Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI)
The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) was founded in 1984 and describes itself as “a non-profit public policy organization dedicated to advancing the principles of limited government, free enterprise, and individual liberty.” 
CEI pursues what it calls a “full-service approach to advancing public policy.” That includes media advocacy campaigns intended to “reach policy makers, influential opinion leaders, and grassroots activists.” Part of their approach is to “build coalitions, joining with allies to advance specific issues at the state, national, and international levels.”
Oil giant ExxonMobil has been one of CEI‘s top funders, contributing at least $2.1 million since 1997 before reportedly cutting off funding in 2006. Donors Trust (DT) has donated over $4 million to CEI as of 2013. DT has been described as the “dark money ATM of the conservative movement” for its ability to take in funds from anonymous donors and distribute them to recipient organizations. , , , 
CEI Center for Energy and Environment
Myron Ebell, chairman of the Cooler Heads Coalition and an outspoken man-made climate change denier, serves as Director of the CEI‘s Center for Energy and Environment. In March 2010, the Financial Times called Ebell “one of America’s most prominent climate-change skeptics.” , 
According to the CEI‘s website, “CEI‘s largest program takes on all the hard energy and climate issues. CEI questions global warming alarmism, makes the case for access to affordable energy, and opposes energy-rationing policies, including the Kyoto Protocol, cap-and-trade legislation, and EPA regulation of greenhouse gas emissions. CEI also opposes all government mandates and subsidies for conventional and alternative energy technologies.” 
GlobalWarming.org (Cooler Heads Coalition)
The Cooler Heads Coalition, also known as GlobalWarming.org, is formerly a sub-group of the National Consumer Coalition, but now run as an “informal and ad-hoc group focused on dispelling the myths of global warming by exposing flawed economic, scientific, and risk analysis.”
GlobalWarming.org states, “This website is paid for and maintained by the Competitive Enterprise Institute.” 
SafeChemicalPolicy.org is a website that lobbies against regulations of the chemical industry, and promotes “the life-enhancing value of chemicals.”
According to their website, “we don’t need to fear modern chemical technologies. In fact, we should fear the campaigns to ban, regulate, or otherwise deprive customers of the benefits associated with [chemical technologies].” 
Stance on Climate Change
“CEI questions global warming alarmism, makes the case for access to affordable energy, and opposes energy-rationing policies, including the Kyoto Protocol, cap-and-trade legislation, and EPA regulation of greenhouse gas emissions. CEI also opposes all government mandates and subsidies for conventional and alternative energy technologies.” 
“Although global warming has been described as the greatest threat facing mankind, the policies designed to address global warming actually pose a greater threat. The Kyoto Protocol and similar domestic schemes to ration carbon-based energy use would do little to slow carbon dioxide emissions, but would have enormous costs.” 
“The fuels that produce CO2 have freed us from a world of backbreaking labor, lighting up our lives, allowing us to create and move the things we need; the people we love. [Ominous Music] Now, some politicians want to label carbon dioxide a pollutant. Imagine if they succeed. What would our lives be like then? Carbon dioxide: they call it pollution. We call it life.” 
Fossil Fuel Funding & CEI
Murray Energy Funding
Murray Energy bankruptcy filings in 2019 revealed the Competitive Enterprise Institute received $200,000 from the energy company owned by climate change denier Robert Murray. The filings revealed a wide range of creditors with deep ties to climate change denial including the Heartland Institute, International Climate Science Coalition, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and Government Accountability & Oversight. Robert Murray was known for being a major Trump donor, and giving officials a wish list of proposed actions to help the coal industry. See related reporting from The Intercept, Energy and Environment News, and The New York Times. , , 
Other groups funded by Murray Energy include FreedomWorks, the Cato Institute, the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, and Judicial Watch. As The New York Times noted, Murray continued to fund climate change denial even as his company was going bankrupt.
