BBCA 2014 U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Minority Staff Report titled, “How a Club of Billionaires and Their Foundations Control the Environmental Movement and Obama’s EPA,” described a powerful far-left political machine that conducts lobbying under the guise of “charitable giving.”

Established by about a dozen prominent foundations, the elite group channels huge sums of money through a close-knit network of hundreds of nonprofit organizations to churn out propaganda disguised as science and news.

The Senate report reveals that policy influence often involves “an audacious green-revolving door among senior officials at EPA, which has become a valuable asset for the environmental movement and its wealthy donors.”

Key tax-exempt recipients of this estimated $10 billion per year environmental lobbying industry include the Sierra Club, Earthworks, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), Earth Justice, the climate crisis and other anti-coal, anti-fracking, and anti-Keystone pipeline pressure groups.

The Obama EPA has given more than $27 million in taxpayer-funded grants to major environmental groups. Two singled out with nrdc“significant ties to senior EPA officials” — the NRDC and EDF — have each received more than $1 million.

The activist groups propagate jointly crafted material under false notions that they are independent, citizen-funded organizations working altruistically. In reality, they operate in tandem with donor agendas, typically to justify a desired predetermined policy outcome.

“The research is then reported by a news outlet, often times one that is also supported by the same foundation, in an effort to increase visibility.”

As reported, the Billionaire’s Club has “perfected the craft of assembling and funding fake grassroots movements to assist in ballot measures and other state initiatives.”

Efforts to ban fracking in New York funded by the Park Foundation and in Colorado by the Schmidt Family Foundation and Tides Foundation are offered as examples. These same foundations have operated in Colorado through two coalitions, Local Control Colorado and Frack Free Colorado.

The Park Foundation and the Schmidt Family Foundation have also reportedly “financed questionable scientists to produce anti-fracking research, which the Huffington Post, Mother Jones, and Climate Desk — all grant recipients themselves — eagerly report on.”

This creates an “echo chamber,” giving the appearance of a faux grassroots movement. It also provides “distance/anonymity between donations made by well-known donors and activities of risky activist groups.”

As Media Research Center VP Dan Gainer explains, partners team up and coordinate to “have one group write on an issue, another quote them or link to them, and so on . . . It keeps going until they create this perception that there’s real concern over an issue, and it bubbles up to liberal sites like Huffington Post, and from there into the traditional media.”

icnFor example, Inside Climate News (ICN) and the Weather Channel teamed up on a 2014 series of “investigative reports” regarding a ginned-up fracking health scare in Texas.

ICN and its alter ego organization, Science First, have active partnerships with the Associated Press, the Weather Channel, Bloomberg News, The Los Angeles Times, and other media organizations. The LA Times refuses to print letters that reflect skeptical views regarding “dangerous climate change.”

According to the New York Times, ICN is an outgrowth of its founder and publisher David Sassoon’s consulting work with the Rockefeller Brothers Fund (RBF), a philanthropic group that emphasizes climate policy. RBF reportedly provided much of the start-up financing for Science First — with additional funding for the League of Conservation Voters and the Sierra Club Foundation — for opposition efforts against the Keystone pipeline and tar sands in general.

As I reported in my May 2 column, RBF hosted a secret January 2016 meeting which brought together about a dozen influential anti-BMKfossil fuel activists including founder Bill McKibben to refine strategies “to establish in public’s mind that Exxon is a corrupt institution that has pushed humanity (and all creation) toward climate chaos and grave harm.”

The Rockefeller Family Fund reportedly offered to help fund the campaign through

Two months later on March 29, New York AG Eric Schneiderman headlined a press conference of 16 state attorneys general announcing intentions to prosecute organizations who were “committing fraud” by “knowingly deceiving” the public about the threat of man-made climate change. Days later he launched a RICO action against ExxonMobil through legislation originally directed at Mafia figures.

Virgin Islands Attorney General Claude Earl Walker, a former EPA attorney, has filed a RICO suit against both ExxonMobil and the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), a Washington, DC, think tank.

To quote a well- known authority: “There aren’t a lot of functioning democracies around the world that work this way where you can basically have millionaires and billionaires bankrolling whoever they want, however they want, in some cases undisclosed.” Then as President Barack Obama added, “What it means is [that] ordinary Americans are shut out of the process.”

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  • Larry Bell

    CFACT Advisor Larry Bell heads the graduate program in space architecture at the University of Houston. He founded and directs the Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture. He is also the author of "Climate of Corruption: Politics and Power Behind the Global Warming Hoax."