For those who were dismayed by the President’s decision to nix the Keystone XL pipeline, you may think it was an effort orchestrated primarily from the White House. While that certainly was part of it, you may have noticed a rather prominent and very public campaign taking place to stop the project showing up in advertisements, mailings and less obvious whisper campaigns across the nation. Who pays for all of that?
The Daily Caller has a lengthy investigative piece out today which sheds a bit of light on the subject. In it, we find out that they have uncovered a presentation dating back several years where some well financed groups vowed to dump significant amounts of cash into bringing development to a screeching halt. And who was behind it? The Rockefeller Brothers Fund.
A Powerpoint presentation obtained by The Daily Caller shows that during a July 2008 meeting, the $789 million Rockefeller Brothers Fund proposed to coordinate and fund a dozen environmental and anti-corporate activist groups’ efforts to scuttle pipelines carrying tar sands oil from Canada to the United States.
The most recent incarnation of that pipeline plan, the Keystone XL project, was the subject of intense public controversy until the Obama administration rejected it in January.
You can view the presentation here for yourself. Their report is three pages long, but it’s worth going through all of the material. The players involved include plenty of names you’ll recognize from the environmental lobby and a few new ones as well. And the attacks weren’t restricted to inside the United States. According to a separate report, US green lobby interests poured more than $300M into Canadian environmental groups’ coffers to fight the project from north of the border as well.
But if you drill down well past the lede (pun intended) you’ll find that it wasn’t just a media campaign to garner public sympathy for green energy initiatives by the Obama administration and against fossil fuels. They also targeted banks and other lending institutions in a sort of financial terrorism campaign to get them to avoid funding work to complete the project and to reduce demand for the eventual product.
“The Midwest and Western regions of the United States,” Casey-Lefkowitz’s presentation said, “are ripe for regional campaigns focused on tar sands oil.”
She also described an ambitious anti-corporate campaign aimed at “rais[ing] the financial risks” for banks and investors dealing with energy issues involving oil from tar sands sources.
Her plan’s goals, according to her presentation, were to “raise [the] investment risk profile of toxics, health liability, water limitations, infrastructure limitations and global warming pollution” and “[p]revent the proposed modification of [Securities Exchange Commission] reserves reporting rules that would reward and encourage further tar sands exploitation.”
Millions of dollars of “secretive money” was funneled into this campaign. (Gee… does that phrase ring a bell?) And it all went to promote unproven, alternative energy projects like Solyndra while applying pressure to stop the US-Canadian efforts to build Keystone XL and increase our domestic partnership with Canada for energy independence.
Kind of makes you wonder if there isn’t something to getting all of this “secretive money” out of Washington after all, eh? (Insert back bacon joke here, hosers.)