The New York Times obtained a program for a recent gala organized by the Competitive Enterprise Institute that included a list of corporate donors and sponsors and offered “offered a rare glimpse into the money that makes the work of these think tanks [questioning established climate science] possible.” , 
“Among the sponsors for the Game of Thrones-themed gala were groups that have long been aligned with fossil fuel interests, including the Charles Koch Institute and the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers. The fuel and petrochemical group, which lobbies for gasoline producers, pushed to weaken car fuel economy standards, one of the Obama administration’s landmark climate policies,” The New York Times reported. 
The program included support from major corporations like Google and Amazon that, despite having made commitments to address climate change in their official public relations strategies, still support CEI. A Google representative said their support of the gala did not necessarily mean it supports climate denial. “We’ve been extremely clear that Google’s sponsorship doesn’t mean that we endorse that organization’s entire agenda,” said a spokesman. A spokeswoman for Amazon, said the company “may not agree with all of the positions of each organization,” but believed that its $15,000 contribution to the event “will help advance policy objectives aligned with our interests.” Sponsors listed below: 
- American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers
- Credit Union National Association
- DCI Group
- The Heritage Foundation
- Ike Calvin Sugg
- American Beverage Association
- Atlas Strategy Group
- Consumer Technology Association
- Distilled Spirits Council
- Jean-Claude Gruffat
- NCTA – The Internet & Television Association
- The Policy Circle
- Dick and Mary Beth Weiss
- Baker Hostetler
- Beach Foundation
- Bracewell LLP
- Charles Koch Institute
- Motion Picture Association of America
- Philip Morris International
- White House Writers Group
- Airports Council International
- David and Karen Parker
- Porterfield, Fettig & Sears
- Wiley Rein LLP
- Americans for Prosperity Foundation
- Association of American Railroads
- Atlas Society
- BNSF Railway
- CSX Corporation
- National Automobile Dealers Association
- Norfolk Southern
- O’Melveny & Myers (Spelled O’Melveney in program)
- Union Pacific Corporation
“Special Thank You”
- Chris Crandall
- Dana Crandall
- Vinnie Manocha of S&R Liquors
- David Ozgo and Distilled Spirits Council
2013 Annual Dinner
While the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) doesn’t reveal the sources behind its $7 million annual budget, the Washington Post was able to glimpse a snapshot of CEI‘s funding in a list of donors to CEI‘s annual dinner, which included energy companies Marathon Petroleum, Koch Industries, American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, and American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM). 
SYMONS: Isn’t Murray Energy your biggest funder of your dinner? They’re the biggest coal company in the United States for underground mining.
EBELL: I’d like to see a lot more funding from all of those companies, but unfortunately many of the coal companies are now going bankrupt.
SYMONS: Wait, You said you don’t represent the companies but you want more money from the companies?
EBELL: I would like to have more funding so that I can combat the nonsense put out by the environmental movement.
View attached spreadsheet for additional information on the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s funding by year (.xlsx). Note that not all individual funding values have been verified by DeSmog.
