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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Environmental Groups' Reliance on Fossil Fuels Prompts Accusations of Remarkable Hypocrisy

From Gas & Oil:
America’s largest environmental group just admitted to earning millions of dollars each year from oil. 
The Nature Conservancy routinely guilt trips Americans about using fossil fuels. Yet its Texas prairie preserve is home to an oil well. And it has almost $23 million invested in the energy industry. 
This revelation is an example of a real “inconvenient truth” sweeping through environmental outfits. Many of the green groups that attack fossil fuels secretly benefit from oil and gas. These activists aren’t as green as they pretend to be - or as they expect others to be. 
The Sierra Club, for example, demands that universities divest from fossil fuels. Yet according to an audit by the accounting firm Grant Thornton, the Club’s pension invests in index funds that include a number of oil and gas companies, including Exxon, Mobil and Chevron. 
The National Resources Defense Council loudly opposes “dirty fuels.” Yet the group sees no reason to pull fossil fuel companies from its portfolio. Despite calling on the United States to stop using fossil fuels completely by 2050, the World Wildlife Fund has apparently not yet stopped earning money off of investments in oil and natural gas. When asked by The Nation whether the organization applies environmental screens to any of its $75 million in investments in publicly traded securities, the World Wildlife Fund refused to answer. 
Then there’s the Ocean Conservancy, which preaches against Arctic drilling and blames fossil fuels for ocean acidification. The Conservancy’s investment portfolio has stakes in “energy” and “utilities.” In other words, the group privately profits from the activities it publicly condemns. 
This hypocrisy would be amusing if the madness spewing from these groups weren’t so damaging. Their rhetoric informs public perceptions and translates into concrete public policy, which undermines job creation and economic growth.
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