Non-profit

Moving Beyond Oil Project

Project of:

New Venture Fund

The Moving Beyond Oil Campaign (also known as: Beyond Oil Campaign) is a left-wing climate advocacy movement that seeks to “radically reduce” access to domestically produced conventional energy in North America. Beyond Oil claims its “highest priority is stopping all new oil and gas leases in the Arctic, Atlantic, and Gulf.” It is managed by the left-wing advocacy non-profit CorpEthics (formerly Corporate Ethics International) and claims to include within its coalition left-leaning climate advocacy organizations such as  Earthjustice (formerly the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund) , the Alaska Wilderness League, the Sierra Club, Greenpeace, Oceana and “dozens” more. [1]

Moving Beyond Oil is a project of the New Venture Fund, a 501(c)(3) funding and fiscal sponsorship nonprofit managed by left-leaning consulting firm Arabella Advisors. From 2015 through 2018 Moving Beyond Oil received a total of at least $3 million in three grants dedicated to the project through the New Venture Fund by the William & Flora Hewlett Foundation. [2] [3] [4]

CorpEthics claims at least 20 left-leaning donors and advocacy organizations as either “NGO partners” or “clients.” These include: the Sierra Club, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), 350.org, OilChange International, the ClimateWorks Foundation, the William & Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Oak Foundation, the Pew Charitable Trusts, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Rockefeller Family Fund, the New Venture Fund, the Tides Foundation, the Earth Island Institute, EarthWorks, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, New American Dream, Oceana, Rainforest Action Network and Tellus. [5] [6]

Background

The Moving Beyond Oil Campaign (also known as: Beyond Oil Campaign) is a left-wing climate advocacy movement that seeks to “radically reduce” access to domestically produced conventional energy in North America. Beyond Oil claims its “highest priority is stopping all new oil and gas leases in the Arctic, Atlantic, and Gulf.” It is managed by the left-wing advocacy non-profit CorpEthics (formerly Corporate Ethics International) and claims to include within its coalition left-leaning climate advocacy organizations such as  Earthjustice (formerly the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund) , the Alaska Wilderness League, the Sierra Club, Greenpeace, Oceana and “dozens” more. [7]

In 2015, CorpEthics transitioned the apparatus and management of another advocacy movement—the Tar Sands Campaign—into the Beyond Oil Campaign. The stated goal of Beyond Oil was to block the supply of oil and all new oil infrastructure and oil and gas drilling in the United States and Canada. This campaign claimed credit for pressuring Shell to quit exploration and drilling in the Arctic and for persuading the Obama administration to reduce oil and gas leases in the Atlantic. [8] [9]

CorpEthics claims the Beyond Oil Campaign was “successful until the election of Donald Trump.” After the 2017 inauguration of the Trump administration, Beyond Oil altered its strategy away from blocking the supply of oil to one of limiting demand by promoting adoption and production of electric vehicles. [10]

Funding

Moving Beyond Oil is a project of the New Venture Fund, a 501(c)(3) funding and fiscal sponsorship nonprofit managed by left-leaning consulting firm Arabella Advisors. From 2015 through 2018 Moving Beyond Oil received a total of at least $3 million in three grants dedicated to the project through the New Venture Fund by the William & Flora Hewlett Foundation. [11] [12] [13]

Arabella Advisors is the parent organization of New Venture Fund and a for profit consulting firm that guides the strategy, advocacy, and management for high-dollar left-leaning nonprofits and individuals. Arabella provides these clients with services that ease their operations and that enable them to enact policies focused on environmentalism and other left-of-center issues. The company was founded in 2005 by Eric Kessler, a Clinton administration alumnus and long-time staffer at the League of Conservation Voters who remains a senior managing partner at the firm. Between 2008 and 2018, Arabella’s nonprofits paid the company nearly $103 million in contracting and management services fees. [14] [15] [16]

Other examples of left-leaning NVF-sponsored projects include the Center for Applied Environmental Law and Policy (CAELP), Americans for Tax Fairness, the 2020 Climate Education Fund and Climate Interactive. The Hewlett Foundation has also provided funding to CAELP and the 2020 Climate Education Fund. [17] [18]

CorpEthics (Corporate Ethics International)

CorpEthics was founded by Michael Marx in 2003. As of June 2020, Marx was one of two employees listed on the CorpEthics website, which credited him as the “senior strategic advisor.” He is a former corporate management training consultant who transitioned from that career to working with left-leaning climate policy organizations such as the Rainforest Action Network and the Sierra Club. [19]