|Dunn’s Foundation for the Advancement of Right Thinking||$6,067,000|
|Sarah Scaife Foundation||$5,440,000|
|Searle Freedom Trust||$3,310,000|
|The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation||$2,005,040|
|Donors Capital Fund||$1,332,279|
|Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation||$364,820|
|The Randolph Foundation||$359,885|
|Schwab Charitable Fund||$353,500|
|Scaife Family Foundation||$350,000|
|Castle Rock Foundation||$345,000|
|Barbara and Barre Seid Foundation||$343,190|
|Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation||$326,419|
|David H. Koch Charitable Foundation||$315,000|
|Chase Foundation of Virginia||$255,960|
|John M. Olin Foundation||$230,300|
|Robert W. Wilson Charitable Trust||$210,000|
|David H. Koch (Direct)||$200,000|
|National Philanthropic Trust||$180,000|
|Diana Davis Spencer Foundation||$168,000|
|Robert P. Rotella Foundation||$157,800|
|Bradley Impact Fund||$154,000|
|William H. Donner Foundation||$153,708|
|American Future Fund||$150,000|
|The Shelby Cullom Davis Foundation||$100,000|
|The Rodney Fund||$100,000|
|Kulakala Point Foundation||$83,500|
|Adolph Coors Foundation||$70,000|
|The Roe Foundation||$70,000|
|John William Pope Foundation||$65,000|
|The Carthage Foundation||$60,000|
|Philip M. McKenna Foundation||$50,000|
|Jaquelin Hume Foundation||$50,000|
|The Vernon K. Krieble Foundation||$49,500|
|Ravenel and Elizabeth Curry Foundation||$45,000|
|E L Craig Foundation||$40,000|
|The Challenge Foundation||$40,000|
|Charles Koch Institute||$37,020|
|Woodhouse Family Foundation||$36,000|
|Edgar and Elsa Prince Foundation||$35,000|
|The Whitcomb Charitable Foundation||$30,500|
|Pierre F. and Enid Goodrich Foundation||$30,000|
|American Petroleum Institute||$25,000|
|Same Line Foundation||$22,000|
|National Christian Charitable Foundation||$20,400|
|Koch Companies Public Sector||$15,000|
|The Robertson-Finley Foundation||$15,000|
|Smith Richardson Foundation||$15,000|
|John P & Kathryn G Evans Foundation||$10,000|
|The Gordon and Mary Cain Foundation||$5,000|
|The TWS Foundation||$2,500|
|Eric Javits Family Foundation||$2,000|
|Lynn & Foster Friess Family Foundation||$1,250|
|Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation||$1,000|
|Ed Uihlein Family Foundation||$1,000|
CEI Annual Dinner Sponsors
While CEI doesn’t disclose its donors, it has revealed the companies that sponsor its annual dinner in the past. In 2006, a Washington Post article noted that sponsors of CEI‘s most recent annual dinner included: 
- The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers
- Exxon Mobil
- Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PHRMA)
- General Motors
- American Petroleum Institute
- The American Plastics Council
- The Chlorine Chemistry Council
- Arch Coal
In 2013, The Washington Post reported the list included $110,000 from donors in the energy industry, as well as significant donations by groups related to Charles and David Koch. Donors listed for that year included the following: 
- Murray Energy Corporation — $45,000
- Marathon Petroleum — $25,000
- Devon Energy — $15,000
- Phillips 66 — $10,000
- American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity — $5,000
- American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers — $5,000
- Emerson Electric — $5,000
- Association of American Railroads — $5,000
- BNSF Railway — $5,000
- Canadian National Railway — $5,000
- CSX Corporation — $5,000
- Norfolk Southern — $5,000
- Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, Inc. — $15,000
- Ford Motor Company — $5,000
- Volkswagen Group of America — $5,000
- Altria Corporate Services — $10,000
- American Beverage Association — $5,000
- Distilled Spirits Council of the United States — $5,000
- Pepsico, Inc. — $5,000
- JP Humphreys Foundation — $40,000
- Claws Foundation — $25,000
- Koch Companies Public Sector — $15,000
- Charles Koch Foundation — $10,000
- Dunn’s Foundation — $10,000
- Americans for Prosperity — $5,000
- The Beach Foundation — $5,000
- Comcast-NBC Universal — $10,000
- National Cable & Telecommunications Association — $10,000
- News Corporation — $10,000
- Verizon Communications — $7,500
- The American Conservative — $5,000
- Motion Picture Association of America — $5,000
- White House Writers Group — $5,000
- Google — $50,000
- Facebook — $25,000
- Consumer Electronics Association — $10,000
- GTECH — $5,000
- Microsoft Corporation — $5,000
- PhRMA — $25,000
- Glaxo-SmithKline — $15,000
- American Optometric Association — $10,000
- Generic Pharmaceutical Association — $10,000
- Biotechnology Industry Organization — $10,000
- Monsanto — $10,000
- Syngenta — $10,000
- FMC Corporation — $5,000
- U.S. Chamber of Commerce — $5,000
- Miller & Long D.C., Inc. — $5,000
- Old Boston Restorations — $5,000
- MasterCard — $25,000
- Cash America — $10,000
- Credit Union National Association — $25,000
- National Association of Credit Service Organizations — $7,500
- American Bankers Association — $5,000
- Bracewell & Giuliani — $7,500
- Baker & Hostetler LLP — $7,500
- DCI Group — $5,000
- Dezenhall Resources — $5,000
- Wiley Rein LLP — $5,000
Individual donations included:
- Ambassador C. Boyden Gray — $25,000
- Stanford Rothschild — $25,000
- Stephen Modzelewski — $25,000
- Fred Young — $15,000
- Jean Claude Gruffat — $10,000
- Robert Luddy — $10,000
- Jack France — $7,500
- Lester Weindling — $5,000
- Arcadio Casillas — $5,000
- James Curley — $5,000
- Forrest G. Hoglund — $5,000
- Angelo Puglisi — $5,000
*Original tax forms prior to 1997 are no longer available for verification. If you include these values, the grand total jumps to $839,743 in Koch funding from 1986 to 2015. 
