Non-profit

Western Organization of Resource Councils

Website:

www.worc.org/

Location:

BILLINGS, MT

Tax ID:

45-0356819

Budget (2016):

Revenue: $2,076,157
Expenses: $1,879,162
Assets: $1,012,614

The Western Organization of Resource Councils (WORC) is a Billings, Montana-based lobbying and advocacy[1] coalition of left-leaning political activist groups based in seven western states with prominent agricultural and energy industries. It opposes oil, coal, and gas energy development[2][3][4] and supports farming and trade policies that favor its members’ farming and ranching operations at the expense of other food production. [5][6][7]

The Western Organization of Resource Councils has an annual budget of about $2 million which is primarily used to pay 18 staffers working out of offices in Billings, Montana; Montrose, Colorado; and Washington, D.C. [8] WORC staff, alumni, and board members have numerous ties to the Democratic Party, especially the Montana Democratic Party.

Structure

The Western Organization of Resource Councils is a 501(c)(4) coordinating organization for eight left-leaning activist groups: Dakota Rural Action, Dakota Resource Council, Idaho Organization of Resource Councils, Northern Plains Resource Council, Oregon Rural Action, Powder River Action Resource Council, Western Colorado Congress (formerly the Western Colorado Alliance for Community Action), and the Western Native Voice. [9]

The Western Organization of Resource Councils’ board is comprised of representatives from the eight affiliated member organizations. [10]

The Western Organization of Resource Councils is a 501(c)(4), which is an IRS nonprofit designation that allows political activity. WORC is closely affiliated with Western Organization of Resource Councils Education Project, a charitable organization which is an IRS designation for charitable, educational nonprofits largely prohibited from political activities. [11]

Funding

About half ($1,393,118) of the Western Organization of Resource Councils 2017 annual budget of $2,801,745 was donated by the Western Organization of Resource Councils Education Project. [12]

Donors to the Western Organization of Resource Councils are primarily left-leaning and include former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (D) through Bloomberg Philanthropies,[13] the Paul Allen-backed Vulcan Fund,[14] the Nell Newman Foundation,[15] and the Cinnabar Foundation. [16]

History

The Western Organization of Resource Councils formed in 1979. [17] In the 1990s, WORC members engaged in blocking trucks transporting farm products from Canada to the United States to protest policies that increased agricultural trade with Canada. [18]

Activities

Keystone Pipeline

The Western Organization of Resource Councils is very active in efforts to stop expansion of the Keystone Pipeline, which transports oil from Canada to refineries in the United States. The Western Organization of Resource Councils and its subsidiary organizations testified in Congress, petitioned federal agencies, filed lawsuits, and organized protests in efforts to block planned extensions or completion of the Keystone Pipeline. [19][20][21][22]

The Western Organization of Resource Councils has been identified as the largest funder of lobbying efforts to block federal government approval of the Keystone Pipeline expansion. [23]

Energy development

The Western Organization of Resource Councils works to restrict development of coal, oil, and gas energy through lobbying, filing lawsuits, demanding increased regulation, and engaging in activism. [24] [25] [26] [27]

In August of 2019, the Western Organization of Resource Councils won a lawsuit that barred the Trump administration from acting on the advice of a government panel created to propose policies to increase both energy production and royalties paid by energy companies to taxpayers. WORC’s lawsuit contended environmental activists were not represented on the panel. [28]

Agricultural policy

The Western Organization of Resource Councils supports agricultural trade agreements that favor domestic producers. WORC lobbies for mandated labeling of domestic-produced beef to encourage consumers to choose it over Canadian beef or beef from other countries. [29]

The Western Organization of Resource Councils also lobbies for federal rules that would favor livestock producers over meatpackers and meat product marketers in contracts and market negotiations. [30]

People

Lisa DeVille

Lisa DeVille is appointed to the Western Organization of Resource Councils board by the Dakota Resource Council.

