WASHINGTON, DC – Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Chairman of the Environment & Public Works Committee (EPW), in a floor speech yesterday evening outlined the intricate web of political fundraising and spending by environmental groups which is detailed in a fifteen page Report to the Chairman titled, “Political Activity of Environmental Groups and Their Supporting Foundations.” Inhofe also released an additional thirty page report outlining a ten year history of numerous problems with the management of grant dollars at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) titled, “Grants Management at the Environmental Protection Agency - A New Culture Required to Cure a History of Problems.”

“Environmental organizations have become experts at deceptive activity, skirting laws up to the edge of illegality, and burying their political activities under the guise of non-profit environmental improvement. These reports demonstrate this interconnected ‘environmental family affair’ of non-profits and their benefactors,” Senator Inhofe said.

In examining how the environmental groups receive and spend their federal funds, it became apparent that these groups receive funding from numerous sources including large foundations. With these organizations’ political and grass-roots efforts it became difficult differentiating the sources of their funds and how they spend them. EPW Committee staff has examined the funding and expenditures records of these organizations. This information has been compiled into a fifteen page Report for the Chairman to provide some preliminary examples describing five of the most widely politically active environmental groups including: the League of Conservation Voters, The Sierra Club, and the National Resources Defense Council, a description of their activity, and the interconnected web among all those organizations.

The report also contains examples of the foundations that provide the financial support for those groups – including the Heinz foundations which are a few of the largest contributors to these non-profit environmental organizations – which has Mrs. Teresa Heinz Kerry as either chairperson of the board of trustees or member of the board of trustees on each foundation.

“Interestingly, these environmental groups are all tax-exempt IRS registered 501(c)(3) charitable organizations meaning that contributions to these groups are tax deductible yet all these non-profit groups are also closely associated and fund their affiliated 501(c)(4) lobbying organizations and 527 political groups,” Senator Inhofe said. “These groups profess to be the greatest stewards of the environment and solicit contributions from a variety of sources by that claim. But they demonstrate more interest in hyping apocalyptic environmental scenarios to raise money for raw Democrat political purposes, rather than working together to improve our environment for the benefit of all Americans.”

The Committee has also released a thirty page Report to the Chairman based on an EPW Committee oversight hearing held earlier this year where the Committee heard testimony from the General Accounting Office and the EPA Inspector General regarding a ten year history of numerous problems with the management of grant dollars a EPA Some of the problems included EPA not requiring grant recipients to demonstrate real environmental benefits from grants, EPA not requiring competition in its grant awards, and a general lack of oversight of EPA grant officers and recipients.


Both reports can be accessed below:

Political Report: Click here for link: (.pdf)

Grants: (.pdf) Click here for link: (.pdf)