|Year||Charles Koch Foundation||Charles Koch Institute||Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation||David H. Koch Charitable Foundation||Grand Total|
Tobacco Industry Funding
In a October, 2000 memo, Fred L. Smith thanked Ms. Maura Payne of RJ Reynolds Tobacco for “RJR‘s continued support” and adds “your personal involvement has meant a lot to our battles over the last 16 years.” The letter concludes, “I know you have contributed between $20,000 to $50,000 over the years.” 
In an October, 1994 memo, Smith thanked Philip Morris for a contribution of $150,000. “Philip Morris’s contribution will enable CEI to expand our efforts in well-established areas as our Human Cost of Regulation program and other regulatory reform projects,” the memo read. 
- Aequus Institute
- Amoco Foundation, Inc.
- Coca-Cola Company
- E.L. Craig Foundation
- CSX Corporation
- Fieldstead and Co.
- FMC Foundation
- Ford Motor Company Fund
- Curtis and Edith Munson Foundation
- Philip Morris Companies, Inc.
- Pfizer Inc.
- Precision Valve Corporation
- Prince Foundation
- Sheldon Rose
- Texaco, Inc.
- Texaco Foundation
- Alex C. Walker Foundation
Board of Directors
|Bill Dunn||Y||Member emeritus|
|Frances B. Smith||Y||Past Executive Director, Consumer Alert|
|Fred L. Smith, Jr.||Y||Y||Founder & Past President of CEI|
|James R. Curley||Y||Y||Board of the Reason Foundation|
|James R. Von Ehr||Y||Y||President and founder of Zyvex Labs, LLC|
|Kerry Halferty Hardy||Y|
|Lawson Bader||Y||Past CEI President|
|Leonard Liggio||Y||Executive vice president for academics, Atlas Network.|
|Michael S. Greve||Y||Y||Chairmain of the board. John G. Searle Scholar at AEI.|
|Michael W. Gleba||Y||President and Trustee of the Sarah Scaife Foundation|
|Thomas Gale Moore||Y||Senior fellow at the Hoover Institution.|
|Todd J. Zywicki||Y||Chairman of the Board|
|W. Thomas Haynes||Y||Y|
|William A. Dunn||Y|
|Anna St. John||Y|
|Christopher C. Horner||Y||Y|
|Clyde Wayne Crews||Y||Y|
|Fred L. Smith, Jr.||Y||Y|
|Marlo Lewis, Jr.||Y||Y|
|Mary Beth Gombita||Y||Y|
|Melissa A. Holyoak||Y|
|Anna St. John||Y|
|Cassandra C. Moore||Y|
|Christopher C. Horner||Y||Y||Y|
|Clyde Wayne Crews||Y||Y||Y|
|Donald J. Boudreaux||Y|
|F. Vincent Vernuccio||Y|
|Frances B. Smith||Y|
|Fred L. Smith, Jr.||Y||Y||Y|
|George A. Pieler||Y|
|Henry I. Miller||Y|
|James L. Gattuso||Y|
|James M. Sheehan||Y|
|James V. DeLong||Y|
|Marlo Lewis, Jr.||Y||Y||Y|
|Melissa A. Holyoak||Y|
|Michael S. Greve||Y|
|Robert H. Nelson||Y|
|Robert J. Smith||Y|
|Robert L. Bradley Jr.||Y|
|Steven J. Milloy||Y|
The Competitive Enterprise Institute hired Kevin Williamson, a columnist and correspondent at the National Review, to lead a project to examine “the modern environmental movement, its culture, and advocacy,” E&E News reported. 
