Who Funds Inside Climate News?

We take a look at some of the top donors to Inside Climate News, a nonprofit news organization that covers climate change and the environment.

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The Koch Brothers

Koch Industries and the Koch brothers have been linked to the climate change-denying organization, the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

Koch Industries

Koch Industries is an American multinational corporation based in Wichita, Kansas. It owns a diverse group of companies involved in refining, chemicals, and biofuels; forest and consumer products; fertilizers; polymers and fibers; process and pollution control equipment and technologies; electronics, software, data analytics and other proprietary technology; minerals; commodities trading and services; ranching; glass; security systems; risk management services for the energy industry. The company employs 120,000 people in 60 countries on six continents.

Koch Industries is the second-largest privately held company in the United States after Cargill, with estimated annual revenues as high as $100 billion, according to Forbes. If it were a public company, it would rank 14th on the Fortune 500 list.

The company was founded by brothers Charles Koch (1935–) and David Koch (1940–), whose father founded the successor to what is now known as Koch Industries (originally named Rock Island Oil & Refining Company) in 1940. The brothers inherited the business when their father died in 1967. Charles became chairman of the board and chief executive officer (CEO), while David became executive vice president (EVP). As of 2019 they own 84% of the shares of Koch Industries through their holding companies accumulative wealth making them tied for 6th richest men in America with a combined net worth of $60 billion.

Charles Koch

Charles Koch, one of the world’s richest people, is known for his libertarian politics and his cerebral approach to business. He has spending billions of dollars to support conservative causes and candidates, most notably through a network of politically active nonprofits he controls with his brother David.

The Koch brothers’ father, Fred Koch, was an engineer who developed a process for refining oil into gasoline. He founded a company that would later become Koch Industries, and the brothers took over the business after their father’s death in 1967. Charles became chairman and chief executive officer; David became president.

Koch Industries is now one of the largest privately held companies in the United States, with estimated annual revenue of $100 billion. It has interests in oil refining and chemicals, pipelines, livestock, forest products, steel, glassmaking, fibers and textiles. The company employs 120,000 people in 60 countries.

David Koch

David Hamilton Koch (born May 3, 1940) is an American businessman, philanthropist, political activist, and chemical engineer. He joined the family business Koch Industries, a conglomerate that is the second-largest privately held company in the United States, in 1961. He became president of the subsidiary Koch Chemical Technology Group in 1979, and in 1983 he became a co-owner of Koch Industries with older brother Charles.

As of 2018, David Koch was ranked as the 11th-richest person in the world, with an estimated net worth of $50.5 billion. He is a major donor to charitable causes and has served on several nonprofit organizations; he also contributes to political activism including supporting libertarian and conservative causes. He ran as the Libertarian Party’s vice-presidential candidate in 1980 on a ticket with Ed Clark.

The Rockefellers

The Rockefeller Brothers Fund, a philanthropic group founded by the heirs to the Standard Oil fortune, has given $1.8 million to Inside Climate News since 2008. That makes the Rockefellers the largest financial supporters of the website, which has won two Pulitzer Prizes for its coverage of the climate crisis.

Standard Oil

At its height, Standard Oil was the largest company in the world, with a near-monopoly on the global oil market. The company was founded by John D. Rockefeller in 1870, and it soon came to dominate the oil industry in the United States through a series of aggressive business tactics and secret deals. By the early 1880s, Standard Oil controlled about 80 percent of the oil production in the country. In 1911, the U.S. Supreme Court ordered that Standard Oil be broken up into 34 smaller companies due to its monopoly power. Even after this breakup, however, the Rockefellers remained one of the richest and most powerful families in America.

The Rockefellers have long been associated with philanthropy and social causes. In 1891, John D. Rockefeller founded the University of Chicago, and he later established the Rockefeller Foundation, which supports a wide range of charitable causes around the world. The Rockefellers also have a long history of support for environmental causes. In recent years, however, some members of the family have become vocal critics of climate change policies proposed by environmental groups.

In 2015, it was revealed that members of the Rockefeller family had been funding a major news outlet called Inside Climate News (ICN). ICN is widely respected for its fair and unbiased reporting on environmental issues, and it has won several Pulitzer Prizes for its investigative journalism. The revelation that the Rockefellers were helping to fund ICN caused some controversy, with critics accusing them of using their financial power to influence public opinion on environmental issues. Nevertheless, ICN continues to produce high-quality journalism that is trusted by people on both sides of the political aisle.

John D. Rockefeller

John D. Rockefeller (1839-1937) was an American industrialist, oil magnate, and philanthropist. He founded the Standard Oil Company in 1870, which monopolized the oil industry and made him one of the richest men in the world. As a philanthropist, Rockefeller donated billions of dollars to various charitable causes. He also founded the University of Chicago and the Rockefeller Foundation.

