in 2004. According to his biography Meehan also held “the top political and communication posts to all three national Democratic parties,” was in top advisory positions for several Senators and Congressmen, and “was the Vice President of Strategy and Politics for NARAL Prochoice America in 2003.” So he fits nicely with the rest of the groups that believe population control solves global warming.

From the looks of its Web site, it appears “We Can Lead” has shut down, run out of money, or both. Its last Tweet was 84 days ago, and the last press release that was posted was on September 14. That may be what the Democratic strategist in Politico was talking about when he talked about the environmentalists’ failures. But there are no signs that the Energy Foundation, Ceres or their hundreds of allies are slowing their efforts to pressure businesses to adopt their agenda.

Paul Chesser is an associate fellow for the National Legal and Policy Center and is executive director for American Tradition Institute.


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