Big Green’s untold billions

Mainstream media don’t know Big Green has deeper pockets than Big Oil

  • Big Green follow the money CFACT Org

The “Kill Keystone XL” crowd isn’t little David up against a Big Oil Goliath. As usual, conventional wisdom isn’t wisdom when the mainstream media ask all the wrong questions with commensurate answers.

Behemoth Big Green outstrips Big Oil in expendable revenue by orders of magnitude — if you know how to follow the money.

The mainstream media don’t know how. Like most liberals, their staffs are afflicted with what 20th century futurist Herman Kahn called “Educated Incapacity” — the learned inability to understand or even perceive a problem, much less a solution.

They’ve been taught to be blind, unable to see Big Green as having more disposable money than Big Oil, so they don’t look into it.

They would never discover that the American Petroleum Institute’s IRS Form 990 for the most recent year showed $237.9 million in assets while the Natural Resources Defense Council reported $241.8 million.

Nor would they discover who started the anti-Keystone campaign in the first place. It was the $789 million Rockefeller Brothers Fund (established in 1940). The fund’s program is elaborated in a 2008 PowerPoint presentation called “The Tar Sands Campaign” by program officer Michael Northrop, who set up coordination and funding for a dozen environmental and anti-corporate attack groups to use the strategy, “raise the negatives, raise the costs, slow down and stop infrastructure, and stop pipelines.” Tom Steyer’s $100 million solo act is naive underclass nouveau cheap by comparison.

Mainstream reporters appear not to be aware of the component parts that comprise Big Green: environmentalist membership groups, nonprofit law firms, nonprofit real estate trusts (The Nature Conservancy alone holds $6 billion in assets), wealthy foundations giving prescriptive grants, and agenda-making cartels such as the 200-plus member Environmental Grantmakers Association. They each play a major socio-political role.

Invisible fact: the environmental movement is a mature, highly developed network with top leadership stewarding a vast institutional memory, a fiercely loyal cadre of competent social and political operatives, and millions of high-demographic members ready to be mobilized as needed.

That membership base is a built-in free public relations machine responsive to the push of a social media button sending politically powerful “educational” alerts that don’t show up on election reports.

Big Oil doesn’t have that, but has to pay for lobbyists, public relations firms and support groups that do show up on reports.

You don’t need expert skills to connect the dots linking Keystone XL to Alberta’s oil sands to climate change to Big Green.

On the other hand, you do need detailed knowledge to parse Big Green into its constituent parts. I spoke with CFACT senior policy analyst Paul Driessen, who said, “U.S. environmental activist groups are a $13-billion-a-year industry — and they’re all about PR and mobilizing the troops.

“Their climate change campaign alone has well over a billion dollars annually, and high-profile battles against drilling, fracking, oil sands and Keystone get a big chunk of that, as demonstrated by the Rockefeller assault.”

Driessen then identified the most-neglected of all money sources in Big Green: “The liberal foundations that give targeted grants to Big Green operations have well over $100 billion at their disposal.”

That figure is confirmed in the Foundation Center database of the Top 100 Foundations. But how much actually gets to environmental groups? The Giving USA Institute’s annual reports show $80,427,810,000 (more than $80 billion) in giving to environmental recipients from 2000 to 2012.

I checked the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and found $147.3 million in assets while environmental donor Gordon E. and Betty I. Moore Foundation posted $5.2 billion.

Driessen pointed out another unperceived sector of Big Green: government donors. “Under President Obama, government agencies have poured tens of millions into nonprofit groups for anti-hydrocarbon campaigns.”

Weather Channel co-founder John Coleman adds, “The federal government is currently spending $2.6 billion [per year] on climate change research (and only those who support the “carbon dioxide is a pollutant/major greenhouse gas’ receive funding).”

This web of ideological soul-mates, like all movements, has its share of turf wars and dissension in the ranks, but, as disclosed on conference tapes I obtained, it shares a visceral hatred of capitalism, a worshipful trust that nature knows best, and a callous belief that humans are not natural but the nemesis of all that is natural.

