Climate, labor leaders call on IRS to investigate Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound

Several make claim that there is evidence of tax code violations, letter calls into question the “non-profit” status of the APNS
Better Future Project runs and supports a number of campaigns, including supporting students pushing for the divestment of university endowments from fossil fuels as part of the Fossil Free campaign. Better Future photo.

New England climate movement leader Craig Altemose and several other concerned citizens have co-signed a letter to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) urging it to investigate the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound (APNS) after its repeated failures to properly document its donations and expenses.

They point out that the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound has forwarded $394,000 to the Town of Barnstable to pay for its litigation against the Cape Wind project, America’s first offshore wind farm, and has failed to properly account for these grants as required in its recent Form 990 filings.

Their announcement states, “The Alliance cannot be allowed to continue to circumvent the proper tax channels to finance their attack on clean energy on the Cape. While the attention of the nation is focused on the manufactured IRS Tea Party scandal, the real IRS scandal is that fossil fuel tycoons like Bill, Charles, and David Koch are using so-called “nonprofits” as front groups in a coordinated campaign to subvert the clean energy revolution and protect deadly energy profits."

History of opaque and questionable finances bring fine

They point out that due to this most recent failure to document spending as required by the IRS - which follows a history of opaque and questionable finances - the APNS was forced to pay a $22,500 fine to the Massachusetts General Fund after the Massachusetts Office of Campaign and Political Finance found that the Alliance violated campaign finance law during the 2010 State election by directly engaging in electioneering activities.

These and other activities have led to speculation as to whether the APNS can be legitimately qualified as a 501c3 non-profit organization, a type of tax-exempt corporation that must work towards charitable or educational ends and is prohibited from operating for the private and personal benefits of its board members.

APNS a front for the fossil fuel industry

Mark Rodgers, Cape Wind Communications Director, says “For twelve years this opposition group has acted like they don’t need to play by the rules, I am gratified to see there are people that are continuing to hold them accountable.”

Joshua Jackson, Clean Energy Organizer at the Better Future Project added, “The Alliance is by all appearances simply a front group for the fossil fuel industry."

Jackson points out that William Koch, founder, owner and president of the Oxbow Corporation, a producer and distributor of petroleum products, is also a long-time board member, board chair, and principal donor to the Alliance. Oxbow has spent over $600,000 in lobbying against Cape Wind.

Jackson added, “Koch makes his billions from fossil fuels, and he understands that if offshore wind ever takes off it will pose a significant competitive threat to dirty energy. It’s crazy - by allowing Koch to funnel millions of tax-exempt dollars to fight off offshore wind, the public is effectively subsidizing a campaign against the very clean energy technologies that we all desperately need if we hope to avoid the worst impacts of global warming."

Koch under fire in Detroit for coke pollution

The headline in last week's Detroit Free Press read, "Black pet coke dust blowing onto Detroit homes, state confirms," and the story stated that dust from a large pile of petroleum coke owned by Koch Industries along the Detroit River is blowing into a nearby residential community, this according to tests conducted by an Ann Arbor, Michigan environmental nonprofit.

Koch Carbon owns the so-called pet coke, which is a byproduct from refining oil sands. The coke itself is a cheap fuel commodity, but it is considered a dirty energy source.

See the Better Future Project YouTube here.
See the Better Future Project website here.
See the Oxbow Industries website here.
See the Cape Wind website here.
See the APNS website here.
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