Deville has expressed hostility to the United States; in a July 6, 2018 blog post, DeVille wrote, “America was founded on genocide and rape culture of Earth” and “I believe this state (North Dakota) has skyrocketed itself to the top of most (sic) racist state in the country” and that, “…white teachers publishing (sic) white propaganda nationally.” [31]

DeVille is a vocal opponent of energy from oil and gas. [32] At March 10, 2017 rally of Native Americans in Washington, D.C., DeVille stated, “No pipeline is safe.” [33]

Linda Weiss

Linda Weiss is a Western Organization of Resource Councils board member appointed by the Dakota Resource Council who has written in opposition to extension of the Keystone Pipeline. [34]

Linda Leeuwrik

Linda Leeuwrik is appointed to the Western Organization of Resource Councils board by the Idaho Organization of Resource Councils. She is an elected member of Pocatello, Idaho City Council who unsuccessfully ran in 2016 for the Bannock County, Idaho, county commission as the Democratic Party nominee. [35][36][37]

Christina Stucker-Gassi

Christina Stucker-Gassi is appointed to the Western Organization of Resource Councils board by the Idaho Organization of Resource Councils. Stucker-Gassi tweeted her support for the impeachment of President Donald Trump in December 2019. [38]

Steve Charter

Steve Charter is appointed to the board of the Western Organization of Resource Councils by the Northern Plains Resource Council. Charter appeared in a television ad supporting then-Montana Governor Jon Tester’s reelection in 2012. [39]

Bob LeResche

Bob LeResche is appointed to the board of the Western Organization of Resource Councils by the Powder River Basin Resource Council.  LeResche donated to President Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns, to Democratic Party nominee Elizabeth Warren’s successful campaign for the US Senate in Massachusetts, to several other Democratic Party candidates and one Republican Party candidate for office, and to the Democratic National Committee. [40]

Stacy Page

Stacy Page is a retired regulator with the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality appointed to the board of the Western Organization of Resource Councils by the Powder River Basin Resource Council. Page has contributed to the Democratic National Committee, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, and several Democratic Party candidates. [41]

Page is also active with efforts to ban businesses from supporting candidates for public office in Wyoming. [42]

Pat Smith

Pat Smith is appointed to the board of the Western Organization of Resource Councils by the Western Native Voice. In 2013, Smith was appointed by Montana Governor Steve Bullock (D) to the Northwest Power and Conservation Council and also to represent Montana on the Columbia River Treaty’s Sovereign Review Team. Smith has served on a panel responsible for drawing the boundaries of Montana’s electoral districts. [43] [44] [45]

Patrick Sweeney

Sweeney is senior advisor to the Western Organization of Resource Councils and worked as WORC’s executive director from 1982 to 2014. Sweeney has donated thousands of dollars to the Montana Democratic Party and to several Democratic Party candidates for office, including multiple contributions to US Senator Jon Tester (D-MT). [46]

Margaret MacDonald

MacDonald is a not a current employee of the Western Organization of Resource Councils or its subsidiaries, but is Democratic member of the Montana State Senate elected in 2016 who is former staff director for a WORC subsidiary, the Northern Plains Resource Council. [47]

