Opinion: Morning Examiner

Are Natural Resources Defense Council, Environmental Defense Fund and Sierra Club three of the richest bullies on the block?

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Mark Tapscott,Morning Examiner,Barack Obama,Sierra Club,Climate Change,Environmental Defense Fund,Koch brothers

President Obama's anti-carbon emissions program is a classic illustration of how liberal elites shape federal regulatory policies.

The New York Times on Sunday posted a revealing story that described in detail how two lawyers and a climate-scientist-turned-lobbyist at the Natural Resources Defense Council crafted a 110-page proposal that was Obama's "blueprint."

The Times described it as "a remarkable victory" for NRDC, which "has a reach that extends from the big donors of Wall Street to the elite of Hollywood (Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert Redford are on its board) to the far corners of the Environmental Protection Agency ..."

NRDC's $289 million

The New York City-based NRDC is just one of many huge Big Green environmental groups, yet just in the past 15 years, it has received more than 4,000 grants from wealthy foundations worth more than $289 million, for an average of $19 million annually, according to Foundation Search.

That compares to the $3 million spent by the Koch Industries PAC in 2012, its biggest year since 1990, according to OpenSecrets.org.

But wealthy foundations aren't NRDC's only income source. According to the group's 2012 IRS 990 tax return, it received more than $92 million in total contributions that year. The group's net assets are worth $183 million.

Rockefeller loves NRDC

Even a cursory look at the NRDC's lengthy list of grants from philanthropies — many originated by immensely wealthy men like John D. Rockefeller — reveals a laundry list of such groups.

The Rockefeller Foundation has given NRDC 18 grants since 2003 worth a total of $3.1 million. The Rockefeller Brothers Fund has made 12 such grants since 1999, worth a total $1.4 million.

The Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors has given NRDC a dozen grants since 2003, worth a total of $615,500. The Rockefeller Family Fund has given NRDC three grants since 2008, for a total of $350,000.

But wait, there's always more!

By comparison, the Ford Foundation is a piker, having given NRDC only three grants since 2003 worth a measly $224,331.

Not to worry, though, because NRDC has lots of other wealthy charitable patrons, including the Annenberg Foundation, which since 2003 has given the group seven grants worth $1.3 million.

And if things ever get really tight for NRDC, there's always the Tides Foundation — the original "dark money" treasure chest for liberal political activists — which since 1999 has given 38 grants worth $2.7 million.

OK, so what?

Here's so what: NRDC shaped Obama's anti-carbon program -- which will cost millions of jobs and cripple U.S. economic growth -- but it's far from the wealthiest, or most powerful Big Green group.

The Sierra Club, for example, received 2,038 grants since 1999, worth a total of $413 million. The Environmental Defense Fund has gotten 1,491 grants worth more than $294 million over the same period.

In other words, just these three Big Green groups have received $996 million since 1999 — call it $1 billion for short — from wealthy foundations.

Compare that to the mere $17.8 million raised by the Koch Industries PAC in its entire history, funds that were solicited out of concern for a wide variety of issues, not merely those of the environment.

Now who are the rich bullies on the block?

On today's washingtonexaminer.com

Monday Editorial: Is Obamacare turning America into a part-time economy?

Sunday Editorial: Freedom requires taking risk to endure.

Watchdog/Mark Tapscott: Judicial Watch asks federal judge to lift "temporary" stay on lawsuit seeking Operation Fast and Furious documents.

Watchdog/Richard Pollock: Animal rights groups court ordered to pay circus $15.7 million file suit against insurers who cancelled them in 2010.

Columnists/Hugh Hewitt: Conservatives have great ideas but House GOP leaders aren't promoting them.

Columnists/Michael Barone: Racial differences are real but no cause for discrimination.

Columnists/Star Parker: U.S. taxpayers shouldn't be forced to fund Palestinian terrorism against Israel.

Beltway Confidential/T. Beckett Adams: Vets are still paying attention to Veterans Affairs scandal despite fading media attention.

PennAve/Susan Ferrechio: Congress has just weeks to replenish highway funding.

Legal Newsline/Heather Gvillo: Artificial hip-maker settles for $4 million in Oregon.

In other news

The Washington Post: With arrest of six Jews in Arab youth's murder, Israel confronts its own extremists.

The New York Times: Three environmentalists at Natural Resources Defense Council wrote blueprint for Obama anti-carbon program.

CBS News: Woman sues employer who wouldn't change her schedule to avoid rush hour.

Righty Playbook

The Weekly Standard: No defense.

National Review Online: Born on the Fifth of July.

The American Spectator: God and Dick Scaife.

Bonus must-read

The Federalist: Notes for reading the Declaration of Independence.

Lefty Playbook

The Daily Beast: U.S. blasts Assad as worst since Hitler.

New Republic: Hillary, here's your campaign platform.

Salon: We the People are violent and filled with rage.

Bonus must-read

Mother Jones: NSA lied about Edward Snowden not having access to intercepts.

Blog Right

Blue Collar Perspective: Since when is unfairly burdening taxpayers not sufficient injury?

The Gateway Pundit: Rick Perry demolishes Martha Raddatz, ABC News Obama apologist.

Jammie Wearing Fools: Radioactive material stolen in Mexico.

Blog Left

Talking Points Memo: Video may show ISIS leader in public.

Slate: The Braves, Chiefs and Redskins all play on land seized from American Indians.

Fire Dog Lake: Funny how all that works.

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