Lawyer Christopher Manes wrote “Green Rage: Radical Environmentalism and the Unmaking of Civilization.” Manes now practices tax litigation from his law office in Palm Springs, Calif., which he has not yet unmade.

The legal branch of Big Green is varied. Earthjustice, (formerly Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund) raked in $133.8 million in the past five years – comparable to many similar law organizations. Highly litigative attack groups receiving federal settlements are numerous and thriving, such as the Center for Biological Diversity ($29.2 million in the past five years).

It’s not unusual for heirs of big money to dream of unmaking the source of their wealth: Laura Rockefeller Chasin of the Rockefeller Family Fund once said, “It’s very hard to get rid of the money is a way that does more good than harm. One of the ways is to subsidize people who are trying to change the system and get rid of people like us.”

The money reported to the Federal Election Commission is barely the beginning of what’s really happening. It doesn’t show you Big Green’s mobilized boots on the ground, the zooming Twitter tweets, the fevered protesters, the Facebook fanatics or the celebrities preaching carbon modesty from the lounges of their private jets.

When self-righteous victims of Educated Incapacity insist that Big Oil outspends the poor little greenies, keep in mind the mountains of IRS Form 990s filed by thousands of groups, land trusts, lawyer outfits, foundations, and agenda-makers, just waiting for America to wake up and smell Big Green’s untold hundreds of billions.

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This article originally appeared in The Washington Examiner

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About the Author: Ron Arnold

Ron Arnold is executive vice president of the Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise.

  • gregzimmerman007

    Eye opening! Well written. Shocking. Frightening. If this is how science is done, then things must be changed.

    Today a professor was forced out of meteorology because his views on global warming/climate change did not agree with the 98 scientists on the opposite side, but rather with the 2 of them, except now there is only one of them, so I guess the belief is 99% for and 1% against the theory.

    It’s interesting how the rate keeps going up because of attrition of the other side, and NOT from the other side JOINING the super-majority side. Which should indicate only one thing: suppression of good science and oppression of scientific beliefs, or BOTH.

    I do believe now that it is BOTH, and the fact Obama’s regime is in charge only underscores my belief. In fact, amongst scientists it is almost UNHEARD that ALL scientists are in complete agreement with one another in a ratio of 100% to 0%. It almost never exists.

    But, when we see this ratio, then we will know with almost complete certainty that science has come to a screeching halt and political coercion has become the main force driving the “scientific results”.

    As I said then, it’s scary! frightening! shocking! a true eye opener of the energy industry!

    • mmercier0921

      Whenever every one agrees that science is settled, you know they are wrong.

      Took five hundred years to figure out body temperature.

      I will spare you the saturated fats.

      Or stomach ulcers.

      Or…

  • Johnpd

    More & more truth surfaces every day.
    No warming for 17 years +
    The Climate’s been changing for 4.5 billion years.
    The Climate is calmer now than than in the past.
    & now poor little Green V Big Oil turns out to be
    Megabucks big Mean Green.

    Sometimes you just have to laugh.
    What a mad way to ruin a World.

    • mmercier0921

      Humans can only ruin the world in limited locations, for limited periods.

      The world can ruin humans on massive scale, for extended periods.

      We like to believe volcanoes go off for a day or week… maybe a month. The Siberian traps blew out enough magma to make a dozen Texas’s.

      They blew for a million years.

  • Allen Barclay Allen

    I vehemently Disagree !

    They’ve been taught to be blind, unable to see Big Green as having more disposable money than Big Oil, so they don’t look into it.

    Don’t be deceived these Smoke and mirror so called Green people have every intention of building that pipeline. When you Follow the Money you must follow the motive also. Saudi Arabian oil is running out. Our new oil finds dwarfs all middle east oil. Oil to Saudi Arabia and the rest of these islamic countries is power. These So called Green people have full intention of building that pipe line under islamic Communist controle. They just don’t want the American People to benefit from it. They are in full Collusion of stopping the United States from coming to the ade of Europe for another WWIII. They have to cripple the USA. And to do so for the illuminati Rich Communist one world order, that will take over of the entire world, and after done, they fully intend to use all that oil. Why do they have to cripple the USA. Simple these Communist are scared of the USA.

