Here’s Everything You Need To Know About Allegations US Environmentalists May Have Secretly Taken Russian Cash

House lawmakers want the Trump administration to investigate reports that a wealthy foundation used an offshore shell company to give millions of dollars to environmental activists opposed to U.S. energy development.

“If you connect the dots, it is clear that Russia is funding U.S. environmental groups in an effort to suppress our domestic oil and gas industry, specifically hydraulic fracking,” Texas Republican Rep. Lamar Smith said Friday.

Smith and Texas Republican Rep. Randy Weber asked Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin to investigate whether or not environmentalists were funneling money to U.S. environmental groups through a Bermuda-based shell company.

Republicans are pitching it as part of a larger investigation into the extent of Russian meddling in U.S. politics. Russia, after all, has an incentive to keep U.S. oil and natural gas “in the ground” — a slogan used by many environmental activists.

Activists call the allegations were “absurd and false smears.” Though none of the groups seem keen on heading off a potential investigation by giving back the millions they got from the non-profit under investigation.

So, here’s everything you need to know about the alleged connection between Russia and environmentalists.

Where It All Began

Conservatives and some energy experts have speculated for years Russian oligarchs may have funneled money to environmentalists to oppose energy development, especially hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

Fracking unleashed a U.S. energy boom and contributed to the collapse in oil prices in 2014. Eastern European officials claimed the Kremlin had backed environmental protects against oil and gas operations to keep those countries dependent on Russian imports.

The former head of NATO and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also said Russia had backed environmental activists in Europe, so is it that far-fetched they would also try and influence U.S. energy policy?

A 2015 report by The Washington Free seemed to confirm those fears based on findings from the Environmental Policy Alliance (EPA), which is run by the PR firm Berman and Company.

The Free Beacon reported the Sea Change Foundation got $23 million in 2010 and 2011 from a Bermuda-based shell company based out of a law firm with ties to Russian oligarchs. The law firm, Wakefield Quinn, also manages two Simons-run hedge funds.

What Is The Sea Change Foundation?

Investor Nat Simons and his wife Laura Baxter-Simons founded the Sea Change Foundation in 2006, in part, to “address the serious threats posed by global climate change.” Sea Change held about $168 million in net assets in 2015, according to tax filings.

Simons, who commutes to work every day on a 54-foot yacht, runs a hedge fund with investments in green energy technology, so any policies to boost renewables could benefit his bottom line.

Inside Philanthropy noted that Sea Change’s “skeletal staff quietly shovels tens of millions of dollars out the door annually to combat climate change” and “that’s pretty much all it does.”

Their website is just one vague page with a short paragraph of information. The website also mentions the non-profit does not take unsolicited grant proposals.

The Bermuda Connection

Sea Change took millions from a shell company set up by Wakefield Quin in 2011 “exclusively for philanthropic purposes,” according to documents. The shell company, Klein Ltd., gave Sea Change $23 million in 2010 and 2011. Klein Ltd is out of Wakefield Quin’s office.

The same year prominent U.S. environmental groups took millions from Sea Change many were ramping up campaigns to oppose fracking operations popping up all over the country.

“The Sierra Club, the Natural Resource Defense Council, the League of Conservation Voters, and the Center for American Progress were among the recipients of Sea Change’s $100 million in grants in 2010 and 2011,” The Free Beacon reported, adding that as “many as 20 companies and investment funds with ties to the Russian government are Wakefield Quin clients.”

Wakefield Quin also has ties to two Simons-run hedge funds, which are run out of the law firm and operated by attorney Roderick Forrest. Those hedge funds held $80 million the same years Klein Ltd. gave $23 million to Sea Change.

Russia Connections?

Several Wakefield Quin employees have ties to Russian firms with Kremlin links, according to the EPA report.

One firm, Spectrum Partners Ltd, is a holding company run out of Wakefield Quin that has a fund “with 53% of its assets invested in the Russian oil and gas industry.” Wakefielf Quin has ties to a firm co-directed by Hans Rudloff, the chairman of the Russian state-owned oil company Rosneft.

Wakefield Quin also has tied to the “holding company of Russian investment banking firm Troika Dialog,” which “is one of the largest shareholders in an oil company owned by Russian oligarch Alexander Lebedev,” according to EPA. The Bermuda-based firm also has ties to the Firebird New Russia Fund, which invests in Russian energy, and at least two other companies being investigated for money laundering.

