The Texas Public Policy Foundation was established in 1989 by wealthy Texans to promote charter schools. The charter lobby in Texas has succeeded beyond its wildest dreams in writing laws that favor the expansion of charter chains and shield them from accountability. Although it still pushes charter schools, the TPPF has turned its attention to fighting anything that threatens the dominance of the fossil fuel industry. The New York Times published a major exposé of the organization, its goals, and its funders: the oil and gas industry

When a lawsuit was filed to block the nation’s first major offshore wind farm off the Massachusetts coast, it appeared to be a straightforward clash between those who earn their living from the sea and others who would install turbines and underwater cables that could interfere with the harvesting of squid, fluke and other fish.

The fishing companies challenging federal permits for the Vineyard Wind project were from the Bay State as well as Rhode Island and New York, and a video made by the opponents featured a bearded fisherman with a distinct New England accent.

But the financial muscle behind the fight originated thousands of miles from the Atlantic Ocean, in dusty oil country. The group bankrolling the lawsuit filed last year was the Texas Public Policy Foundation, an Austin-based nonprofit organization backed by oil and gas companies and Republican donors.

With influence campaigns, legal action and model legislation, the group is promoting fossil fuels and trying to stall the American economy’s transition toward renewable energy. It is upfront about its opposition to Vineyard Wind and other renewable energy projects, making no apologies for its advocacy work….

In Arizona, the Texas Public Policy Foundation campaigned to keep open one of the biggest coal-fired power plants in the West. In Colorado, it called for looser restrictions on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. And in Texas, the group crafted the first so-called “energy boycott” law to punish financial institutions that want to scale back their investments in fossil fuel projects, legislation adopted by four other states.

At the same time, the Texas Public Policy Foundation has spread misinformation about climate science. With YouTube videos, regular appearances on Fox and Friends, and social media campaigns, the group’s executives have sought to convince lawmakers and the public that a transition away from oil, gas and coal would harm Americans.

They have frequently seized on current events to promote dubious narratives, pinning high gasoline prices on President Biden’s climate policies (economists say that’s not the driver) or claiming the 2021 winter blackout in Texas was the result of unreliable wind energy (it wasn’t).

They travel the nation encouraging state lawmakers to punish companies that try to reduce carbon emissions. And through an initiative called Life:Powered, the group makes what it calls “the moral case for fossil fuels,” which holds that American prosperity is rooted in an economy based on oil, gas and coal and that poor communities and developing nations deserve the same opportunities to grow….

James Leininger, who earned a fortune selling medical beds, founded Texas Public Policy Foundation in 1989 to promote charter schools. As it evolved, the organization embraced other causes including criminal justice, immigration, border security, taxes, and energy.

Mr. Leininger bankrolled Rick Perry’s successful gubernatorial campaign in 2000, and Mr. Perry reciprocated by donating the proceeds of his 2010 book, “Fed Up! Our Fight to Save America from Washington,” to the group. Other wealthy conservative donors began writing checks, including Tim Dunn, an oilman who is the vice chairman of the board.

Billionaire Tim Dunn is a major supporter of charters and vouchers. He is an evangelical Christian who wants students to have a Christian education. According to CNN, Dunn and his pal, fellow billionaire Farris Wilks, are focused on transforming education: “their ultimate goal is to replace public education with private, Christian schooling.”

When President Donald J. Trump tapped Mr. Perry in 2017 to serve as energy secretary, the group followed him to Washington, opening an office there and placing several senior officials inside the administration.

Mr. Trump nominated Kathleen Hartnett White, a fellow at the foundation, to lead the Council on Environmental Quality. Ms. White, who had once described believing in global warming as “a kind of paganism,” stumbled at a confirmation hearing, and the White House withdrew her nomination.

Susan Combs, another fellow at the group, became acting assistant secretary of fish, wildlife and parks at the Department of the Interior. Brooke Rollins, chief executive of the foundation, went to work at the White House.

Bernard McNamee, a onetime policy adviser to Senator Ted Cruz, the Texas Republican, joined the Department of Energy under Mr. Perry, then left for the Texas Public Policy Foundation, only to return to the Trump administration after a few months. Mr. McNamee is now a lawyerwho advises fossil fuel companies.

Douglas W. Domenech, who ran the foundation’s efforts to block the Obama administration from regulating emissions from power plants, became assistant secretary at the interior department. He was later found to have violated federal ethics rules by meeting with foundation officials, creating the appearance that he was working on behalf of a former employer.

As the organization’s profile grew, donations ballooned from $4.7 million in 2010 to $25.6 million in 2021, the most recent year for which records are available. That allowed the group to expand its mandate far beyond the Lone Star state.

The story says that the TPPF is not required to reveal the names of its donors.

But publicly available tax filings show that the group has received money from fossil fuel companies including the coal giant Peabody Energy, Exxon Mobil and Chevron.

The foundation has also received at least $4 million from conservative donors including Charles G. Koch and David H. Koch, according to public filings. Koch Industries owns oil refineries, petrochemical plants and thousands of miles of oil and gas pipelines, and the brothers have a long history of funding efforts to block climate action.