Shameful Episodes in the Corrupt World of Fractivism

fractivismTom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.

Fractivism is a corrupt enterprise as special interests fund every aspect of it in the most shameful ways imaginable.

Governor Cuomo’s political decision to punish the Southern Tier of New York by denying it opportunities for natural gas development was hardly the only shameful episode in the corrupt world of fractivism. There have been several other in recent months.

Taxpayer Funding of Rockefeller Family Fractivism

The outsized role of the Rockefeller family in funding fractivism throughout the world has been documented here and elsewhere many, many times. The pernicious influence of this family on global politics is not in dispute. You don’t have to be a conspiratorial nut, the sort of person who thinks the Trilateral Commission is a secret society of devil worshipers or worse, to see it.  Canadian journalist Vivian Krause has written extensively about it, in fact, and the Rockefeller Brother Fund itself brags about how it is steering the ship with its billions. It does so with the euphemistic “wink and a nod” language so often employed by radical academics:

This cross-programmatic attention to the climate crisis takes advantage of the Fund’s program architecture, which includes thematic program areas that take up issues of enduring global concern and pursue large-scale change, as well as place-based programs that respond more directly to the priorities of local people and build the capacity of local civil society organizations.

Discerning readers will get the point; these folks want control. They use their money to grab it under the cover of charity. But, now they want to use our money, too, and Andrew Cuomo is going to make sure they have it.

fractivism CMK

Yes, it’s not bad enough that the Rockefeller family, using its NRDC arm, has essentially dictated fractivism as the official policy of New York State or that it’s ripping off the taxpayers with very profitable land sales to the state at inflated prices. Now, it wants direct taxpayer subsidization and Cuomo is providing it:

Catskill Mountainkeeper is pleased to announce that we have been awarded a grant of $1.8 million from the State of New York to lead a collaborative project to increase energy conservation and solar penetration in the Southern Tier and Mid-Hudson regions. Our lead partners in this project are the Binghamton Regional Sustainability Coalition, Sustainable Hudson Valley, and Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County, each of which brings extensive experience in conservation, renewable energy promotion and sustainable community development. The funding will come from Phase II of the Cleaner, Greener Communities (CGC) Program, within the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), and is being awarded through Round IV of Governor Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) initiative.

Catskill Mountainkeeper is a spin-off from the Open Space Institute (run by Rockefeller heir Kim Elliman), which, in turn, is a sister entity to the NRDC. There are overlapping directorships among the three organizations and with Joe Martens’s Hydraulic Fracturing Advisory Committee. Martens himself came from OSI, of course.

This tangled web of folks is subservient in every respect to the Rockefeller family and, to prove carrying coals to Newcastle isn’t the worst of it, Cuomo is handing $1.8 million to the family to further its fractivism under the label of “energy conservation and solar penetration.” The money will go to fund community organizers such as Isaac Silberman-Grorn, for example, who we can expect to spend more time on fractivism than solar penetration, as we noted in this story with all the details. Read the whole thing to understand what’s really going on here in the corrupt wold of fractivism. This is Andrew Cuomo sticking it to the Southern Tier one more time.

Green Blob Fractivism in the UK

Our progressive friend and frequent guest blogger Nick Grealy may not like it, but one of my favorite conservative outlets, Breitbart News, is onto something he’s been noticing for quite some time; that the usual suspects are also funding the fractivism he’s fighting over the pond in the UK. Nick, to be fair, has always been hard on the greens, taking the view they’re simply pig-headed for not realizing the best way to fight global warming is with natural gas. He’s been exceptionally effective in demonstrating their foolishness, and the fact he and I have different views on the warming isn’t going to separate us on fracking or disrupt our friendship. He’s a rational guy and I certainly hope I am as well, although many of my friends might take issue with that.

Fractivism GreenBlob

What Breitbart News has demonstrated, however, is that many of the global warmists, whose membership heavily overlaps with fractivists, don’t give a damn about either cause. They’re the same tiny group of extraordinarily wealthy people doing the same thing the Rockefellers are doing in wrangling money out of New York taxpayers to fund their fractivism. It’s all corrupt to the core and it’s about control. Here’s some of what Breitbart (using the Mail on Sunday as its source) had to say about “Green Blob” financing of fractivism in the UK.

