President Obama’s recent decision to deny a permit for the Keystone XL oil pipeline was widely hailed on the environmental left. Particularly exuberant was the Rockefeller Brothers Fund (RBF), which declared on its website that the decision came “against great political odds and the deep-pocketed backing of the oil industry.” The specter of oil industry money and its nefarious influence on politics was a familiar environmental talking point. What the fund did not acknowledge was that its own deep-pocketed backing for environmental groups had a far more decisive impact on Obama’s decision to cancel the pipeline project.

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