A new report shows that many high-profile environmental organizations take money from wind power companies, raising questions about their independence and objectivity as the Biden administration pursues large-scale offshore wind projects along the coasts of the United States.
Titled “Conflicts of Interest,” the report was produced by the Save Right Whales Coalition, a group concerned about the potential impact of industrial-scale wind on the endangered North Atlantic right whale.
“Our investigation sought to understand why environmental groups that have worked vigorously to protect right whales have gone silent in the face of massive industrialization of right whale habitat. If the money flow is influencing the actions of these environmental groups, the public deserves to know,” said Lisa Linowes, who belongs to the Save the Right Whales Coalition.
At least $4.2 million in donations are documented in a spreadsheet examined by The Epoch Times.
Bay State Wind, a venture led by the Danish wind turbine giant Ørsted, donated $500,000 to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, one of the United States’ top research hubs for oceanography, marine science, and related disciplines.
Ørsted also donated an undisclosed sum to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), as proudly advertised on its sponsorship webpage.
The National Audubon Society, known for its bird conservation advocacy, has also accepted funding with ties to the wind industry.
Both the National Audubon Society and Maine Audubon received hundreds of thousands of dollars from the New England Forests and Rivers Fund, which is financed in part by Avangrid and Eversource, both of which have large wind power portfolios.
Ocean Wind, another Ørsted subsidiary, has also funded New Jersey Audubon, as has the offshore wind firm Atlantic Shores.
In addition, Avangrid has funded Sharon Audubon.
Many consider wind turbines highly dangerous to birds and bats.
While a study financed by the pro-wind energy nonprofit American Wind and Wildlife Watch estimated there were just 214,000 to 368,000 wind turbine-related bird fatalities in the United States and Canada, many other studies have arrived at higher estimates.