U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), top Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee, today announced the second part of his investigation into the collusion between environmental activists, lawyers and lobbyists, and the billionaires and their supporting foundations who use large sums of money to influence environmental public policy through propaganda campaigns and close ties with federal agencies.

Over the coming weeks, EPW Republicans will be detailing exactly how these coordinated efforts are destroying jobs and punishing industries and families across America. From farmers to miners to rig workers to manufacturers and fishermen, EPW Republicans will examine how their jobs and way of life are being targeted by well-funded environmental activists and "progressives" whose primary goal is maximizing government control, particularly over the land, water, and resources utilized by private industries and individuals. The primary financing for these efforts comes out of New York, California, and Washington, D.C.

The first step in understanding the relationship and money flow between the environmental groups, the billionaires, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), along with other agencies, is to look at the strategy used to shrink the economy and deindustrialize the United States. Donald Ross, former member of the Board of Directors for the League of Conservation Voters and former Chairman of Greenpeace, spells out the strategy exactly:

"Funders can play a role in using money to drive, to create, ad hoc efforts, in many cases that will have a litigation component coming from one group, a lobbying component coming from another group, a grassroots component organizing component from yet a third group with a structure that enables them to function well."[1]

The money trail is hidden to project the false notion that the environmental movement is a spontaneous and locally controlled effort. In truth, the large-moneyed interests leverage their dollars to purchase and direct services from select environmental groups who then advance a specific anti-industrial, anti-capitalist agenda. These environmental organizations increase their relative value to the Billionaire's Club based on the influence they have over high-level government officials at the EPA and the Department of Interior (DOI). The recent announcement of DOI Assistant Secretary Rhea Suh to move over to head the New York-based environmental activist group Natural Resources Defense Council serves as a prime example of the revolving door and coordinated efforts.

The desire to deindustrialize or otherwise to shrink is carried out regardless of the impacts it has on middle class America. Recently, the Washington Post noted that no State has experienced an increase in the percentage of employed persons since the recession. Moreover, the decline in the unemployment rate masks troubling trends, such as the now-consistently high rate of underemployed/part-time workers (working less than 34 hours per week) who cannot find full-time jobs, and the fact that the unemployment rate does not account for people that have simply given up on finding a job.

Unfortunately, President Obama has instead pursued an aggressive regulatory agenda, which strikingly mirrors failed policies in the European Union. What these failed economic policies in Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom have in common is that they are strongly endorsed by the far-left environmental movement and their wealthy billionaire backers.

In July, the EPW Republicans released a report entitled, "The Chain of Environmental Command: How a Club of Billionaires and Their Foundations Control the Environmental Movement and Obama's EPA," which detailed how a select group of extraordinarily wealthy individuals, aka the Billionaire's Club, discretely leverage tax-free dollars behind the scenes to influence environmental policy and sway elections.