A shadowy Californian-based foundation called Sea Change – part-funded by Democrat hedge-fund billionaires and a mysterious Bermuda-based company called Klein Ltd – has been funneling millions of dollars into hard-left environmental causes including the campaign against the affordable energy on which the health of the US economy depends.
Sea Change’s machinations are exposed in a shock new report by the US Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works into the ‘Billionaires Club’ of US rich liberals who are secretly funding the green movement’s war on Western industrial civilisation – and benefiting financially in the process.
Though Sea Change was listed in 2011 as the sixth-largest donor to environmental causes – giving $43,149,911 in grants to green activist groups – remarkably little has been known until now about its make-up or the extent of its influence.
Its website consists solely of a page revealing this somewhat limited information:
Sea Change Foundation is dedicated to achieving meaningful social impactthrough leveraged philanthropy that addresses the most pressing problems facingthe world today. The Foundation’s initial focus is addressing the serious threatsposed by global climate change. The Foundation is in the process of determininghow its grantmaking can have maximum impact, and is not able to acceptunsolicited proposals.
However, the Senate report reveals that Sea Change is run by one of America’s richest Democrat families, whose wealth derives from a wildly successful hedge fund – Renaissance – with more than $23 billion in assets under management.
Sea Change’s president is Nathaniel ‘Nat’ Simons, son of Renaissance’s founder James Simons (currently ranked 34th on Forbes’s Richest People In America; also – with his wife Marilyn Simons, the no. 5 contributor in the 2014 mid-term election cycle, donating 100% to Democrats – totaling $3,289,200). Nat’s wife Laura Baxter-Simons is Sea Change’s secretary.
Nat Simons is also involved in businesses which stand to benefit financially from the advancement of the green agenda and the Obama administration’s war on fossil fuels.
He is the CEO of Elan Management where he manages the early stages of clean tech companies with a focus on solar and wind energy sources. Elan also created Prelude Ventures in 2009, an investment firm dedicated to clean energy.
As the report notes, Sea Change’s war on fossil fuels is felicitously aligned with Simons’s business interests:
In 2010, Sea Change contributed $10,933,332 in grants to environmental organizations to “reduce reliance on high carbon energy.” The next year, 2011, Sea Change allocated nearly $10 million in grants for the same purpose. Thus, in 2010-2011, this one private foundation, which receives over 30% of its funding from a foreign overseas company, actively seeking to hide the source of its funding, contributed over $20 million dollars to fight domestic fossil energy production.
What remains a mystery, however, is its other main backer – an offshore company called Klein Ltd.
According to the Senate report:
Sea Change’s IRS Form 990 also shows that in addition to funding by the Simons, the only other source of its contributions derives from a Bermuda-based company called Klein Ltd. It appears that Klein exists on paper only, as it does not have an internet presence, and was set up for the sole purpose of funneling anonymous donations to Sea Change.411 In 2010, Klein contributed $13 million to Sea Change, amounting to 49% of all contributions to Sea Change that year, and in 2011 Klein contributed $10 million to Sea Change, amounting to 33% of all contributions to Sea Change.412 Bermuda offer Klein government guaranteed anonymity for the sources of their donations.413 As a practical matter, an overseas company contributing tens of millions to organizations dedicated to abolishingthe use of affordable fossil fuels is highlyproblematic. This is only compounded by the factit is deliberately and completely lacking intransparency. However, it is likely this lack oftransparency shields Klein Ltd. from anyresponsibility to the American businesses andfamilies it hurts.
The report concludes:
The role Sea Change plays as a member of the Billionaire’s Club is deeply troubling, especially in light of recent revelations that environmental activists, many of whom are clearly benefiting from this extreme “dark money,” do not have any moral qualms over where their money comes from – so long as it supports the far-left cause.