The Heritage Foundation

Institutional Analysis #4

November 19, 1977

November 19, 1977 | Institutional Analysis on

The Environmental Complex

(Archived document, may contain errors)


November 19.77


(Executive Summary)

The environmental activist movement has enjoyed a significant degree of popular appeal and influence on the policy-making in- stitutions of government. Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin has remarked that it has "institutionalized concern for the en- vironment" and become "an established part of our national deci- sion-making process." Ann Roosevelt, former legislative direc- tor for Friends of the tarth, has also been quoted as saying that environmentalists "have a good two-way communication going with Congress. We have friendships with key senators and congressmen and their staffs. We know how to get our viewpoint across to them. And they, in turn, are using us as resources.11

It is estimated that there are today better than 3,000 or- ganizations working for preservation of scenic land and wildlife, pollution control, energy resource conservation, and a multi- plicity of similar causes. of these, several hundred are na- tional or regional, with the majority made up of local groups. Th@-- most visible are, howeverr the large national organizations, both membership and nonmembership. Such organizations are gen- erally very well funded; indeed, it has been estimated that twelve of the largest of these groups have a total membership in excess of 4;300,000 people and combined budgets of over $48,000,000. Their budgets are supported by a combination of individual and corporate contributions and grants from govern- ment and from such foundations as the Ford Foundation and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.

Within the environmental movement, there exists a considerable overlapping of interests, as well as extensive cooperation on mat- ters of mutual concern. There is also a pattern of interlocking

relationships through shared board members, officers, and sup- porters, including supporters among the great foundations. In many cases, the available information indicates clearly that some of the nation's most active and influential environmental groups derive an enormous, perhaps even decisive, benefit from foundation support.

The present study, which is intended as the first in a series on the nation's principal energy and environmental activist organi- zations, touches on the activities of several groups.- Primary at- tention, however, is given to four organizations: the Natural Resources Defense Council, Friends of the Earth and its affili- ated Friends of the Earth Foundation, and the Conservation Founda- tion. It is hoped that by understanding the operations of these groups, which constitute a representative sampling of the more influential national environmental organizations, the reader may better realize the nature of the movement as a whole.

NRDC is perhaps the nation's leading public interest environ- mental law firm, while the Conservation Foundation is preeminent among organizations dealing extensively with land-use and related questions. Friends of the Earth, in addition to being one of the foremost environmental activist groups, presents an ideal'case study in the operations of a lobbying and legal action organiza- tion which is not tax-exempt, but which derives crucial support for its activities from a direct organizational affiliate which does enjoy tax-exempt status within the provisions of the Inter- nal Revenue Code.

As the study demonstrates, these organizations, like others within the environmental complex, share certain characteristics. There is the interlock with other environmental groups; there is a close working relationship, especially on the part of NRDC and the Conservation Foundation, with agencies of government charged with formulation and implementation of national environmental policy; and there is, again with respect to NRDC andtheConserva- tion Foundation, the tremendous financial benefit derived from foundation support. It will also be noted that several of these groups emphasize current energy issues to a significant extent. The Conservation Foundation stresses what it calls "energy con- servation," while NRDC, FOE, and the FOE Foundation place heavy emphasis on campaigns to oppose development of nuclear energy.



Of the great activist causes that have flourished in the United States in recent years, few have enjoyed the popular ap- peal, the sustained growth, or the impact on government that have characterized the environmentalist movement. It is a phenomenon which, in a very few years, was able to progress from relatively modest beginnings to a point at which a United States Senator, Gaylord Nelson (D-Wis.), felt it possible to say, according to the April 7, 1975, issue of Industry Week: "The most important thing that has happened in five years (from 1970 to 1975) is that we've institutionalized concern for the environment. It is now an established part of our national decision-making process."'

That Senator Nelson's assessment remains essentially accurate is indicated by an article published in the October 31, 1977, edition of the Washington Post. This article, "Andrus Steers Interior in New Direction," alleges that President Carter's Secretary of the Interior, former Idaho Governor Cecil D. Andrus, is pursuing policies which seem "to have alienated virtually every powerful constituency in the West." According to this account, "Andrus has managed to delight environmentalists, while infuriating miners, Western politicians, timber companies, farmers, cattlemen and oil companies." The article further notes the hiring of promi-- nent environmental activists by the Carter Administration, includ- ing Cynthia Wilson of the Audubon Society and Joe Browder of the Environmental Poli-cy Center, both of whom were hired by Andrus, and makes the point that the present emphasis by Andrus on environ- mental concerns is at variance with the pattern in past administra- tions.

Such developments, especially when taken in conjunction with the undeniable growth in power and influence of government agencies concerned with energy matters and with the protection of the en- vironment in general, m'ake it imperative that one inquire as to the nature of the movement that has labored so long and so assidu- ously to bring about the recent radical expansion of government intervention in these areas. one must be cognizant of the organi- zations involved, of who the leaders are,of the issues they regard as paramount,.and of the sources, both public and private, of their all-important financial support.

The environmental movement is probably far more widespread than is generally appreciated. A recent study conducted by the Environmental Agenda Task Force and sponsored by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund (The Unfinished Agenda: The Citizen's Policy Guide to Envitonmentaf Issues, New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Company, 1977) summarizes the current picture as follows:


At the heart of the U.S. environmental movement are about 3,000 organizations engaged in activities ranging from the preservation of scenic lands and wildlife, to pullution abatement, to the future of the human race. Several hundred of these are national or regional in scope, but the majority are local citizen groups working on issues concerning their immediate communities. Most are supported entirely by individual contributions and staffed by volunteers.

The large national organizations, however, are the most visible and familiar components of the environmental movement. These can generally be classified into two broad groups: membership organizations and professional organi- zations. They represent a large and varied constituency and have access to a large amount of money for use in the public interest. For example, twelve of the largest groups are supported by a total membership of over 4.3 million and have combined budgets in excess of $48 million. Their bud- gets are derived from a combination of individual contribu- tionst and foundation and government grants. As the study observes, professional organizations, as distinct from membership groups, "do not solicit members but are supported by a similar combination of private, foundation, and government donations." Their functions are described as research, litigation, lobbying efforts, public services, and the formation of environ- mental policy. (It is also noted that the Task Force includes in the environmental movement a third category made up of groups which are "normally classified within the population field" and which are included as environmental groups "in the sense that population size and growth rates are critical to environmental quality." organiza- tions in this category would be, for example, Zero Population Growth and the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.)

