Russia and Gazprom are doing everything they can to fight US fracking that threatens their natural gas hegemony. Is Russian money funding US fractivism?
Back in August, 2013, I wrote a post for Energy In Depth “Secret Offshore Financing Behind Natural Gas Opposition,” which built off an article in the Washington Free Beacon about the wealthy Simons family and the way they have used off-shore dark money outfits to funnel money (possibly Russian money) to various fractivist entities, including everyone from the Clean Air Council to EarthJustice to the Sustainable Markets Foundation (a Park-Rockefeller operation). We’ve followed up several times to point the nefarious role of the Energy Foundation in all this, even pointing out a potential Russian money connection. New details have recently come out even more strongly suggesting this.
A December article in the Daily Caller, revisited the subject of a possible Russian money connection to US fractivist groups based on a new report entitled From Russia With Love? by the Environmental Policy Alliance. The story also included this video:
Readers can judge the report for themselves. It focuses on the Sea Change Foundation’s connections to Russian oligarchs and its donations to the Sierra Club, the NRDC and the League of Conservation Voters, with emphasis on the Sierra Club. That the Sierra Club is a money-grubbing outfit is well-documented, of course, and an earlier article in the Washington Times provides the possible motive for the Sea Change Foundation (created and funded by hedge fund billionaire Nathaniel Simons) to be involved in such dark money deals:
In a new report, the Energy & Environment Legal Institute reveals that a number of environmental activists, including billionaires Nathaniel Simons, Roger Sant and Michael Bloomberg, benefit richly from their hefty donations to the Sierra Club.
Mr. Simons, a hedge fund baron worth an estimated $12 billion, has donated more than $14 million to the Sierra Club since 2009. Those contributions have largely been earmarked for campaigns to “educate the public about clean energy.” The donations have likely proven quite worthwhile to Mr. Simons. According to Fortune magazine, at the same time he was underwriting the Sierra Club’s efforts to promote renewables, Mr. Simons was quietly creating a clean-tech venture fund that invests in clean energy.
Simons used the Sea Change Foundation as his vehicle for funding the Sierra Club and he also apparently has the Russian money connections to bring those resources into the equation as well; both he and his connections have a mutual interest in delaying or killing fracking. And, it’s not just the Sierra Club that’s getting the money.
When I wrote that post for Energy In Depth back in 2013, in fact, I included three tables demonstrating how Simons was funneling money to big fractivist groups; directly through the Sea Change Foundation and indirectly through the Energy Foundation, its biggest grantee. Sea Change gave out grants totaling $49,105,535 to 27 organizations in 2013 (most recent year available), including numerous grants summing to $14,366,668 to the Energy Foundation and another $6,000,000 to the Partnership Project (a collaborative of several environmental groups) who, in turn, passed out more money to the same groups. Here’s how it stacked up for 2013:
We see the Sierra Club did get a big piece of change, but so did the NRDC and the League of Conservation Voters and the last two are both essentially Rockefeller family created organizations that continue to be heavily influenced by the family. Interestingly, as my Energy In Depth post noted, the Energy Foundation has also donated to the Rockefeller Family Fund and Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, both of whom also support numerous fractivist groups, including many of the same players. It’s a tangled web of interconnected organizations not unlike the Standard Oil empire from which so much of the other fractivist money comes, making it nearly impossible to tell who the original sources are, which is so, so convenient, of course.