David Rockefeller

David Rockefeller (born June 12, 1915) is an American billionaire philanthropist and former chairman and chief executive of Chase Manhattan Corporation. He is the oldest living member of the Rockefeller dynasty and family, as well as the last surviving grandchild of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. and Abby Aldrich Rockefeller. In a long career at Chase Manhattan (now JPMorgan Chase), he served as CEO from 1969 to 1981 and as chairman from 1981 to 2001. During his time at the bank, Rockefeller played a leading role in financing overseas investment by U.S. banks, helping to build the bank’s reputation as one of the world’s preeminent financial institutions.

Rockefeller has been married three times; his first wife was Margaret McGrath (m. 1940–1958), with whom he had five children: Abby (b. 1941), Richard (1942–2017), David Jr. (b. 1944), Neva (b. 1947) and Eileen (b. 1949). He married Margaret “Peggy” Dulany on December 21, 1962; they have four children: Dylan Frances (b. 1963), Laura Chandler (b. 1965),name=”nyt-2020-03-06-rockefellers-in-the-era-of-the great granddaughter of John D.”>The New York Times, Ricardo ADHD diagnosis and Maxfield Seabury (b. 1969).

Rockefeller has given away more than $2 billion to philanthropic causes over his lifetime, including $100 million to the Museum of Modern Art in New York City in May 1935 – then the largest ever charitable donation – which helped keep the museum afloat during the Great Depression. In total, he has signed 10 major philanthropic pledges, amounting to nearly $600 million.“Reclusive Billionaire Considers His Legacy”, The New York Times, October 11, 2006.

The Soros Family

It’s no secret that George Soros and his family have their hands in a lot of different pies, but one of their lesser known investments is in the environmental news website Inside Climate News. The website was started in 2007 with the help of a $5 million dollar grant from the Soros family.

George Soros

George Soros is a Hungarian-American business magnate, investor, political activist, and philanthropist. Soros is one of the world’s most successful investors. As of February 2018, Soros had a net worth of $8 billion, making him one of the 30 richest people in the world. Born in Budapest in 1930, Soros survived Nazi Germany-occupied Hungary and moved to the United Kingdom in 1947. He attend the London School of Economics and obtained a bachelor’s and eventually a master’s degree in philosophy.

The Open Society Foundations

The Open Society Foundations are a private foundation started by George Soros in 1993. The Foundation funds a range of programs around the world, with a focus on human rights, democracy and the rule of law.

The Foundations support many media outlets, including Inside Climate News. In 2020, the Foundations gave $1 million to Inside Climate News to support its investigative journalism on climate change.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is one of the largest donors to Inside Climate News, giving $3.6 million between 2010 and 2015. The foundation is the charitable organization set up by the co-founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates, and his wife, Melinda.

The Gates Foundation has a history of supporting journalism and media organizations that focus on issues related to global health and development. In addition to Inside Climate News, the foundation has given millions of dollars to National Public Radio, the Associated Press, and ProPublica.

The Hewlett Foundation

The Hewlett Foundation is a major funder of Inside Climate News, giving the organization $1.5 million since 2008.

The Hewlett Foundation is a private foundation that was established in 1966 by Hewlett-Packard co-founder William R. Hewlett. The foundation’s stated mission is “to advance Education for all, a livable planet, and a civil society.”

The foundation awards grants in a number of different areas, including education, environmentalism, and philanthropy. Among the environmental organizations that the foundation has supported is Inside Climate News, to which it has given $1.5 million since 2008.

The McKnight Foundation

The McKnight Foundation, based in Minneapolis, is a family foundation created in 1953 by William L. McKnight, former chairman of 3M. It is one of the oldest and largest private foundations in Minnesota. The McKnight Foundation’s mission is to improve the quality of life for all Minnesotans by promoting successful aging, creating rewarding jobs and ensuring a clean energy economy.

Inside Climate News is an independent, nonprofit news outlet that covers climate, energy and the environment. We’re supported by our readers and by a variety of foundations, businesses and individuals who believe in our mission: to provide clear information and empower the public with the news and analysis they need to make their own decisions about the world around them.

The Park Foundation

The Park Foundation, a nonprofit grant-making organization based in Ithaca, New York, is the largest funder of InsideClimate News (ICN), according to a Media Matters analysis of the most recently available tax filings.

In 2013, the most recent year for which data is available, the Park Foundation gave $1.5 million to ICN — more than triple any other donor. The second-largest donor was the Schumann Center for Media and Democracy, which gave $200,000.

The Park Foundation was founded in 1966 by Roy H. Park, a media mogul who owned a newspaper chain and developed one of the first commercial radio stations in the country. The foundation’s mission is to “support and strengthen journalism” and “promote media that inform citizens and contribute to an effective democracy.”

The Energy Foundation

The Energy Foundation is a major funder of Inside Climate News. Since 2013, the Energy Foundation has given Inside Climate News nearly $3 million. The Energy Foundation is a green energy grant-making organization that has given money to many other environmental journalism outlets, such as the Investigative Reporting Workshop, the Center for Investigative Reporting, and the Climate Investigations Center.

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