The Radical Rockefeller Campaign Against Pipelines

delaware riverkeeper - Jim Willis reports

Jim Willis
Editor & Publisher, Marcellus Drilling News (MDN)


The increasingly radical Rockefeller family is funding an anti-pipeline campaign on many fronts, including in West Virginia where their puppets are suing.

A group of profoundly radical “environmental” organizations filed a lawsuit in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit last Friday against the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) – for doing their job. The Sierra Club, West Virginia Rivers Coalition, Indian Creek Watershed Association, Appalachian Voices and Chesapeake Climate Action Network have sued the DEP because the department had the audacity to conduct a very thorough review, and then issue a stream and water-crossing permit (demanded under federal law) for the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP).

MVP is a $3.5 billion, 301-mile pipeline that will run from Wetzel County, WV to the Transco Pipeline in Pittsylvania County, VA. The project, which filed an official application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in October 2015, is being built by EQT, NextEra Energy and several other partners. This is now standard operating procedure for Big Green groups with deep pockets. Sue and keep suing in an attempt to slow and eventually kill off any project that remotely involves fossil fuels.

radical Rockefeller

Yes, they are radical, they are extreme, waaaaaay outside the mainstream of American society. And they must be stopped. When will someone launch weekly lawsuits against these Big Green organizations?

Here’s the latest maddening development from the Charleston Gazette-Mail (emphasis added):

Five local, state and national citizen groups have asked a federal appeals court to overturn the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection’s approval of a state authorization for the Mountain Valley Pipeline.

Lawyers for the groups filed their petition for review Friday afternoon with the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia.

Last month, DEP Secretary Austin Caperton refused to grant a hearing to environmental groups and citizens who filed an appeal after his agency approved a Clean Water Act certification for the MVP project…

The permit in question is a certification under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act that the pipeline activity will not violate the state’s water quality standards or stream designated uses.

In appealing the DEP’s approval to Caperton, citizens and organizations said the agency did not have enough information to draw such a conclusion.

“With the MVP proposing to cross streams more than 600 times in West Virginia alone, it’s startling the bar was set so low on information required from the applicant,” said Angie Rosser, executive director of the West Virginia Rivers Coalition, one of the groups that filed the 4th Circuit petition. “Especially for a project of this magnitude, we expect a lot more detail. Without the complete information and analysis, there’s no way that West Virginians can be assured their rivers and streams won’t pay a price.”

Unlike many other permitting decisions, an appeal of a DEP 401 certification does not go to a board like the state Environmental Quality Board, but to the agency secretary. Under the DEP’s own rules, the secretary has discretion on whether to even hold a hearing on such an appeal.

When it initially approved the pipeline’s 401 certification, the DEP issued a news release about the action and pointed members of the news media to the MVP developer’s website for “information about the potential economic benefit” of the project.

Groups filing the appeal of Caperton’s decision with the 4th Circuit include the Sierra Club, the West Virginia Rivers Coalition, the Indian Creek Watershed Association, Appalachian Voices and the Chesapeake Climate Action Network. The groups are represented by attorneys with Appalachian Mountain Advocates

Editor’s Note: Jim’s admonition is exactly correct. The pipeline industry is under attack by hordes of radicals firing at it with lawsuit and protest machine guns. Yet, pipeline companies hardly bother to fight back, preferring, it seems, to die as mealy-mouthed creatures of their public relations and corporate legal staffs. If they were serious, they would be filing countersuits at twice the rate of the radicals. They’d also be going hard after the funders; elitist foundation money being the mother’s milk of the anti-pipeline campaign.

It’s perfectly obvious who those funders are and they represent but a handful of extremely wealthy trust-funders and special interests. The radical Rockefeller family is the pre-eminent force among these entities, being the wealthiest. It is also precisely the entity behind this attack on the MVP. Appalachian Mountain Advocates has, in fact, been specifically funded by the Rockefeller Family Fund (RFF) to “oppose construction of oil and gas pipelines in Virginia.” RFF also funds Appalachian Voices according to its website.

radical rockefeller

Joe Lovett, founder and executive director of the Rockefeller puppet Appalachian Mountain Advocates. Photo by Manuel Quinones, E&E News.

Notice, though, the list of grants on that website is a “representative list.” The full list would normally be found attached to the organizations 990 return filed with the IRS, but when one goes to publicly available copies of the 990 return for 2015 (at Guidestar, for example), there is no list. Instead, the return refers to a separate schedule that is not attached. This is no coincidence. The radical Rockefeller family doesn’t want it to be easy to find out what it funds. We know fighting pipelines is part of its agenda, though, from the activities of its NRDC gang subsidiaries in New York, where it has funded opposition to water quality certifications for the Constitution and Northern Access Pipelines.

