07.11.2012 2

Environmental Extremists Exposed as Political Goliaths

Our National DebtBy Rachel Swaffer — In 2010 the Center for Responsive Politics reported that in the past 20 years corporate oil interests had spent a combined $250 million dollars on political activism.  Environmentalists were, as was intended, outraged that the philistine big oil interest was buying and bullying its way into a political advantage.

But if liberals claim that this big oil money is buying political outcomes and muzzling environmentalists with an average of $12.5 million a year, how much political clout do they think $100 million dollars a year will buy?

They of all people would know – in 2010 $100,000,000 was donated to the environmental advocacy organization ClimateWorks by a single progressive funding organization: the William & Flora Hewlett Foundation.

While the Hewlett Foundation’s $100 million dollar donation is an outlier, the amount of liberal money flowing into environmental groups is undeniably extreme.  According to tax records, in 2010 the aforementioned Hewlett Foundation gave a total of $135,203,199 to environmental advocacy groups.  Similarly, Pew Charitable Trusts gave out $18,494,516 in grants to the green movement, and Tides chipped in a little over $10 million as well.  Environmental advocacy group The Sierra Club Foundation even donated an astounding $33,789,753 to fellow environmental organizations.  In fact, the top 30 “Green Movement” funders donated a combined total of $286,861,331 to groups concerned with climate, environment, and sustainable energy, according to 2010 tax information.

Again that is more than $286 million that groups pushing the environmental agenda raked into their coffers in one year alone.

In that single year, these 30 top funders bankrolled a total of 237 different environmental advocacy groups.  Many of these groups received grants totaling in the millions of dollars.

For example, according to tax records, in 2010 the Natural Resources Defense Council received at least $3,055,413 from liberal funding giants.  The Sierra Club received even more: $34,803,245.  And the list continues: $3,750,000 to the Resources Legacy Fund, $810,000 to the Center for Biological Diversity, $5,110,000 to Ducks Unlimited, $8,833,000 to the Energy Foundation, $2,571,860 to the League of Conservation Voters.  The Trust for Public Land received over 3 Million Dollars in 2010, NatureBridge received 4 million.  The Environmental Defense Action Fund received grants in 2010 totally $1,650,000, according to tax records.

Not only are these numbers titanic, they are also disproportionate to the activity on the other side of the table.  Though many die-hard environmentalists claim that they have to fight against a glut of corporate oil money, the truth is that big-oil’s support for those who honestly evaluate climate change science and environmental realists is nowhere near the mega millions that the left is pumping into the Green Movement.

The proof is in the numbers:

According to oil-money watchdog Exxonsecrets.org, ExxonMobil gives, on average, about $831,500 a year to top pro-resource development targets like the American Legislative Exchange Council, Competitive Enterprise Institute, American Enterprise Institute, Atlas Economic Research Foundation, Heritage Center, Frontiers of Freedom, the Annapolis Center, and the Center for Strategic and International Studies.  Factor in donations from two more pro-resource development funders, the Claude Lambe Foundation (a Koch affiliate) and Scaife Foundation, and the total number of pro-resource dollars to top conservative non-profits is still just under 3 million dollars per year, according to tax records.

On the other hand, the Hewlett Foundation alone gave almost 120 million dollars to their top 10 environmental activist groups in 2010.  According to tax records, not only did ClimateWorks receive $100,000,000, but the Energy Foundation received $8,833,000, the Natural Resource Defense Council got $1,240,333. Sierra Club? Nearly a million dollars as well.  Hewlett gave $4 million to Trout Unlimited and approximately $1.5 million to the Trust for public land, $2million to the Western Conservation Foundation, and a little over a million dollars to Western Resource Advocates.

And this money goes directly to political use: frequent grant recipient the Sierra Club Foundation maxed out their lobbying expenditures in 2010, spending the exact legal maximum – $1,000,000 on direct political lobbying activities.

While it’s undeniable that these private donors have every right to invest their money in causes that they support, the hundreds of millions of dollars pouring in from biased donors have all but silenced rational, scientific inquiry, buried as it is under a crushing mountain of prejudiced money.

The disproportionate expenditure of funds on behalf of environmental extremism drowns out rational discussion on the state of our planet.  Instead, these jaundiced millions, are used to guilt trip ordinary Americans into squandering their wealth on pointless projects under guise of saving Mother Earth.

The constant careening from environmental disaster to environmental disaster allows these very prophets of global doom to raise even more funds to promote their latest scare.

All the while, these same extremists push America further along the road toward an “economic suicide pact” coined in Americans for Limited Government and FreeMarketAmerica’s viral video “If I Wanted America to Fail.”

The irony of the situation is that, in what the Green Movement paints as a “David and Goliath” battle between environmental interests and pro-resource development groups, the environmentalists are  Goliath.

Of course, for those familiar with history, David slays the giant.

Rachel Swaffer is a staff writer for Americans for Limited Government and a contributor to NetRightDaily.com.

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