IER questions inappropriate “donations” to municipalities and media, calls for funds to be returned.


WASHINGTON DC (October 7, 2020) – Today, the Institute for Energy Research (IER) released another update to its Big Green, Inc. database. IER’s latest unveiling details the money trail between innocuous sounding foundations to green activist groups that advance an irresponsible energy and environmental agenda at all levels of government, and in the media. IER says these foundations need to be called out for their hidden, far left agenda and their overwhelming influence in American politics.

The main players in today’s update center on the Rockefeller Foundation and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Together, these two foundations funneled more than $215 million to 290 environmental groups and projects in 2017 alone. Many of these grants promoted policies that undoubtedly seek to reverse America’s recently obtained energy independence and raise the cost of energy on all American households. Also uncovered in the most recent investigation was a $325,000 contribution to The New York Times. While event sponsorship from foundations, organizations and even corporations is not uncommon, The Times did not disclose the clear quid pro quo related to these “grants” in its climate reporting. IER is calling on the The Times to either disclose all of its sponsored content, like nearly every other news publication in America, or better yet, do the right thing and return the funds along with an apology to its readers.

These sums, along with the grants from thirteen other foundations, amounted to nearly $536 million in just one year. To date, the Big Green, Inc. database has tracked environmental grants stemming from seventeen foundations that has been directed to hundreds of green groups totaling $5.2 billion.

IER President Thomas Pyle made the following statement:

“With this latest update to Big Green, Inc., the research team at IER continues to shine a bright light on the influence of the deep-pocketed far left, modern green movement and the media. Foundations like Rockefeller and Hewlett are funneling hundreds of millions of dollars to promote false narratives about energy derived from our God-given natural resources and our ability to effectively make our infrastructure more resilient.

“A disturbing discovery in this latest round of research is the grant accepted by The New York Times. The fact that The Times would be comfortable taking such a large sum of money to advance the agenda of the Rockefeller Foundation calls into question their objectivity. The Times should return the $325,000, apologize to its readers, and pledge to cover energy and environmental issues more fairly and objectively from now on.”

Key findings from the latest Big Green, Inc. update include:

•  The Rockefeller Foundation, started by a man who made his fortune in the oil business, awarded more than $61 million in grants to a variety of projects that aim to eliminate the production and consumption in the United States of coal, oil, and natural gas. The foundation granted $33 million to its own climate change resilience-focused nonprofit, 100 Resilient Cities, which abruptly shut down in 2019. The Rockefeller Foundation also granted $325,000 to The New York Times to “elevate the discussion regarding the crucial need for resilient and inclusive cities” under the auspices of climate change. This coincided with favorable reporting of the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities initiative, a project that pushed for increased spending and the appointment of “chief resilient officers” in various cities. In the article cited above, the New York Times does not disclose any financial connection to the Rockefeller Foundation.

•  The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, founded in 1966 by Silicon Valley giant William Hewlett and his wife, in 2017 funneled $153.7 million in grants to 135 environmental entities. These grants went to a variety of national and global public engagement initiatives and other projects opposing oil and coal, which, of course, are required to produce and power their products. Notably, the foundation awarded $1 million dollars to the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign, more than $13 million in grants to the Energy Foundation in China and more than $3 million to the United Nations Foundation for “projects of sustainability” during this period.

•  The Schmidt Family Foundation, founded in 2006 by the executive chairman of Google awarded a $1.7 million grant to the William J. Clinton Foundation “to allow implementation of carbon finance projects that benefit the poor.” Additionally, they awarded $100,000 in grants to both the City and County of Denver for an electric vehicle marketing campaign and the City of Austin-Austin Energy for a green transportation project. The foundation also gave funds to Yale University for a climate change communications program.

About Big Green, Inc.
Big Green Inc. is a project of IER that catalogs the influence of the deep-pocketed left on energy and environmental policy in the United States. The online resource enables users to navigate the various foundations that spend billions of dollars supporting aggressive climate litigation, the promotion of uneconomic renewable energy sources, and overburdening regulations on natural gas, oil, coal, and nuclear power. Their money has helped foment the anti-market sentiment that dominates energy policy in the United States and has played a major role in limiting economic growth in recent years.

  1. The foundations highlighted by Big Green Inc. are not just being spent in America, but are also tied to foreign actors, complicating geopolitics and potentially posing a threat to our national security.
  2. Most green groups who depict themselves as a modern day David battling Goliath are actually well-funded green pressure groups backed by these foundations.
  3. Far-left foundations are pouring money into organizations and campaigns that peddle fear about the impacts of climate change and influence policymakers with questionable scientific evidence.

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