Read rest at Daily Caller

Comments (18)

  • Avatar

    Spurwing Plover

    |

    Ahh the plot thickens the greens are taking russian money try and shut dow all fracking and drilling in america and especialy in Alaska(Which we bought from the Russians for 2 cent a acre)and the Sierra Club as wek as the NRDC(Which Hollywood hypotcrite Leonardo DiCaprio)is a member of and lets also remember that Greenpeace still runs its ships on Fossil Fuels. And look up Big Green Radicals they have a one on Youtube about the russians and the Greens

  • Avatar

    JayPee

    |

    Stop Global Warming ??!
    Is that jerk serious ?

    Any substantial backward change to the
    current warming period, which has been
    going on for about 30,000 years and counting,
    will send all of us headlong back into the depths
    of the current Ice Age.

    That’s right,
    I said current Ice Age.

    We have not yet left the so-called ” Last Ice Age .”

  • Avatar

    rakooi

    |

    ANOTHER nonsense statement from Smith…..the last Democrat Admin. broke all records for energy production.

    JYPEEE….pull your zipper up, your lack of science training is showing !

    the last 20 Year period has been the hottest in RECORDED HISTORY.
    11 scientific teams around the world challenged that result.
    THEY examine a Wide array of Proxy Measurements like:

    1000’s of Ice CORES from around the world,
    1000’s of fossils (tree rings, insects, animals)
    soil cores, stalagmites etc.

    The research results were stunning.
    ..THIS 20 Year period was the Hottest PERIOD in thousands of years.
    .
    As another Proof of stunning changes:
    WHILE we should be sliding into another REAL Ice Age,
    Since we are 7500 years past the Temperature PEAK of THIS Inter Glacial Warm period, the Holocene.
    ( the temperature Peak is called Holocene optimum)
    Temperatures have slowly fallen for 7500 years.
    Much of The last 1000 years has been called the LITTLE ICE AGE !
    ended abruptly, Ended falling temperatures.
    .
    http://www.realclimate.org/images//Marcott.png
    .
    Temperatures are rising.
    .
    ..COUNTER TO EVERY Natural Cycle.
    .
    ( GOOGLE: Milankovitch Cycle )
    .
    Earth’s most powerful natural cycle > > > >OVERPOWERED by What?
    .
    We should be moving toward the next GLACIATION
    …but we ARE warming !
    INFRA RED HEAT RADIATION EMITTED from EARTH as a cooling mechanism,

    INTERACTS WITH Atmospheric Gases
    …that I.R. Heat is captured and redirected in all directions.
    …MUCH of it back at Earth…which ADDS TO the WARMING of our GLOBE.
    THIS IS MEASURED by a variety of
    Satellites,
    Digital Weather Balloons,
    With Ground Spectroscopic stations…..confirm all the details of this process.

    • Avatar

      JayPee

      |

      ANDRZEJEWSKI
      Your ignorance, imposture and twiddled schwantz are showing

      You no longer HAVE TO reappear to remind us of your
      stupidity, arrogance and dishonesty
      We’re well attuned and already know that.

      We know that you need to be intellectually beat up
      from time to time
      But, it’s getting tedious and boring

      You’d be better off and maybe even happy in an asylum.

    • Avatar

      Bill Vancouver

      |

      The 18 yr “hiatus” is back in spite of Tom Karl’s “adjustments.” Let’s see what the next 5-10 years bring us. The proof will be global temperatures without the left’s “adjustments.” These adjustments have always be to cool past temps and increase present temps. Strange how the adjustments always go in a set pattern.

      • Avatar

        JayPee

        |

        ” Adjustments ” are another word for

        LYING

        If the unadjusted data fit their hypothesis
        there would be no reason to adjust it.

        The great Richard Feynman basically said that if the model’s
        predictions are incorrect
        then the
        hypothesis is incorrect
        PERIOD.

        • Avatar

          rakooi

          |

          Many people here are complaining about raw data not being available
          and alleged crooked scientists “manipulating” data in alleged nefarious ways.

