100 letters sent to unearth extent of climate denial-for-hire programs
WASHINGTON (February 25, 2015) – Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) today sent letters to 100 fossil fuel companies, trade groups, and other organizations to determine whether they are funding scientific studies designed to confuse the public and avoid taking action to cut carbon pollution, and whether the funded scientists fail to disclose the sources of their funding in scientific publications or in testimony to legislators.
This investigation follows the revelations regarding one of the chief climate denial researchers, Wei-Hock “Willie” Soon, from documents released by Greenpeace showing that Soon received more than $1 million from ExxonMobil, Southern Company, and others to produce what he termed “deliverables” to push back on climate science or carbon-cutting policies in papers or Congressional testimony. Soon did not disclose this funding to peer-reviewed scientific journals that require such disclosure.
The letters from Senators Markey, Boxer and Whitehouse ask the companies and other organizations about any funded research efforts related to climate change and the wide range of related issues over the last ten years. The letters also ask for the names of researchers, whether restrictions or terms were put on the requests, and results from the agreements including any publications or other materials.
“For years we’ve known that fossil fuel interests have sought to block action on climate change and have denied the science. This investigation will help to determine who is funding these denial-for-hire operations and whether those who are funded by these fossil fuel interests are keeping their funders’ identities secret from the public and legislators,” said Senator Markey, Ranking Member of the Superfund, Waste Management, and Regulatory Oversight Subcommittee on the Environment and Public Works Committee. “Corporate special interests shouldn’t be able to secretly peddle the best junk science money can buy.”
“We’ve known for many years that the tobacco industry supported phony science claiming that smoking does not cause cancer. Now it’s time for the fossil fuel industry to come clean about funding climate change deniers,” said Senator Boxer, Ranking Member of the Environment and Public Works Committee.
“The news about Willie Soon is further confirmation that the fossil fuel industry has taken a page out of the tobacco playbook by bankrolling scientists to cast false doubt on the existence of climate change,” said Senator Whitehouse, Ranking Member of the Fisheries, Wildlife and Water Subcommittee on the Environment and Public Works Committee. “The American people deserve to know more about this self-serving effort to distort the facts and prevent action on this issue, and I hope these letters will help.”
An example of one of the 100 letters sent is available HERE and a full list of recipients is included below.
The three Senators ask for answers to be given by April 3, 2015.
Full list of recipients:
ACCCE (American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity)
Alliance Resource Operating Partners LP
Alpha Natural Resources LLC
American Coal Foundation
American Energy Alliance
American Enterprise Institute
American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers
American Gas Association
American Legislative Exchange Council
Americans for Prosperity Foundation
America's Natural Gas Alliance: ANGA
Anadarko Petroleum Corporation
API (American Petroleum Institute)
Arch Coal Inc.
Armstrong Energy Inc.
Atlas Network (previously Atlas Economic Research Foundation)
Boich Group LLC
Bowie Resource Holdings LLC
Chamber of Commerce of the USA
Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation
Chesapeake Energy Corporation
Cloud Peak Energy
CNOOC (Nexen Petroleum U.S.A. Inc.)
Competitive Enterprise Institute
CONSOL Energy Inc.
Continental Resources Inc.
Denbury Resources, Inc.
Devon Energy Corporation
Ecopetrol America Inc
Edison Electric Institute
Energy Future Holdings Corp
Eni U.S. Operating Co.
EOG Resources, Inc.
Exxon Mobil Corporation
George C Marshall Institute
Hallador Energy Co
Independent Petroleum Association of America
Institute for Energy Research (IER)
John Locke Foundation
John Williams Pope Foundation
Linn Energy, LLC
Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation
Manhattan Institute for Policy Research
Marathon Oil Corporation
Murphy Oil Corporation
Murray Energy Corp
NACCO Industries Inc.
National Association of Manufacturers
National Mining Association
National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA)
National Rural Electric Cooperative Association
Noble Energy Inc.
Occidental Petroleum Corporation
Patriot Coal Corp
Peabody Energy Corp
Peter Kiewit Sons Inc.
Petrobras America Inc.
Pioneer Natural Resources Company
PSEG Public Service Enterprise
Rio Tinto Group
Searle Freedom Trust
The Heartland Institute
The Heritage Foundation
Walter Energy Inc.
Western Fuels Association Inc.
Westmoreland Coal Co
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Corporate special interests shouldn’t secretly peddle the best junk science $ can buy #climate http://t.co/vIaplUUuSa pic.twitter.com/PdLFG8I52c— Ed Markey (@SenMarkey) February 25, 2015