At the centre of the blob is just one organisation: the European Climate Foundation (ECF), which pulls in about £20million a year in funds donated mainly from America, Switzerland and Holland, and parcels it back out to green lobbyists such as Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, Green Alliance and E3G (the elite lobby group which persuaded the government to set up the Green Investment Bank at a cost of £3billion) and others. Many more millions are donated to these groups directly…

As powerful as the European Climate Foundation is, it pales in comparison to its parent body, Climate Works, which boasts a budget not in the tens of millions, but in the hundreds. Climate Works was born out of a paper entitled “Design to Win: Philanthropy’s Role in the Fight Against Global Warming”.

Funded by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Energy Foundation, Joyce Foundation, Oak Foundation, and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the paper drew global support. It’s Scientific Advisory team included Dr Robert Socolow of Princeton University, Professor Michael Grubb of Cambridge University, Dr Priyadarshi Shukla of the Indian Institute of Management, and Dr Adrian Fernandez of the National Institute for Ecology of Mexico, amongst others.

Penned in 2007, the paper argued that without radical action, “we could lose the fight against global warming over the next ten years,” and called for $600 million in funding in order to mount an effective campaign to change governmental energy policies. The next year, $500 million was donated by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, which distributes the vast fortune amassed via the Hewlett-Packard computer company followed by another $100 million soon after. A further $60million was donated by the sister Packard foundation. One of the first tasks undertaken by US-based Climate Works was to set up the ECF as its European regional office. The ECF currently has offices in London, Brussels, The Hague, Berlin and Warsaw.

In July, a US Senate Committee report named the Hewlett foundation as a key part of a “billionaires club” which controlled the green movement by pumping more than half a billion dollars into the environmental industry each year.  The report claimed that “wealthy liberals fully exploit the benefits of a generous tax code meant to promote genuine philanthropy and charitable acts,” and were diverting money to “activists” to “promote shared political goals”.

In contrast, Europe’s only think-tank dedicated to promoting a sceptical viewpoint on man-made global warming and related energy policy has an annual budget of £300,000 and employs just three people.

Yesterday, its director, Dr Benny Peiser, said “At the end of the day, someone will have to be held accountable for us committing economic suicide. We are the only organisation that does what we do – against hundreds on the other side, all saying the same thing.”

The story speaks for itself and demonstrates it’s the same groups funding global warmism in Europe and the UK who are also funding fractivism here and there. They include the Energy Foundation, for example, which we have written about numerous times and is one of the biggest clearinghouses for the funding of fractivism by entities such as the NRDC. Then, there is the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, funder of Josh Fox, of course. The goal isn’t so much to influence policy as to ensure David Cameron is as subservient as Andrew Cuomo to the “Green Blob.”

The Nefarious Strategy Behind Fractivism

The coordination among the sponsors of fractivism and the strategies employed by them to get their way have also become increasingly shameful, although the protagonists are acting in ever more shameless manner, less and less afraid to admit what they’re doing. Take, for example, this announcement from May of last year (emphasis added):

Environmental firm Fair Shake aims to help clients of modest means

A new legal entity billing itself as an “environmental justice incubator” will open its Pittsburgh office this week, amid what executive director Emily Collins says is an immense need. Part of that need reflects land owner issues surrounding the development of the Marcellus Shale, but oil and gas won’t be the only practice areas the firm will handle.

Ms. Collins, who was a clinical assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh Environmental Law Clinic, founded Fair Shake in January as a nonprofit, free-standing law firm offering environmental legal services for clients of modest means. It also is meant to serve as a residency program for lawyers who will spend two years there practicing environmental law.