    • mmercier0921

      The usa is scared of the usa.

      A machiene that runs of itself. The illusion that there is some controlling mechanism is nothing more than a fondly held notion.

      The truth is more terrifying. There is no one in control.

      As intended.

  • Brent Thomas Goins

    You have done an EXCELLENT job in putting forth what I am observing as I read extensively on the climate subject!

    I am now reading the National Climate Assessment. Unfortunately, I am shocked at all with this report. The introduction makes outrageous conclusions about what is occurring with CO2 being about 400ppmV! We are at a geologically historical low period on CO2 concentration, but the weeds in my garden are sure enjoying it as are the weeds in green movement, government and the elite eugenic greens…more for the green $’s than the green Mother Earth!

    Thank you for a well-written article that I hope will be well read…in our schools, children are being indoctrinated into the craziness of climate disaster due to humans and some children are actually having panic symptoms because that are so afraid! Shamefull!

    • Mary

      Well said. I am also reading so I better understand that arguments and have found precisely what you outline in your comment. It is remarkable to see the level of willful ignorance and the inertia in society as people from all walks of life accept what they are told even when it doesn’t make sense, and dutifully follow along. We’ve got the Pied Piper working with the Advisors to the Emperor.

      • mmercier0921

        Ignorance is not willful.

        The stunting of the natural questioning ability of an individual mind was no small challenge. These communists are dug in deeper than a tick in a dogs ear.

        They did this, for the … children.

  • Mary

    Wow. Well done. I knew they were well funded but did not know the extent. No wonder they’re so prolific.

  • BIG OIL IS THE PROBLEM

    Ummmm…yeah. This is possibly the silliest article on the internet. Sorry…Big Oil / Energy / Auto represents 14 of the 20 largest companies in the entire WORLD. Together Big ENERGY and BIG AUTO Represent 30 out of the Top 60 companies in the world each with over $100,000,000,000.00+ (That’s $100 Billion+ EACH Company.)

    The top 14 companies represent $4,190,000,000,000.00 + in Revenues (That’s $4.19 TRILLION with a T…not Billion with a B) together are larger than all of the other companies in the entire list of largest companies.

    I am not a fan of big government or spending on stupid things. But anyone who thinks that ANYONE can outspend BIG OIL / COAL / GAS and their related Industries (BIG AUTO AND BIG UTILITIES) is under a severe hallucination.

    Follow the money you say??? NO-ONE has as much money coming in EVERY SINGLE YEAR as BIG ENERGY / BIG AUTO. Whether you believe in Global Warming / Climate Change or not…Big OIL / COAL / POWER / AUTO is polluting this planet and we’ll all pay the price.

    Fortunately Solar, distributed power generation and other renewable energy sources are coming…let’s hope it’s not to late.

    • mmercier0921

      We should have small oil and automobile manufacture.

      A well in every yard, and a microrefinery, next to every garage based car shop.

      Frikin luddites should have just sat in their caves burning the buffalo shit they peddle.

      • Johnpd

        Right.
        Mao tried this lunacy, with steel.

    • Johnpd

      What’s polluting this planet is poverty.
      Moderate affluence leads to a financial surplus which can be turned toward care for the environment.
      Google Earth for a picture of Haiti for a stark illustration.

  • Bill Vancouver

    Hey Big Oil is the Problem: You are showing Revenue. Please show us the bottom line and be sure to include taxes paid. I am interested in a comparison between Big Oil and Big Green. Do Big Green organizations pay any taxes at all? What good do they do for our economy? How many people do they employ and what is their average annual pay? How do you explain Big Green suing the EPA and then settling the issue behind closed doors, telling the judge they have settled, and walk off with a pile of U.S. taxpayer dollars…..the whole CAGW hoax is nothing but crony capitalism for the alarmists who claim to be saving the world….who are they saving it for: Islam or China? The US of A was once the Beacon of Hope for Freedom. The flame is rapidly being extinguished by Big Green activists.

  • Calvinius

    Behemoth Big Green outstrips Big Oil in expendable revenue by orders of magnitude — if you know how to follow the money.

    More like if you know how to spin things in Big Oil’s favor.