From the Ethan Allen
Institute’s November Newsletter
The Vermont Public Interest Research
Group (VPIRG) has for years been the leading promoter of the Menace of
Global Warming and the necessary remedies thereto (cap and trade, greenhouse
gas inventories, gas guzzler taxes, thermal efficiency utility, prohibition
of single-occupant vehicles from the highways, "Clean Energy Fund" subsidies,
feed in tariff, and mandates, climate supergovernment, etc.). It is notable
for continually declaring that "the science of climate change is settled!"
and sponsoring the 2007 State House polar bear festival urging override
of a Douglas veto of Sen. Peter Shumlin’s thermal efficiency utility bill.
(The override failed.)
Its most enthusiastic current campaign
is to get the next legislature not to allow Entergy’s Vermont Yankee nuclear
plant to pursue a certificate of public good from the Public Service Board
to allow the plant’s continued operation beyond March 2012. VPIRG promotes
the peculiar idea that some combination of conservation, efficiency, wind,
solar, and cow power can make up for the 285 Mw Vermont currently gets
(at a bargain rate) from Yankee.
VPIRG itself is a 501(c)(4) action
organization. Contributions by businesses may be deductible as business
expenses (think the renewable energy industry), but individual contributions
are not tax deductible. VPIRG can and does advocate legislation, lobby,
and support or oppose legislators, but it cannot intervene in election
campaigns; that is, it cannot endorse candidates and urge people to vote
for them. It can run ads saying "support Rep. Joe Smith and his fight to
save the planet from greedy capitalists."
The VPIRG Education Fund is a companion
501(c)(3) sharing the same offices and controlled by the same individuals.
As such, it can receive foundation grants and tax-deductible individual
The two organizations combined had
receipts of over $1 million in 2008, and in 2009 employed nine persons,
eight of them registered lobbyists.
VPIRG Revenues 2006-2008
|VPIRG Ed Fund
VPIRG itself is not required to disclose
its donors. The VPIRG Education Fund receives grants from numerous foundations.
Among them are –
VPIRG’s current Board includes such well-known
names as Duane Peterson (chair)(ex Ben & Jerry’s); Ed Flanagan (Senator,
ex-Auditor); Mark Sinclair (ex Conservation Law Foundation); Richard Watts
(ex Howard Dean campaign manager); Matthew Rubin (East Haven Windfarm);
Dan Brush (Vermont AFL CIO); and Drew Hudson (ex moveon.org).
John Merck Fund (Boston): $460,000 over
nine years, mainly to combat global climate change and get an enforceable
cap on greenhouse gas emissions
Public Welfare Foundation (Washington):
$210,000 since 2000
Merck Family Fund (Milton MA): $80,000
in 2005-06 for the "Fair Tax Coalition"
Blue Moon Fund (Charlottesville VA): $80,000
for single payer health care
Nathan Cummings Foundation (New York):
$50,000 in 2004 for the single payer health care campaign.
Beldon Fund (New York): $50,000 in 2004
for environmental health
Rockefeller Family Fund (New York): $50,000
The free market, low tax pro-liberty
counterpart to VPIRG has yet to be created.
The Ethan Allen Institute monthly
newsletters are archived
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