More Transparency Needed Among Environmental Groups

Joanna Schroeder

I’m calling the environmental movement out for supporting nothing and opposing everything.

Not too long ago, I was proud to call myself an environmentalist. Today, I’m bordering on embarrassed to admit that I support sustainability programs. The cause of my distress is what is happening under the carpet among environmental groups. On the surface, they look squeaky clean, but when you pull back the carpet you find years of dust and dirt.

The result is crippling the system so that the status quo remains unchanged.

Are they doing this unknowingly? It’s hard to imagine a community founded on integrity and steeped in the honorable tradition of academia could blatantly miss the truth on the intellectually definable myths about renewable energy.

For example, for more than 30 years, environmental organizations have attacked the oil and gas industry in the name of environmental integrity. During this same time, these same groups have aided Big Oil in its attack of the biofuels industry in the name of subsidies. The irony is that ethanol subsidies such as the ethanol tax credit (VEETC) and the ethanol tariff are subsidies that actually go to the oil industry – not the ethanol producer.

Until recently, the oil industry was not attacked for the hundreds of billions of subsidies they receive nor were they held accountable for their greenhouse gas emissions until the University of Nebraska conducted an indirect land use emissions study from petroleum transportation and protection – mainly war.

How did everyone miss this?

Environmentalists shout that we must stop using oil and gas. Their solution—that everyone seems to have missed – more oil and gas. This is supported through their claims that biofuels are bad. Hydrogen? Ha. Plug in? Patience? Natural Gas? Never. In essence, the environmental movement is preserving our dependence on dirty fossil fuels.

In the last decade, environmental organizations that have been heralded as the watchdogs of the planet are now taking money from the same industry they are purporting to be saving us from – oil. In case you didn’t notice, this is a conflict of interest. Google some of the top biofuel critic studies by academia and you will likely find a trail of gifts and grants by major oil companies.  Look at the board of directors and you will find a tangled and interconnected web of renewable energy foes.

Many consumers revere and monetarily support these groups, but beware. They have won our trust. Now they are using it carte blanche to hide their true intent: halting the recovery of our economy and placing our national security at risk.

But wait. Aren’t these organizations policing environmental criminals on our behalf?

Who is policing them?

In the past two years, Congress has dragged the oil, biofuels, banking, agricultural, and auto industry to Washington, D.C. for a series of Congressional hearings to probe into their transgressions. They have even dragged in baseball players accused of abusing steroids. Yet they have never called environmental organizations to the halls of justice and asked them to defend their funding and research shenanigans.

We don’t have a decade to determine our future strategy. Don’t misunderstand me. I’m not advocating that we move forward blindly – as our country appears to be doing now. That would be an injustice. What I am proposing is an across the board analysis of all the potential strategies and solutions on the table. This means we must start vocally questioning the actions of environmental organizations. They need to become more transparent.

On behalf of American consumers, I am making an official request for Congress to hold a Congressional Hearing, this year, to look into the actions, funding, research, and programs of the most influential environmental groups. It’s high time we see what’s behind the curtain so we can make more educated policy decisions.

biofuels, Energy, Environment, Oil, Opinion