Atlantic Legal Foundation

Atlantic Legal Foundation (ALF)


The Atlantic Legal Foundation (ALF) is a non-profit law firm established in 1977 with the mission of “advocating limited and efficient government, free enterprise, individual liberty, school choice and sound science.” [1]

ALF provides legal services pro bono to individuals, corporations, and trade associations. The organization focuses its operations on issues affecting free enterprise and on “limited constitutional government.” [1]

While ALF acknowledges that climate change is a real issue, the organization has opposed the EPA in court on topics such as the clean water act and the regulation of automobiles’ CO2 emissions[2][25][6]

Among the organization’s more prominent members is A. Alan MoghissiAccording to an article at PR Watch, Moghissi characterizes environmentalism as a belief that “members of endangered species deserve protection and that, because there are billions of humans, humanity does not qualify for protection.” [27]

Moghissi also supports, or is a member of, organizations that question the existence of man-made climate change, including the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change and the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow[28]

Rodney W. Nichols is another prominent ALF member with a history of questioning the existence of man-made climate change. Nichols is affiliated with various organizations that promote climate science contrarianism, such as the CO2 Coalition and the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research[29]

In February 2016, Nichols co-authored a New York Post article that included the following quote: [30]

The war on fossil fuels isn’t based on science but on unreliable climate models. Rather than trying to correct the models, Team Obama is trying to ‘dispute the science’ by trying to manufacture scary warming trends.”

ALF includes programs in the following areas:

Stance on Climate Change

In an Amicus Brief filed on October 25, 2006, the ALF expressed the following in a footnote: “There is no doubt that CO2 levels in the atmosphere have risen faster than at any time in history and there is little doubt that the average world temperature has been increasing, probably as a consequence.” [2]


The following totals are based on original research of public 990 tax forms by DeSmog, combined with archived data from the Conservative Transparency project summarizing ALF‘s funding from 1985 onwards. Note that not all individual funding values have been verified by DeSmog. [7]

View the attached spreadsheet for details on Atlantic Legal Foundation’s Funding by year (.xlsx).

Sarah Scaife Foundation$2,530,000
F.M. Kirby Foundation$652,500
Jaquelin Hume Foundation$300,000
John M. Olin Foundation$210,000
Castle Rock Foundation$80,000
The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation$75,000
Exxon Mobil$30,000
Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation$20,000
Philip M. McKenna Foundation$19,000
ExxonMobil Foundation$9,000
Joyce and Donald Rumsfeld Foundation$4,500
Grand Total$3,930,100

Other Donors

According to ExxonSecrets, ALF has also received funding from large corporations such as ASARCO, ARCO Chemical Co, Chevron, DuPont, Pfizer, and Texaco.  [4]

990 Forms

Key People

Board of Directors

Andrea E. Utecht    Y    Board of Directors
Augustus I. duPont YYYYYYYYYSecretary (2012 to present)
Carol A. Casazza HermanY        Board of Directors
Charles R. WorkYYYYYYYY Board of Directors, Former Secretary
Clifford B. StormsYYYYYYYY Board of Directors
David E. Wood  YYYYYYYTreasurer (2011 to present)
Donald M. GrayYYYYYYYY Board of Directors
Douglas FosterYYYYYYYYYVice Chairman
Edwin L. LewisYYYYYYYY Board of Directors
Elia Weinbach Y        Board of Directors
Ernest B. Hueter YYY      Board of Directors
Ernest T. PatrikisYYYYYYYY Board of Directors
Francis B. Burch, Jr.Y        Board of Directors
Frank H. MenakerYYYYYYYY Board of Directors
Frank R. Jimenez    YYYYYBoard of Directors
Frederick SeitzY        Board of Directors
George S. FrazzaYYYYYYYYYBoard of Directors
Gregory J. Morrow   YYYYYY Board of Directors
Hayward D. FiskYYYYYYYYYChairman, Acting President (2016 to present)
James I. WyerYYYYYYYY Chairman Emeritus
Jay B. Stephens    YYYY Board of Directors
Jeffrey S. Sherman YYYYYYY Board of Directors
Joe G. Hollingsworth  YYYYYYYBoard of Directors
Marcy S. Cohen    YYYYYBoard of Directors
Nevin Sanli    YYYY Board of Directors
Nicolas Morgan       YY Board of Directors
Philip R. Sellinger YYYYYYYY Board of Directors
R. William IdeYYYYY    Board of Directors
Robert A. LonerganYYYYYYY  Board of Directors
Robert E. JuceamYYYYYYYYYBoard of Directors
Robert L. HaigYYYYYYYYYBoard of Directors
Stephen J. HarmelinYYYYYYYYYBoard of Directors, Former Treasurer
Thomas E. Birsic    YYYYYBoard of Directors
Thomas L. SagerYYYYYY   Board of Directors
Tracy A. Bacigalupo    YYYYYBoard of Directors
Victoria P. RostowYYYY     Board of Directors
Vincent A. Maffeo    YY   Board of Directors
William B. LyttonYYY      Board of Directors
William G. Primps  YYYYYYY Board of Directors
William GrahamYYYYYY   Board of Directors
William H. SlatteryYYYYYYYY President (until 2016)
William P. Cook    YYYYYBoard of Directors

