Most “Grassroots” Environmental Groups Are Actually Part of Much Bigger Organizations
Most of the so-called local community based environmental groups you hear about in the news are anything but that. They're actually like the arms of an octopus; part of much larger well-funded environmental organizations that even receive federal funding on occasion.
With the recent lawsuit judgement against a Granger, WA dairy, we took a look at the group who filed the initial suit in court. The Cow Palace of Granger was found "guilty" of groundwater pollution, even though multiple media sources reported the civil suit was filed on the presumption high nitrates in the water were the fault of the dairy.
Filed nearly two years ago, the suit was begun by a group calling itself The Community Association for the Restoration of the Environment, which lists an address in Outlook, WA. Like many of the unknown or unfamiliar so-called local environmental groups, CARE is actually supported, financed and given legal logistical help by such groups as the Western Environmental Law Center of Eugene, OR. The WELC has been involved in numerous costly lawsuits against many dairies, hydro electric power, nuclear energy and even the EPA.
An internet search also shows CARE receives funding from a group out of California called Impact Fund. CARE received a $15,000 grant to help them sue the dairies. This same Impact Fund group has also donated tens of thousands of dollars to fight the coal trains in Washington state as well as the proposed coal terminals in economically strapped Cowlitz County. Terminals that would have provided thousands of long-term jobs and economic stability. The terminals already had gone through numerous impact studies, but these groups want such projects across the country killed completely. From dairies to coal, from nuclear energy to hydropower, Impact Fund is just one of dozens of well-funded groups who help smaller groups file suit after suit against businesses and even the government - wasting taxpayer dollars.
While there's nothing wrong with pursuing justice when it is needed, and being responsible stewards of the environment, these groups usually operate in the shadows. News reports paint them as local, concerned citizens who just want the best conditions for raising their families. But they are actually well funded environmental banks, who hide behind these smaller groups with official sounding names.
In reality, the vast majority of these groups are like Bermuda grass. If you spend any time researching such groups as CARE, or the anti-Hanford Physicians for Social Responsibility the Hanford Education Action League (HEAL) or others, you usually find a twisting, never-ending string of smaller groups that are actually offshoots and usually funded by, much larger organizations. There are sometimes local citizens involved, but the group is not a grassroots representation of the local population. These few people push an agenda that comes from environmental giants thousands of miles away.
Their sole purpose is to advance their environmental agenda - regardless of the economic damage that may occur to businesses or consumers. Further internet searches show CARE has been at war with Yakima Valley dairies for over a decade. Their zeal to preserve the environment is done at all costs - regardless of who is harmed economically or financially.
If you read these stories, these groups never provide workable solutions for these alleged environmental issues that would benefit all parties involved. They simply sue, and sue, and sue until cities, businesses and even the government cave in and pass the restrictions they want.
Being a responsible steward of the environment is something we all try to do, but not at the blind expense of everything else in the way.
The next time you read about an environmental lawsuit being filed, and the group is an entity you've never heard of, chances are they're just another branch growing off the much bigger clump of environmental Bermuda that's invaded our economy and society.