Renewable Portfolio Standard advocates recently held their 2015 National Summit. The draft RPS agenda suggests it was quite an event ‚Äì populated by bureaucrats, scientists and consultants who have jumped on the climate and “green energy” bandwagon, to follow the money.
Indeed, they are no longer content with 10% corn ethanol in gasoline, or some wind and solar power in the electricity mix. Now they want to convert the entire electrical grid from fossil-fuels to renewable sources and, if Catholic bishops get their way, totally eliminate hydrocarbons by 2050, despite the horrendous impacts that would have on workers, families and the world’s poorest people.
There’s certainly a lot of money to be made. The green revolution is estimated at $1.5 trillion per year, which means potentially huge profits for those with political connections. Many who are making big bets on green technologies are ultra-wealthy people who say they are protecting the planet, when they really seem to be “protecting their wealth for future generations” of family members and cronies.
One is Ward McNally, great-great-great grandson of the founder of Rand McNally maps. He and 11 other billionaire families created the Green Tech Syndicate in 2010. So far they have invested $1.4 billion in green schemes ‚Äì for a greener environment, but mostly to put still more green in their bank accounts.
Wags might suggest that “syndicate” is a perfect name, as it recalls Capone, Cosa Nostra, yazukas and tongs. But what they are doing seems perfectly legal, if not always in the public interest. And the “climate crisis” foundation of this vast enterprise seems increasingly based on exaggerated, manipulated, even fabricated science, data, computer scenarios and official reports ‚Äì and on silencing CAGW skeptics.
President Obama is the piper leading the nation and world to a green Shangri La. As he continues to impose policies that move the US economy away from fossil fuels and toward pseudo-alternatives, he is calling for public and private investments. The Clean Energy Investment Initiative, for example, seeks investors who will plow $2 billion into wind, solar and other infrastructure projects ‚Äì all of them augmented with money from taxpayers and consumers who have no voice in the decisions.
There’s another problem: Fossil fuels remain more affordable than renewable energy, a better value for consumers and generally better for the environment. For green investors and the Administration, this means coal, oil and natural gas must be made more costly, so that renewables can compete. What to do?
As a 2014 Senate Environment and Public Works Committee staff investigation revealed, a cabal of billionaires, millionaires, foundations and “charitable” organizations are colluding to smear fossil fuels and scare Americans about fracking and climate change. They funnel millions of dollars into far-left environmentalist groups, which launch campaigns and create phony grassroots groups that hold protests and spread more anti-fossil fuel propaganda, to kill projects and jobs and reduce living standards.
Using an Amazon-sized river of cash, these 0.1 Percenters buy the services of the Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, American Lung Association and many similar groups, to stir up fear, loathing and opposition among the 99 Percenters. They want to make the electorate feel guilty about pseudo-problems: the plight of polar bears, rising asthma rates, and “environmental injustice” ‚Äì the claim that minorities are disproportionately affected by fossil fuels and “dangerous manmade climate change.”
Their “charitable” contributions fund 350.org and its battles against fossil fuels. Founder Bill McKibben has called the organization “a scruffy little outfit” with “almost no money.” But between 2011 and 2014 it received multiple six-figure grants from outfits like the Park Foundation, Marisla Foundation, Tides Foundation, Climate Works Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Foundation and Rockefeller Family Foundation ‚Äì with much of the money passed through the Sustainable Markets Foundation.
The Senate report says such pass-throughs allow secretive donors to remain anonymous and get tax deductions for contributing to a supposed charity. Last year, 350.org spent more than $8.3 million on anti-fossil fuel activities around the globe.
But 350.org pales in comparison to the Energy Foundation (EF), the “quintessential example of a pass through.” The report says EF receives huge sums from the Sea Change Foundation, which gets money from Vlad Putin cronies and whose other “major donors are heavily invested in renewable technologies.”
Sadly, this is not the first time a greedy few have elevated their interests over the needs of working-class consumers. A prime example is the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). With its ethanol mandate, the RFS was pitched to the public as a way to wean America off foreign oil, which fracking does much better. But one of its primary goals was to “incentivize” the U.S. ethanol industry. It certainly did that.
Corn farmers and ethanol producers grew fat, while American families footed the bill. Forcing ethanol into motor fuels caused food prices to climb, vehicle engines to be damaged, and motorists to get fewer miles-per-gallon. Ohio motorists alone paid $440 million more in additional fuel costs during 2014.
Since the RFS was passed ten years ago, the clever racket that gives influential 0.1 Percenters sway over environmental and energy policy has become increasingly sophisticated and less transparent. The RFS was negotiated openly, but today’s policies appear to be generated by a group of insiders who put profits over honesty and fairness, and rabid environmentalism over the well-being of our nation and citizens.
Indeed, EPA justifies the ethanol mandate by claiming it reduces greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs). However, even the Environmental Working Group says ethanol puts more carbon dioxide into the air, not less. In October, the EPA Inspector General said it would investigate ethanol’s impact on GHGs.
Unfortunately, most Americans do not comprehend the huge self-interest behind the green movement, nor its harmful effects and minimal benefits. EPA’s anti-coal Clean Power Plan, for example, will sharply hike electricity rates and lower household incomes by $2,000 a year ‚Äì but reduce global temperatures by only 0.02 degrees C (0.03F) over the next 85 years, assuming CO2 actually drives climate change!
In reality, global temperatures haven’t warmed in 19 years, no category 3-5 hurricane has hit the United States in ten years, Antarctic sea ice is expanding, and seas are rising at just seven inches a century. But anyone who questions climate chaos mantras faces vilification, and worse. Famed French meteorologist Philippe Verdier was fired from his TV job after calling climate change hype a “global scandal.” A Paris journalist says Verdier was the victim of an “outrageous, unjust, ridiculous” climate “fatwa.”
But these critically important facts get short shrift in the radical world of climate cataclysm. They will certainly be ignored at the upcoming UN climate gabfest in Paris. Legions of bureaucrats and activists will gather there to plot global governance, energy restrictions and wealth redistribution ‚Äì while crushing debate and free speech, to prevent the world from learning the truth about climate chaos deception.
Returning to the RPS conference, its agenda notes that Day Two was closed to the public and open only to selected federal and state officials. That’s because a major discussion topic was the scheduled reduction in federal solar tax credits, from 30% to 10% at the end of 2016. Green investors are up in arms, have launched a TV ad blitz, and wanted to lobby officials privately for expanded government largess.
Wake up, America. The ruling class and rich elites are picking your pockets. Don’t get snookered by the president’s claim that climate change is the biggest threat to future generations. Don’t blithely assume the government is working in your best interests. (That’ll be the day.) Don’t buy claims that the enemy is corporate greed. That ancient diversionary tactic is designed to make you look the other way, while the Green Cabal, Climate Crisis, Inc. and renewable opportunists enrich themselves at your expense.
Above all, pay attention to next year’s elections. Your own and your children’s futures are at stake.
Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org) and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green Power ‚Äì Black Death.