We also know its agenda from other sources who monitor grant-making by elitist foundations. Chesapeake Climate Action Network, for example, is reported by Citizen Audit to be funded by the Sustainable Markets Foundation and the Rockefeller Family Fund, as well as the Environmental Integrity Project. All three are heavily funded by the radical Rockefeller family. The family also contributes to funding of the Energy Foundation which, in turn, funds the Sierra Club. The West Virginia Rivers Coalition is funded by the National Wildlife Federation, another Rockefeller family funded enterprise.

This entire charade, in other words, is funded directly or indirectly by the radical Rockefeller family as part of its ongoing special interest agenda of making a wilderness of areas it wants for its own enjoyment. If the pipeline industry is serious about defending itself, it will go on offense against all these groups, but especially the Rockefeller family, which is conducting a racket here. Challenge them with a RICO lawsuit. Challenge their tax-exemption. Challenge their failure to effectively disclose who they are funding. Document the relationships and, as Jim recommends, file a new lawsuit every week. That’s the way to win. Anything less is not only pointless but also counterproductive in giving the opposition more time, which is part and parcel of their delay game. Stop playing games and fight! 

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35 thoughts on “The Radical Rockefeller Campaign Against Pipelines

  1. Please do not call environmental , citizen groups “profoundly radical”…
    We are all interested in saving our environments, our eco-systems, our rural counties and areas, our neighborhoods, from the intrusive, risky, dangerous, toxic industries like oil and gas, fossil fuels and any other polluting industries.
    Calling anyone “radical” because they oppose your position and point of view is unacceptable and silences groups of concerned citizens who don’t want to be polluted, harmed or poisoned.
    And calling funders, “radical”, because they support the opposing view is also misleading and basically name-calling.
    We have opposing views and those who need to protect themselves, the land, the climate, the air, the water, our health need to voice their concerns and do all they legally can to protect themselves.
    I’m happy to hear so many groups and citizens are developing in our country to protect and save us and encourage new energy sources that will any long hurt us and profit the few….
    Oil and Gas needs to go and be replaced by non-polluting and harmful sources…
    sorry, if it doesn’t match your beliefs, views, and position
    Once citizens are shown the dangers and not just the positive of “more jobs and profits”, they decide to do something as groups to protect themselves.
    Citizen groups are now forming to protect themselves from the newly-formed CNG Terminals/stations in Pa. and NY which are running a “virtual pipeline” in their neighborhoods and streets…
    Sorry, you don’t share the understanding of the dangers and harms of the oil and gas industry in our midst…Oil and Gas made the big mistake of deciding to extract resources next to our homes, schools, farms, hospitals, churches, businesses and that is becoming more and more intolerable and harmful..

    • I’m not sure I’ve ever read a more elitist, condescending, ill-informed vision than the one you just offered, Vera. This is why I usually approve your comments. They’re so revealing.

      • Vera you stated that “Oil and Gas needs to go and be replaced by non-polluting and harmful sources.” What harmful sources should we replace it with ?? Or is that an error and should read non harmful ?? Wind and solar energies are not non polluting. Do some research on how they’re manufactured. So which non polluting source should we use ??

        • Keep up the good work, when someone tells you that wind and solar are pollutant you know you have them on the ropes. People who live in extraction zones know what the true cost of gas is. Go frack yourself if you like it so much

          • LOL !!!! What a childish response. Tom is right you know nothing about me or where I live.

    • Vera, I always respect and listen to opposing views; but I see very little of this attitude in the actions of, yes, the radical environmentalist, who do not mind creating destruction, damage to, trashing and pollution of, not only property that is not theirs, but to the environment, all in the name of “protecting” the environment. I love the outdoors and wilderness areas as much as anyone. I am very much for intelligent, reasonable approaches to protecting and preserving our environment; but trying to impose the extreme views of a few upon the masses via the tactics I see from your type groups is not the way to achieve these goals. You are willing to impose hardships, discomfort, economic harm, etc. upon your fellow man to impose your life philosophy. I have no doubt that energy sources other than oil and gas will become more and more important in our society as these become more economical and suit our lifestyles. Impeding the infrastructural developments, such as pipelines, will result in much less safe methods of distributing the fuels that are currently necessary for our society and economy. I sometimes wish the oil and gas industry could just go on strike for a short period of time, just to impress upon everyone how much our society relies upon it; but, we all know that would not be allowed by our government, laws and it would be irresponsible to do so.

