Follow the Money: Earth Day 2015
Forty-five years ago, 22 million Americans celebrated clean air, clean water and a clean environment on the very first Earth Day. The day itself was created by Republican (gasp) President Richard Nixon. He signed the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requiring all federal agencies to prepare environmental impact statements and commemorated the very first Earth Day on April 22, 1970. The history books gloss over the strong environmental record of a Republican president, while liberals across the country celebrate the near sacred cause of environmental policy.
From marches on corporations to concerts on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., liberals across the nation will attack conservatives for being “less conscious” than their left-winged brothers. Amusingly enough, photos of the over-stuffed (and spilling onto the green grass) trash receptacles will flood the Twitter-verse. Never mind the facts, the left-wing activists will continue to do their level best each year to own the day.
The Earth Day Network (EDN), the global coordinator of Earth Day, has over 50,000 partnering organizations, many of these representing a ‘who’s who’ of liberal environmental groups such as Ceres, the World Wildlife Fund and the Sierra Club. These groups have documented histories of supporting liberal policies like carbon taxes and cap-and-trade. The EDN has also advocated for liberal policies regulating carbon emissions like President Obama’s Climate Action Plan. The goals of the organization are concerning given that the EDN “works to broaden the definition of ‘environment’ to include all issues that affect our health, our communities and our environment.”
Of course, this kind of advocacy wouldn’t be possible without the help of big business. The EDN lists Wells Fargo, UPS and Toyota as corporate sponsors of this year’s Earth Day. These three companies have a history of supporting liberal environmental advocacy as all three have helped fund The Nature Conservancy, another advocate for cap-and-trade legislation. Furthermore, executives from companies like Proctor & Gamble rub shoulders with liberal environmentalists like Al Gore and John Podesta on the EDN’s Global Advocacy Committee.
2nd Vote has previously acknowledged Southwest Airlines for their liberal stance on issues of same-sex marriage and pro-life issues. This year, the airline is a proud sponsor of Earth Day, even while the Natural Resource Defense Council editorializes about the pollution burden the airline industry puts on the globe. 2nd Vote has also documented the corporate support for many of the other EDN partners as well. For example, Ford, General Mills and Bank of America are corporate sponsors of Ceres, while the World Wildlife Fund has partnerships with Coca-Cola, Lego and Kellogg’s. The Sierra Club receives funding from Johnson & Johnson. Hundreds of other companies support these environmental groups and other members of the EDN like The Nature Conservancy and Greenpeace.
As the popularity of “greening” of America continues to grow, organizations like Ceres, World Wildlife Fund and Greenpeace continue to rake in corporate sponsors for their efforts. However, the difference between responsible stewardship and liberal, “green” activism is best represented by the impact on the “green” in our wallets. In fiscal years 2009-2012 the federal government spent over $15 million fighting 570 Endangered Species Act cases. Many of the litigants in these cases were members of the EDN such as the National Resources Defense Council, the National Wildlife Federation, and the Defenders of Wildlife.
On Earth Day, conservatives can, and should, practice responsible behavior to the environment, and every other day for that matter. But, they should also practice responsible spending that doesn’t fund a liberal political agenda.
Chris Walker is the Executive Director of 2nd Vote, a conservative shopper app. To find out more, download the free app or visit 2ndVote.com.