References

  1. Guidestar. Guidestar.org. “Western Organization of Resource Councils”. “Summary”. “Mission”. Accessed December 30, 2019.  https://www.guidestar.org/profile/84-1123481 ^
  2. Erickson, Camille. “Despite climate concerns, Wyoming public land opened to coal leasing”. Casper Star Tribune. November November 26, 2019. Accessed December 30, 2019. https://trib.com/business/energy/despite-climate-concerns-wyoming-public-land-opened-to-coal-leasing/article_cfdc826c-c860-5ed3-9737-0f1e1ecefc19.html ^
  3. Erickson, Camille. “Energy Journal: Coal-fired power plants pummeled, as wind energy elbows into state’s future revenue plan”. Casper Star Tribune. August 19, 2019. Accessed December 30, 2019. https://trib.com/business/energy/energy-journal-coal-fired-power-plants-pummeled-as-wind-energy/article_10acc1cb-5fae-581f-a0e2-5276b5d19a68.html ^
  4. Bleizeffer, Dustin. “Obama halts federal coal leasing”. Wyofile. January 15, 2016. Accessed December 30, 2019. https://www.wyofile.com/obama-halts-federal-coal-leasing/ ^
  5. Western Organization of Resource Councils. Worc.org. “Home”. “Who We Are”. “About Us”. Accessed December 30, 2019. http://www.worc.org/who-we-are/about-us/ ^
  6. McCrimmon, Ryan. “Ag appropriations incoming”. “Trade Corner”. Politico. December 17, 2019. Accessed December 30, 2019. https://www.politico.com/newsletters/morning-agriculture/2019/12/17/ag-appropriations-incoming-783783 ^
  7. Farm Aid. Farmaid,org. “About Us”. “Celebrating 30 years of Farm Aid giving. Western Organization of Resource Councils”.  Accessed December 30, 2019. https://www.farmaid.org/grantees/western-organization-of-resource-councils/ ^
  8. Western Organization of Resource Councils. Worc.org. “Home”. “Who We Are”. “About Us”. Accessed December 30, 2019. http://www.worc.org/who-we-are/about-us/ ^
  9. Western Organization of Resource Councils. Worc.org. “Home”. “Who We Are”. “Member Groups”. Accessed December 30, 2019. http://www.worc.org/who-we-are/member-groups/ ^
  10. Western Organization of Resource Councils. Worc.org. “Home”. “Who We Are”. “About Us”. Accessed December 30, 2019. http://www.worc.org/who-we-are/about-us/ ^
  11. Guidestar. Guidestar.org. “Western Organization of Resource Councils”. “Summary”. “Mission”. Accessed December 30, 2019.  https://www.guidestar.org/profile/84-1123481 ^
  12. Internal Revenue Service. Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax. “Western Organization of Resource Councils Edu Proj”. Form 990-2017. Accessed December 31, 2019. https://apps.irs.gov/pub/epostcard/cor/841123481_201712_990_2018103115856518.pdf ^
  13. Bloomberg Philanthropies. Bloomberg.org. “Press & Media. “Bloomberg Philanthropies Announces Funds to Support Local Economic Development Efforts in Coal Communities and Launches National Fundraising Campaign”, April 26, 2017. Accessed January 1, 2020. https://www.bloomberg.org/press/releases/bloomberg-philanthropies-announces-funds-support-local-economic-development-efforts-coal-communities-launches-national-fundraising-campaign/ ^
  14. Vulcan. Vulcan.org. “Area Of Practice”. “Philanthropy”. “Climate Change”. ”Policy Change”. Accessed January 1, 2020. https://www.vulcan.com/areas-of-practice/philanthropy/key-initiatives/climate-change ^
  15. Nell Newman Foundation. Nellnewmanfoundation.org. “Recipients”. “2018”. Accessed January 1, 2020. https://nellnewmanfoundation.org/recipients ^
  16. Cinnabar Foundation. The cinnabarfoundation.org. “Partnerships”. “Conservation Partners”. “Conservation Partners (2017-2019)”. Accessed January 1, 2020. https://www.thecinnabarfoundation.org/conservation-partners.html ^
  17. Western Organization of Resource Councils. Worc.org. “Home”. “Who We Are”. “40 Years of Grassroots Organizing”. Accessed December 30, 2019. http://www.worc.org/40-years-of-grassroots-organizing/ ^
  18. Farm Aid. Farmaid,org. “About Us”. “Celebrating 30 years of Farm Aid giving. Western Organization of Resource Councils”.  Accessed December 30, 2019. https://www.farmaid.org/grantees/western-organization-of-resource-councils/ ^