Among the better-known membership organizations are the Environ- mental Defense Fund, Friends of the Earth, the National Audubon Society, the National Wildlife Federation, the Izaak Walton League of America, and the Sierra Club, probably the oldest and best-known of all environmental activist groups. Of those environmental groups which emphasize legal action, one of the most effective is the Natu- ral Resources Defense Council, the largest environmental law firm in the United States; others include Friends of the Earth, the Environmental Defense Fund, and, of course, the Sierra Club. Many environmental groups also engage in lobbying activity to a signifi- cant extent. The Sierra Club, for example, maintains full-time lobbyists not only in Washington, D.C., but also in several state capitals. One of the more potent lobbying efforts among the en- vironmentalists is an organization known as Environmental Action, perhaps best known as originator of the so-called "Dirty Dozen" campaign against members of Congress rated as unsound on environ- mental issues. In line with the national concern over energy questions, various components of the environmental complex also emphasize energy issues in their litigation, lobbying and other programs. Both EDF and FOE, for example, place significant stress on energy-related controversies, while NRDC is actively concerned with nuclear energy matters in particular. Another organization that is less well-known, the Energy Action Committee, engages in' extensive lobbying activities on Capitol Hill in a major effort at countering what it regards as the undue influence of the oil and gas industry on national energy policy. Other membership organizations place primary emphasis on conservation of land and wildlife. Such groups as the National and Massachusetts Audubon Societies, the National Wildlife Federation, the National Parks and Conservation Association, and the Wilderness Society are especially prominent in this area; another is the Nature Conser- vancy.

The professional organizations are similar to the membership groups insofar as areas of emphasis and activity are concerned. The Conservation Foundation, for example, deals with such issues as land use and energy, while the Environmental Policy Center specializes in legislation on energy and water development matters. Other professional groups are the Scientists' Institute for Public Information, which includes public health among its concerns, and Worldwatch Institute, which covers a broad range of issues from population to nuclear power to food And hunger.

On the basis of even so sketchy a recitation as the above, certain facts emerge with some clarity. It is, for example, ob- vious that there exists a considerable overlapping of interests among the various types of groups which comprise the environmental complex; and the fact is-that there has been a significant degree of cooperation among these organizations over the years on matters of mutual interest. There is also the usual interlocking direc- torate of board members, officers and supporters.

One of the most significant aspects of environmentalist activity, however, is not evident on the face of it; and that is the tendency of a respectable number of groups within the environ- mental complex to rely upon far more than simple membership fees and contributions for the funding which makes all the litigation and other activity possible. As with other organizations discussed in earlier Heritage Foundation Institution Analysis studies, many of America's most powerful environmental activist groups rely on grants from the nation's tax-exempt foundations for a large -- and, in some cases, a very large -- proportion of their income. In some cases, it appears fair to state that were it not for support derived from these foundations, there would be a serious question as to whether certain groups could continue to function.

With this in mind, it must also be observed that to recount in detail the relevant information on all of the foregoing organi- zations would clearly be beyond the scope of a study such as this. It must be sufficient for the purposes of this study to set forth the salient facts with respect to a reasonable selection of these groups so that by understanding the operations of representative members of the environmental complex, we may better grasp the na- ture of the movement as a whole.

Because of its leadership, the nature of its work, and the extent of its impact, to say nothing of the degree of its dependence upon money from certain of America's major tax-exempt foundations, there isno, better organization with which to begin this study than the Natural Resources Defense Council.


One of the more prominent and effective environmentally- oriented organizations of those currently active in the United States is the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). Incor- porated in the state of New York on February 3, 1970, NRDC bills itself in one of its promotional brochures as "a nonprofit legal and scientific organization dedicated to protecting our natural resources and improving the quality of the human environment." The same source further describes the group as having "established a distinguished record" of "winning legal victories in the courts, forcing government agencies to act, and educating the public on environmental issues."

NRDC is the largest environmental law firm in the United States and has offices in New York, New York; Washington, D..C.; and Palo Alto, California. The organization operates with "a professional staff of over twenty lawyers, scientists, and other specialists" whose actions "are directed by a board of trustees which includes men and women from all sectors of our society." A recent list of members of the NRDC Board of Trustees follows:

Stephen P. Duggan, Chairman James Marshall, Vice Chairman Dr. George M. Woodwell, Vice Chairman Dr. Dean E. Abrahamson Mrs. Louis Auchincloss Boris I. Bittker Frederick A. Collins,.Jr. Dr. Rene J. Dubos James B. Frankel Robert W. Gilmore Lady Jackson, D.B.E. Hamilton F. Kean Dr. Joshua Lederberg Anthony Mazzocchi Paul N. McCloskey, Jr. Eleanor Holmes Norton Owen Olpin Franklin E. Parker Dr. Gifford B. Pinchot Charles B. Rangel Robert Redford John R. Robinson Laurance Rockefeller J. Willard Roosevelt Whitney North Seymour,,-Jr. David Sive Beatrice Abbott Duggan, U.N. Representative John H. Adams, Executive Director

As claimed by NRDC, the members of the board of trustees do indeed constitute a varied group, although it may be a bit over- blown to claim that they represent "all-sectors of our society." The Chairman, Stephen P. Duggan, is an attorney in New York City who has, among other activities, served 9s a trustee of the Insti- tute of International Education since 1950'. From 1939 through 1958, Duggan served also as a trustee of the New School for Social Research in New York. He has been Chairman of the NRDC Board since the organization's inception in 1970. That the members of the NRDC Board of Trustees are people.of prominence within their respective professions may be seen from the Sollowing random samp- ling:

Mrs. Louis Auchincloss is the wife of the eminent author.

Boris I. Bittker has, since 1970, been Sterling Professor of Law at the prestigious Yale Law School.

'Dr. Rene J. Dub6s of New York City is a renowned bacteriologist who received a Pulitzer Prize in 1969.

Dr. Joshua Lederberg, educator and research scientist, has been a professor of genetics at the Stanford'School: of medicine since 1959. He received the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine in 1958 for his researches in the genetics of bacteria.