The other listed staffer for CorpEthics is strategic advisor Kenny Bruno, an adjunct professor teaching courses in issue advocacy campaigning at New York University. He has also worked for or with left-leaning policy advocacy organizations such as Greenpeace, the New Venture Fund, and EarthRights. [20]

An early major project of CorpEthics was the “Big Box Collaborative Campaign,” begun in 2004 as an effort to pressure Wal-Mart into adopt left-leaning policy goals. The CorpEthics website claims credit for extracting concessions from the Wal-Mart CEO and for inspiring the left-leaning Service Employees International Union (SEIU) to create its “Wal-Mart Watch” website. [21]

In 2008 CorpEthics became involved in the ongoing Tar Sands Campaign, a precursor to the Moving Beyond Oil Campaign. [22]

CorpEthics claims at least 20 left-leaning donors and advocacy organizations as either “NGO partners” or “clients.” These include: the Sierra Club, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), 350.org, OilChange International, the ClimateWorks Foundation, the William & Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Oak Foundation, the Pew Charitable Trusts, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Rockefeller Family Fund, the New Venture Fund, the Tides Foundation, the Earth Island Institute, EarthWorks, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, New American Dream, Oceana, Rainforest Action Network and Tellus. [23] [24]

Tar Sands Campaign

According to the website of CorpEthics (formerly Corporate Ethics International), the Beyond Oil campaign “evolved from the Tar Sands Campaign” in 2015. The Tar Sands Campaign was directed at preventing the Canadian energy industry from developing oil in the Alberta tar sands by advocating for policy options such as blocking the routing of the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada through the United States. CorpEthics claims to have helped bring “additional support” from allies and donors in the United States to the campaign and credits the Tar Sands Campaign with influencing the Obama administration’s decision to block approval of the Keystone XL pipeline. [25] [26]

In an October 2016 essay in Canada’s National Post, researcher Vivian Krause reported that the Tar Sands Campaign and most of the activism against Canadian energy was being funded by American donors. Citing U.S. tax returns, she credited the left-leaning Tides Foundation as the “funding and co-ordination juggernaut behind anti-pipeline activism” in Canada that “launched The Tar Sands Campaign back in 2008 with funds from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and other U.S. donors.” Her research revealed that Tides had given $35 million to “nearly 100 anti-pipeline groups” during the 2009 through 2015 period. [27]

However, Krause noted that after 2012 the left-leaning New Venture Fund became the funding vehicle for the “anonymous” U.S.-based donors funding the Tar Sands Campaign. She characterized Tar Sands as “an international effort that aims to embarrass Canada, deter investment and stigmatize Alberta oil as the poster child of dirty fuel.” [28]

In 2018 Joe Oliver, Canada’s former minster of finance and natural resources cited Krause’s research and noted the anti-energy campaign funded by American “radicals” was costing Canadians $15 billion per year (i.e.: the equivalent of $1600 (US) annually taken from every Canadian household of four). [29] [30]

