'Grassroots' opposition to fracking apparently not so grassroots

Ever wonder where liberal protestors get their money?

It’s an all too seldom reported story.  Television stories create the illusion that liberal activism is a purely populist, purely egalitarian endeavor – lots of ordinary folks so riled up over an issue that they’ve momentarily abandoned their normal routine to march with a sign they just made.

But just as millions of us who plug away at our jobs have begun to enjoy lower pump prices, recent apparently grassroots attacks on our fracking industry may, in fact, be partially funded by Russian oil interests.  The Washington Free Beacon has uncovered a tangled connection between a firm in Bermuda and U.S. environmental groups that oppose fracking.

A shadowy Bermudan company that has funneled tens of millions of dollars to anti-fracking environmentalist groups in the United States is run by executives with deep ties to Russian oil interests and offshore money laundering schemes involving members of President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle.

One of those executives, Nicholas Hoskins, is a director at a hedge fund management firm that has invested heavily in Russian oil and gas. He is also senior counsel at the Bermudan law firm Wakefield Quin and the vice president of a London-based investment firm whose president until recently chaired the board of the state-owned Russian oil company Rosneft.

In addition to those roles, Hoskins is a director at a company called Klein Ltd. No one knows where that firm’s money comes from. Its only publicly documented activities have been transfers of $23 million to U.S. environmentalist groups that push policies that would hamstring surging American oil and gas production, which has hurt Russia’s energy-reliant economy.

It looks like this is coming to light in part by push-back from the EPA – no, unfortunately, the Energy Policy Alliance:

The Environmental Policy Alliance, which provided the Washington Free Beacon with a copy of an upcoming report on Klein Ltd.’s Kremlin ties, said Wakefield Quin’s ties to environmental financiers and Russian oil barons merit closer scrutiny.

“The American public deserves to know whether environmentalists are attacking US energy companies at the behest of a Russian government that would like nothing more than to see their international competition weakened,” Will Coggin, a senior research analyst at the EPA, said in an emailed statement.

“In the face of mounting evidence, environmental groups are going to have to start answering hard questions about their international funding sources,” Coggin said.

A GOP congress would do well to investigate and educate the public on the funding behind so many of the special interest groups that fund the Democratic Party.  Maybe they should be as interested in that as the IRS was in Tea Party finances and donors.

“Made for TV” is a key Democrat strategy.  The truth would be a refreshing reality show.