Leaked memo claims that GM, Ford financed pro-CO2 ad campaign

Leaked memo claims that GM, Ford financed pro-CO2 ad campaign
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A leaked coal industry memo claims that General Motors and Ford are behind a controversial climate change-denial adBusted campaign currently being run by the the libertarian lobby group the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

(Both Ford and GM now deny this claim – see the comment string that follows.)

The DeSmogBlog team has received a copy of a leaked July 17, 2006 memo written by Stanley Lewandowski, General Manager of the Intermountain Rural Electric Association (IREA). The memo states: 

“The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) has been running two ads in ten states that were financed by General Motors and Ford Motor Company.”

The memo goes on to outline a plan for a well-funded and well-organized PR campaign sponsored by some of the US‘s largest energy interests, such as Koch Industries and the Southern Company. The campaigners aim to undermine the scientific consensus on climate change in an attempt stifle an initiative by Democratic Congressmen to tax and cap carbon emissions.

The CEI, which has accepted millions in funding from fossil fuel interests, recently launched two commercials arguing that the build-up of the greenhouse gas C02 is good for us. (“They call it pollution; we call it life.”)

The commercials, which currently air in 14 US states, fly in the face of the scientific consensus that human CO2 production is causing global warming.

This memo (attached) flies in the face of the usual CEI claim that it is an impartial think tank and not a de facto PR agency in the direct employ of those who benefit from irresponsible overuse of fossil fuels.

Leaked memo claims that GM, Ford financed pro-CO2 ad campaign

Kevin is a contributor and strategic adviser to DeSmogBlog.

He runs the digital marketing agency Spake Media House. Named a “Green Hero” by Rolling Stone Magazine and one of the “Top 50 Tweeters” on climate change and environment issues, Kevin has appeared in major news media outlets around the world for his work on digital campaigning.

Kevin has been involved in the public policy arena in both the United States and Canada for more than a decade. For five years he was the managing editor of DeSmogBlog.com. In this role, Kevin’s research into the “climate denial industry” and the right-wing think tank networks was featured in news media articles around the world. He is most well known for his ground-breaking research into David and Charles Koch’s massive financial investments in the Republican and tea party networks.

Kevin is the first person to be designated a “Certified Expert” on the political and community organizing platform NationBuilder.

Prior to DeSmogBlog, Kevin worked in various political and government roles. He was Senior Advisor to the Minister of State for Multiculturalism and a Special Assistant to the Minister of State for Asia Pacific, Foreign Affairs for the Government of Canada. Kevin also worked in various roles in the British Columbia provincial government in the Office of the Premier and the Ministry of Health.

In 2008 Kevin co-founded a groundbreaking new online election tool called Vote for Environment which was later nominated for a World Summit Award in recognition of the world’s best e-Content and innovative ICT applications.

Kevin moved to Washington, DC in 2010 where he worked for two years as the Director of Online Strategy for Greenpeace USA and has since returned to his hometown of Vancouver, Canada.

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