Foundation Officers

Briscoe R. SmithYY  Senior Vice President and Counsel
Hayward D. Fisk  YYChairman; Acting President (2016 to present)
Martin S. KaufmanYYYYSenior Vice President and General Counsel
William H. SlatteryYY  President (until 2016)

Advisory Council

A. Alan MoghissiYYYYYYYYYY
A. F. Spilhaus, Jr. YYYYYYYYY
Adam OffenhartzYYYYYY    
Alan Charles RaulYYYYYYYYYY
Albert W. DriverYYYYYYYY  
Alfred L. FergusonY         
Arthur F. FergensonY         
Barry H. SmithY         
Briscoe R. Smith         YY
C. Thomas HarvieYYYYYYYY  
Charles M. ElsonYYYYYYY   
Charles W. Mooney, Jr.YYYYYYYYYY
David C. ApyYYYYYYY   
Dennis McBrideYYYYYYYY  
Frederick T. ElderYYYYYYYY  
George E. Ehrlich YYYYYYY   
Hamilton Osborne, Jr.YYYY      
Hayward D. Fisk        YY
Henry N. ButlerYYYYYYYY  
Hung CheungYYYYYYYY  
John H. CarleyYYYYYYYY  
John J. Calandra YYYYYY   
John KenneyYYYYYYYY  
Lance H. WilsonYYYY YYYYY
Michael S. Nadel      YYYY
Michael X. McBride  YYYYYY  
Patricia BufflerYYYYYYY   
Patrick Sheller       Y  
Paul C. Rooney, Jr.YYYYYYYYYY
Philip S. GuzelianY         
Prof. Charles M. Elson       Y  
Prof. Richard Wilson        YY
R. Edwin SeloverYYY       
Richard A. HauserYYYYYYYY  
Richard WilsonYYYY YYY  
Robert GoldYYYYYYYY  
Rodney W. NicholsYYYYYYYYYY
Roger S. KaplanYYYYYYYY  
Ronald E. GotsYYYYYYYY  
Sam Scott MillerYYYYY     
Stephen T. WhelanYYYYYYYYYY
Thomas R. GottshallYYYYYYYY  
Thor HalvorssenYYYYYY    
Victoria P. Rostow   YYYYYYY
William G. PrimpsYYYYY Y   


December 1, 2014

The ALF filed an amicus brief on behalf of a couple that purchased property in Connecticut who were mired in legal battles with the Army Corps Engineers over the portion of their land that is considered publicly-owned wetlands. The amicus brief was summarized on the ALF‘s site: [25]

“Our brief highlights and puts a human face on the barriers and frustrations faced by landowners whose property is deemed to contain jurisdictional wetlands by either the Army Corps of Engineers or the EPA.” [25]

November 25, 2014

The ALF filed extensive comments in which it critiqued the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rule titled “Waters of the United States Under the Clean Water Act, 79 Fed. Reg. 22188, et seq.”