April 6, 2020
CEI, represented by Myron Ebell, was signatory to an American Energy Alliance letter to President Donald Trump supporting the Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Rule which would scrap federal fuel economy mandates under the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) program. 
Describing CAFE, the letter contends: “Those families and individuals who prefer or need trucks, SUVs, and crossovers pay more to subsidize those who buy smaller vehicles or electric vehicles under the existing mandate. This significant, needless, and unjust cost is a very real regressive tax on American families that has made our country worse off.” 
March 23, 2020
As reported at DeSmog, Life:Powered sent a letter to Congress critical of the COVID-19 stimulus package for including “tax incentives and spending for unreliable ‘green’ energy programs.” , 
The letter, to which CEI is a signatory, concludes: 
“This is no time for political games. Climate change is not an immediate threat to humanity. Climate-related deaths have declined 98.9% in the last century, and humanity is growing more and more resilient thanks to the availability of affordable, reliable energy. On behalf of all Americans, we urge you to oppose any stimulus proposals that carve out special treatment for or bail out any energy companies and focus instead on stopping COVID-19.”
The full list of signatories is below:
|Jason Isaac||Senior Manager & Distinguished Fellow||Life:Powered/Texas Public Policy Foundation|
|Myron Ebell||Director, Center for Energy and Environment||Competitive Enterprise Institute|
|Bette Grande||CEO||Roughrider Policy Center|
|Ellen Weaver||President & CEO||Palmetto Promise Institute|
|Isaac Orr||Policy Fellow||Center of the American Experiment|
|Bethany Marcum||Executive Director||Alaska Policy Forum|
|David T. Stevenson||Director, Center for Energy and Environment||Caesar Rodney Institute|
|Donald van der Vaart||Senior Fellow||John Locke Foundation|
|Jason Hayes||Director of Environmental Policy||Mackinac Center for Public Policy|
|John Droz, Jr.||Founder||Alliance for Wise Energy Decisions|
|George K. Rasley, Jr.||Managing Editor||ConservativeHQ.com|
|Becky Norton Dunlop||Former Secretary of Natural Resources||Commonwealth of Virginia|
|James L. Martin||Founder/Chairman||60 Plus Association|
|Saulius “Saul” Anuzis||President||60 Plus Association|
|Ken Blackwell||Senior Fellow||Family Research Council|
|Eunie Smith||President||Eagle Forum|
|Jenny Beth Martin||Honorary Chairman||Tea Party Patriots Action|
|Jon Caldara||President||Independence Institute|
|L. Brent Bozell, III||Founder and President||Media Research Center|
|Jason Pye||Vice President of Legislative Affairs||FreedomWorks|
|Jameson Taylor||Vice President for Policy||Mississippi Center for Public Policy|
|Carol Platt Liebau||President||Yankee Institute|
|Mike Stenhouse||CEO||Rhode Island Center for Freedom & Prosperity|
|Daniel Erspamer||CEO||Pelican Institute for Public Policy|
|Christian N. Braunlich||President||Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy|
|Todd Myers||Environmental Director||Washington Policy Center|
July 9, 2019
In the letter sent to NASA’s Chief Information Officer, CEI attorneys claimed the administration’s position has been “widely criticized” and cited critiques of the statement and its underlying research by Richard Tol, David Legates, Willie Soon, and Christopher Monckton. Also cited were publications by Roy Spencer, David Henderson, Alex Epstein, and Michael Bastasch disputing the consensus viewpoint on climate change. 
