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Big Green is a profitable enterprise

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“Do you have a minute to save the planet?”
Perhaps you've been asked this question recently on some Washington sidewalk by a young twenty-something. But where do you suppose the money goes if you accept his sales-pitch and make a financial pledge to his organization or one like it?
One possible destination for your cash: huge salaries for top environmental non-profit executives.
The chart below lists only the top beneficiaries of the Green non-profit culture. Among the honorable mentions is former Clerk of the House Jeffrey Trandahl, who made a mere $270,000 at the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation in 2007. For the purpose of comparison, Fred Smith of the pro-business Competitive Enterprise institute, which deals mostly with envirnomental issues as well, makes just over $200,000.

The ten top-paid environmental executives

NameOrganizationPositionSalaryRetirement Plan/Deferred CompensationTotal
Frederic KruppEnvironmental Defense Fund, Inc.President$446,072.00$50,102.00$496,174.00
Carter RobertsWorld Wildlife FundPresident$439,327.00$47,067.00$486,394.00
Frances BeineckeNatural Resources Defense CouncilPresident$357,651.00$75,308.00$432,959.00
David YarnoldEnvironmental Defense Fund, Inc.Executive Director$323,801.00$41,972.00$365,773.00
David FestaEnvironmental Defense Fund, Inc.VP West Coast$325,559.00$35,313.00$360,872.00
Stephanie K. MeeksNature ConservancyActing President$318,507.00$30,866.00$349,373.00
Larry SchweigerNational Wildlife FederationPresident$309,579.00$35,425.00$345,004.00
Eileen ClaussenPew Center on Global Climate ChangePresident$311,500.00$23,599.00$335,099.00
Rodger SchlickeisenDefenders of WildlifePresident$254,947.00$57,949.00$312,896.00
William MeadowsThe Wilderness SocietyPresident$289,750.00$18,715.00$308,465.00

Source: IRS, 2007 data.

— With Amanda Kruse

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