By Drew Johnson, Guest Columnist
One of America’s most respected environmental nonprofits has traded in one kind of green for another. Some of the Sierra Club’s board members and most important donors have put the almighty dollar before Mother Earth by encouraging the organization to engage in activities that bolster their bottom line.
In a new report, the Energy & Environment Legal Institute reveals that many environmental activists benefit richly from their donations to the Sierra Club.
Nathaniel Simons, a hedge fund baron worth an estimated $12 billion, has donated more than $14 million to the Sierra Club since 2009. Those contributions have largely been earmarked for campaigns to “educate the public about clean energy” but have proven quite worthwhile to Simons. While he was underwriting the Sierra Club’s efforts to promote renewables, Simons was quietly creating a venture fund that invests in clean energy.