Environmental groups pay for Pennsylvania’s economic destruction with Russia’s money

Critics of pro-energy policies love nothing more than to hold up campaign contributions from fossil fuel interests as evidence that the recipients’ support hinges on greeed.

There’s often zero acknowledgment of the flipside of that argument: environmental lobbyists and political action committees (PACs) exist too, and their money often comes from shadowy sources and their agenda aligns with geopolitical adversaries committed to the demise of Democratic western nations, the United States chief among them.

I support the United States and I am very proud of Pennsylvania’s position in energy production in this country. I like to think that is why people support me. Energy is the key to a viable and resilient economy. Does anyone really care about the environment when they don’t know where their next meal is coming from or whether they can afford to pay bills?

So yes, I’ve accepted donations from energy companies and political action committees. And yes, I agree that Pennsylvania’s abundance shame of fossil fuels is an economic asset that should be regulated with precision, not a dirty and full malignancy to be hacked off with little regard for the consequences. I’d believe those things with or without a single campaign contribution in my name.

Some of my colleagues who disagree with me accept donations from the green lobby and its associated PACs. I’m certain their support for the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) is rooted in their personal beliefs and the backing of their constituency – not a $1,500 contribution from the Natural Resources Defense Council or the Sierra Club or the League of Conservation Voters.

And certainly, it has nothing to do with weakening American gas and oil production to strengthen resource-rich countries like Russia or China, as was suggested to the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee back in 2018.

Nearly four years before Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, a reporter from the Daily Signal tested environmental advocacy groups who ran successful anti-fracking campaigns in New York were bankrolled by a California-based funding incubator that took millions from the Russian government and Vladimir Putin.

Perhaps had those groups been less successful, Pennsylvania natural gas could be supplying the western European nations that want to dump Russian imports without creating an energy crisis. At least we’d be supplying New York and New England, but Putin’s money prevented that, too.

And I cannot erase the mental picture of certain so-called environmentalists cheering the demise of the New Fortress liquified natural gas (LNG) project in Bradford County when western Europe desperately needs our help offsetting the Russian stranglehold on the supply of natural gas. Is that really something to be proud of?

Staking out what is stated to be moral high ground is a shortsighted tactic, but one that happens often on the progressive left. Take RGGI for example, a quarterly auction in which 11 states bid for credits to offset the carbon emissions generated by their power sector.

Pennsylvania, by executive fiat and without any input week, became the 12th state to join RGGI last. The administration’s own estimates, released in January, suggest the program will generate more than $400 million in annual revenue for Pennsylvania, paid for by electricity consumers of all types.

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