          People who make such claims should spend a little time learning about
          how data are collected, stored, reviewed, and processed.
          If you read science sources instead of disinformation blogs,
          you will find your questions answered. In short, the data
          are readily available and treated openly and honestly.

          I’ll explain some aspects of this.
          Raw data are readily available if you know where to look for them
          or do a search for them. It is not hard to find links such as these using Google:
          Raw data for land and ocean surface temperatures.
          NOAA source — NCEI
          https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/data
          International source — GCOS
          http://www.wmo.int/pages/prog/
          Raw data for satellites
          https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/data
          Raw data usually take the form of voltages from sensors and are processed in various ways to get temperatures, and then the temperatures are adjusted to correct for known biases. The adjustment procedures / algorithms used by various agencies are available at their web sites and in published papers.
          Satellite data are not temperatures at all. They are sensor signals measuring integral radiance at various look-down angles. Models called “data retrieval algorithms” are used to deconvolve the integrals and obtain troposphere temperatures at various altitudes. Go to the UAH and RSS web sites for a description of these models, and I think source code. Also of importance is the need to splice data together from different satellites and make adjustments for inconsistencies.
          Land and ocean surface temperatures are a more straightforward direct measurements, but they still need lots of processing to remove known biases and errors. jack dale below has given several links about temperature adjustments. Read the articles in Jack’s links. I will repeat only one, which summarizes the process.
          The truth about global temperature data | Ars Technica
          http://arstechnica.com/science
          For more detail, the link below explains NOAA’s data framework – collection and correction for bias.
          https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/moni
          The above article explains where to find some data and how certain adjustments are made. Refer to the many links contained in the above article. Among many, you can find the following papers.
          ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/da
          https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/moni
          https://www1.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub
          https://www1.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub
          More recent adjustments to ocean temperature are explained by Karl, et al, here. It is explained why buoys are more accurate than ship data, which have a cold bias and how Karl compensates for it.
          http://science.sciencemag.org/
          Zeke Hausfather (Berkely Earth) has verified Karl’s adjustments using independent data sets that are not adjusted.
          http://advances.sciencemag.org
          A more accessible explanation of the above is written here by the author, Hausfather.
          https://www.skepticalscience.c
          Also, before complaining about secret adjusted data, consider Richard Muller and Berkeley Earth,
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/

      • Avatar

        rakooi

        |

        Adjustments have been in BOTH directions…for greater accuracy!
        .
        Berkeley Earth is an organization that was founded on the assumption that the data were wrong.
        Muller was a skeptic funded in part by the Koch brothers.

        After exhaustive work, Muller et al found that the data were correct. Berkeley Earth is now a valid second opinion,
        always up and running, which provides an independent check. Not to mention Hadley and other independent worldwide organizations.

        NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information
        https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/m
        NOAA Data Access | National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI)
        https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/d
        GCOS: Observing Systems and Data
        http://www.wmo.int/pages/pr
        Hidden Code, Data, Raw Data — OSS Foundation
        http://ossfoundation.us/pro


        jack dale
        Because many folks have no clue about temperature adjustments.
        Dr.s Judith Curry and Steve Mosher,
        both WELL KNOWN SKEPTICS,
        have commented on this.
        Curry asked Zeke Hausfather to post some commentary on her blog.
        Judith Curry, a skeptic and one of Inhofe’s favorites,
        has published three discussions of temperature adjustments.

        “There has been much discussion of temperature adjustment of late in both climate blogs
        and in the media, but not much background on what specific adjustments are being made,
        why they are being made, and what effects they have.

        Adjustments have a big effect on temperature trends in the U.S.,
        and a modest effect on global land trends.
        The large contribution of adjustments to century-scale U.S. temperature trends
        lends itself to an unfortunate narrative that “government bureaucrats are cooking the books”.”
        http://curryja.files.wordpress
        Figure 1. Global (left) and CONUS (right) homogenized and raw data from NCDC and Berkeley Earth.
        Series are aligned relative to 1990-2013 means. NCDC data is from GHCN v3.2 and USHCN v2.5 respectively.

        +
        To which I would add a comment from Steve Mosher, the skeptic who published the Climategate letters.
        Christopher Booker win’s the irony of the year award with his piece on adjustments to the temperature record.
        That’s quite a feat considering it’s only February. His complaint overlooks the clear historical fact that skeptics,
        above all others, have made the loudest case for the need to adjust the temperature series.
        Over the years, it’s been skeptics, who have made a vocal case for adjustments .
        More disturbing is the claim that these adjustments are somehow criminal.
        We dealt with these type of claims before and completely debunked them.
        https://andthentheresphysics.w

      • Avatar

        rakooi

        |

        add a comment from Steve Mosher, the skeptic who published the Climategate letters.
        Christopher Booker win’s the irony of the year award with his piece on adjustments to the temperature record.
        That’s quite a feat considering it’s only February. His complaint overlooks the clear historical fact that skeptics,
        above all others, have made the loudest case for the need to adjust the temperature series.
        Over the years, it’s been skeptics, who have made a vocal case for adjustments .
        More disturbing is the claim that these adjustments are somehow criminal.
        We dealt with these type of claims before and completely debunked them.
        https://andthentheresphysics.w
        +
        Here’s what Dr. John Bates “the so called WHISTLE BLOWER” really said:
        “no data tampering”
        “no data changing”
        “nothing malicious.”
        “It’s not trumped up data in any way, shape or form.”
        Source:
        “Major global warming study again questioned, again defended”
        http://bigstory.ap.org/article
        *
        “Understanding adjustments to temperature data”
        http://judithcurry.com/2014
        “Berkeley Earth: raw versus adjusted temperature data”
        http://judithcurry.com/2015
        “Understanding Time of Observation Bias”
        http://judithcurry.com/2015

      • Avatar

        rakooi

        |

        THEY ARE NOT ALWAYS to cool past temps.
        EVEN DR. Judith Curry supports adjustments (after reviewing hundreds) as GREATLY INCREASING ACCURACY…..not, as you say, for nefarious reasons.
        *
        Many people here are complaining about raw data not being available
        and alleged crooked scientists “manipulating” data in alleged nefarious ways.

        People who make such claims should spend a little time learning about
        how data are collected, stored, reviewed, and processed.
        If you read science sources instead of disinformation blogs,
        you will find your questions answered. In short, the data
        are readily available and treated openly and honestly.

        I’ll explain some aspects of this.
        Raw data are readily available if you know where to look for them
        or do a search for them. It is not hard to find links such as these using Google:
        Raw data for land and ocean surface temperatures.
        NOAA source — NCEI
        https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/data
        International source — GCOS
        http://www.wmo.int/pages/prog/
        Raw data for satellites
        https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/data
        Raw data usually take the form of voltages from sensors and are processed in various ways to get temperatures, and then the temperatures are adjusted to correct for known biases. The adjustment procedures / algorithms used by various agencies are available at their web sites and in published papers.
        Satellite data are not temperatures at all. They are sensor signals measuring integral radiance at various look-down angles. Models called “data retrieval algorithms” are used to deconvolve the integrals and obtain troposphere temperatures at various altitudes. Go to the UAH and RSS web sites for a description of these models, and I think source code. Also of importance is the need to splice data together from different satellites and make adjustments for inconsistencies.
        Land and ocean surface temperatures are a more straightforward direct measurements, but they still need lots of processing to remove known biases and errors. jack dale below has given several links about temperature adjustments. Read the articles in Jack’s links. I will repeat only one, which summarizes the process.
        The truth about global temperature data | Ars Technica
        http://arstechnica.com/science
        For more detail, the link below explains NOAA’s data framework – collection and correction for bias.
        https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/moni
        The above article explains where to find some data and how certain adjustments are made.
        Refer to the many links contained in the above article.
        Among many, you can find the following papers.
        ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/da
        https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/moni
        https://www1.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub
        https://www1.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub
        More recent adjustments to ocean temperature are explained by Karl, et al, here. It is explained why buoys are more accurate than ship data, which have a cold bias and how Karl compensates for it.
        http://science.sciencemag.org/
        Zeke Hausfather (Berkely Earth) has verified Karl’s adjustments using independent data sets that are not adjusted.
        http://advances.sciencemag.org
        .
        A more accessible explanation of the above is written here by the author, Hausfather.
        https://www.skepticalscience.c
        .
        Also, before complaining about secret adjusted data, consider skeptic Richard Muller and Berkeley Earth,
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
        .
        Berkeley Earth is an organization that was founded on the assumption that the data were wrong.
        Muller was a skeptic funded in part by the Koch brothers.