    • Vera, I admire your bravery! I am starting a new organization which is confronting all the lies scientists have been permeating for decades. Yes, Vera, we need funding for our new organization which we will name after you. All your great efforts deserve the honor! You know as we do that the world is actually flat, and we live in a two dimensional existence. We must oppose the lies, and harm these scientists are doing now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Lies, hysteria and misinformation are not “opposing views” Vera. They are lies, hysteria and misinformation. Don’t tell me that anti-pipeline groups and antifracking organizations don’t misinform the public, reporters and politicians. I was on listserves. I met fractivists. I have never in my life seen people so willing to not tell the truth.

      You know that there are professionals in the movement and funding. I agree with you that it is not accurate to call all antifracking or pipeline activists “radicals”. Banning fracking is an extreme position though. Calling the FERC “an enemy of the people” as a fractivist did in a letter published in a suburban long island newspaper is an extreme thing to say and it is also blatantly false.

      Doesn’t matter whether you are someone who came into the movement with good intentions or not– Lying to the public and spreading chaos and misinformation is not a positive thing.

      • Least you are laying off the subjects you know so little about. Divestment actions and lawsuits must be working when the recommendations are to follow the environmental lead. When the facts about the environmental impacts left behind from extreme extractions are challenged, the truth speaks for itself. Three million people depend on the Ohio River for their drinking water supply many with no back up water plans. How can saving peoples lives through educational programs funded by people that know the truths anout the industry be wrong. What is wrong is Energy Transfer Partners lying to people, stealing peoples land and not paying their fines, leases or damages be good business practices. They do not sue when standu g on shakey ground. #StopETP and the poisonig of our land, air and water and start funding some clean up in the path of destruction.

        • Elaine–you sound like you are smoking a frack pipe right now.

          If that’s your twitter account, you are definitely smoking the frack pipe. Seriously you think Jimmy Betts is going to give you real information about anything? Perhaps this isn’t your twitter account but you are under the impression that Jimmy Betts has participated in a FERC docket? I have. Antifracking activists LIE. FREQUENTLY. To the press, to agencies, to each other, on listserves, in dockets, on transcripts and in videos. There is overwhelming evidence that this is so.

  2. A day in the life of an anti fossil fuel radical extremist!
    Wake up lifting their heads from their polyester pillows pulling their sheets from their bodies. Grabbing their plastic toothbrush, turning on their hot water to rinse, spit rinse some more. Jumping into a shower stall made from petroleum products like their bedding and toothbrush, hot water running a nice relaxing hot shower thanks to fossil fuels. If they use soap and body products you guessed it all made possible by fossil fuels. Next dressing in fossil fuel produced clothing while brewing that Cofefee’s (lol) in an electric coffee pot. On the computer to check the days protest schedule they make protest signs out of petrol products. Into their cars they go, maybe planes, they burn petroleum products all while discussing on their cell phones how they can demonize the very fuel that makes their day possible. Yes Jim Willis, you called it right. But you should have included hypocrite, liars, socialist, did I say hypocrites into your description.

  3. Last year oil change international wrote a report about natural gas pipelines, basically they will undermine progress on climate change, which got promoted by bill mckibben and others as well as an ap reporter. Who is on the board of oil change international? It’s easy to find out. They have a website.

    That was last year. When do you think it will dawn on the press that the antifracking pipeline ressitance movement is chock full of misinformation and upside down and the public deserves to know this and deserves access to accurate information? Write a reporter. Call a news station. Do something to get the word out.

    • Go to and get your facts from a source of truth. Perhaps then you can consider the alternative risks put upon environmentaly impacted communities and start turning this around.

      • Elaine. I don’t need to look at STOP ETP to know that the site you are referring me to will not be a source of the truth. I have seen plenty of anti-pipeline organizations facebooks sites, social media sites and have been on two listserves with the antifracking movement.

        By the way I met Greg Muttit who wrote a report for Oil Change International in Brooklyn almost 5 years ago now.

        I participated in more than one federal docket that involved a pipeline with antifracking organizations. Your movement is chock full of misinformation. It has been from the moment I met it 5 years ago and the misinformation has only increased over time.

  4. Well Elaine Tanner wants people to see who some of the groups that are part of the antifracking pipeline resistance are as listed over at the site

    Maybe Elaine can tell me who is on the board of Oil Change International?

