Sierra Club Tells Members We Don’t Take Money from Chesapeake Energy When in Fact They Took $25 Million
26 Corporate Crime Reporter 6, February 2, 2012

Last week, I wrote an article about how Chesapeake Energy, through its fracking activity, was destroying the rural way of life in West Virginia.

After the article ran, an insider called me with a tip – Sierra Club has taken money from Chesapeake Energy.

I called Sierra Club on Monday and asked – Are you taking money from frackers – in particular Chesapeake Energy?

Waiting for a response, I called Sierra Club activists in West Virginia to see if they know anything.

Two of them – Jim Sconyers and Beth Little – e-mailed Michael Brune, the executive director of Sierra Club, and asked him whether the Club has taken money from Chesapeake Energy.

Brune writes back to Little and Sconyers:

“We do not and will not take any money from Chesapeake or any other gas company. Hope all's well with you both.”

Simultaneously, I get an e-mail from Maggie Kao, the spokesperson for the Sierra Club.

On Tuesday, Kao writes to me: “We do not and we will not take any money from any natural gas company.”

I write back – I understand you do not and will not.

But have you taken money from Chesapeake?

That was Tuesday.

All day Wednesday goes by.

All day Thursday goes by.

And I can’t get an answer.

Then Thursday night, Kao writes says – okay, Brune can talk to you at 7:30 pm EST.

And by the way, Kao says – check out this story just posted in Time magazine.

The headline: How the Sierra Club Took Millions from the Natural Gas Industry – and Why They Stopped.

Turns out, Sierra Club didn’t want the story to break in Corporate Crime Reporter.

The millions from frackers.

And how as late as Tuesday, Sierra Club tried to mislead it’s own members about the money.

According to the Time report, between 2007 and 2010 the Sierra Club accepted over $25 million in donations from the gas industry, mostly from Aubrey McClendon, CEO of Chesapeake Energy – one of the biggest gas drilling companies in the U.S. and a firm heavily involved in fracking.

Time reported that the group ended its relationship with Chesapeake in 2010 – and the Club says it turned its back on an additional $30 million in promised donations.

Waiting to speak with Brune.

And ask him what he meant by:

“We do not and will not take any money from Chesapeake or any other gas company.”




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