By Timothy Cama - 07/30/14 01:08 PM EDT
The environmentalist movement is a front for an exclusive club of shady, wealthy billionaires who get funding from foreign entities, Senate Republicans charged Wednesday in a 92-page report.
The report details the activities of the “Billionaire’s Club,” which it said meets regularly to coordinate donations and control of far-left environmental groups that want to restrict the use of fossil fuels. The donors use “legally suspect” means of controlling the groups that is unique to the left, the report said.
“Although startling in its findings, the report covers only a small fraction of the amount of money that is being secreted and moved around,” said the executive summary of the document, prepared by Republicans on the Environment and Public Works Committee and Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), the panel’s ranking member.
“It would be virtually impossible to examine this system completely given the enormity of this carefully coordinated effort and the lack of transparency surrounding it,” the report said.
The report details a complex web that it calls the “environmental machine” for moving money around. The Environmental Grantmakers Association, the Democracy Alliance and the Divest/Invest movement are the chief facilitators of the scheme, it said.
The movement also funds fake grassroots movements to lobby for state initiatives, the Republicans say.
Cause of Action, a conservative group that has fought for the government to take action against environmental tax-exempt groups, welcomed the report.
“While the IRS seems to be over-inclusive in auditing legitimate nonprofits that differ politically from the administration, they have been under-inclusive in their oversight of politically favored groups who are actually abusing the law,” Dan Epstein, the group’s director, said in a statement.
“What EPW’s report shows is the environmental movement is following the very model President Obama criticized, manipulating the tax code in the process, with no repercussion from the IRS.”