    “We are a growing coalition of groups that represent millions of people including many communities directly impacted by ETP’s pipeline projects: 350 Louisiana, Alamosa Riverkeeper, Atchafalaya Basinkeeper, Bold Louisiana, Cahaba Riverkeeper, Coastal Carolina Riverwatch, Crystal Coast Waterkeeper, Earthworks, Environmental Stewardship, Hurricane Creekkeeper, Indigenous Environmental Network, Milwaukee Riverkeeper, NoDAPL Global Solidarity, North Louisiana for Earth & Water Justice, Oil Change International, Rainforest Action Network, San Francisco Baykeeper, Sierra Club, Waccamaw Riverkeeper, Waterkeeper Alliance, Waterkeepers Chesapeake, Winyah Rivers Foundation… and many more “

  5. I notice the responses to Vera Scroggins and Elaine Tanner are full of jeering, but little or no substance.
    It is not radical to think we have to transition to renewable energy if we are to avert, not severe impacts to our climate system–it’s too late for that–but catastrophic impacts. This is what SCIENTISTS are saying, and have been saying for years.Natural gas burns cleaner than coal both in greenhouse gas terms and in terms of other pollutants–but when you look at the entire cycle, from drilling and fracking through pipelines and compressor stations to gas power plants and distribution lines, it’s just as bad as coal in greenhouse gas terms. It is NOT a “bridge to a renewable energy future”–it’s a diversion away from any hope of such a future, because the infrastructure under plan now will cost many billions of dollars, and will be used for decades. Increasingly, solar and windpower is competitive with fossil fuels. Solar and wind are advancing with great rapidity in China and India–but here, the fossil fuel billionaires can use their economic power, translated into political power and a propaganda campaign, to retard progress on this. Meanwhile, the usual story about why we should avert our eyes from the local damage to those unfortunate enough to live where the drilling and fracking and trucking and compressing and pipelines are going (often climate change isn’t even mentioned) is–jobs. Jobs are certainly important, aren’t they? So…how about the fact that solar alone now employs more people in the US than all fossil fuels combined? These technologies are labor-intensive, requiring a lot more workers per megawatt–and this is why they “aren’t practical” and “aren’t ready”–they aren’t as capital-intensive and therefore profitable to investors.

    • Actually, they’re not competitive unless you ignore subsidies – not even close – and solar and wind both depend on natural gas for balancing the supply with dispatchable energy when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow.

    • Actually you are misinfomed. You are saying we have to switch to renewables and you are saying when considering the life cylce impact natrual gas is just as bad as coal for the climate not scientists. The reality is that there are scientists who say nuclear is necessary for example.

      The notion that the life cycle of natrual gas makes natural gas as bad as coal is a recent development in environmental circles, has been disputed and can be directly linked to scientists such as howarth who are antifracking activists.

      In reality in the last decade natural gas been replacing coal in generating electricty in the united States of america and it is the present where coal is being dethroned as the leading producer of electric in this country. In addition worldwide co2 emissions have been said to have flattened out and again the use of more natural gas and less coal has been credited with that improvement.

      In reality natrual gas now produces over 33 percent of the American electricty supply and that is not the only thing natural gas is used for. It is also used for hear, cooking and in transportation and in fact in the shipping industry some large ships are switching to lng as a fuel in order to reduce emissions and comply with new emissions standards.

      You don’t know what you are talking about Mary. The antifracking movement is not beneficial for making progress on climate change and it misinforms the public about a great many things.

    • Mary you talk about extraction and transportation of natural gas making it as dirty as coal but fail to talk about extraction and transportation of coal. Also this may come as a shock but a recent report by an anti-fracking group shows that emissions of air pollutants have been dropping in the US since we have been using more natural gas and less coal for energy generation.

      Anti-Fracking Group-Led Report (Again) Forced to Acknowledge Shale Gas’ Huge Role in Reducing Air Pollution

      “Specifically, the report finds:
      •CO2 emissions from these producers are down 20 percent since 2005.
      •SO2 emissions have declined 87 percent since 1990.
      •NOX emissions are down 79 percent since 1990.
      •Mercury emissions are down 69 percent since 2000.”

  6. Wow. Question: If environmental advocates are horrible liars content to sue their way into the liar hall of fame, who on the opposing side of the pipeline can be trusted to provide a more honest dialogue, one that reflects both the myriad legitimate environmental concerns and those economic issues so close to the West-by-God-Virginian’s dusty heart of coal (WVA businessmen MUST be able to do their jobs making those fancy, new petroleum based toothbrushes I’ve been hearing so much about).

  7. I am fully aware that PA DEP did studies in and around drilling sites, compressor stations, etc., In 2010/2011 and found no adverse health impacts. Further, the included mention of Mercury is way off base, less coal equals less Mercury and it was not found during the DEP studies noted above.

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