The letter concluded by suggesting that NASA’s statement could be in violation of federal guidelines:
“Presenting such an inaccurate, unreliable, and biased statement is a violation of the Information Quality Act. NASA should stop distributing that statement by removing it from the NASA website. A correction, informing the public that this prior statement did not have a proper basis in fact and should not be relied upon, would also help relieve the problems caused by its prior distribution.” 
July 30, 2019
“What would it actually mean to implement significant portions of proposal?” (sic) 
According to Lassman and Turner, their report “requires a considerable number of assumptions” and relied in part on data compiled by the American Enterprise Institute. The report’s introduction predicted a “steep economic depression” based on calculations of average household cost increases from the implementation of the GND. 
In concluding, Lassman and Turner admitted that their analysis contained a wide variance in data but suggested that it was a “mark of humility.” Their final word on the matter was that: 
“the Green New Deal is an unserious proposal that is at best negligent in its anticipation of transition costs and at worst is a politically motivated policy whose creativity is outweighed by its enormous potential for economic destruction.” 
The authors did not comment on the science of climate change or the consensus perspective of its present and future impacts. 
The New York Times, reporting on newly released government emails resulting from a freedom of information request by the Sierra Club, described how Myron Ebell and the Competitive Enterprise Institute “weighed in at a critical juncture in the policymaking process” to push President Trump to roll back emissions standards and freeze fuel economy standards for vehicles. 
“The automakers are not going to help and may be part of the opposition,” wrote Ebell in a May 2018 email to supporters and an official at the Environmental Protection Agency. 
In a May 10, 2018 letter to Trump, Ebell along with two other people that had assisted with the transition wrote: 
“We understand that some in the automaker community have expressed concerns about your current plans to reform the program. Their main concern is the expected legal battle with California,” they wrote. “In fact, what many liberal California politicians really want to do is ban gasoline-powered cars altogether.”
“You should dismiss this concern. We agree that in an ideal world, California would negotiate with you in good faith, but we all know that is not a reality in this current political climate.”
May 9, 2019
“The American Energy Alliance has organized a coalition to proclaim in one unified voice that there should be no expansion of the misguided electric vehicle tax credit,” Thomas Pyle wrote in a statement, quoted at The Daily Caller. “There is no question that the electric vehicle tax credit distorts the auto market to no gain.” 
According to Pyle and others who signed the letter, electric vehicle tax credits “overwhelmingly benefit the rich.” DeSmog’s Koch vs. Clean project has systematically debunked this, among other well-rehearsed talking points and misinformation put forward by industry about electric vehicles. 
March 20, 2019
The Inletkeeper reported CEI, among other front groups funded by the Koch brothers, was working to exert influence in the state of Alaska. For example, CEI wrote a letter to criticize the Bristol Bay Assessment conducted by the EPA.
“We believe the best course of action for the agency would be to withdraw this highly flawed assessment and rescind the use of it to veto the Pebble project,” CEI’s letter reads.
A follow-up letter by Steptoe & Johnson LLP, representing Pebble Limited Partnership (“PLP”), was supportive of the CEI’s stance. 
“We’re not going to give time to climate deniers,” Chuck Todd said on the NBC program. “The science is settled even if political opinion is not.”
“We’re not going to debate climate change, the existence of it. The Earth is getting hotter and human activity is a major cause. Period.”
CEI purchased ads in the Washington Post and Wall Street Journal criticizing Chuck Todd and the NBC, and also launched a YouTube video claiming the program was “silencing dissent.” 
December 11, 2018
The Competitive Enterprise Institute sued the Department of Energy for being unresponsive to its requests for information relating to carbon capture and sequestration tax credits. The tax credits, designated as 45Q, entered into effect in 2008 and provide rebates per ton of carbon reused or sequestered permanently. 
