WASHINGTON Donald Trump’s promise to gut U.S. environmental regulations and revive the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline if elected president is a nightmare for green groups, but it may be a dream come true for their fund-raisers.
The country’s biggest environmental groups say the Republican White House hopeful’s pro-drilling and anti-global warming positions have sparked a record wave of donations and volunteer recruitment that could revitalize U.S. green advocacy.
Trump has said he would revive the coal industry, pull the United States out of a global climate pact and expand oil drilling.
“We couldn’t have asked for a more powerful motivator than Donald Trump,” Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune said.
Brune said a spring email blast about the New York businessman to the San Francisco-based group’s members yielded $25,000 in donations, more than twice as much as projected, along with 15,000 new volunteers.
The club’s Political Committee, which works directly on projects to engage voters during the election, has raised more than $62,000 this year, compared with just $22,000 at this point in the 2012 election, according to the filings with the Federal Election Commission.
The Washington-based League of Conservation Voters has also gotten a boost. Officials said its annual fund-raising dinner this week pulled in a record haul, which they would not disclose, after the group also used Trump as a focal point of its donor outreach.