Billionaire-funded enviro groups oppose Trump's EPA nominee, rip president for being "billionaire"

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, President Donald Trump's pick to head the EPA
Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, President Donald Trump's pick to head the EPA
The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Green for All and NextGen Climate Action have all come out in opposition to President Donald J. Trump's nomination of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to head the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The groups have another thing in common: They're funded, in part, by hedge-fund billionaires.

The NRDC and Green for All are both organizations that have received funding from the Open Society Foundations, which was founded by billionaire hedge-fund magnate George Soros.

"Soros is the founder of Quantum Fund, once one of the world's largest hedge funds with about $30 billion under management," reports Bloomberg. "The billionaire returned money to his outside investors in 2011 and changed the investment business into a family office. The fund also handles the multi-billion-dollar endowments of his philanthropies."

NextGen Climate Action was founded by billionaire Tom Steyer.

"Tom Steyer spent 26 years running hedge fund Farallon Capital, then sold his stake in late 2012 and switched his focus to politics and the environment," reports Forbes. "The San Francisco resident said he would spend upwards of $50 million to back select Democrats in the 2014 elections. He is a passionate advocate of clean energy and has been one of the most vocal opponents of the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline."

All three organizations have publicly opposed President Trump’s nomination of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to serve as EPA Administrator.

In a January 2013 blog post, the NRDC criticized Pruitt for suing to "block every major EPA regulation in recent years." Green for All called the Pruitt nomination "deeply disappointing." NextGen Climate Action is running ads opposing the Pruitt nomination.

The three billionaire-funded organizations were highly critical of the president throughout the campaign, and remained so during the transition process, with some ironically using the term “billionaire” to criticize Trump.

In a pre-election blog post criticizing President Trump, NextGen Climate's blog promoted a statement by U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, who said accused Trump of running a "pro-billionaire campaign."

The NRDC also criticized "billionaires" in a January 5, 2017 press release, writing that "Already, we’ve seen a set of cabinet nominees dominated by ... billionaires and bankers."

While these three environmental groups have opposed Pruitt’s nomination, he has garnered support in other quarters, including from the board member of a national conservation group.

“Scott Pruitt is very much in the mold of our nation’s first environmentalist president, Theodore Roosevelt,” said former Congresswoman Nan Hayworth (R-NY), a board member of environmental group ConservAmerica. “An outdoorsman who understands the critical importance of stewardship.”

Pruitt also garnered the endorsement of The Oklahoman newspaper editorial board, which had declined to endorse Donald Trump for President.

“Pruitt respects the law, defers to constitutional limits and will champion common sense in regulatory deliberations,” wrote The Oklahoman editorial board on December 9, 2016. “That will be in marked contrast to the past eight years.”

Organizations in this Story

Natural Resources Defense Council Oklahoma Attorney General's Office U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) White House

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