Paul N. McCloskey, Jr., represents the 17th Districit of California in the U.S. House of Representatives and also serves as a member of the steering committee of Members of Congress for Peace through Law (MCPL) for the 95th Congress.

Charles B. Rangel, who represents -the 18th District of New York in the House of Representatives, is an ac- tive member of both MCPL and the Congressional Black Caucus, a left-liberal organization of black members of Congress.

Robert Redford is, in addition to be ing an actor of some note, a prominent environmental activist, as is his wife Lola Redford. Laurance Rockefeller is both a business executive and an ardent conservationist who has received nu- merous awards for his conservation work over the years. His many positions have included the fol- lowing: Chairman, Rockefeller Brothers Fund; Chair- man, Citizens Advisory Committee on Environmental Quality, 1969-1973; President, American Conserva- tion Association; President, Jackson Hole Preserve; President, Palisades Interstate Park Commission; Chairman, New York Zoological Society; and Chairman, White House Conference on Natural Beauty, 1965.

Whitney North Seymour, Jr., an author and attorney, served from 1970 through 1973 as United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York. He has also served as a member of the New York State Legislature.

David Sive, also an attorney, has been an adjunct asso- ciate professor in the graduate division of New York Universit ,,v Law School since 1963 in addition to being active in environmental matters at the state and national levels. His many positions have included the following: member, Legal Advisory Committee, Presidential Council on Environmental Quality; member, Board of Direc- tors and Executive Committee, Friends of the Earth; Secretary and member, Board of Directors, John Muir Insti- tute; Chairman, Environmental Law Institute; Chairman, Committee on Environmental Law, Association of the Bar of the City of New York, 1968-1972; and National Direc- tor and Chairman of the Atlantic Chapter, Sierra Club, 1968-1969.

As has been the case with a number of other liberal organiza- tions and institutions, perhaps most notably the Brookings Institu- tion, NRDC has experienced the phenomenon of having several of its people move into the Carter Administration, a development which is obviously indicative of a policy of drawing upon liberal activists for staffing of key administration posts. The January/February 1977 issue of the NRDC Newsletter, for example, carries the following item:

Two NRDC staff attorneys have been appointed to posts in the Carter Administration where they could have an im- portant influence on the nation's environmental policies.

Gus (J. Gustave) Speth, who has been with NRDC since its founding in 1970, is leaving to become one of the three members of the President's Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ). The CEQ is the President's chief advisory body on environmental matters, and President Carter has indicated that it will play a much greater role in policy-making in his Administration than it has in the past. Rick (Richard) Cotton, a lawyer with NRDC since 1974, has been appointed as a special assistant to Joseph Califano, Secretary for Health, Education and Welfare. The post will give him an opportunity to play a role in formulating poli- cies on major environmental health issues, because of HEW's jurisdiction over a number of matters relating to environ- mental and public health.

NRDC's loss is the nation's gain.

A similar article appears in the March/April/May/June 1977 issue of the Newsletter. The article, "Four More NRDC Attorneys Captured by Government," reads as follows:

The Carter Administration continues to look to the public interest field for talent and innovation, and it continues to look to NRDC to fill high environmental and legal positions within the government. Our latest losses to the Administra- tion:

JOHN LESHY, an attorney with us since 1973, has been appointed Associate Solicitor for Energy and Resources in the Interior Department. While with NRDC, John specialized in forestry, coal leasing, and public lands issues.

DAVID HAWKINS has closed (we hope only temporarily) a 7-year career with the organization, during which he devoted nearly all of his efforts to the fight for clean air, to be- come Assistant Administrator for Air and Waste Management in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. It gives us great satisfaction to note that he is now the chief air pollution officer of the United States

RICHARD HALL, who left NRDC two years ago but has con- tinued to work closely with us, has been appointed a special consultant to theInterior Department's Surface Mining Project.

FRANK TUERKHEIMER, who was in charge of NRDC's new Midwest office in Madison, Wisconsin, has been made U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin.

We * * * wish them-every success in what will be a time of great excitement and promise for the environmental cause.

It is apparent from the above-two items that NRDC has high hopes for the advancement of its primary concerns because of these appointments of its legal activists to Administration positions by President Carter. With this in mind, it becomes appropriate to ask oneself just what these concerns are.

An undated but recent promotional letter makes it clear that one of NRDC's principal areas of activity lies in trying to "apply the brakes to the frightening spread of nuclear technology" which, in the view of NRDC Executive Director John H. Adams, who signed the letter, "has acquired a powerful momentum of its own." Adams describes NRDC as "the principal organization putting sustained legal pressure on the U.S. Government and on international agencies to bring the proliferation problem under control." The following paragraphs from Adams' letter are illustrative of the main thrust of NRDC's efforts:

NRDC has taken the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to court for failing to scrutinize the consequences of shipping nuclear technology and fuel to India which recently exploded its first atomic weapon, and to Germany, which plans to sell the complete nuclear fuel cycle technology to Brazil.

NRDC's leadership remains central in the effort to lessen our own future dependence on unneeded, expensive, and potentially dangerous nuclear energy. our thoughtful opposition to the construction of the Clinch River breeder reactor, an enormously costly, government-subsidized demon- stration reactor, has forced the decision-makers to reconsider such ill-conceived projects. In addition, we have helped shape a constructive public debate on the desirability of the "plutonium economy of the future" envisioned by nuclear technocrats.

We have kept up a sustained effort which is finally being rewarded, to alter drastically the spending priorities of the Energy Research and Development Administration (ERDA). In fiscal year 1978, ERDA plans to cut funding for the breeder reactor program by a substantial $200 million and make energy conservation a first-order priority and by far the best an- swer to the energy crisis.

It is NRDC's contention "that there is a better path to follow" and that it will lead to what NRDC's John H. Adams calls "a future of slow energy growth, tight conservation measures, and research and development of energy 'income' technologies such as solar, geo- thermal and wind." Adams concedes that such developments "may not prove to be the complete energy answer" but argues that "they will help reduce our dependence on methods which drain relentlessly our dwindling energy capital of oil and natural gas."