  19. Jean, Renee. “Public hearings for Keystone XL set for Tuesday, anti-pipeline rally as well”. Williston Herald. October 28, 2019. Accessed December 30, 2019. https://www.willistonherald.com/news/oil_and_energy/public-hearings-for-keystone-xl-set-for-tuesday-anti-pipeline/article_65fb2dbe-f9af-11e9-b1bb-737f55fba580.html ^
  20. Press Pool. “Speakers gather from across West to voice concerns over KXL threats to water, climate, and land rights”. Indian Country Today. October 30, 2019. Accessed December 30, 2019. https://newsmaven.io/indiancountrytoday/the-press-pool/speakers-gather-from-across-west-to-voice-concerns-over-kxl-threats-to-water-climate-and-land-rights-7XXnxrtqlUKfRzJe0e4fOQ ^
  21. United States District Court for the District of Montana Great Falls Division. Northern Plains Resource Council, et al vs US Army Corps of Engineers, et al. Case 4:19-cv-00044-BMM Document 36. Filed September 10, 2019. Accessed December 30, 2019. https://www.biologicaldiversity.org/campaigns/no_keystone_xl/pdfs/KXL-First-Amended-Complaint.pdf ^
  22. Environmental Protection Agency. Epa.gov. “Files”. “Documents”. “Petition for diluted bitumen rulemaking corrected”. March 26, 2013. Accessed December 30, 2019. https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/documents/petition_for_diluted_bitumen_rulemaking_corrected_-_508_2.pdf ^
  23. Drutman, Lee; Furnas, Alexander. “In Washington lobbying, pro-Keystone XL advocates dwarf pipeline opponents”. Sunlight Foundation. July 10, 2014. Accessed December 30, 2019. https://sunlightfoundation.com/2014/07/10/keystonexl/ ^
  24. Erickson, Camille. “Despite climate concerns, Wyoming public land opened to coal leasing”. Casper Star Tribune. November 26, 2019. Accessed December 30, 2019. https://trib.com/business/energy/despite-climate-concerns-wyoming-public-land-opened-to-coal-leasing/article_cfdc826c-c860-5ed3-9737-0f1e1ecefc19.html ^
  25. Lundquist, Laura. “Undeterred by lawsuits, BLM offers another 118 oil and gas leases in Montana”. Missoula Current. July 10, 2018. Accessed December 30, 2019. https://www.missoulacurrent.com/outdoors/2018/07/blm-oil-gas-leases/ ^
  26. Shogren, Elizabeth. “The campaign against coal”. High Country News. November 9, 2015. Accessed December 30, 2019. https://www.hcn.org/issues/47.19/the-campaign-against-coal ^
  27. Brown, Matthew. “US Delays Oil, Gas Sales In Montana After Climate Ruling”. Associated Press. April 25, 2018. Accessed December 30, 2019. https://www.mtpr.org/post/us-delays-oil-gas-sales-montana-after-climate-ruling ^
  28. Brown, Matthew. “Judge bars Trump from taking energy panel’s advice”. Associated Press. August 13, 2019. Accessed December 30, 2019. https://apnews.com/8fa00ac088054ac39484068fa9d2fbd2 ^
  29. McCrimmon, Ryan. “Ag appropriations incoming”. “Trade Corner”. Politico. December 17, 2019. Accessed December 30, 2019. Accessed December 30, 2019. https://www.politico.com/newsletters/morning-agriculture/2019/12/17/ag-appropriations-incoming-783783 ^
  30. Ogburn, Stephanie Paige. “Cattlemen struggle against giant meatpackers and economic squeezes”. High Country News. March 21, 2011. Accessed December 30, 2019. https://www.hcn.org/issues/43.5/cattlemen-struggle-against-giant-meatpackers-and-economic-squeezes ^
  31. DeVille, Lisa. “Hate Spreads Like Wildfire In Trump Era.” Censored News. July 6, 2018. Accessed December 30, 2019. https://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2018/07/lisa-deville-era-of-racist-empowerment.html ^
  32. #PeoplevsOilGas Summit. “The fight for Fort Berthold Reservation’s future”. “Hello, I’m Lisa Deville from the Fort Berthold Reservation”. November 12, 2017.  Accessed December 30, 2019. http://peoplevsoilgas.org/2017/11/12/the-fight-for-fort-berthold-reservations-future/ ^
  33. Native Nations Rise March and Rally. “Text”. “All Speakers”. “Lisa DeVille”. CSPAN.March 10, 2017. Accessed December 30, 2019. https://www.c-span.org/video/?425181-1/members-standing-rock-sioux-tribe-hold-protest-white-house ^
