The oily echo machine behind "climategate"

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The most vocal organizations around the University of East Anglia hacked email story (aka. “climategate”) have been involved in a decade-plus campaign to delay action on climate change.

The goal of this campaign, which began around the time of the first Kyoto Protocol negotiations, was to assemble a group of like-minded “free-market” think tanks and pseudo-experts that would bring into question the scientific realities of climate change, create doubt with the public and politicians and effectively delay the introduction of clean energy policy in the United States.

It’s no coincidence that the groups pushing this story the hardest have a long history of taking money from oil and coal companies to attack the conclusions made by climate scientists.

What I wouldn’t do to have a few of these organizations private emails over the years!

Here’s a few of the groups I’m talking about and a very brief background on their previous activities, as well as funding sources:

Center for a Constructive Tomorrow: owns and operate ClimateDepot.com, which has been a main clearinghouse for the right-wing climategate echo chamber. ClimateDepot.com is managed by Marc Morano, former aide to Republican Senator James Inhofe. CFACT has received grants from Exxon Mobil, Chevron, and well-known right-wing foundations like the Carthage Foundation and the Sarah Scaife Foundation.

American Enterprise Institute: Offered to pay “experts” $10,000 to write papers that countered the IPCC reports. AEI has received close to half a million from oil-giant ExxonMobil, former Exxon Chairman Lee Raymond sits on AEI’s board of directors.

Media Research Center: run by Brett Bozell, this group also operates the popular right-wing blog, Newsbusters.org. The Media Research Center has received over $257,000 from oil-giant ExxonMobil since 1998.

Cato Institute: Is the main front group for the most prolific climate denier, Patrick Michaels. Cato is the second largest recipient of funding the foundations run by Koch Industries Inc. (the largest private energy company in the United States).

Heartland Institute: Organizes a “denier conference” every year for the past three years. Used to receive funding from ExxonMobil, still recieve grants from tobacco companies and are also a major recipient of grants from the foundations run by Koch Industries Inc. (the largest private energy company in the United States).

Heritage Foundation: Heritage is massive and operates on about $50 million a year. They have received significant funding from ExxonMobil, Koch Industries and other fossil fuel companies.

National Center for Policy Analysis: the NCPA is a small, but very vocal Dallas, Texas-based freemarket think tank and has received over $540,900 from oil giant ExxonMobil since 1998.

Competitive Enterprise Institute: The CEI is well-known for its public efforts to aggressively counter the scientific evidence for human-induced climate change, especially after their infamous set of television ads with the tag lineC02, We Call it Life.” Since 1998, the CEI has received over $2 million in funding from oil-giant ExxonMobil.

While these are some of the most vocal, there are more. So please leave a comment below if you think there’s anyone else who should be added to this list and we’ll do the research.

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