NRDC's overriding concern with nuclear energy is reflected in one of the group's recent promotional brochures which refers to "Safeguarding this and future generations from nuclear-contamina- tion and catastrophe" as "one of the most serious problems facing the world today." The same source cites two specific examples of. NRDC legal activity aimed at this presumed problem:

In May 1976 NRDC won a court order halting all licensing of the commercial use of plutonium until a nationwide plutonium policy is formulated through public hearings.


NRDC has intervened in two federal export licensing pro- ceedings involving a shipment of nuclear fuel to India and a plan to supply South Africa with reactors and fuel.

NRDC is also vitally interested in public health issues, be- lieving that "Each year we discover more links between pollutants in our environment and disease." Arguing that "effective control of potentially dangerous chemical substances and other toxic agents is essential" for our health, NRDC states that scientists 11now estimate that 75% to 90% of human cancers are related to en- vironmental factors." Claiming to base its efforts "on scientific evidence," the organization describes some of its activities in this area as follows:

Our Environmental Carninogens Project is working to prevent or reduce the presence of cancer-inducing sub- stances in the workplace and in food, air,and water.

We have won a comprehensive court order requiring EPA to develop and enforce strict regulation of discharges of toxic pollutants into the nation's waters.

Two other broad areas of special interest to NRDC are "the protection of wilderness and wildlife" and "the man-made environ- ment" of the cities. In trie former area, NRDC has obtained a court order which requires the Forest Service "to consider wil- derness values" before it undertakes "to develop several million acres of roadless, primitive areas in our national forests" and has also worked "to reduce predator poisoning," which results in the deaths of many animals "and further threatens rare species such as the eagle." Also, the organization states that its "fight against water pollution" has been responsible for the "extension of federal protection to 75V of our wetlands. In the latter . area, NRDC has been active in trying to effect legal remedies for the problems of "Dangerously polluted air and the erosion of mass transportation" in our cities. NRDC claims that as a result of its lawsuits, federal courts have

Required the federal government to assure that the states develop programs to control automobile-related air pollu- tion in major metropolitan areas.

ordered New York City and New York State to enforce their own plan to reduce automobile-related air pollution.

NRDC describes its "citizen constituency" as "a key element in our success" and as "the critical ingredient that makes NRDC a powerful force for environmental protection and a,vital partici- pant in the democratic process." Current membership is approxi- mately 35,000; there does not appear to be any set membership fee, although the organization does actively solicit contributions of anywhere from $15 to $1,000. All contributions are tax-deductible because NRDC is classified as a public interest law firm and quali- fies for tax-exemption under provisions of Sections 501(c)(3) and 509(a)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code. NRDC's financial picture is an interesting one. The initial funding for the organization consisted of a grant of $100,000 from the Ford Foundation, and foundation support has been of significant magnitude ever since, as will shortly be demonstrated. The current annual budget for NRDC is set at some $1,900,000, a figure which indicates considerable growth since the initial $100,000 from Ford in 1970. It also represents a not inconsiderable increase since 1975 when, according to the organization's year-end balance sheet, there were total expenses of some $1,696,222.

The December 31, 1975, NRDC balance sheet provides a detailed look at the income and expenses of one of the environmental move- ment's most potent organizations. Public support, derived from foundations and contributions, amounted to $1,763,558i which was broken down as follows:

General Fund $ 646,354 Ford Foundation Fund 400,000 Western Office Fund 104,000 Restricted Funds 613,204

Total public support $1,763,558

Of this amount, $583,031 was derived from contributions and $1,180,527 consisted of support from foundations. Additional in- come was listed under the heading of "Revenue" and amounted to a total of $46,878, broken down as follows:

Interest $ 26,855 Court-awarded fees 14,655 Other 5,368

Total revenue $ 46,878

The total income for 1975 categorized as public support and revenue -- $1,763,558 and $46,878 -- provided the NRDC with funds in the aggregate amount of $1,810,436.

Expenses listed were of two general types: program services and supporting services. Program services totaled $1,155,547 and were of the following sorts:

Environmental litigation $ 926,204 Scientific support 147,409 Public education 63,584 Intern 2rogram 18,350

Total program services $1,155,547

Supporting services amounted to far less, totaling $536,675:

Management and general $ 192,630 Fund raising 344,045

Total supporting services $ 536,675

Between program services ($1,155,547) and supporting services ($536,675), total expenses for NRDC for the year ending December 31, 1975, were in the amount of $1,692,222, as previously noted. The "Excess (deficiency) of public support and revenue over expenses" was $118,214.

As indicated above, support from foundations has obviously been crucial to NRDC's operations from the beginning; this is certainly demonstrated in the NRDC balance sheet for December 31, 1975, although available records indicate a pattern of substantial giving by major tax-exempt foundations during each succeeding year.

During 1972, for example, as shown by listings in the 1972 edition of the Foundation Center's authoritative Foundation Grants Index, there were major grants to NRDC in the follo-wing amounts: $450,000 from the Josephine H. McIntosh Foundation, located in Florida, as a three-year grant to establish a branch for environ- mental legal activities in Palo Alto, California; $lOyOOO from the Rockefeller Family Fund of New York for unspecified purposes; and $765,000 from the Ford Foundation, also of New York, to monitor governmental and private agencies-on their compliance with the Environmental Protection Act.

The listings of major grants to NRDC from tax-exempt founda- tions in the 1973, 1974, 1975, and 1976 editions of the Index are also of some considerable interest, providing, as they do, a valuable indication of NRDC's principal sources of tax-exempt foundation support, as well as a complementary indication of the breadth of NRDC's activities thus supported. These listings ap- pear below and include, where specified, the dates on which the grants were authorized and the purposes for which they were made by the granting institution:

$15,000 from the Public Welfare Foundation, Washington, D.C., December 9, 1972, for unspecified purposes.

$12,500 from the Rockefeller Family Fund, New York, New York, December 27, 1972, for general purposes including litiga- tion and negotiation with administrative bodies, training of student interns, monitoring of environmental impacts, and cooperative efforts with conservation and governmental organizations.

$15,000 from the Public Welfare Foundation, May 11, 1974, "For Clean Air Project." $5,000 from the Abelard Foundation, New York, New York, July 30, 1973, toward establishment of a project to de- fend environmental quality of Catskill Adirondack Moun- tain regions in New York against unplanned development.