  34. “Linda Weiss: Pipeline promises to be bad deal for America”. “Opinion”. Grand Forks Herald. October 13, 2013. Accessed December 30, 2019. https://www.grandforksherald.com/opinion/2200464-linda-weiss-pipeline-promises-be-bad-deal-america ^
  35. City of Pocatello. Pocatello.us. “Home”. “Staff Directory”. Accessed December 30, 2019. https://www.pocatello.us/directory.aspx?EID=67 ^
  36. Coffin, Deanne. “Former ISU Professor Announces Their Run for City Council”. KPVI News. July 16, 2017. Accessed December 30, 2019. https://www.kpvi.com/news/local_news/former-isu-professor-announces-their-run-for-city-council/article_692dbc46-6a95-11e7-a2b5-77fb06a38013.html ^
  37. Bannock County. Bannockcounty.us. “Government”. “Clerk”. “Election Information”. “2016 Election Results”. “2016 Presidential General Election Summary Results”. Accessed December 30, 2019. https://www.bannockcounty.us/election/2016general/2016GenPrec.html ^
  38. Twitter.com. “Christina Stucker-Gassi”. December 18, 2019. Accessed December 30, 2019.  https://twitter.com/brownbagpunch ^
  39. Preston, Bryan. “Montana Rancher in Democrat Super PAC Ad is Not Quite the Average Montana Rancher He’s Made Out to Be”. PJ Media. May 23, 2012. Accessed December 30, 2019.  https://pjmedia.com/blog/montana-rancher-in-democrat-super-pac-is-ad-is-not-quite-the-average-montana-rancher-hes-made-out-to-be/ ^
  40. Center for Responsive Politics. Opensecrets.org. “Donor Lookup”. “Robert LeResche”.  Accessed December 30, 2019. https://www.opensecrets.org/donor-lookup/results?name=Robert+LeResche+ ^
  41. Center for Responsive Politics. Opensecrets.org. “Donor Lookup”. “Stacy Page”.  Accessed December 30, 2019.  https://www.opensecrets.org/donor-lookup/results?name=Stacy+Page ^
  42. Staff Reports. “Wyoming Promise volunteers continue efforts”.  March 18, 2019. Accessed December 30, 2019. https://thesheridanpress.com/103995/wyoming-promise-volunteers-continue-efforts/ ^
  43. Western Organization of Resource Councils. Worc.org. “Home”. “Who We Are”. “WORC Board of Directors”. Accessed December 30, 2019.  http://www.worc.org/who-we-are/board-of-directors/ ^
  44. Missoulian State Bureau. “Governor appoints Missoula attorney to Northwest Power Council”. Missoulian. January 24, 2013. Accessed December 30, 2019. https://missoulian.com/news/state-and-regional/governor-appoints-missoula-attorney-to-northwest-power-council/article_14e910d4-6696-11e2-abcc-001a4bcf887a.html ^
  45. IR State Bureau. “Bullock makes three more appointments”. Independent Record. January 24, 2013. Accessed December 30, 2019. https://helenair.com/politics/bullock-makes-three-more-appointments/article_6a4cda70-6686-11e2-a465-001a4bcf887a.html ^
  46. Center for Responsive Politics. Opensecrets.org. “Donor Lookup”. “Patrick Sweeney”.  Accessed December 30, 2019. https://www.opensecrets.org/donor-lookup/results?name=PATRICK+SWEENEY&cycle=&state=MT&zip=&employ=&cand= ^
  47. Ballotpedia. Ballotpedia.org. “Margaret MacDonald”. “Biography”.  https://ballotpedia.org/Margaret_MacDonald ^

Coalition Memberships

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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: December 1, 1980

  • 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 $2,076,157 $1,879,162 $1,012,614 $33,677 N $2,008,500 $6,300 $215 $127,561
    2015 Dec Form 990 $1,915,379 $1,821,301 $856,583 $74,641 N $1,865,099 $14,656 $143 $123,715 PDF
    2014 Dec Form 990 $1,841,292 $1,836,676 $753,469 $65,605 N $1,787,205 $44,024 $198 $128,558 PDF
    2013 Dec Form 990 $1,453,843 $1,432,926 $744,541 $61,293 N $1,411,163 $23,276 $99 $122,107 PDF
    2012 Dec Form 990 $1,672,629 $1,723,092 $717,340 $55,009 N $1,632,686 $38,000 $436 $105,849 PDF
    2011 Dec Form 990 $1,228,521 $1,087,235 $951,000 $37,055 N $1,202,396 $25,905 $220 $113,362 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Western Organization of Resource Councils

    220 S 27TH ST STE B
    BILLINGS, MT 59101-4106