“People were having difficulty finding legal help for environmental and community health needs,” Ms. Collins said. “We want to fill the gap and help people who can’t pay top dollar for legal services but can pay something”…

Fair Shake is funded via donations and grants. It received catalytic funding in the form of grants, a $50,000 grant from the Colcom Foundation, a $50,000 grant from the George Gund Foundation in Cleveland and another grant for $800,000 from Heinz Endowments.

Philip Johnson, senior officer for the Heinz Endowments’ Environment Program, said the foundation recognizes many people can’t afford the legal help needed to deal with environmental problems.

Ms. Lyons gets the most gullible reporter of the year award. No doubt she graduated from one of those modern schools of journalism where you’re taught to make a difference, which means following the template if you’re reporting on something politically correct. Is there anyone else who truly believes there isn’t a trial lawyer out there for everyone with an environmental case against “big oil,” “big pharma” or big anything; a trial lawyer willing to take the case on the contingency basis if they think there’s any possible merit to it? Based on the quality of the cases that are brought, the answer is an obvious no.  To paraphrase a famous quote, drag a dollar bill through a group of people jealous of landowners getting royalties and you’ll find a case.

fractivism ambulance-chaser_1407

“Slow down, or I’ll sue!”

What this funding by Colcom and Heinz, two of fractivism’s biggest funders, is all about is generating publicity, creating cases that will push the limits and forging alliances with trial lawyers who just love rainmakers. It’s corrupt fractivism in the extreme.

Even more dastardly, however, is the scheming that goes on among the  funders of fractivism to push their agenda over and against the interests of the middle class Its an elitist enterprise from top to bottom. Consider this Philly,com op-ed by Colin O’Mara, the President and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation, where he offers this (emphasis added):

Despite supplying drinking water to more than 15 million Americans and playing a critical role for both the environment and the economy of the East Coast, the Delaware receives little national attention and no dedicated federal funding.

Why? Because we lack a shared vision that transcends state boundaries and enjoys the support of different levels of government and local communities. While the William Penn Foundation and other partners are making unprecedented investments, without an actionable basin-wide agreement or hard commitments among the region’s governors and municipal leaders, every fight takes on a heightened importance out of widespread fear of further resource degradation.

Leaving aside the “15 million” lie (which is obtained by counting NYC residents from outside the watershed), you have a frank admission of the role of the William Penn Foundation and its “unprecedented investments” in groups such as the Delaware Riverkeeper, Clean Air council and any number of other down and dirty practitioners of fractivism. They, too, want to now raid the coffers of taxpayers to feather their nests while stopping any and all growth that might help others.

They also collaborate with OSI, of course in doing so, with the intent of keeping stamping out any growth from the New Jersey Highlands north. PennFuture (funded by Heinz) is also out there now with a solicitation on behalf of the Union of Concerned Scientists (funded by the Energy Foundation, among other fractivist special interests), which “seeks a part-time consultant to support our work to advance clean energy and climate adaptation solutions in PA and NJ.” It’s not hard to imagine what fractivism that will involve under the label of “clean energy and climate adaptation.”

If you doubt they’re anti-growth and elitist, consider this e-mail from Grant LaRouche, the Wildlife Federation’s regional rep to an upstream citizens group wondering if it planned on involving landowners and business:


I wanted to follow up from a Twitter conversation. I’m happy to speak anytime about Collin’s vision for the Delaware. While still early on its curve, I’m excited about the idea, and would love to discuss how business (and citizens) can play a role.

Best wishes,

Grant La Rouche
Regional Representative
National Wildlife Federation

As the individual sharing the e-mail with me observed, “‘PLAY A Role’ – when did they become the gate keepers?” Well, the answer is they’ve made themselves the gate keepers, using their money, just as they made Maya van Rossum the Delaware Riverkeeper with their money. Their idea of stakeholders is other downstream special interest NGOs they control with their money. Landowners and business people are just there to be organized, if they can be made useful to the cause.