$800,000 from the Ford Foundation, New York, New York, April 1974, for public representation in environmental issues.

$25,000 from the Rockefeller Family Fund, October 29, 1973, toward the budget of the Adirondack-Catskill Land Use Monitoring Project "which is engaged in research, monitoring and litigation functions in effort to keep pace with social impacts resulting from development of New York's two great Forest Preserve parks."

$15,000 from the J. M. Kaplan Fund, New York, New York, 1975, for unspecified purposes.

$10,000 fr6m the Edward John Noble Foundation, New York, New York, February 10, 1975, for general support.

$30,000 from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, New York, New York, May 5, 1975, for assistance to foreign en- vironmental groups through provisions of technical information.

$25,000 from the Rockefeller Family Fund, May 8, 1974, to launch the California Coastal Advocacy Project to engage in legal, research, and consultative activities concerning regional commissions created under provisions of the California Coastal Zone Conservation Act.

$25,000 from the Rockefeller Fami 'ly Fund, October 18, 1974, for research and litigation activities in the interest of mitigating the impact of development of New York's two great forest preserve parks.

$30,000 from the Western New York Foundation, Buffalo, New York, 1974, to support the Stream Channelization program.

$10,000 from the Clark Foundation, New York, New York, May 13, 1975, for general purposes.

$15,000 from the Ottinger Foundation, New York, New York, February 28, 1976, for a project on nuclear prolifera- tion.

$25,000 from the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation, Winston- Salem, North Carolina, 1975, "For project on clean water and project to save our streams." $6,000 from the George F. Baker Trust, New York, New York, 1974, for general support.

$25,000 from the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, New York, New York, 1975, for efforts of attorneys, scientists, and staff to represent the public interest in environmental pro- tection.

$15,000 from the Clark Foundation, May 11, 1976, for general purposes.

$5,000 from the Compton Foundation, New York, New York, December 31, 1975, for unspecified purposes.

$340,000 from the Ford Foundation, May 1976, for public interest litigation in such areas as offshore oil develop- ment, national resource management, and land use.

$15,000 from the Edward John Noble Foundation, December 8, 1975, for general support.

$10,000 from the Norman Foundation, New York, New York, 1975, for a "campaign to increase income derived from membership of law firm litigating on environmental issues."

$25,000 from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, January 29, 1976, for a project in management of animal and plant species and rain forests in tropical Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

$25,000 from the Rockefeller Family Fund, June 27, 1975, for the California'Coastal Advocacy Project.

The January 29, 1976, grant of $25,000 from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund is probably the same as the "generous grant from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund" which was made to NRDC in January 1976 and which, according to the January/February 1977 issue of the NRDC Newsletter, enabled 'NRDC to hire Dr. Norman Myers, who has served as consultant to the World Wildlife Fund, the World Bank, and the United Nations Environment Program, "to undertake a special Project on Threatened Species and Genetic Resources." According to the same source,

This project is one of several NRDC programs conducted under the auspices of our International Project. Legal and educational efforts to slow nuclear proliferation and a campaign to foster stronger environmental policies within the United Nations are two other important sides of our work at the international level. The International Project is under the direction of staff attorney Thomas B. Stoel, Jr. and project attorneys Ruby Compton and Jacob Scherr. Beatrice A. Duggan, who has worked extensively with United Nations programs, serves as NRDC's United Nations Representative.

From the foregoing discussion, certain conclusions seem relatively obvious. It is clear that the Natural Resources De- fense Council is one of the country's major environmental acti- vist organizations and that it interlocks with others to a signifi- cant degree. It is equally clear that the NRDC's growth since its formation in 1970 has been made possible to a notable extent by the considerable largess bestowed upon the organization by a num- ber of America's major tax-exempt foundations. To the extent that NRDC has been able to win major victories in the courts, to affect the formulation and execution of the nation's environmental policies, and even to expand its operations into the international arena, it owes a very real debt of gratitude to some of the most powerful members of the foundation complex.


The NRDC's Annual Report 1976/77 provides valuable informa- tion which serves to supplement the foregoing. The board of trustees list is the same as that cited above, the exceptions being the addition of Michael McIntosh as a third vice chairman and the addition of Alvin M. Josephy, Jr., and Thomas A. Troyer. Lady Jackson is listed under her better-known name, Barbara Ward. The report includes sections on "Clean Air," "Transportation," "Environmental Carcinogens," "Clean Water," "Energy," "The Coastal Zone," "The International Environment," and "Wilderness & Wildlife," all of which demonstrate that NRDC has enjoyed significant success in a large number of its major projects. A general overview is included as "A Message From the Chairman of NRDC's Board of Trus- tees," and it contains the following passage: Yet, in many ways, the outlook for the environment is brighter today than it has been in a long time. We have a new Administration in Washington which has demonstrated, early on, a strong interest in conservation in the broadest sense of the wordi Awareness of environmental issues is higher than ever before. Tough laws have been passed to clean up our air and water, and, despite substantial delays and some modifications, efforts to render the laws ineffec- tive have repeatedly failed.

The NRDC report is replete with examples of what the organi- zation clearly sees as real impact on government policy. The 1976 NRDC lawsuit in the case of NRDC v. EPA, to cite but one instance, resulted in an EPA commitment "to an extensive research program on arsenic emission control," while in January 1977, after five years of litigation, "NRDC was rewarded by a court decision requiring New York City to enforce its transportation control plan."

NRDC claims to "have become widely recognized as the chief environmental spokesman on clean air issues" and to have "played a key role" in "supporting federal action to move all sources of pollution into compliance with the mandate to achieve clean water." Related to the latter broad issue are NRDC's efforts in promoting land use planning. According to the report for 1976,

In response to an NRDC law suit (NRDC v. Train), EPA has greatly expanded the scope of its land use pi-a-HnIng require- ments beyond the regulation of.a few urban areas to include virtually every watershed in the U.S. With this powerful new tool for sensible land use policies in hand, members of NRDC's staff have written a guide which explains how citi- zens can get involved in their community planning. The hand- book will be widely distributed by the National Wildlife Federation in 1977.

