Sleight of hand at the Capitol

Why do the Minnesota Conservative Energy Forum and Fresh Energy have the same liberal funders?

The Minnesota Conservative Energy Forum (MnCEF) provides vivid proof that merely calling yourself “conservative” doesn’t mean you are. MnCEF positions itself as a conservative energy group and even has a quote by Ronald Reagan on its website. But a closer look reveals an organization that uses conservative-sounding language to promote renewable energy sources that are hopelessly dependent upon billions of dollars in government subsidies and renewable energy mandates for viability.

That’s not very conservative.

Policy watchdogs have been warning about how liberal groups are investing in so-called conservative energy organizations nationwide that deceptively co-opt conservative-sounding language to push for liberal environmentalist policies. Why? Because there is big money behind promoting wind and solar power.

A quick analysis of MnCEF’s lobbying report reveals the outside organizations that fund MnCEF.

Among them are:

• Clean Energy Economy Minnesota, which produced the bogus “clean jobs” report that American Experiment has debunked multiple times;

• Conservation MN Voter Center, which opposes PolyMet and other expanded mining opportunities in Minnesota and supports renewable energy mandates; and

• Green Tech Action Fund, a California-based grant-writing organization, affiliated with the Energy Foundation.

All of these affiliations are damning for a so-called “conservative” organization, but the most noteworthy is the Energy Foundation affiliation—who is one of the largest sources of funds in the nation for leftist environmental groups.

For example, the Energy Foundation spent $57 million in 2016 funding climate change and environmental groups like Earthjustice, EcoWorks, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Sierra Club, Media Matters, the Environmental Defense Fund, Green Tech Action Fund, Ceres Inc., Climate Central, the League of Conservation Voters, the Solar Foundation, the Wind Coalition, and the list goes on.

Sounds pretty conservative so far, right?

In Minnesota, the Energy Foundation directly spent nearly $2.4 million in 2016 supporting Fresh Energy, Conservation Minnesota, The Minnesota Citizen’s Utility Board, Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, Minnesota BlueGreen Alliance, Climate Generation, the Great Plains Institute for Sustainable Development, the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, and Wind on the Wires. In other words, it’s a “Who’s Who” for liberal environmental groups that lobby for more renewable energy, which caused Minnesota electric bills to reach a new all-time high in 2018.

Stay tuned. We plan to have a thorough debunking of MnCEF’s misleading talking points in the not so distant future.