        After exhaustive work, Muller et al found that the data were correct. Berkeley Earth is now a valid second opinion,
        always up and running, which provides an independent check. Not to mention Hadley and other independent worldwide organizations.

        NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information
        https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/m
        NOAA Data Access | National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI)
        https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/d
        GCOS: Observing Systems and Data
        http://www.wmo.int/pages/pr
        Hidden Code, Data, Raw Data — OSS Foundation
        http://ossfoundation.us/pro


        jack dale
        Because many folks have no clue about temperature adjustments.
        Dr.s Judith Curry and Steve Mosher,
        both WELL KNOWN SKEPTICS,
        have commented on this.
        Curry asked Zeke Hausfather to post some commentary on her blog.
        Judith Curry, a skeptic and one of Inhofe’s favorites,
        has published three discussions of temperature adjustments.

        “There has been much discussion of temperature adjustment of late in both climate blogs
        and in the media, but not much background on what specific adjustments are being made,
        why they are being made, and what effects they have.

        Adjustments have a big effect on temperature trends in the U.S.,
        and a modest effect on global land trends.
        The large contribution of adjustments to century-scale U.S. temperature trends
        lends itself to an unfortunate narrative that “government bureaucrats are cooking the books”.”
        http://curryja.files.wordpress
        Figure 1. Global (left) and CONUS (right) homogenized and raw data from NCDC and Berkeley Earth.
        Series are aligned relative to 1990-2013 means. NCDC data is from GHCN v3.2 and USHCN v2.5 respectively.

        +
        To which I would add a comment from Steve Mosher, the skeptic who published the Climategate letters.
        Christopher Booker win’s the irony of the year award with his piece on adjustments to the temperature record.
        That’s quite a feat considering it’s only February. His complaint overlooks the clear historical fact that skeptics,
        above all others, have made the loudest case for the need to adjust the temperature series.
        Over the years, it’s been skeptics, who have made a vocal case for adjustments .
        More disturbing is the claim that these adjustments are somehow criminal.
        We dealt with these type of claims before and completely debunked them.
        https://andthentheresphysics.w
        +

  • Avatar

    Spurwing Plover

    |

    Whats that jerks sign made from? Looks like Sheet Plastic to me and i,ll bet the idiot arrived and will depart using Fossil Fuels

  • Avatar

    rick

    |

    Geeeez you guys can get off on a tangent…
    Of course Russia will fund ‘US environmentalists’ to use the ‘global warming excuse’ to affect US energy production. Putin is a paper tiger. His ONLY national revenue is from gas and oil he sells to the EU et al. If US energy sells into his (Putin’s) market then the other Russian energy oligarchs get annoyed at their reduced revenue…do the math – this has nothing to do with global warming – BTW there is not global warming (but that’s a another tangent).

    • Avatar

      G

      |

      It is pretty funny how the Democrats (leftists) love to play with their own feces in this Russian business. The closer we look (with no help from the leftstream media), the more it stinks for the eco-left.

      • Avatar

        Sonnyhill

        |

        Eloquent profanity, more please!…..
        Why would Russia back pro-energy Trump whilst feeding the enviro-squirrels? To turn Americans on themselves.

        • Avatar

          rakooi

          |

          And he is a friend of TRUMP !

          • Avatar

            Sonnyhill

            |

            Trump has friends, he’s a winner. How many friends do the Clinton’s have?

  • Avatar

    Amber

    |

    The Democrat Party was hijacked and remains so . So keen to push the pay masters agenda they took for granted the people they used to pretend to represent . (OK except in California and New York )
    The Russia nothing burger is an empty calorie deflection to draw attention away from the transgressions of arrogant democrat operatives and party hacks who thought they had things in the bag . No they are scared shitless they are about to be called out .
    What happened to Seth Rich ? Maybe Podesta should be asked .

  • Avatar

    Spurwing Plover

    |

    Amber. This is the same party that some hollywood air-head said was OF THE PEOPLE,BY THE PEOPLE,FOR THE PEOPLE shows what little this Bimbo knowns

Comments are closed