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House committees to investigate NPR over ‘viewpoint discrimination’

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(The Center Square) – U.S. House committees are investigating “ideological bias” of National Public Radio (NPR), a nonprofit news organization established by Congress and partially funded by taxpayers.

NPR has come under fire after its former editor Uri Berliner said it had “lost America’s trust” and criticized NPR’s Chief Executive Officer, Katherine Maher, for her focus on combating “misinformation” and reportedly criticizing the First Amendment.

Maher, who is connected to several global economic organizations, including the World Bank and World Economic Forum, has donated solely to Democratic political candidates, The Center Square first reported.

The House investigation is being spearheaded by House Energy and Commerce Committee chair Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-WA, and Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Chair Morgan Griffith, R-VA. An oversight hearing is scheduled for Wednesday to examine NPR’s alleged “viewpoint discrimination.”

“NPR is entrusted with Americans’ hard-earned tax dollars. Serious allegations from a then-senior editor who spent decades at NPR reveal NPR engages in viewpoint discrimination and ideological bias that caters to a narrow, leftwing audience,” Rodgers and Griffith said in a joint statement. Citing a list of allegations, they said they “are deeply troubling and merit congressional investigation.”

NPR is funded by taxpayer money and donations from the general public and large philanthropic organizations, including the Rockefeller Foundation. The Rockefeller Foundation has funded advocacy efforts for years related to “green energy,” “global warming” and now “climate change,” most recently dedicating $1 billion “to advance people-centered climate action.” This includes funding several news outlets’ climate desks, including NPR’s, as stated on its funds’ various websites.

The foundation’s efforts were instrumental in pressuring President Joe Biden’s directive to halt new permits for liquified natural gas exports, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The Biden administration did so at a time when US LNG exports, led by Texas, have provided a lifeline to European allies that were previously depended on Russian oil, The Center Square exclusively reported. Natural gas has proven to be one of the cleanest energy sources and most reliable, with 2023 being a record year for domestic natural gas consumption, made possible by Texas production, The Center Square reported.

The Rockefeller Foundation was one of NPR’s founding donors helping its “Climate Desk” to launch in 2022 “to do stories that shape the national conversation on climate change,” it said. NPR claims, “climate related weather disasters are upending the way people live from China to California, from Pakistan to Florida. These extreme events have caused a global food crisis, the rise of new diseases and the displacement of millions of people.”

Initial climate reporters were funded by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and the Rockefeller Foundation, NPR said. From Oct. 1, 2022, through June 30, 2024, the Rockefeller Foundation donated $500,000 to NPR for its “climate change news.”

“Charities controlled by members of the Rockefeller family and billionaire donors were key funders of a successful campaign to pressure President Biden to pause new approvals of liquefied natural gas exports from the U.S.”, the Journal reported. The funds it refers to include the Rockefeller Family Fund (RFF) founded by John D. Rockefeller’s great-grandchildren, and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, founded by his five sons.

John D. Rockefeller founded Standard Oil in 1870, building his wealth in kerosene and gasoline to become the first billionaire in America and the wealthiest person in the country. By 1880, Standard Oil controlled 90% of the oil produced in the U.S., CNN Business reported. “Rockefeller’s estimated $1.4 billion net worth in 1937 was equivalent to 1.5% of U.S. GDP. According to this metric he was (and still is) the richest individual in American business and economic history,” according to Harvard Business School.

In 2018, the RFF created the Funder Collaborative on Oil and Gas, explaining its efforts to prioritize opposing coal and help “groups that are fighting the development of oil, gas, plastics, and petrochemicals infrastructure.”

Its goal is to curtail U.S. oil and gas production and prevent development “of massive new domestic infrastructure” as “an urgent and necessary part of solving the climate crisis.” It stated core purpose “is to limit ongoing oil and gas production; prevent the lock-in of GHG-emissions for new and expanded oil, gas, and petrochemical infrastructure; and weaken the industry’s financial standing and political influence.”

The RFF, through the FCOG, finances numerous groups “to enact aggressive policies at the state and national levels to reduce carbon emissions; disrupt the life cycle of fossil fuels from drilling and mining to transportation and exporting,” among other actions.

Dozens of NPR articles share a common theme in highlighting natural gas plant pollution, its harm to the environment and its effect on climate change. Regularly cited sources also appear to work for advocacy groups funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, including the Environmental Integrity Project. Many articles claim industrial air pollution from oil and natural gas companies is already, or will in the future, primarily negatively impact low-income, black neighborhoods.

The Gulf Coast environment primarily in the oil and gas producing states of Texas and Louisiana would suffer, especially if more LNG export facilities are built, NPR-affiliated authors wrote. In one report, it warns, “Soon more natural vistas here could be lost,” referring to Cameron Parish, Louisiana, a major oil and natural gas hub. It also solely interviewed opponents of LNG plants in the parish, reporting that after the U.S. became the top LNG exporter, “as the industry has grown, so has opposition.”

In other articles, NPR posits that tax credits helped fund union workers’ six-figure salaries and water pollution allegedly created by oil and gas companies created racial inequities.

NPR also claims Biden’s LNG permit ban “doesn’t affect more than a dozen plants that are already operating, or that are under construction or have received permits. Nor will it halt the export of gas.”

It also reported LNG exports “drove up utility bills for citizens,” a claim refuted by federal data, The Center Square first reported.

NPR also claimed, “oil field flaring emits five times more methane than expected,” when data from the World Bank, EIA, EPA and other agencies found that natural gas companies in the Permian Basin produce some of the cleanest natural gas in the world, The Center Square first reported. As natural gas production and LNG exports exponentially increased, Texas producers also led the United States in emissions reductions, the data shows.

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