Environmental groups have spent major green since 2009 on advertising, lobbying and political causes

While groups such as the Chamber of Commerce and Koch Industries often get chided for the political spending, green groups are making their fair share of financial contributions to political causes, too.

According to data obtained by The Daily Caller, environmental groups have spent more than $125 million on political causes, advertising campaigns and lobbying since 2009. Nearly $40 million of that was spent in California in 2010 alone, mostly to campaign against the Prop 23 ballot measure that would have postponed the implementation of greenhouse gas regulations.

During the 2009-2010 spending cycle, the League of Conservation Voters, Inc, a 501(c)4 organization, spent more than $4 million on political causes, according to Federal Election Commission (FEC) filings. The Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund spent nearly $2 million, and the Sierra Club spent just over $1 million, according to Internal Revenue Service (IRS) filings.

In total, during that time period, green groups spent more than $20 million dollars on 2010 political campaigns.

Ad spending is another matter. During that same time period, about 25 groups and coalitions announced a little over $327 million in ad buys. The biggest announcement, by far, came from Al Gore’s Alliance for Climate Protection when it said it would spend $300 million for climate-related ads.

And in 2009, environmental groups spent nearly $22.5 million on lobbying. The top four spenders were the Nature Conservancy, Environmental Defense Fund, World Wildlife Fund and US Climate Action Partnership. Each spent $1 million or more.

“I just look at the total budget of the [Natural Resources Defense Council]; their total budget is around $125 million a year,” Steve Hayward of the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) told TheDC. “That’s more than AEI, Heritage Foundation, Cato Institute and the Hoover Institute put together.”

Hayward went on to say that it is disingenuous to paint business as an adversary to the environmental community because the latter is more concentrated and “a lot larger than people think.”

“As a political force, it’s easily a billion dollar-a-year enterprise,” said Hayward. “And environmental groups have a common agenda, there is not much diversity among them. So it’s sort of misleading to say it’s environmental groups versus business groups because business groups are on all sides of this question.”

  • KGH

    smart of you not to put any numbers up for anti-environment groups. makes the $125 million seem like a huge number.

  • fourleafclover

    These environmental groups weren’t always led by radicals as they are today. The Defenders of Wildlife started out defending wolves but have evolved into a Al Gore like group. Every time the Defenders of Wildlife need money they send out mail describing a need to save some wolves when in fact they’re using the money collected for climate change BS. The World Wildlife Federation and the National Wildlife Federation are engaged in the same behavior. Makes me wonder how much the people in these groups have invested in carbon trading. These groups’ main objective is money and lots of it.

  • SamAdams25

    These green groups have entirely too much influence in our government. Like the corrupt unions’ money and support, the Dems have become wh0res for the green money too. They have sold out the majority of Americans.

    There is only one way to put a stop to this madness. We have to diminish the clout of the unions and the greenies by voting out as many of the Dems as we can. As much as I despise RINOs, the Dems must be denied a majority at any cost. We can replace RINOs with primaries.

  • virginiagentleman

    This is just one more example of politicians, enviro groups and many, many members of congress raping the taxpayer, and it won’t stop until we cut them off. Literally, cut them off, vote them out, imprison the culprits.

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  • southernsusan

    can’t wait til i won’t have to see this guy’s face any longer, that goes for all the clintons and especially, the obamas and their ilk.