CEI claims that large banks and investment firms have lobbied DOE to increase the rebate amount and make them permanent to boost profit margins. 
FOIA requests filed by CEI in May 2017 sought to reveal lobbying efforts aimed at preserving and expanding the 45Q rebates. 
CEI’s lawsuit states:
“As the lobbying campaign intensified to expand 45Q into a limitless and permanent source of revenue for certain parties, DOE’s posture in responding to this request changed dramatically.” 
July 18, 2018
The Competitive Enterprise Institute, represented by Kent Lassman, was among signatories of a letter supporting an anti-carbon tax resolution from House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) and Rep. David McKinley (R-W.Va.) 
“We oppose any carbon tax. We oppose a carbon tax because it would lead to less income and fewer jobs for American families,” the letter read. “We support the House Concurrent Resolution in opposition to a job-killing carbon tax and urge members to co-sponsor and support this effort.” 
The resolution would call a carbon tax “detrimental to the United States economy.”E&E News reported it was similar to a measure that passed the House in 2016. Rep. Carlos Curbelo of Florida, co-chairman of the Climate Solutions Caucus, said he would not vote for the resolution. 
“Protecting our environment and economic growth are not mutually exclusive,” he said in a statement. “The resolution presents a false choice.” 
May 10, 2018
The Competitive Enterprise Institute, represented by Myron Ebell, was one of three signatories of an open letter to Donald Trump requesting that he follow through on a major rollback of Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards for the auto industry. 
The open letter was sent amid concerns from the the auto industry that the rollback could result in a “regulatory nightmare,” with potentially years of litigation from California and a lack of regulatory certainty. Bill Ford, chairman of Ford Motor Co., said at the company’s annual meeting, “We are not asking the administration for a rollback.”
He said, “We want California at the table, and we want one national standard.” 
Despite this, presidential transition team members Pyle, Myron Ebell, and Shirley Ybarra pleaded with Trump, saying “You should dismiss this concern.” The letter continues: “We agree that in an ideal world, California would negotiate with you in good faith, but we all know that is not a reality in this current political climate.” Signatories also the existing mandate would mean “those consumers who prefer trucks, SUVs, or crossovers pay more to subsidize those who buy smaller vehicles.” 
“These significant increases in the average price of a car or truck are a very real regressive tax on American families that make consumers poorer and the economy weaker,” Pyle, Ebell, and Ybarra wrote. 
December 12, 2017
“Administrator Scott Pruitt invited me along with three colleagues for a signing ceremony where he officially put in place new conflict of interest requirements for the 22 scientific advisory boards at the EPA,” Lassman wrote, concluding: 
“As a representative of the dozens of analysts, fellows, and lawyers who toil away at CEI, in the last two months I’ve found myself in multiple meetings at Office of Mangement [sic] and Budget, the EPA, and the White House. I can make an unqualified assertion: It is nice when the government wants our advice on how to shape a policy proposal.” 
Following up from a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed in September 2017, CEI filed suit agains the State Department to obtain records “about outside influence in developing the controversial Paris climate treaty during the Obama administration.” 
The request targets Todd Stern, former Special Envoy for Climate Change, and Sue Biniaz, a former legal adviser, and includes emails from both government and private email accounts. 
“In the absence of the Trump administration taking the initiative to review the internal record of the disgraceful process of circumventing the Senate and the U.S. Constitution to enter the Paris climate treaty, we will continue seeking to make public all of that record we are able,” said CEI Fellow Chris Horner. 
View the full CEI complaint, filed October 3, 2017.
May 18, 2017
“Mr. President: Don’t Listen to the Swamp. Keep Your Promise. Withdraw from the Paris Climate Treaty.” 
Trump announced his official decision to withdraw from the Paris Accord on June 1, 2017. CNN reported that Myron Ebell “likely had as much influence shaping Trump’s decision as any single individual,” with CEI potentially playing a key role in the decision. , 
May 8, 2017
The Competitive Enterprise Institute, represented by Myron Ebell, was listed on an open letter to President Donald J. Trump urging him “to withdraw fully from the Paris Climate Treaty and to stop all taxpayer funding of UN global warming programs.” 
