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Environmental ‘Greenlight’ wind-scheme in North Carolina (Commentary)

Environmental activists infiltrate federal and state governments, nonprofit groups and crony businesses. Recently, Don Carrington, executive editor of the Carolina Journal, and CJ staff have exposed another deceptive scheme by these people that support mythical climate and “sustainability” delusions—in this case, hatched up by State employees of the aquarium division of the NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

Mr. Carrington does some excellent investigative reporting: thorough and detailed. This twisted, conniving ploy reads like a juvenile, surreal play.

The Plot: “[T]to encourage visitors (at several North Carolina aquariums) to make financial contributions to help each facility go ‘green.’”

The Financing:  A $16,000 giveaway called “Innovative Solutions Grant” from the mysterious “Ocean Project,” a Rhode Island-based nonprofit organization.

The Locations:  Ft. Fisher, Pine Knoll Shores, Roanoke Island and Jennette’s Pier at Nags Head, North Carolina.

The Main Players: The Ocean Foundation, a Washington, D. C.-based nonprofit; the federal National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; and the Greenlight Energy Group, a Troy, New York-based broker of “renewable energy certificates.”

The Setup:  Money collected from aquarium visitors went to the Greenlight Group to buy certificates representing wind power generated at undisclosed locations. People were led to believe that somehow this money would reduce traditional energy costs (from evil organic-fuel) at the aquarium facilities—not likely. The Greenlight gang claims to help “organizations navigate environmental markets and develop a deeper understanding of sustainability.”

The Scam: Visitors (especially children) were misled with various propaganda posters. At the Ft. Fisher Aquarium the resident albino alligator named “Luna” was used to entice visitors to part with their money: “Help Luna GO GREEN! TOGETHER WE CAN REACH OUR 100% WIND POWER GOAL.”

The State DENR secretary and his deputy admitted that they were “unaware of the advocacy program” until they saw a CJ Online report by John Locke Foundation Vice President Roy Cordato. Dr. Cordato raised questions about this campaign after he saw what was going on at the Ft. Fisher Aquarium.

The campaign at the aquariums ended in September. Readers may be interested to know that visitors donated nearly $2,500; about 15% of the grant money spent, and not including all the State employee’s time and material costs. We could say that all this money spent (and who knows how much more) is now blowing in the wind.

Original version of this article posted on R.E. Smith’s blog


Categories: Commentary, Energy, Environment, Must Read, News, Policy, Waste, Fraud and Abuse
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