NRDC's efforts, as previously indicated, have been concentrated especially on nuclear and other energy questions. The 1976 report refers to the Carter Administration's "national energy policy in- corporating many of the principles NRDC has fought for since its founding." It also emphasizes, as does so much other NRDC litera- ture, the concept of "an environmentally sound energy policy stress- ing conservation and increasing efficiency, clean coal, and a num- ber of solar technologies which would keep our dependence on nuclear fission to an absolute minimum." NRDC's activities in this area have included opposition to the Clinch River breeder reactor in Tennessee, among other things, and a lawsuit which resulted in a May 1976 U.S. Court of Appeals decision prohibiting "the use of plutonium as a reactor fuel until a full review of the risks of plutonium 'recycling' is completed." The case has been appealed to the United States Supreme Court.

In the international sphere, according to the report, NRDC's efforts "have been steadily expanding" since 1972. The organiza- tion has "taken an active interest in a proposal by Japanese in- terests to build a giant supertanker port and refinery" on one of the Micronesian islands. It has also "petitioned the National oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to use its statutory au- thority to set aside a substantial part" of these waters "as a marine sanctuary" and also "remains active as a non-governmental organization working closely with the United Nations Environment Programme on a broad variety of matters."

The 1976 list of NRDC publications is of special interest because it shows a continuing relationship between NRDC and agencies of the United States government directly concerned with our national environmental policies. one such volume (Who's Minding the Shore? A Citizen's Guide to Coastal Zone Management) was prepared by NRDC for the National oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce, while a second work (Choosing an Electrical Energy Future for the Pacific North- west: An Alternate Scenario) was prepared by NRDC, partially funded by the Energy Research and Development Administration (ERDA), and sponsored jointly by the Sierra Club Foundation, the Oregon Environmental Foundation, and the Northwest Fund for the Environ- ment.

As noted previously, NRDC's total income and expense figures for 1975 were, respectively, $1,810,436 and $1,692,222. The figures for 1976 reflect significant growth in both categories. Income, for example, is recorded in the following amounts:

Foundations $1,247,856 Contributions 684,874 Special Events 48,310 Interest 22,931 Other 32,826

Total Income $2,036,797

Expenses as of December 31, 1976, on the other hand, were recorded as follows:

Environmental litigation $1,090,772 Scientific support 164,823 Public education 103,225 Intern program 20,312 Management and general 272,847 Fund Raising 387,612

Total Expenses $2,039,591

Thus, as of December 31, 1976, the NRDC recorded an excess in expenditures of $2,794 as opposed to the 1975 surplus in in- come over expenses of $118,214. FRIENDS OF THE EARTH

one of the most far-flung of all environmental activist or- ganizations is Friends of the Earth (FOE). Founded in 1969, FOE claims a membership of some 25,000 people. Among its principal publications are the Energy Papers, a series on Celebrating the Earth, and another series on The Earth's Wild Places; there is also a twice-monthly newspaper, Not Man Apart, described by the organization's president, David Brower, as "the best source of environmental news and comment available."

According to a listing in the November 1977 issue of Not Man Apart, Friends of the Earth.maintains its principal United States offices in New York, New York; San Francisco, California; Seattler Washington; and Washington, D.C., the last facility serving as FOE's legislative office. Staff people in charge of these of- fices are, respectively, Lorna Salzman, Lisa Wang, Dale Jones, and Jeffrey Knight. FOE "Field Offices" are maintained in the following cities under the direction of the people listed:

Billings, Montana (Edward Dobson)

Boston, Massachusetts (Ann Roosevelt)

Columbia, Missouri (Don Pierce)

Moab, Utah (Gordon Anderson)

Denver, Colorado (Kevin Markey)

Fairbanks, Alaska (Jim Kowalsky)

Sacramento, California (Michael Storper)

London, England (Amory B. Lovins)

Paris, France (Edwin Matthews, Jr.)

There are also what FOE calls "Sister Organizations" in the following countries: England, France, Sweden, Germany, New Zea- land, Canada, Ireland, Yugoslavia, El Salvador, Australia, Thailand, Holland, and Belgium.

FOE's officers include David R. Brower, President and Chief Operating Officer; Jeffrey Foote, Vice President; Alan Gussow, Vice President; and John Clarke, Secretary-Treasurer. These four officers also serve as members of the organization's executive committee, as do six of the group's directors: Anne H. Ehrlich, Roderick Nash, Gayle Nin Rosenkrantz, and Fredric P. Sutherland of California; Dan R. Reece of Oregon; and David Sive of New York.


A complete list of FOE's directors appearsbelow:

George Alderson, District of Columbia Rick Applegate, Montana Mildred Blake, New York Holly Cobb, Colorado Raymond F. Dasmann, California Anne H. Ehrlich, California Daniel Luten, California Edwin S. Matthews, Jr., France Roderick Nash, California Richard W. Nathan, New York Stewart M. Ogilvy, New York Richard L. Ottinger, District of Columbia Dan R. Reece, Oregon Abby Rockefeller, Massachusetts Gayle Nin Rosenkrantz, California Helen Severinghaus., New York David Sive, New York Christine Stevens, District of Columbia Fredric P. Sutherland, California Gordon Wright, Alaska

FOE's staff is a large one. The editor of Not Man Apart is Stephanie Mills, and the managing editor is Jamie Nelson. The otherslisted as staff for this publication include Anne Bartz, Carol McNally, Rico Mendez, Hugh Nash, John Prestianni, and Eleanor Smith. The staff for FOE itself are as follows:

Jim Adams, Assistant to the President Andrew Baldwin, Legal Director Peggy Berscheid, Membership Director David Chatfield, International Liaison Bruce Colman, Assistant for Publishing Ruth Easton, Book Sales Philip Evans, European Production Consultant Jeff Knight-, Legislative Director Pam Lippe, Legislative Assistant Amory Lovins, UK (United Kingdom) Representative Steve Lyons, Roving Editor David Ortman, Research Associate Connie Parrish, California Representative Rafe Pomerance, Associate Legislative Director Mark Reis, Assistant Legislative Director Pam Rich, Alaska Coordinator David Ross, Energy Projects Director Ron Rudolph, Energy Coordinator Patricia Sarr, International Assistant Marion Sherk, Comptroller Tom Turner, Administrative Director Jerome Waldie, Washington Representative Anne Wickham, Conservation Director Ellen Widass, Labor Liaison Chuck Williams, National Parks Representative As one generally finds with activist organizations, Friends of the Earth boasts an advisory body,the membership of which has obviously been carefully drawn from diverse areas of the nation's professional life, a device commonly used to help foster the im- pression that a group is truly representative of significant seg- ments of public opinion. Included are eminent writers, men of science, environmentalists, and others, including a number of people from various branches of the entertainment industry. Below will be found a complete list of those currently serving as members of the FOE Advisory Council, as shown by the November 1977 issue of Not Man Apart:

