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Youth Summit at Aquinas on the Great Lakes sponsored by worst environmental polluters

July 21, 2012

Yesterday, MLive ran a short article about an upcoming Youth Summit being held at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids.

The article states that the focus of the summit is on the “Great Lakes Water Resources,” and that the student participants will, “examine the many competing demands for Great Lakes waters and create sustainable solutions for the future health and vitality of this precious natural resource.”

The Youth Summit is being put on by a group known as, The Keystone Center, which the MLive article provides a hyperlink to. However, the MLive reporter offers no description of The Keystone Center only to say that it brings together public and private partners.

The Keystone Center is dominated by corporations on both their board and on every advisory members group they have for each area of their work. For instance, the Field to Market project is centered around agriculture, but is dominated by corporations such as Cargill, Monsanto, Bayer CropScience, DuPont and Coca Cola.

The Keystone Center has a Biotechnology Advisory Board, a Green Products Roundtable and a Surface Mining in Appalachia project. Their Energy program is also stocked with corporate board members, from such eco-friendly entities such as Shell, Pacific Gas & Electric Company, Duke Energy Corporation, the American Petroleum Institute (lobbying group for big oil) and the Nuclear Energy Institute (lobbying wing of the nuclear industry).

The list of board members for all of their projects don’t exactly inspire tremendous environmental optimism. When looking at the organizations sponsoring the Youth Policy Summits, it is like a who’s who of anti-environmental corporations. This list includes The Altria Group (formerly Phillip Morris), the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, Coca Cola, Cargill, ConAgra, Dow Chemical, DTE Energy, GM, Merck, Shell, Verizon and WalMart.

One can only imagine the kind of information that students will get at the Youth Summit. It seems clear that The Keystone Center is nothing more than a front group for corporate America, with a mission to influence young minds on how “Green” the member corporations are.

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