Sierra Club Took $6 Million from Solar Industry and Refused to Disclose It
FrackFeed | July 19, 2018
An organization claiming to defend “the environment” accepts millions of dollars from an industry, refuses to disclose the source, and then advocates on behalf of that industry. Would you call that a front group?
You can actually call it something else: The Sierra Club.
According to a report this week in Bloomberg, Elon Musk – the chairman of Tesla, which has a major rooftop solar division – begged the head of the Sierra Club to come to his defense. Last month Musk made a contribution to a committee that benefits congressional Republicans, and he wanted to use the Sierra Club to deflect attention away from it.
As any good hired gun would do, Michael Brune – the Sierra Club’s president – dutifully tweeted out a defense of Musk last week. Musk also asked Brune to disclose that Tesla had given $6 million to the Sierra Club. Brune did it, because he knows where the Sierra Club’s bread is buttered.
Setting all else aside, @elonmusk has spent his career focused on tackling the climate crisis & advancing clean energy. We know that from his work with Tesla & Solar City. And, we know that from his generous $6m in financial support for our climate advocacy @sierraclub (1/2)
— Michael Brune (@bruneski) July 15, 2018
One of the Sierra Club’s core campaigns is “Ready for 100,” an effort to move the country to 100% renewable energy like wind and solar. That campaign looks a little less pure now, huh?
It’s not the first time a solar industry-backed group has secretly funded organizations to advance their interests. In Arizona, the Checks and Balances Project tried to skew regulators toward a pro-solar agenda, without disclosing that the group had received funding from SolarCity – the same rooftop solar company that Tesla recently acquired.
Environmentalists love to attack pro-oil and gas groups – including FrackFeed – as some sort of front for the fossil fuel industry. We’ve heard it all. “That’s an astroturf group,” they claim. “They take money from industry, so they can’t be grassroots.” “Don’t listen to them, they’re just advocating for what their funders want.”
The Sierra Club recently dismissed one pro-industry effort of being “just a PR campaign funded by the oil and gas industry.”
— Sierra Club (@SierraClub) December 5, 2017
Remember – if you see anything from “Sierra Club,” it’s just a PR campaign funded by the solar industry. #paytoplay