According to the NY Daily News, the Donald J. Trump Foundation gave $5,000 to Protect Our Winters in 2014, despite his claims that climate change is a “hoax.” This donation was recorded through tax records, which is a surprising entry in the tax forms of the Republican businessman’s nonprofit foundation. Trump has repeatedly stated that climate change and environmental management isn’t a large priority for him if he succeeds in his bid to become the next U.S. president.
“All joking aside, we are actually the perfect climate organization for Trump to support because it’s about how we protect the business of winter,” says Auden Schendler, chairman of POW’s board of directors and vice president of sustainability at the Aspen Skiing Company.
The donation followed a request from 2014 Olympic snowboarding champion Jamie Anderson, who is affiliated with the group. Jamie won a gold medal at the Sochi Games, after doing so, she was a contestant on Trump’s reality game show, “Celebrity Apprentice.” When she was “fired,” Jamie asked Trump to make a donation to Protect Our Winters, which he later did. The National Ski Areas Association has identified climate change as a potential threat to the industry, which has prompted POW to raise awareness about the environmental issues.
“Dear Jamie, I am pleased to enclose a check for the amount of $5,000 made payable to Protect Our Winters for your great work on The Apprentice,” Trump wrote in the Sept. 4, 2014, letter. In a handwritten postscript he wrote: “YOU ARE GREAT!”
Protect Our Winters, which is an organization that was founded in 2007 by snowboarding pioneer Jeremy Jones, is a nonpartisan group that collected $578,571 in total revenue in 2014. The group has spoken out about how the winter tourism industry supports more than 900,000 jobs and creates $66 billion in economic revenue. Temperatures have risen about 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit since the 19th century, and oceans are rising at a rate that could be catastrophic by the end of the current century. Protect Our Winters is working towards saving an incredible industry that we all love, so awareness needs to be raised and precautionary measures must be taken to protect the environment.
“Donald Trump calling climate change a hoax doesn’t really surprise us at all. He’s running for president, but has a climate platform that’s inconsistent with the belief of the majority of Americans,” says POW executive director Chris Steinkamp.