A vicious incestuous cycle, in, out and spread it around, keep it in the family. I was catching up on a few things and had an urge again to look up the Joyce Foundation, the Form 990s it files with the IRS. To do that, go to www.guidestar.org and register (free, hassle free and spam free), and then plug in the name of whatever organization you’re looking for. You might have to wade through a few, or scratch you head, like when the supposedly independent “Wind on the Wires” shows up as “Izaak Walton League” in Gaithersburg, and Beth Soholt is staff of Waltons (but we knew that…).

The Joyce Foundation Mission Statement:

The Joyce Foundation supports efforts to protect the natural environment of the Great Lakes, to reduce poverty and violence in the region, and to ensure that its people have access to good schools, decent jobs, and a diverse and thriving culture. We are especially interested in improving public policies, because public systems such as education and welfare directly affect the lives of so many people, and because public policies help shape private sector decisions about jobs, the environment, and the health of our communities. To ensure that public policies truly reflect public rather than private interests, we support efforts to reform the system of financing election campaigns.

The Joyce 2006 990 is too big to upload here (2006 is the most recent I could find). But, it’s worth a look-see, in one hand, out the other, supporting, promoting coal gasification through so-called “environmental” non-profits, building up IGCC, and investing in IGCC technology companies, coal companies, rail coal transport, developing the CO2 market, keeping coal alive and profiting from it and handing out some of those profits to “enviros” to keep the evil cycle going.

In addition to the ill-conceived grants way below, here are a few of the coal connected companies where they invested and sold stocks in 2006. A very interesting pattern of promotion of IGCC while investing in the owners/developers of IGCC technology, i.e., ConocoPhillips and ChevronTexaco, and investments in utilities proposing IGCC … and then there’s their huge takings in COAL! Whew… and think about the dollars made in comparison of the whole. See for yourself, look it up and gawk:

Alpha Natural Reserves

American Electric Power

Burlington Northern Santa Fe

ChevronTexaco (returns similar to Conoco Phillips, below)

Conoco Phillips (this one is noteworthy – 4382 shares for $97k, sold for $294k; 5700 shares for $112k sold for $385k; 100 shares for $1.9k sold for $6.4k; 6400 shares for $170k sold for $434k; 2500 shares for $76k sold for $157k; 2200 shares for $63k sold for $139; )

Dominion Resources

Duke Energy

El Paso Electric

Entergy Corp

Foundation Coal Holdings (this one is startling, lots of October, 2005 purchases, sold the following February for a 25% profit!)

Freightcar America (coal cars!)(doubled their money in 6-8 months)

Wabtech (railroad equipment)

Wesco (Westinghouse)

Lots of oil & gas related ones too:

Allis Chalmers Energy

Anadarko Petroleum

Basic Energy Services

Bronco Drilling

Carizzo Oil & Gas

Comstock Resources


Dresser Rand

Golar LNG

Gulfport Energy Corp

Hornbeck Offshore Services

Hercules Offshore

Intercontinental Exchange

Interoil Corp

Linn Energy

Natco Group

NGas Resources

Oceaneering International

Oil States International

RPC Incorporated

Superior Energy Services

Tetra Technologies

Ultra Clean Holdings

And Chaparral Steel, acquired by Gerdau Ameristeel, an Intervenor in the Mesaba docket…

Cleveland Cliffs – mining, the ones that owned the original site proposed for Mesaba in Hoyt Lakes…

Greenhill, which over 6 months made them 25-30% and more… they did that TXU deal

Does Emerson Electric count?

And for the record, they took a big hit when they selling a lot of Pfizer!

I’ve been watching them for a while, which they know and they watch me too (they’re not thick as a Brick, they just hired one). I regularly linked to their press release of grants to “environmental” organizations to SUPPORT and PROMOTE coal gasification, and for some reason they took it down (yes, of course I saved it, and even entered it in the record in the Mesaba PPA docket). To get an idea of these grants, LOTS of bucks


and choose category “Environment” and subcategory “Climate Change and Coal” and look at that big long list and look at how many are for promotion of IGCC. Here’re the ones that I think are most problematic, directly related to IGCC:

Belden Russonello & Stewart
To assess public attitudes in the Midwest about energy and environmental issues, especially coal.
Washington, DC $212,000
1 year 2006

Clean Air Task Force Inc.
To support a delegation of Midwest policy makers, industry representatives, and environmental groups to visit European coal gasification projects and meet with European counterparts.
Boston, MA $55,000
1 yr. 2007

Clean Air Task Force Inc.
To retain local counsel and technical experts to appear in the licensing hearings for a proposed IGCC project.
Boston, MA $60,000
1 yr. 2007

Clean Air Task Force Inc.
To promote Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle for the next generation of coal plants in the upper Midwest.
Boston, MA $787,500
21 mos. 2006

Clean Wisconsin Inc.
To oppose conventional coal plants proposed in Wisconsin and promoting coal gasification with sequestration as an alternative. The Wisconsin Citizens Utility Board would be a partner in the intervention and campaign.
Madison, WI $500,000
1 year 2006

Congressional Research Service
For a series of expert sessions to inform Congress on alternative long-term U.S. energy policies.
Washington, DC $539,000
3 yrs. 2007

Council of State Governments
To organize and convene a summit on energy and global warming for midwestern governors.
Lexington, KY $157,162
1 yr. 2007

CUB Consumer Education and Research Fund
To promote policies that would hasten the development of IGCC technologies in Illinois.
Chicago, IL $75,000
1 yr. 2007

CUB Consumer Education and Research Fund
To promote new policies supporting coal gasification and carbon sequestration for new electric generation in Illinois.
Chicago, IL $75,000
1 year 2006

Energy Center of Wisconsin Inc.
For planning and convening the Energy Transition 2050 Conference in Chicago.
Madison, WI $100,000
1 yr. 2007

Energy Foundation
For continued support of a fund used to underwrite smaller-scale efforts to contest the licensing of conventional coal plants in the Midwest.
San Francisco, CA$100,000
1 yr. 2007

Energy Foundation
To support smaller-scale efforts to contest the licensing of conventional coal plants in the Midwest.
San Francisco, CA$100,000
1 year 2006

Great Plains Institute for Sustainable Development
To support the efforts of its Coal Gasification Working Group.
Minneapolis, MN $437,500
21 mos. 2006

Great Plains Institute for Sustainable Development Inc.
To brief Midwest lawmakers and regulators about how advanced coal technologies are currently deployed in Europe and encourage their support for similar adoption here.
Minneapolis, MN $99,400
1 yr. 2007

Illinois Environmental Council Education Fund
To continue organizing support for the Great Lakes compact and clean energy policies in Illinois, and to broaden and strengthen its coalition.
Springfield, IL $175,000
2 yrs. 2007

Izaak Walton League of America Inc.
To continue to encourage the deployment of advanced coal generation in Minnesota and to promote policies that enable and encourage carbon capture and storage.
St. Paul, MN $350,000
2 yrs. 2007

Izaak Walton League of America Inc.
To support intervention in the licensing hearings for the Big Stone II power plant in South Dakota and Minnesota.
St. Paul, MN $300,000
1 year 2006

Michigan Environmental Council
To persuade regulators, utilities and power plant developers in Michigan that any new coal plants should be able to use the latest technologies for capturing and storing carbon emissions.
Lansing, MI $87,500
21 mos. 2006

Minnesotans for An Energy Efficient Economy
To establish a media center to provide communications tools and services to regional and national organizations working on energy issues.
St. Paul, MN $300,000
2 yrs. 2007

National Wildlife Federation
To build support in Indiana and Michigan for coal gasification as an alternative toconventional coal-burning power plants. Indiana Wildlife Federation and Michigan United Conservation Clubs would be partners in this effort.
Reston, VA $122,700
21 mos. 2006

Natural Resources Defense Council Inc.
For its efforts to oppose the construction of new conventional coal plants and promote alternative plants using coal gasification with carbon sequestration.
New York, NY $437,500
21 mos. 2006

Ohio Environmental Council
To support its ongoing efforts to promote Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle in Ohio and to oppose the permitting of a conventional coal plant proposed by AMP-Ohio, a municipal utility consortium.
Columbus, OH $113,750
21 mos. 2006

Resources for the Future Inc.
To conduct a quantitative assessment of the risks to shareholders and electric utility ratepayers of investing in various coal combustion technologies.
Washington, DC $75,000
1 year 2006

Rockefeller Family Fund
To support the Renewable Energy Alignment Mapping Project.
New York $50,000
1 yr. 20007

Rockefeller Family Fund
To support ongoing coal advocacy activities of the Renewable Energy Alignment Mapping Project.
New York, NY $50,000
1 year 2006

University of Wisconsin-Madison Center on Wisconsin Strategy
To build support among labor leaders in Wisconsin and other Midwest states for coal gasification as an alternative to conventional coal power plants.
Madison $175,000
21 mos. 2006

Where do they get these ideas? Well, they certainly are investing where their money is, both ways.

Try this doozy of a report, “The Sure Way to get Entrenched in Coal” or “How to Live in Coal Denial.” It’s enough to gag a polar bear:

Design to Win: Philanthropy’s Role in the Fight Against Global Warming

Once more with feeling… pass the barf bag!

A cohort has also been looking at these counterproductive “investments” to further coal, and his take:

Related to the issue of how foundations are responding to coal, the study “Design to Win: Philanthropy’s Role in the Fight Against Global Warming” is well worth reading. It was sponsored by a number of key foundations: Oak, Energy, Packard, Doris Duke, Google, Joyce, and Hewlett. Advisors: Hawkins, Socolow, and many other prominent figures. Authors: California Environment Associates and Stockholm Environment Institute. Some of the central analysis on coal is plain ridiculous. For example, one of its three key strategies for “dethroning king coal” is this: “Minimize the need for coal-fired power plants by encouraging upgrades in existing coal plants with ultra/supercritial technologyies and accelerating the retirement of older, less efficient plants.” (This is the rationale for building power plants like Tata Ultra Mega.)

There’s this text on CCS, which I find astonishing in its unfounded optimism about CCS becoming a big factor within the next two decades and its unfounded pessimism about other measures like solar, wind, and efficiency improvements being significant in the same time period:

“Even under the sunniest scenarios, efficiency gains and expanded use of alternative energy sources won’t displace enough coal in the next two decades to forestall catastrophic climate change, so we must find a way to separate CO2 emissions from coal plants and store them beneath the earth.”

I think the truth of the matter is the exact opposite. Efficiency is our big hope, not CCS. On CCS, Greenpeace and EPRI agree that the onset of commercial application will be in the post-2020 timeframe. And everybody agrees (as demonstrated by the dramatic decline in per capita electricity use in California compared to the US as a whole as a result of straightforward state and utility programs over the past twenty years) that if there is one thing that really could put a huge dent in coal beginning right away, it’s efficiency gains. Why did the eminently qualified authors of this study poo-poo efficiency and alternatives and instead throw their hopes into CCS?

If you look at the actual giving of the big foundations, I think you’ll find them to be right in line with these priorities, which I think are misguided.

In his 4/14/08 letter to Nevada Governor Gibbons, James Hansen writes: “… the point is this: oil will not determine future climate change. Coal will.” It’s important that the strategy on coal emphasize the right way forward: nothing less than a deliberate, orderly phase down of all coal plants in the next twenty years. Foundations should set this as a clear goal, not holding out false hopes for near-term CCS or nonsensical “upgrading” to “supercritical” or other more efficient technologies. Those things amount to distractions at best and fig leafs for continued power plants building at worst. They should not be the goal of philanthropy.

One Response to “Joyce Foundation gets $$$$ and gives $$$$”

  1. Legalectric » Blog Archive » Let Mesaba go… Says:

    […] fears mount about global warming, environmental advocates like the Clean Air Task Force and the Natural Resources Defense Council support the timely and widespread commercialization of IGCC technology. From a global perspective, […]

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