The ALF included the following summary of its comments on its website: [26]

“The issue of federal wetlands jurisdiction is controversial because it enables two federal agencies, EPA and the Corps, which have concurrent Clean Water Act enforcement jurisdiction, to extensively and intensively regulate land use down to individual lots, and, in effect, to override local zoning and land use regulation and to use their permitting process to micro-manage development on private land throughout the country, even in areas that are not, at least in the common-sense meaning, wetlands.” [26]

“The Foundation’s comments on the Proposed Rule assert that EPAs proposed rule is unreasonably broad, rendering virtually all water bodies with few exceptions subject to the jurisdiction of the USACE and the EPA and that it conflicts with the more concrete and limited plurality test in Rapanos.” [26]

October 25, 2006 

The ALF filed an amicus brief (PDF), to the United States Supreme Court in Commonwealth of Massachusetts, et al. v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). [2][5]

Where states and environmental activist organizations were asking the court to order the EPA to regulate some greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act, ALF‘s brief argues that regulating automobiles’ CO2 emissions is not only ineffective in attempting to control global concentrations of “greenhouse gases,” but it also may have an economic cost that far exceeds alternatives. [6]

As of January 30, 2017, the main contact address was: [9]

500 Mamaroneck
Suite 320
Harrison, NY 10528 USA

(914) 834-3322


  1. About Us,” Atlantic Legal Foundation. Archived March 15, 2016. URL
  2. Amicus Brief (PDF) of COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS, ET AL., PETITIONERS, v. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY, ET AL., RESPONDENTS. No. 05-1120. October 26, 2006. Archived.pdf on file at DeSmog.
  3. Atlantic Legal Foundation,” Media Matters. Accessed January, 2012.
  4. ExxonSecrets Factsheet: Atlantic Legal Foundation, ALF.
  5. Atlantic Legal Foundation Files Amicus Brief with Supreme Court in Important Environmental Case,” Atlantic Legal Foundation, October 25, 2006. URL
  6. Atlantic Legal Foundation Files Amicus Brief in Important Environmental Case in the Supreme Court,” The Free Library.
  7. Atlantic Legal Foundation,” Conservative Transparency. Search performed January 26, 2017.
  8. William Pentland. “Climate Skeptic: Non-Consensus Science Is Likely Junk,” Forbes, October 23, 2011.
  9. “Atlantic Legal Foundation New Address,” Atlantic Legal Foundation. Archived February 4, 2017. URL
  10. Atlantic Legal Foundation,” Sourcewatch. Accessed January 26, 2017. URL
  11. Leadership,” Atlantic Legal Foundation. Archived June 7, 2007. URL
  12. Leadership,” Atlantic Legal Foundation. Archived May 5, 2008. URL
  13. Leadership,” Atlantic Legal Foundation. Archived April 30, 2009. URL
  14. Leadership,” Atlantic Legal Foundation. Archived Jan 29, 2010. URL
  15. Leadership,” Atlantic Legal Foundation. Archived July 25, 2011. URL
  16. Leadership,” Atlantic Legal Foundation. Archived May 12, 2012. URL
  17. Leadership,” Atlantic Legal Foundation. Archived June 2, 2013. URL
  18. Leadership,” Atlantic Legal Foundation. Archived June 30, 2014. URL
  19. Leadership,” Atlantic Legal Foundation. Archived April 5, 2015. URL
  20. ALF Leadership,” Atlantic Legal Foundation. Archived January 27, 2017. URL
  21. Advisory Council,” Atlantic Legal Foundation. Archived March 15, 2016. URL
  22. Advisory Council,” Atlantic Legal Foundation. Archived January 27, 2017. URL
  23. Atlantic Legal Foundation Officers,” Atlantic Legal Foundation. Archived January 18, 2016. URL:
  24. Atlantic Legal Foundation Officers,” Atlantic Legal Foundation. Archived January 27, 2017. URL
  25. Jurisdictional Determinations and the Clean Water Act,” Atlantic Legal Foundation. Archived March 15, 2016. URL
  26. Foundation Files Comments on Proposed EPA Rule on Federal Wetlands Jurisdiction,” Atlantic Legal Foundation. Archived October 12, 2016. URL:
  27.  John Stauber. Sheldon Rampton. “The Junkyard Dogs of Science,” PR Watch, Fourth Quarter 1998, Volume 5, No. 4. Archived March 11, 2013. URL:
  28. A. Alan Moghissi,” DeSmog. Last revision February 9, 2016. 
  29. Rodney W. Nichols,” DeSmog. Last revision January 28, 2017.
  30.  Rod Nichols. Will Happer. “The Supreme Court sided with science against Obama,” New York Post, February 15, 2016. Archived September 14, 2016. URL

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