A newly-released U.S. Senate report reveals how an exclusive group of wealthy individuals directs and controls the far-left environmental movement through private foundations, which in turn influence major EPA policies centered upon restricting fossil use.
Hidden under a guise of philanthropy, the foundations funnel large amounts of Big Green to intermediaries — either as a pass-through or fiscal sponsor-which transfer the money to other nonprofit 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) organizations the original foundations might also directly support.
The Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Minority Staff Report states: “While it is uncertain why they operate in the shadows and what they are hiding, what is clear is that these individuals and foundations go to tremendous lengths to avoid public association with the far-left environmental movement they so generously fund.”
Nor do they wish outsiders to know which groups they fund, or how much they give them. As noted in the report, this is all accomplished thanks to benefits of a generous tax code intended to promote genuine philanthropy and charitable acts. Unlike close attention that has been directed to conservative nonprofit organizations, this is accomplished “amazingly with little Internal Revenue Service scrutiny.”
In doing so, the "billionaire’s club" (the report term) “gains access to a close network of likeminded funders, environmental activists, and government bureaucrats who specialize in manufacturing phony ‘grassroots’ movements and promoting bogus propaganda disguised as science and news to spread an anti-fossil energy message to the unknowing public.”
Donors and their recipients work in tandem to maximize the value of tax deductions while leveraging combined resources and political policy influence.
This often includes lobbying on behalf of the EPA to advance policy positions important to the agency, which is statutorily prohibited from lobbying on its own behalf. In doing so, they serve as the face of the environmental movement, presenting themselves as nonpartisan benevolent charities.
Meanwhile, the public remains unaware of the agency’s shadowy backroom policy deals and money transfers. Successes are achieved through the “capture” of key EPA employees at the expense of farmers, miners, roughnecks, small businesses, and families.
The report charges that the Obama administration is particularly guilty of deliberately staffing highest levels of its EPA with far-left environmental activists who have worked hand-in-glove with their former colleagues.
In addition to providing insider access to important policy decisions, the report accuses that the revolving door EPA then doles out large amounts of government grant money to their former employers and colleagues. More than $27 million in taxpayer- funded EPA grants have gone to major environmental groups with significant ties to senior EPA officials. The Natural Resources Defense Council and Environmental Defense Fund have each collected more than $1 million.
These awards are often premised upon propaganda disguised as science and news skillfully supplied by the billionaire’s club and their charities. Included is alarmist anti-fracking “research” which the Huffington Post, Mother Jones, and Climate Desk — all grant recipients themselves — eagerly report on.
Tax loophole-savvy attorneys and accountants enable elite contributors to receive full tax benefits even when grant recipients aren’t recognized as public charities and when the money indirectly funds political activities.
Such relationships involve hundreds of nonprofits with each set up according to a designated purpose as a cog in a well-designed machine.
This sophisticated apparatus depends heavily upon “facilitators,” both organizations and individuals-to successfully bring the private foundations and activists together. The Senate report highlights three organizations that play prominent facilitator roles: the Environmental Grantmakers Association (EGA), the Democracy Alliance (DA), and the Divest/Invest Movement.
EGA is a place where wealthy donors meet to coordinate the distribution of publicly undisclosed grants. DA facilitates broad far-left transaction agendas. (They claimed President Obama’s executive actions on climate change as their success.) The Divest/Invest Movement, together with EGA, have pooled and channeled hundreds of millions of dollars to chosen activist organizations.
One of the “even more unsettling” dominant organizations mentioned in the Senate report is the Sea Change Foundation, a private California entity which relies on funding from a foreign company with undisclosed donors. Sea Change subsequently funnels tens of millions of dollars to other large foundations and prominent political activists.
The largest secretly foreign-funded Sea Change recipient is The Energy Foundation, a pass-through “public charity” utilized by EGA members to create the appearance of a more diversified support base. This is intended “to shield them from accountability and leverage limited resources by hiring dedicated energy/environment staff to handle strategic giving.”
Obama once observed: “There aren’t a lot of functioning democracies around the world that work in this way where you can basically have millionaires and billionaires bankrolling whoever they want, in some cases undisclosed. What it means is ordinary Americans are shut out of the process.”
Yes . . . and that’s a subject he obviously knows a great deal about.
Larry Bell is a professor and endowed professor at the University of Houston, where he directs the Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture and heads the graduate program in space architecture. He is author of “Climate of Corruption: Politics and Power Behind the Global Warming Hoax,” and his professional aerospace work has been featured on the History Channel and the Discovery Channel-Canada. Read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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