Why Sierra Club Unearthed?

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Sierra Club Unearthed is a project of The Energy & Environment Legal Institute (E&E Legal), a 501 (c) (3) free-market environmental watchdog group.  The mission of E&E Legal is to address and correct onerous federal and state governmental actions that negatively impact energy and the environment.  E&E Legal advocates responsible resource development, sound science, respect for property rights, and a commitment to markets as it holds accountable those who seek excessive and destructive government regulation that’s based on agenda-driven policy making, junk science, and hysteria.

It is the latter part of this mission – holding accountable those who seek excessive and destructive government regulation – that inspired us to launch Sierra Club Unearthed.  As already noted, the Sierra Club has a wonderfully rich and important history in conserving and protecting this country’s greatest resources.  They were founded in an era when titans such as President Theodore Roosevelt saw gigantic industries emerge and understood their potential for exploiting natural resources for the sake of a profit.  And for a century, the Sierra Club proudly and effectively carried out its mission.

Sadly, things changed starting in the 1990s.  We selected 2000 as the “Corrupted” year since this is when they first went big into politics when they joined with labor unions in the presidential elections of that year.  This once wonderful organization became mired in politics, and found strange and rich bedfellows – starting with labor unions and then moving to corporations – who could make them extraordinarily wealthy.  All that was required of them was to give up their very soul, to abandoned their mission, and instead of standing tall against industries and their tendency to exploit resources, they started walking hand-in-hand with them.

They are now part of an integral web of non-profit green groups who are working closely with government regulators to wipe out certain sectors of the energy industry so they can reap a huge windfall for the very private corporations they own, run, and/or manage.  They are secretly working with multi-national corporations as they “rent seek” and feed shameless at the government trough helping to secure corporate welfare programs that put money directly in their pockets.  They are violating tax laws, colluding with federal, state, and local lawmakers in secret, and they are using the once untouchable brand of the Sierra Club for their own personal gain.

Therefore, the goal of Sierra Club Unearthed is to expose to the public what this group is really up to in hopes that the media – which unfortunately tends not to cover left wing groups with the same vigor and enthusiasm it does with those on the right – might actually use the information presented as a launching pad for their own investigations.

Another critical goal of this project is to inform the local Chapters of the Sierra Club exactly what their national organization is doing with their brand, and more importantly, to clearly detail how scarce fundraising dollars are going to buy millions of dollars of political ads instead of cleaning of local streams and rivers.  We have already heard from several local Sierra Club members who are fed up with the direction and damage a small group of political hacks have done with the Sierra Club and they want to reclaim it and restore it to John Muir’s vision.  And we want to help them by providing them with a place they can tell their own story.