Monday, January 25, 2016

The Problems with Connecticut Climate Change Policy - Part 4: The Rockefeller Connection

(This is a video presentation of the following analysis.  Click here for an .mp3 audio version)

In this part of the series of 'The Problems with Connecticut Climate Change Policy' we are going to take a look at many of the groups behind CT climate change policy, and their curious connection to the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, which will be referred to as RBF from this point on.  We are going to start by following the timeline of the implementation of Connecticut climate change policy.

The first action taken by the state in regards to "global warming" was in 1990 with the passing of Public Act 90-219 "An Act Concerning Global Warming", but we will start this analysis in the year 2000 as that is when the state's focus on climate change and global warming began in earnest and significant action began to be taken.

In the year 2000 an alliance of New England Governors met with Premiers from Eastern Canada to adopt "Resolution 25-9 concerning global warming and its environmental impacts."  These New England Governors were brought together through a forum named CONEG, or the Coalition of North Eastern Governors. According to their website, "CONEG works with the governors and their staff and policy advisors to examine current and emerging regional issues, develop effective solutions, and undertake cooperative actions that benefit the individual state and the region."  CONEG polices are identified, formulated, and carried out by their staff at the CONEG Policy Research Center Inc.  Various official documents from the RBF show that they were funding CONEG Policy Research Center Inc. from its inception in the mid-1970's through the 1980's.  Therefore the RBF has had an influential connection to Connecticut climate change policy from its inception.

In 2001, this coalition of New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers came together once again to create a Climate Change Action Plan for the region.  This plan called for each state to create their own climate change plans, programs, and policies.  As a result, the governor of Connecticut at the time, John Rowland, in 2002, created a Steering Committee "to coordinate Connecticut’s actions on climate change."

The same year that Governor Rowland created the Steering Committee, the Commitee met at the The Pocantico Center, in Tarrytown, New York.  This land at Pocantico was originally purchased by John D. Rockefeller, and is now managed by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.

At this meeting it was stated that one of the first steps that Connecticut needs to do to address climate change is to have an inventory of "greenhouse gas" in the state.  It was announced that Connecticut had approached the Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management (NESCAUM) to develop this greenhouse gas inventory for the state, and in 2003 NESCAUM released their report titled "Connecticut Greenhouse Gas Inventory 1990-2000".

NESCAUM is an organization cited throughout the state documents in relation to climate change.  The Rockefeller Brothers Fund has given multiple grants to NESCAUM, funding various studies put out by the organization.

In the 2003 report on Connecticut Greenhouse Gas Inventory, written by agents of NESCAUM, the origins of the concern over "greenhouse gases" is detailed, and they cite the starting point when "[i]n 1992, the United States joined more than 160 other countries in signing and ratifying the [United Nations] Framework Convention on Climate Change. [UNFCCC]"

As detailed in the report Agenda 21: The Rockefellers Are Building Human Settlement Zones In Connecticutthe UNFCCC was a specific aspiration of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, as they admittedly "organized and funded some of the earliest meetings of advocates addressing climate change."  One of those early advocate organizations that has played, and continues to play, a leading role in the climate change debate is the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).  The IPCC operates under the auspices of the United Nations, and has been a highly influential organization propagating the belief that man-made global warming is a real and serious threat.  The IPCC is known as an "internationally accepted authority on climate change."  IPCC reports are cited  throughout the many Connecticut official documents relating to climate change policy.  The IPCC was co-funded into existence by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.

Continuing with the timeline of Connecticut climate change policy, in 2004 a report was released detailing the results of a number of meetings attended by a group of Connecticut "stake holders" to "formulate policy recommendations to help the State to make progress toward or beyond greenhouse gas (GHG) targets established by the New England Governors/Eastern Canada Premiers (NEG/ECP) Climate Change Agreement of 2001."  These dialogues were designed and facilitated by a group called the Center for Clean Air Policy (CCAP).  As you may have guessed, CCAP is another organization that has received multiple grants from the RBF.

On the list of Connecticut stakeholders is an organization named SmartPower.  Not only has SmartPower received $400,000 in grants from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, but on the board of advisors at SmartPower is Michael Northrop, a director at the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.

As promoted in the 2005 Connecticut Climate Change Action Plan, SmartPower partnered with the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund to create a program called "Connecticut's Clean Energy Communities".  Th is program allows for local governments, businesses, and residential home owners to receive grants by pursuing the various "energy efficiency" methods listed in the program.  The grant money used for this program comes out of the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund, which gets it money from a "conservation charge" that is included in the energy bill of Connecticut residents.  This is just another example of how the people and organizations pushing climate change policy are affecting a rise in the cost of living for everyone, thus lowering the standard of living of our society.  The topic of our electrical bills funding these grants deserve its own analysis, but for now let us get back to connecting all of this to the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.

The Connecticut Clean Energy Fund, which partnered with RBF-funded SmartPower to create energy efficiency programs, was later succeeded by the Connecticut Green Bank.  The CT Green Bank has taken over the task of the CT Clean Energy Fund in offering financial incentives to residents, businesses, and local governments for following programs of energy efficiency.  The CT Green Bank is part of a "Clean Energy States Alliance" (CESA).  The CESA is managed by the Clean Energy Group.  The Clean Energy Group is funded by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.

The 2005 Connecticut Climate Change Action Plan also twice cites studies from a group called the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE).  Of course, ACEEE receives funding from RBF.

Moving on to 2006, the state issued a report titled "Implementing Connecticut's Climate Change Action Plan: 2006 Progress Report" where they cite a report from an organization named "CERES" that purportedly "underscores the significant economic harm the United States faces from climate change and provided many examples of new businesses and products now available to address climate risk, many of which could be acted upon today by Connecticut’s insurance companies and
financial institutions."  CERES has received millions of dollars in funding from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.

Also mentioned in the 2006 Progress Report is an event organized with the purpose of propagandizing "faith communities" into the belief that man-made climate change is a real and serious threat.  Quoting from that document:
"Over 5,800 Connecticut residents attended community screenings of “An Inconvenient Truth” in October 2006. The movie, shown at over 150 congregations in the state, presents the science of climate change. Faith communities followed the movie with discussion forums. This initiative, coordinated by the Interreligious Eco-Justice Network, provided an opportunity for many citizens to learn more about climate science and discuss the issues in their local communities."
The organization who coordinated this event is the Interreligious Eco-Justice Network, which receives funding from Smart Power.  As discussed earlier, Smart Power not only receives RBF funding, but also has a director of the RBF on its board of advisers.

We can continue following this connection between the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the progressive implementation of Connecticut climate change policy throughout the remaining years of this timeline, such as in 2011 when Connecticut became a participant in the Transportation and Climate Initative (TCI) (TCI is funded by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund), but I'm sure you get the point.

The information provided in this analysis is only meant to be conclusive of one thing: The Rockefeller Brothers Fund are a major influence in the Connecticut climate change movement.  But what does their influence really mean? Well, this analysis was only designed to provide the facts of the RBF influence in Connecticut.  For a more in depth understanding of the purposes and goals of the Rockefeller influence read the related analyses at, especially the report titled Agenda 21: The Rockefellers Are Building Human Settlement Zones In Connecticut.

Previous reports on Connecticut climate change policy: