Reality Check

NRDC Has Never Accepted Money from Russian Gas Interests

NRDC has never accepted financial support from Russian gas interests through Sea Change International or any other source. These accusations are pure conspiracy theory with no basis in reality.

These are the facts:

  • Sea Change Foundation International is one of the largest environmental philanthropies in the world. Through grants to groups like NRDC, Sea Change helps lead the fight against climate change and supports many efforts to protect our planet.
  • Sea Change and its predecessor, Klein Ltd., derive all their funds from a single family, the Simons, who are one of America’s great philanthropic stories. According to Sea Change’s co-director, Nat Simons, “neither Klein nor Sea Change Foundation has ever solicited or accepted contributions from non-family-related sources.”
  • The accusation that Sea Change received donations from Russia was fabricated by an anti-environment front group run by Berman and Company, a communications firm best known for peddling misinformation about the risks of smoking and attacking groups like Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
  • Independent third parties, including the leading foundations watchdog Inside Philanthropy, and national news outlets, such as Politico and Washington Post, have reviewed and rejected Berman’s conspiracy theory about Russian funds flowing to NRDC and other U.S. environmental groups.

We have profound differences with Richard Berman and the politicians who are helping him spread lies. We believe in climate change. We believe in clean air. And we believe in a smart energy policy based on renewable energy sources. And we believe in fighting clean, by relying on evidence, facts, and science—not conspiracy theories.

Similar accusations based on false misinformation have been floated about Chinese influence, a narrative we also reject.