Major eco group saw large funding uptick fueled by liberal dark money network: ‘Best year ever’

The League of Conservation Voters (LCV), an influential nonprofit environmental organization, experienced a massive uptick in revenue last year fueled by the billion-dollar liberal dark money network managed by Washington, DC-based firm Arabella Advisors.

The LCV — which is committed to pushing green policies pushing the US economy away from fossil fuels — reported receiving $114.7 million in financial contributions in 2021, a roughly 48% increase compared to the $77.7 million it received in 2020, according to the group’s tax filings obtained by watchdog group Americans for Public Trust (APT) and shared with Fox News Digital. By comparison, the organization has reported annual contributions as low as $11 million and never more than $66 million since 2011.

“These newest tax records show just how much dark money the largest, extremist eco group spent on radical energy policies and influencing jet-setting officials like Pete Buttigieg,” Caitlin Sutherland, the executive director for APT, told Fox News Digital.

“And a massive, single contribution from Arabella’s Sixteen Thirty Fund helped their revenues soar as they spent tens of millions to prop up Biden’s failing agenda on climate and jobs,” she continued.

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The League of Conservation Voters is an influential environmental group that supports aggressively transitioning the power grid from fossil fuels to renewable energy.

The League of Conservation Voters is an influential environmental group that supports aggressively transitioning the power grid from fossil fuels to renewable energy.
(Reuters/Lucy Nicholson/File)

The fundraising uptick was largely fueled by an $18.9 million haul the group secured from the Sixteen Thirty Fund, a key cog in the Arabella network. The money, which can’t be tracked to its donor or donors, represented last year’s largest contribution given by the Sixteen Thirty Fund, a group that doled out more than $107 million in 2021.

The LCV also received a large amount from the dark money network overseen by Hansjorg Wyss, a prolific foreign donor to liberal causes. The group received about $10.7 million from the Fund for a Better Future and another $60,000 from the Wyss Foundation. Fund for a Better Future did not give more than $10 million to any other grant recipient last year.

Molly McUsic — the president of Wyss Foundation and a director on the board of another Wyss-linked group, Berger Action Fund — sits on LCV’s board of directors.

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In addition to receiving money from both liberal dark money networks, the LCV kicked back millions of dollars to both networks in 2021.

The LCV gave nearly $1.3 million to Fund For a Better Future, its largest donation to a group it isn’t affiliated with, and another $500,000 to Windward Fund, one of the five groups, including Sixteen Thirty Fund, managed by Arabella Advisors.

Hansjorg Wyss is pictured at a benefit on April 1, 2015, in New York City.

Hansjorg Wyss is pictured at a benefit on April 1, 2015, in New York City.
(Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Oceana/File)

The LCV also gave millions of dollars to left-wing groups that don’t focus on environmental issues.

For example, it funneled money to Fund for a Better Future, Windward Fund, Building Back Together, Future Forward PAC, Hip Hop Caucus, Center for Empowered Politics and several other progressive organizations.

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The Center for Empowered Politics (CEP) has been criticized for its ties to the Chinese government, according to Influence Watch. The CEP has both received positive media coverage from China Daily, a newspaper run by the Chinese government’s Central Propaganda Department, and its board chairman, Timmy Lu, co-authored an activist training paper that outlined “revolutionary opposition” to “capitalism in its current form, which is imperialism.”

And the LCV has exhibited its influence in the Biden administration where it has influenced policymaking decisions since early 2021.

Fox News Digital previously reported that the group has privately consulted with Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan, according to internal calendar entries.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg privately met three times with LCV leadership between February 2021 through October 2021.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg privately met three times with LCV leadership between February 2021 through October 2021.
(Reuters/Leah Millis)

Between August 2021 and June, LCV’s president, Gene Karpinski, also visited the White House at least eight times, according to visitor logs.

On June 2, Karpinski met with Madeline Strasser, an adviser for White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain; John Podesta, the founder of liberal think tank Center for American Progress and current White House clean-energy czar; Lori Lodes, the executive director of the eco group Climate Power; and Kathleen Welch, a well-known Democratic fundraiser who focuses on climate issues, is the chair of the Natural Resources Defense Council and serves on the LCV’s board.

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“2022 was the best year ever in the US for action on climate, jobs, and justice, and a historic year for our democracy,” Emily Samsel, a spokesperson for the LCV, told Fox News Digital in an email. “LCV is extraordinarily proud of our advocacy work over the years to make this possible, including working in partnership with many other effective groups that advocate for climate action and protecting our democracy.”

Samsel added that the funding for the CEP was a “grant specifically for the AAPIs for Civic Empowerment Education Fund to support an organization serving Asian and Pacific Islander communities in response to the rise of violence against these communities in 2020 and 2021.”

John Podesta, who President Biden appointed to be the White House clean-energy czar in September, was present at a meeting in June with LCV President Gene Karpinski and a handful of other climate leaders.

John Podesta, who President Biden appointed to be the White House clean-energy czar in September, was present at a meeting in June with LCV President Gene Karpinski and a handful of other climate leaders.
(Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images/File)

“Advancing racial justice and equity is central to LCV’s mission,” Samsel said.

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Overall, the LCV works to push left-wing environmental policies and hold “politicians and polluters accountable,” according to its website. The group publishes an annual “environmental scorecard,” which tracks the voting records of lawmakers on climate issues.

“We influence politics, hold politicians accountable, and win elections,” the LCV website states. “This is how we fight to build a world with clean air, clean water, public lands, and a safe climate that are protected by a just and equitable democracy.”

“Over the last 50 years, LCV has grown into a potent political force for protecting our planet and everyone who inhabits it,” it adds. “We have built a powerful national movement, 30 state affiliates, and grassroots and community organizing programs across the country.”