Cleveland Amory Tom McCall Ian Ballantine Karl Menninger Candice Bergen Stephanie Mills Harrison Brown Noel Mostert Charles Callison Paul Newman Lord Caradon Basil A. Paterson Norman Cousins Linus Pauling Jacques Cousteau Aurelio Peccei Herman Daly George Plimpton Raymond F. Dasmann Eliot Porter John Denver Robert Redford Paul Ehrlich Pete Seeger Merlie Evers Rodney Shaw James Farmer Neil Simon Alfred Forsyth C. P. Snow Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen Gary Snyder Milton Glaser Gary Soucie Hazel Henderson Maurice Strong David R. Inglis Albert Szent-Gyorgyi Betty Leslie-Melville Lewis Thomas Martin Litton Harriet Van Horne Konrad Lorenz George Wald Jerry Mander Joanne Woodward

Friends of the Earth, like almost all such groups, reflects the principle of the interlocking directorate, a fact readily demonstrated by reference to a few of the organization's key leaders. FOE President David R. Brower, for example, has also served as the chief paid executive of the Sierra Club and pre- sently is a prominent member of the Steering Committee of the League of Conservation Voters, an environmentally-oriented poli- tical action group with headquarters in Washington, D.C. It is further noted that FOE staff member Rafe Pomerance, FOE Board of Directors member George Alderson, and FOE Advisory Council mem- ber Gary Soucie also serve on the LCV Steering Committee.

As indicated above, FOE is a decidedly activist organiza- tion which uses a variety of means to attack a broad range of environmental issues. A solicitation letter circulated in late 1976 and signed by FOE President David Brower describes the range of FOE's activities in the following language: lobbying and testifying bR.fore Congress and state legislatures

influencing executive decisions by providing informa- tion to administrative agencies

publishing -- an 'excellent newspaper, a regular nuclear information sheet, a series of studies of energy problems, large format photographic books, films, pamphlets -- all to improve the quality of information about the quality of life

speaking out -- widening the conservation constituency by active participation in meetings and conferences

when all else fails, going to court -- suing to ensure that the environmental laws of the land are upheld

The environmental issues to which FOE has devoted these energies are varied. They include strip mining, clean air, clear- cutting, stream channelization, preservation of the Florida Everglades, lobbying against the Cross-Florida Barge Canal, and the protection of such endangered species as the whale. FOE lit- erature reflects claims of leadership in coalitions on strip mining and stream channelization issues, along with a similar claim to having organized and directed the campaign against the supersonic transport (SST). Legislative controversies in which FOE has played a significant part include control of pesticides, so-called "in-plant environmental problems" or industry, water pollution abatement policy, opposition to "superfluous highways," reform of forest management, and the Clean Air Act of 1970.

As noted-in the introduction to this study, there exists within the environmental complex a strong community of interest which leads to considerable cooperation on matters of mutual con- cern. This is as true of Friends of the Earth as it is of other such groups. In mounting litigation to bring about a review of the Alaska Pipeline project, for example, FOE combined with such like-minded organizations as the Wilderness Society and the En- vironmental Defense Fund; another major lawsuit found FOE work- ing in conjunction with two other powerful groups, the Sierra Club and the Natural Resources Defense Council, in opposition to offshore leases in the Gulf of Mexico.

More recently, FOE has, in line with the environmental move- ment in general, become extremely concerned with questions of nuclear energy development, even to the extent of-initiating an international coalition to seek a moratorium on the construction and operation of nuclear reactors until greater safety can be achieved in the disposition of nuclear waste material. Actually, however, it appears that FOE's policy on nuclear energy is one of total opposition, as indicated by the following passage from FOE President David Brower's late 1976 solicitation letter:


Right now one of our most important activities is making sure that the light at the end of the energy tunnel is the sun, and not a nuclear reactor melting down.

We've shown leadership in suggesting that we just skip nuclear power altogether, and get on with developing safe, lasting energy sources -- solar and wind power. We've helped make the point that energy conservation will actually create jobs, not cost them. We're convinced that nuclear power just isn't worth it. It entails risks that no one can afford.

Not surprisingly, FOE's anti-nuclear argument is also couc hed in terms of the danger of war. Claiming that FOE "doesn't want to stop progress," Brower emphasizes such benefits to society as clean air and water, "the chance to enjoy wildness, and most importantly, the possibility of lasting peace. We've already seen how easily the peaceful atom can be turned to purposes of war." What this appears to indicate is a rejection of the traditional arguments for peaceful as opposed to military uses of atomic energy and the adoption instead of a completely anti-nuclear posture by an organi- zation which is certainly among the most important of all groups which make up the environmental complex.

FOE's strong opposition to all nuclear development assumes added significance when one considers the information recounted in an article appearing in the November 14, 1977, issue of Newsweek. According to this source, FOE British representative Amory Loving "has become one of the Western world's most influential energy thinkers." Population biologist Paul Ehrlich, a member of the FOE Advisory Council, has gone so far as to describe Lovins' Foreign Affairs essay, "Energy Strategy: The Road Not Taken?", which has recently been expanded into a book, as no less than " 'the most in- fluential single work on energy policy written in the last five years."

The Newsweek account tells of Lovins' returning from a session on St. Simons Island "where he had addressed a group of Federal en- ergy planners. A few days earlier, he had been in Washington, con- ferring with top Administration officials -- including Jimmy Carter, who invited him to-the White House for a chat." He has also lec- tured, consulted, debated, and testified in numerous cities across the country to campaign against what he calls the "hard path" of our energy development, advocating instead a "soft" one, the dis- tinction being between electric power systems depending on fossil fuels and nuclear energy and those which, coupled with "technical fixes" to cut energy waste by half, rely primarily on non-nuclear power sources such as solar and wind energy.