There is, too, this William Penn Foundation initiative:

The Delaware River Watershed Initiative: Improving Water Quality, Involving 50+ NGOs and Building on Sound Science

Abstract: The Delaware River Watershed Initiative takes a strategic, targeted, scientific approach to improving water quality through work at the land-water interface. The Initiative, kick-started by the William Penn Foundation, targets subwatershed “clusters” with potential for restoration or preservation in order to effect water quality improvements. This program is composed of many unique features, one of which is monitoring and assessment of aquatic ecosystems to measure effectiveness of the on-the-ground actions. This integrated approach will be used to model outcomes and to evaluate ecosystem response in the short- and long-terms. In addition, the Academy is forming a team to develop a research agenda for the basin. The objective of this work is to provide information on the effectiveness of specific conservation strategies, scale up these efforts across the watershed and to contribute to collaboration, research and investment in restoring and protecting water quality within our region.

Yes, 50+ NGOs will set policy and we know who funds those NGOs and what they want. Notice, too, the role of the Academy of Natural Sciences, the new home of former DRBC Executive Director of the DRBC, also funded by William Penn. She merely switched deck chairs, which is how it works in the corrupt world of fractivism.

The Corrupt World of Fractivism in Studies

Finally, there are all those fractivist studies financed by special interest groups. Take a look at this list of references from Howard Zucker’s now infamous “health study,” which was little more than a “maybe” manifesto. The second and third listings are studies by the Park Foundation and Heinz team of Bamberger and Oswald. A little further down is the Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project, another Heinz-funded scam, along with numerous other special interest sources.


Bamberger and Oswald, the Park and Heinz funded couple used as sources by the State of New York

The worst example of 2014, though, may be this one; a Park Foundation funded Truthout story on a ridiculous Princeton “study,” if you can call it that. Here’s how one of our astute readers explained it:

What these folks did is sample 19 abandoned but unplugged wells in McKean and Potter Counties (9 on a single lease) and determine how much gas was leaking out of each of them. And it wasn’t much – the average well was only leaking 5.2 mcf/year, which is almost nothing. So that’s good news – even the highest emitter they found only produced 1/10th of an mcf of gas daily.

But, here’s how they turned this unrepresentative and small sample into a headline-worthy estimate of total methane emissions: They assumed that every well drilled in Pennsylvania before the State started keeping records in 1955 is unplugged, abandoned and venting to atmosphere! (500,000 of them.) They found a couple sources where the DEP has complained that they have no records on these old wells, and ignored the fact that plugging was required by law from the earliest days of the oil industry and that most of the really old wells were in oil fields that later got waterflooded, and that the waterflood operators would have plugged any wells they found open then to allow their floods to operate properly.

How many truly abandoned, unplugged wells are there in the State? My guess is around 25,000 – more than the 8,000 or so orphans the State has found after 30+ years of looking, but certainly less than 10% of the total number of wells drilled in Pennsylvania since the Drake well. The idea that these “researchers” never even asked how many of the 500,000 old wells had been plugged shows that they were after headlines, not facts.

Thats about right, of course. But, it’s the fact such nonsense does attract headlines that illustrates the corrupt world of fractivism. Special interests such as the Heinz, Park and Rockefeller families pay for the “studies,” the media reports on the studies, the government debates over the studies (ala William Penn’s funding of the DRBC), the NGO’s that attack and sue the agencies (e.g. the Delaware Riverkeeper) using the studies as a basis and so on. I could go on, of course, but I’ll save some for future posts. Corrupt fractivism, after all, is a bottomless pit, like Oak Island.

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8 thoughts on “Shameful Episodes in the Corrupt World of Fractivism

  1. Pingback: Shameful Episodes in the Corrupt World of Fractivism | ShaleNOW

  2. Another point to be considered is whether an abandoned well is one that had to use artificial lift to extract an oil resource. I am not knowing of the hydrostatic pressures in the Marcellus or Utica but one cannot discount
    that with so many oil wells over decades there would not be efforts to continue flow or increase it with artificial lift.
    Would a company remove what is essentially an Iron Value/ plug a thousand or more fett below ? Would it have much use recycled into another well ? Once fluid , Gas or electricity was not supplied to the pump down the hole you would have to assume the value would close. Hope this layman is not speaking out of some ignorance here after all
    that would be cutting into the frackvists monopoly