References

  1. “The Beyond Oil Campaign: CorpEthics: Michael Marx.” CorpEthics, December 1, 2016. https://corpethics.org/the-beyond-oil-campaign/. ^
  2. “New Venture Fund: For The Moving Beyond Oil Project.” William + Flora Hewlett Foundation. March 31, 2015. Accessed March 12, 2020. https://hewlett.org/grants/new-venture-fund-for-the-moving-beyond-oil-project/ ^
  3. “New Venture Fund: For The Moving Beyond Oil Project.” William + Flora Hewlett Foundation. April 10, 2018. Accessed June 1, 2020. https://hewlett.org/grants/new-venture-fund-for-the-moving-beyond-oil-project-3/ ^
  4. “New Venture Fund: For The Moving Beyond Oil Project.” William + Flora Hewlett Foundation. May 2, 2017. Accessed June 1, 2020. https://hewlett.org/grants/new-venture-fund-for-the-moving-beyond-oil-project-2/ ^
  5. “NGO Partners.” CorpEthics. Accessed June 2, 2020. https://corpethics.org/partners/ ^
  6. “Clients.” CorpEthics. Accessed June 2, 2020. https://corpethics.org/clients/ ^
  7. “The Beyond Oil Campaign: CorpEthics: Michael Marx.” CorpEthics, December 1, 2016. https://corpethics.org/the-beyond-oil-campaign/. ^
  8. “The Beyond Oil Campaign.” CorpEthics. Accessed June 2, 2020. https://corpethics.org/the-beyond-oil-campaign/ ^
  9. “About CorpEthics: Strategic Advisors to Environmental Campaigns.” CorpEthics. Accessed June 2, 2020. https://corpethics.org/about/ ^
  10. “About CorpEthics: Strategic Advisors to Environmental Campaigns.” CorpEthics. Accessed June 2, 2020. https://corpethics.org/about/ ^
  11. “New Venture Fund: For The Moving Beyond Oil Project.” William + Flora Hewlett Foundation. March 31, 2015. Accessed March 12, 2020. https://hewlett.org/grants/new-venture-fund-for-the-moving-beyond-oil-project/ ^
  12. “New Venture Fund: For The Moving Beyond Oil Project.” William + Flora Hewlett Foundation. April 10, 2018. Accessed June 1, 2020. https://hewlett.org/grants/new-venture-fund-for-the-moving-beyond-oil-project-3/ ^
  13. “New Venture Fund: For The Moving Beyond Oil Project.” William + Flora Hewlett Foundation. May 2, 2017. Accessed June 1, 2020. https://hewlett.org/grants/new-venture-fund-for-the-moving-beyond-oil-project-2/ ^
  14. “Arabella Advisors.” Devex. Accessed May 29, 2020. https://www.devex.com/organizations/arabella-advisors-62136 ^
  15. “Our People.” Arabella Advisors. Accessed May 29, 2020. https://www.arabellaadvisors.com/company/our-people/ ^
  16. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990) (multiple). New Venture FundSixteen Thirty FundHopewell FundWindward Fund. 2008-2018. Part VII. Section B (Independent Contractors) ^
  17. Feb 27, 2020 $50, 2019 $50 Nov 18, and 2019 $250 Nov 1. “New Venture Fund – for the Center for Applied Environmental Law and Policy.” Hewlett Foundation, August 15, 2017. https://hewlett.org/grants/new-venture-fund-for-the-center-for-applied-environmental-law-and-policy/ ^
  18. “Project Directory.” New Venture Fund. Accessed May 14, 2020. http://www.newventurefund.org/project-directory/ ^
  19. “About CorpEthics: Strategic Advisors to Environmental Campaigns.” CorpEthics. Accessed June 2, 2020. https://corpethics.org/about/ ^
  20. “About CorpEthics: Strategic Advisors to Environmental Campaigns.” CorpEthics. Accessed June 2, 2020. https://corpethics.org/about/ ^
  21. “The Big Box Collaborative Campaign.” CorpEthics. Accessed June 2, 2020. https://corpethics.org/the-big-box-collaborative/ ^
  22. “About CorpEthics: Strategic Advisors to Environmental Campaigns.” CorpEthics. Accessed June 2, 2020. https://corpethics.org/about/ ^
  23. “NGO Partners.” CorpEthics. Accessed June 2, 2020. https://corpethics.org/partners/ ^
  24. “Clients.” CorpEthics. Accessed June 2, 2020. https://corpethics.org/clients/ ^
  25. “The Beyond Oil Campaign: CorpEthics: Michael Marx.” CorpEthics, December 1, 2016. https://corpethics.org/the-beyond-oil-campaign/. ^
  26. “The Tar Sands Campaign: CorpEthics: Michael Marx.” CorpEthics, January 24, 2019. https://corpethics.org/the-tar-sands-campaign/. ^
  27. Krause, Vivian. “Vivian Krause: The Cash Pipeline Opposing Canadian Oil Pipelines.” Financial Post, December 2, 2016. https://business.financialpost.com/opinion/vivian-krause-the-cash-pipeline-opposing-canadian-oil-pipelines. ^
  28. Krause, Vivian. “Vivian Krause: The Cash Pipeline Opposing Canadian Oil Pipelines.” Financial Post, December 2, 2016. https://business.financialpost.com/opinion/vivian-krause-the-cash-pipeline-opposing-canadian-oil-pipelines. ^
  29. Oliver, Joe. “Joe Oliver: Yet More Proof Foreign Radicals (Yes, Radicals) Are Sabotaging Canada’s Economy.” Financial Post, March 13, 2018. https://business.financialpost.com/opinion/joe-oliver-yet-more-proof-foreign-radicals-yes-radicals-are-sabotaging-canadas-economy. ^
  30. “Population estimates, quarterly.” Statistics Canada. Accessed June 1, 2020. https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/t1/tbl1/en/tv.action?pid=1710000901 ^
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