That the anti-nuclear energy arguments of FOE's Amory Lovins are receiving a sympathetic hearing at the highest levels of the

2 2

Carter Administration is clearly indicated by the following con- cluding passage from the Newsweek piece:

* * * Indeed, the day after he talked with Lovins, President Carter told an international energy conference that the world should consider alternatives to nuclear power. While it would take a capital investment of $200,000 to $300,000 to produce a nuclear-energy capacity equivalent to one barrel of oil, Carter noted,, "Recent studies I have read show that we can gain the equivalent of a barrel of oil per day by conserva- tion at very-little or no cost." The author of those studies: Amory Lovins.

One other element of FOE's current program may be of special interest. As shown by two items appearing in the November 1977 issue of Not Man Apart, the organization has become actively em- broiled iH -the controversy over ratification of treaties affecting United States control of the Panama Canal. The gravamen of FOE's argument appears to be a concern that, in the words of FOE President Brower, "the treaty breathes new life into an almost-dead interna- tional environmental threat, the sea-level canal proposal." Brower's statement details a number of arguments against construction of such a new canal, characterized-as "a project that has probably had more opposition from the nation's top scientists than any other water resource project." Brower claims FOE "takes no position for or against ratification of the new treaty," the reason being that "the central issues are not environmental ones." However, it would ap- pear that, while opposing the provision in the treaty allowing for development of a new sea-level canal, Brower and the FOE are not unsympathetic to the principal thrust of,the treaty. In the final paragraph of his statement, Brower reemphasizes the presumed need for the Senate to "make it very clear that it does not favor the sea-level canal project." He also states, however, that the "Sen- ate should work its will on the Panama Canal Treaty on the basis of its principal purpose -- to resolve Panama's aspirations for con- trol of the present canal and Canal Zone."

Another project reflects both the current interest in the Canal and the ability of.environmentalists to coalesce around what they see as significant issues. On September 6, 1977, eleven national environmental groups sent a telegram to President Carter urging that the sea-level canal.provision be eliminated from the treaty then be- ing negotiated. Similar opposition had also been expressed to Presi- dent Ford in 1975. The September 6 telegram relies heavily on the arguments advanced by unnamed "marine scientists" and on a 1970 Na- tional Academy of Sciences warning of "grave potential dangers" at- tendant on such a project. The list of signers of the telegram is indicative of the cooperation that is often found among members of the environmental complex: John W. Grandy IV, Executive Vice President, Defenders of Wildlife

Peter Harnik, Coordinator, Environmental Action, Inc.

Brent Blackwelder, Washington Representative, Environ- mental Policy Center

Douglas W. Scott, Northwest Re presentative, Federation of Western Outdoor Clubs

David R. Brower, President, Friends of the Earth

Lewis Regenstein, Executive Vice President, The Fund for Animals, Inc.

Sir John G. Ward, President, International Society for the Protection of Animals

Jack Lorenz, Executive Director, Izaak Walton League of America

T. Destry Jarvis, Administrative Assistant, National Parks and Conservation Association

Godfrey A. Rockefeller, Executive Director, World Wildlife Fund

Celia Hunter, Executive Director, The Wilderness Society

To carry on its ambitious programs, FOE maintains a sizeable annual budget, currently'estimated at some $670,000. As an avowed lobbying group, the organization does not enjoy tax-exempt status; thus, contributions to FOE are not tax-deductible, and the group must rely primarily on membership fees and proceeds from the sale of its many books and other publications for operating revenue. According to the Environmental Agenda Task Force, FOE's current membership is 22,000; it isnoted, however, that an employee in FOE's Washington, D.C., legislative office recently placed the figure at "about 25,000." Membership fees cover a fairly wide range: $25 (Regular), $35 (Supporting), $60 (Contributing), $100 (Sponsor), $250 (Sustaining), $1,000 (Life), and $5,000 (Patron). There are also $1.2 memberships for students and for low-income and retired people, while an additional $5 per year is assessed for one's spouse.


Major support for FOE's efforts also comes, however, from the Friends of the Earth Foundation, FOE's tax-deductible arm established in 1972 for the conduct of research, education, publishing, and "public interest" litigation. operating from the same San Francisco headquarters address as does FOE, the foundation, in its December 1976 "Progress Report," describes itself in the following language:

The Foundation is a partner in the environmental alliance of which Friends of the Earth, the activist membership organization, has been a leader since its founding by David Brower in 1969.

Friends of the Earth and the Friends of the Earth Foundation share the same basic philosophies and the same distinguished Advisory Council. Their programs are com/E/lementary: Friends of the Earth lobbies aggressively, while the Foundation supports non-legis- lative projects. Friends of the Earth formed and led the coalition that defeated legislation to authorize an American SST, for example, while the Foundation fought the Anglo-French Concorde in administrative hearings and in court.

The foundation's principal officers are David R. Brower, who serves as president of both the foundation and FOE; Stewart Ogilvy, who serves as vice president of the FOE Foundation and as one of the directors of FOE itself; and Tom Turner, who serves as executive director of the foundation and as administrative director of FOE. Michael Slater and Dan Gabel are listed, re- spectively, as foundation secretary and treasurer, the two remaining staff people being Charles Bear and Avis Reynick Ogilvy.

A June 1977 fund-raising letter signed by David R. Brower as president states that Friends of the Earth Foundation programs work to

investigate alternate energy sources and promote world- wide conservation so that the dangers of producing nu- clear energy and the inordinate dependence on oil might become things of the past.

bring about legal actions to fight measures that threaten our well-being -- measures, for example, that might result in more pollution of our air and water.

protect the California condor, the great whale, the Utah prairie dogs, the red wolf and other endangered species that continue to be threatened with extinction.

provide a foundation of facts to help guide decisions by government and industry in environmental matters.

stem the tide of nuclear proliferation throughout the world so that citizens need not live in constant fear of a nuclear accident. prevent hunters from gunning down wolves and polar bears from the air.

protect from despoilment one of the last remaining strong- holds of wilderness splendor -- Alaska.

train young people in environmental education, laws and research.

make possible expert testimony at government hearings so that our decision-makers might heed

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