Green Watch

Household Names Helping Ban Gas Stoves: Personal Awards and Foundation Rewards

Amazon, GM, FedEx, and Household Names Helping Ban Gas Stoves (full series)
Patient Zero | War on Energy | Personal Awards and Foundation Rewards
Humanity Hating Benefactor | Giving Away the Rope

Personal Awards and Foundation Rewards

In 2016, Lovins was awarded the German Order of Merit, the German government’s highest honor, because of his influence on Germany’s energy policy.

Another ironic decoration came in 1993, when he became a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship. Colloquially known as a “MacArthur Genius Award,” the fellowship stipend for the award winners was $800,000 each in 2023.

The left-leaning John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation is one of the largest grantmaking foundations in America. In addition to directly awarding Lovins as one of its geniuses, MacArthur has also been a generous recent benefactor of the Rocky Mountain Institute’s sustained war against prosperity and reliable, low-carbon energy. According to the charitable recordkeeping service Foundation Search, MacArthur gave more than $9.7 million to RMI during the grant years 2018 to 2021, with $6 million of the total granted in 2021 alone.

This is on-brand for MacArthur. A report in the February 2022 issue of Capital Research magazine revealed that MacArthur had given at least $76 million since 2016 to nonprofits with anti-nuclear positions.

Recent multi-million-dollar annual donors such as MacArthur are a big reason for the Rocky Mountain Institute’s booming bottom line.

Billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s Bloomberg Family Foundation gave at least $54 million in 2021 to advocacy groups opposed to nuclear energy, including the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), the Sierra Club Foundation, and The Rocky Mountain Institute received $13.1 million of this total.

The Bezos Earth Fund is a project funded by billionaire Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. The fund has given at least $17 million to RMI in 2020 and 2021 grants, and over that period at least $100 million each to the anti-nuclear NRDC and the Sierra Club.

Until shortly before his death in 2022, hedge fund pioneer Julian Robertson was a board member of the anti-nuclear EDF. His Robertson Foundation has granted at least $16.5 million to RMI since 2019.

Billionaire Mark W. Heising is the current chair of the EDF board. His Heising-Simons Foundation (co-funded with this wife, billionaire Liz Simons) has given nearly $2.3 million to the Rocky Mountain Institute since 2018.

The Sall Family Foundation has given at least $6.7 million to Rocky Mountain since 2017. Co-founder Virginia Sall is also an EDF board member.

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation has given more than $6.6 million to RMI since 2018. Hewlett is also a multi-million-dollar annual donor to several of the anti-nuclear nonprofits already mentioned.

The Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment and the Jeremy and Hannelore Grantham Environmental Trust have given a combined $10.1 million to Rocky Mountain Institute since 2015, and more than $4.4 million since 2020. Both are affiliated with and funded by British investment manager Jeremy Grantham. In addition to funding RMI, the Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment gave at least $2 million more in 2021 to opponents of nuclear energy such as Greenpeace and the Sierra Club.

The Wellspring Philanthropic Fund and the Sequoia Climate Fund are another pair of interconnected foundations that provide strong support to the Rocky Mountain Institute and other radical anti-nuclear climate policy groups. A February 2023 report from Inside Philanthropy identified Sequoia as a “new giant in climate change philanthropy,” which had given out $126 million during 2021, the first year the group filed IRS reports. According to the report, Sequoia is a spin-off of Wellspring. Both are affiliated with billionaire C. Frederick Taylor.

Together, Sequoia and Wellspring have given at least $6.7 million to RMI since 2019. In 2021 alone, Sequoia gave at least $2.4 million to RMI, and millions of dollars more to the League of Conservation Voters Education Fund and other anti-nuclear climate advocacy groups.

The ClimateWorks Foundation, the Energy Foundation are a pair of pass-through donors that fund left-leaning climate advocacy groups. The combined donations directed by these foundations to Rocky Mountain Institute since 2021 have exceeded $2.9 million. Over the same period the pair has directed at least $4 million in additional combined grants to other anti-nuclear climate policy groups.

Similarly, the Climate Imperative Foundation gave more than $11 million to anti-nuclear advocacy groups in 2021, including $1.1 million to RMI.

The 2022, 2021, and 2020 annual reports from the Rocky Mountain Institute also credit Lyda Hill Philanthropies and the High Tide Foundation with giving a minimum of $1 million each year.

The Rockefeller Foundation (founded with the fortune of oilman John D. Rockefeller) and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund (one of several foundations created by the Rockefeller heirs) have together given at least $5.8 million to the Rocky Mountain Institute since 2020.

The Childrens Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) is credited by RMI with minimum $1 million donations for 2022 and 2021. In January 2020, RealClearInvestigations reported that CIFF had transferred a nearly $200,000 donation from CIFF founder Christopher Hohn to Extinction Rebellion (XR), a lawless left-wing climate group that engages in blocking streets and has threatened to fly drones near commercial air traffic. XR was profiled in “Unabombers Without Bombs,” a 2019 report from Capital Research magazine.

In the next installment, RMI demonstrates a general hostility to humanity

Ken Braun

Ken Braun is CRC’s senior investigative researcher and authors profiles for and the Capital Research magazine. He previously worked for several free market policy organizations, spent six…
+ More by Ken Braun