  3. “Nick, to be fair, has always been hard on the greens, taking the view they’re simply pig-headed for not realizing the best way to fight global warming is with natural gas.” You’re right Tom, Nick can see through the Rockefeller smoke screen. It would be interesting to see just how many acres of drilling sites since the advent of oil drilling in the United States were contaminated by Rockefeller drilling sites. Now, all of a sudden they’re “Greenies?” Give me a break!! The irony of the whole thing is that it was the ill gotten Rockefeller Foundation money that created the worldwide air pollution that natural gas has cleaned up. You have to love that picture of the Catskill Mountain Keepers all dressed up as little charter school children. I doubt that they’re from the Catskill Mountains, or their mother’s wouldn’t dress them like that. They certainly have that bussed in look, you know, Cuomo style. Frankly, if they really wanted to save the Catskill Mountains, they should roundup every New York City misfit they can find, and give them a free train ticket back to their Almamater in New York City A.S.A.P.! As far as The Rockefeller Foundation’s lack of credibility goes, it is due to their misguided and condescending mindset, and their only badly flawed plan is to just keep throwing their ill gotten money at the pollution problem that they created. After all, they have access to billions of dollars in ill gotten profits and the Southern Tier Landowners are, for the most part, poor farmers and other working class folks. Unfortunately, our self-centered empty suit of a governor is just a pure opportunist with a landowner be damned mentality. He simply cannot now, nor will he ever, recognize landowners rights after all gue$$ what’s missing for little Andy?. Only when Cuomo stops the natural gas that’s being piped into and burned burned in New York City every day, will he ever have any credibility at all. Cuomo’s there to take care of Cuomo, and nothing any more noble. Cuomo doesn’t care where the money comes from – JUST KEEP IT COMING! Oh, by the way, no pollution comes from New York City. All of the New York State problems are in the Southern Tier. Oh, by the way, Cuomo loves the natural gas that heats Albany and New York City, he just doesn’t want it in upstate New York.

  4. Great job of putting it all together Tom. Too bad it,s all so twisted by these foundations. Passing money from one to the next and then back again ? No real oversight from the IRS or the state because of charity status . It sounds so ideal in it,s deception ! Like all waste and theft ,sooner or later the average consumer will sicken of it and demand change ? Hopefully it will be in our lifetime ? Also has anyone from the private sector ever bothered to test the NYC water supply ? It just seems so unlikely that their water is clean enough to consume without a filtration system ? The air pollution from NYC alone should be enough to poison it beyond safe levels? The same goes for Seneca lake, all the grape growers are up hill from the lake. All those toxins must be going somewhere ? People ,more importantly young children play in that lake ! We so need to fight for NG if for no other reason, to protect future generations from coal and nukes ! If any of you want a real eye opener take a gyger counter to Three mile island area (within 5 miles) Your counter will be pegged as soon as you turn it on ! This whole fight has become much more than just property rights! And if somone tries to tell you coal is cleaner than NG pee on their leg ! I would like to offer my deepest sympathies to Gov. Cuomo on his fathers passing. He did a lot for human rights in this state,let us hope he rests in peace ?

  5. Freegas, thanks for your contributions. We need more sensible contributors like you. The water in New York City is the best water in the country, and it comes from the Catskill Mountains. I remember when they were drilling those tunnels to carry the purest water possible to our New York City Cousins. The problem is that the Rip Van Cuomo groupies of New York State, along with countless other ingrates who don’t know where their water comes from, don’t believe their stepchildren in the Catskills should benefit from the same natural gas bonanza, that they benefit from in New York City. You see, it’s a Cuomo thing.

  6. Pingback: Jay Halfon: The Fractivist Rasputin - Natural Gas NowNatural Gas Now

  7. Pingback: Jay Halfon: The Fractivist Rasputin | ShaleNOW

  8. Pingback: Penn Environment – The Heinz Flimflam ArtistsNatural Gas Now

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