Citizens Climate Lobby (CCL)



Tax ID:


Tax-Exempt Status:


Budget (2016):

Revenue: $256,669
Expenses: $239,369
Assets: $242,443


2007 in Washington, D.C.


Marshall Saunders

Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL) is an organization that promotes a carbon tax scheme. It claims to be a nonpartisan organization, but its staffers have a history of donating to left-wing causes and candidates. It has also accepted funding from left-wing foundations through its associated Citizens Climate Education organization.

The group works to connect its members, organized in chapters all over the country and world, with their members of Congress and lobby for a carbon tax. It co-hosts an annual conference with Citizens Climate Education in Washington, D.C., which brings together supporters with members of Congress.

It is led by its founder and president Marshall Saunders. Its advisory board includes former cabinet officials from both parties, actors, and scientists.


Citizens Climate Lobby is based in Coronado, California, and has over 50 staffers.[1] It works to promote a carbon tax scheme. Among the staffers include regional coordinators and lobbyists, among other positions.

The centerpiece of CCL’s mission is promoting a carbon tax. Its approach is called a “carbon fee and dividend.” The proposal claims to collect a tax on carbon emissions and give 100% of the revenue back to citizens. The “dividend” would be distributed as income tax rebates.[2]

According to its 2015 Form 990, it raised $309,135 and spent $164,670. CCL’s largest single expenditure was $144,099 to hold its annual conference in Washington, D.C.


CCL was founded in 2007 by Marshall Saunders, a real estate developer. Before forming CCL, Saunders was one of 1,000 people selected by environmentalist and former Vice President Al Gore to present his lecture series on climate change. Saunders formed CCL after coming to believe Gore’s solutions to the problem were not the correct ones.[3] It was created in order to educate and mobilize the general public to push for climate change legislation.

In 2009, CCL held its first annual conference in Washington, D.C. The conference brought together activists and advocates from all over the country and the world. CCL’s first international chapter was formed in 2011 in Canada.


CCL pushes for its program through various means. The group organizes local chapters which work to build support for a carbon tax by writing letters to the editor and holding regional conferences. The chapters also occasionally travel to Washington to meet with members of Congress.[4]

The group also publishes op-eds in major newspapers to support its views. It also provides tools on its website to contact members of Congress through their offices or on social media.

CCL hosts an annual conference in Washington, D.C. where it brings together supporters with members of Congress and their staffs. It presents climate change information and put together workshops to help its members communicate their views better with the general public. It has developed economic studies in support of its climate tax proposal.

It is a supporter of the cross-party Climate Solutions Caucus in Congress. But the caucus has come under fire from the left for not taking an extremist position against conventional energy use and the membership of Republicans who have not supported environmental-left legislation in the past. [5]


CCL has an advisory board and among the members of the board are former U.S. Secretary of State George Schultz, former U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, far-left environmentalist climate scientist James Hansen, actors Don Cheadle and Bradley Whitford, and former U.S. Congressman Bob Inglis (R-S.C.).[6]

It also has a governing board with Ross Astoria as its chairman, George Hetzel as its secretary and treasurer, and organization founder Marshall Saunders.[7]

Its staffers are donors to left-wing politicians. In the 2018 election cycle alone, CCL staffers have donated to the reelection campaigns of U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-California) and U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley’s (D-Oregon), the Idaho and Kansas Democratic Parties, the Democratic PAC vendor ActBlue, and other campaigns. They have not donated to any Republicans. [8]


  1.      “The Staff Of Citizens’ Climate Lobby”. 2018. Citizens’ Climate Lobby. Accessed July 9. ^
  2. Nuccitelli, Dana. 2013. “Citizens Climate Lobby Pushes For A Carbon Tax And Dividend”. The Guardian. ^
  3. Dostal, Jace. 2015. “President Of Citizens’ Climate Lobby Calls On Americans To Help Solve Climate Change”. Iowa State Daily. ^
  4.    “Rep. Zeldin Meets With Citizens Climate Lobby In Washington DC”. 2017. Congressman Lee Zeldin. ^
  5. Hand, Mark. 2018. “Senator Exposes The Hypocrisy Of ‘So-Called Climate Caucus’ Members”. Thinkprogress.Org. ^
  6. “Citizens’ Climate Lobby’s Advisory Board”. 2018. Citizens’ Climate Lobby. Accessed July 9. ^
  7. “Governing Board”. 2018. Citizens’ Climate Lobby. Accessed July 9. ^
  8.       Federal Election Commission “Browse Individual Contributions – FEC.Gov”. 2018. FEC.Gov. Accessed July 9. ^

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. Bradley Whitford
    Advisory Board Member
  2. Bob Inglis
    Advisory Board Member
  3. Christian Ettinger
    Climate Campaigner
  4. Steven Chu
    Advisory Board Member
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: May 1, 2009

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2016 Dec Form 990 $256,669 $239,369 $242,443 $0 N $255,200 $0 $0 $0
    2015 Dec Form 990 $309,135 $164,670 $225,143 $0 N $274,295 $34,840 $0 $0 PDF
    2014 Dec Form 990EZ $88,859 $52,638 $80,678 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
    2014 Mar Form 990EZ $77,411 $41,294 $44,457 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
    2013 Mar Form 990 $375,964 $360,631 $10,507 $2,167 N $375,964 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2012 Mar Form 990 $302,327 $320,446 $0 $6,993 N $302,327 $0 $0 $0 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Citizens Climate Lobby (CCL)

    1330 ORANGE AVE STE 300
    CORONADO, CA 92118-3924