Pete Buttigieg regularly consults dark money-funded green groups, calendar entries show

EXCLUSIVE: Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has met on multiple occasions with dark money-linked environmental groups that advocate for anti-fossil fuel policies, according to a copy of his internal calendar obtained by Fox News Digital.

Buttigieg’s calendar — which government watchdog Americans for Public Trust (APT) obtained via public records request and shared with Fox News Digital — showed that he has met with the League of Conservation Voters (LCV), Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) and Climate Action Campaign (CAC).

The groups have all advocated in favor of transitioning to a green economy by developing clean energy alternatives to fossil fuels in an effort to curb emissions and fight global warming. However, such plans have been derided by experts who argue such a green transition would cause considerable pain for consumers in the form of higher prices and blackouts during periods of high electricity demand.

“Supply chains have collapsed, gas prices are at a record high and air travel is a disaster, but instead of fixing these problems, Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg has decided to team-up with dark money groups to implement their extremist policies that hurt everyday Americans,” Caitlin Sutherland, the executive director of APT, told Fox News Digital.

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Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg speaks during a United Nations climate conference in Scotland on Nov. 10, 2021.
(Reuters/Yves Herman)

“Buttigieg and the Biden administration’s priorities are completely out of touch with what the average family needs the most right now,” Sutherland said.

According to the calendar entries, dated from February 2021 through October 2021, Buttigieg met on three occasions with LCV leadership. The meetings included a one-on-one with LCV Chairwoman Carol Browner, a former Environmental Protection Agency administrator and White House climate adviser for former President Obama.

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In March, one week after the second meeting between Buttigieg and the LCV, the group announced it would launch a $10 million blitz urging the Biden administration to spend trillions of dollars on climate initiatives and clean energy development alongside other environmental groups and Democratic governors.

“For over fifty years we have met with public officials at all levels of government, across administrations and eras,” Emily Samsel, a spokesperson for the LCV, told Fox News Digital in an email. “We are always proud to represent our large grassroots base in advocating for clean air, clean water, public lands, and a safe climate — all protected by a just and equitable democracy.”

President Biden appointed Pete Buttigieg to lead the Department of Transportation shortly after taking office. Since then, Buttigieg has consulted various left-wing green groups.
(Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Additionally, Buttigieg met at least once with leaders of the NRDC, Sierra Club, SAFE and CAC throughout 2021, the calendar showed.

Both the NRDC and Sierra Club have been actively involved for years in litigation blocking or slowing fossil fuel development projects. They have loudly opposed pipeline construction, new drilling leases and coal production.

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“We are in a critical moment for the fight against the climate emergency,” Manish Bapna, the current president of NRDC, recently said. “The window of opportunity to act is closing quickly, but momentum is on our side. NRDC will be working hard to seize it–to turn the promise of clean energy into reality, to protect our natural world, and to stand up for people and communities everywhere.”

The NRDC, Sierra Club and LCV, meanwhile, have received significant donations from massive liberal dark money networks.

Pipes for the Keystone XL pipeline are stacked in a yard in Alberta, Canada, in January 2021 after President Biden revoked the project’s federal permit. The NRDC was involved in litigation against the pipeline before Biden canceled the permit.
(Jason Franson/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

The three groups have all been infused with cash by the Sixteen Thirty Fund, a key cog in the nation’s largest dark money network operated by Arabella Advisors, according to Influence Watch.

The Sixteen Thirty Fund funneled $3.5 million to the LCV and $6.7 million to the LCV Victory Fund in 2019 alone, according to the group’s 2020 tax filings. Additionally, the LCV was the organization’s single largest donation recipient in 2021, receiving a whopping $18.9 million from the fund last year, according to tax filings obtained by Politico.

The dark money organization funneled another $2 million to the NRDC last year, the tax filings showed.

“Sixteen Thirty Fund is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit that helps progressive campaigns and causes fighting for climate solutions and other essential social change goals,” a Sixteen Thirty Fund spokesperson told Fox News Digital in a statement. “We are proud to support the League of Conservation Voters, NRDC, the Sierra Club, and other organizations working to address threats to our environment.”

“Meeting with leaders across the political spectrum is critical to achieving these groups’ missions,” the statement continued. “Their work with Sec. Buttigeig is evidence of their impact and effectiveness.”

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The LCV has also received substantial funding from the network overseen by Hansjorg Wyss, a prolific foreign donor to liberal causes, which includes the Wyss Foundation, Berger Action Fund and Fund for a Better Future. Since 2017, the Berger Action Fund and Fund for a Better Future have wired at least $14.5 million to the LCV, and the Wyss Foundation pushed another $210,000 to the group in 2020, filings showed.

Molly McUsic, the president of the Wyss Foundation, sits on LCV’s board of directors.

Hansjorg Wyss is pictured at a benefit on April 1, 2015, in New York City.
(Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Oceana)

“We played no role in these meetings and do not know what was discussed,” a spokesperson for the Wyss Foundation and Berger Action Fund told Fox News Digital. “Through grantmaking, the Foundation provides direct support to charitable projects and organizations working to address the biodiversity crisis, while the Berger Action Fund supports groups that advocate for conservation and climate action through advocacy, grassroots organizing, and lobbying.”

“This is a critical moment for land and wildlife conservation: the planet has lost 60% of its wildlife populations since 1970, and 1 million species of wildlife and plant species are now at risk of extinction,” the spokesperson added. “The Wyss Foundation invested $1.5 billion to conserve 30% of the world’s land and water by 2030, and we are immensely proud of our conservation work.”

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The Fund for a Better Future similarly denied involvement in the meetings between groups it has funded and Buttigieg, but said it remained committed to its environmental mission.

“Fund for a Better Future is proud to support effective organizations working toward outcomes that align with our mission to promote the common good by protecting the environment, upholding democratic values, addressing disparities in public health, and advancing social equity,” a spokesperson for Fund for a Better Future told Fox News Digital.

“FBF does not direct our grantees’ day-to-day activities or with whom they meet.”

The Transportation Department did not respond to a request for comment.

The NRDC, Sierra Club, SAFE and CAC also did not respond to requests for comment.