DeSmog reported that the 40 groups represented in the letter, including the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), The Heartland Institute, and the Heritage Foundation, have received a combined total of millions of dollars from the Koch Brothers, ExxonMobil, and other industry groups. 
Analysis also showed that the groups accepted about $80 million through Donors Capital Fund and Donors Trust, two groups that have been confirmed is a key financial source for key U.S-based climate change denial groups. 
CEI’s general counsel Sam Kazman filed a petition on behalf of CEI with the Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP) requesting that the EPA review the endangerment finding on CO2 Emissions. Individual petitioners included members of SEPP’s Board of Directors: Donna Bethell, Kenneth A. Haapala, Thomas Sheahen, and S. Fred Singer. 
The petition makes a number of statements contrary to the mainstream consensus regarding climate change. First, it claims that “There Has Been No Statistically Significant Atmospheric Warming Despite a Continued Increase in Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Levels” — Citing a post on the personal website of climate change denier Roy Spencer as evidence for the lack of warming. 
The petition’s second claim is that “Changes in Global Temperatures in Recent Decades Are Far From Unusual.” For this, the citation points to a dead link to the Heartland Institute‘s “Independent Summary for Policymakers,” a document created by the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change and Science and Environmental Policy Project. 
““I think they’re going to have a lot of trouble on the other things they want to get done without addressing the endangerment finding,” Kazman said. 
July 12, 2016
The Competitive Enterprise Institute, represented by Kent Lassman, was among 22 groups represented in a “Coalition” open letter pushing back against what the Heartland Institute describes as an “affront to free speech.” The groups are responding to the recent Web of Denial Resolution brought up in the Senate, calling out fossil fuel industry-funded groups denying climate change. 
According to the Climate Investigations Center, all but one of the open letter’s signatory organizations have taken money (totalling at least $92 million since 1997) from the “climate denial web” including Koch Brothers’ various foundations, ExxonMobil, and two “Dark Money” organizations, Donors Trust and Donors Capital Fund. 
Championed by Senators Whitehouse, Markey, Schatz, Boxer, Merkley, Warren, Sanders, and Franken, the resolution condemns what they are calling the #WebOfDenial — “interconnected groups – funded by the Koch brothers, major fossil fuel companies like ExxonMobil and Peabody Coal, identity-scrubbing groups like Donors Trust and Donors Capital, and their allies – developed and executed a massive campaign to deceive the public about climate change to halt climate action and protect their bottom lines.” 
The open letter addresses the senators, calling them “tyrants”:
“We hear you. Your threat is clear: There is a heavy and inconvenient cost to disagreeing with you. Calls for debate will be met with political retribution. That’s called tyranny. And, we reject it.” 
The full list of signatories and their respective organizations is as follows:
- Grover Norquist — Americans for Tax Reform
- Lisa B. Nelson — American Legislative Exchange Council
- John A. Charles, Jr. — Cascade Policy Institute
- David Rothbard — Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow
- Kent Lassman — Competitive Enterprise Institute
- Nicole Neily — Franklin Center for Government and Policy Integrity
- Benita Dodd — Georgia Public Policy Foundation
- Bridgett Wagner — The Heritage Foundation
- Fred Birnbaum — Idaho Freedom Foundation
- Joseph Bast — The Heartland Institute
- J. Robert McClure III — James Madison Institute
- Brett Healy — The John K. MacIver Institute for Public Policy
- Kory Swanson — John Locke Foundation
- Dave Trabert — Kansas Policy Institute
- Jason Hayes — Mackinac Center for Public Policy
- Brent Mead — Montana Policy Institute
- Sharon J. Rossie — Nevada Policy Research Institute
- Sally Pipes — Pacific Research Institute
- Kevin Kane — Pelican Institute for Public Policy
- Paul J. Gessing — Rio Grande Foundation
- Lynn Taylor — Virginia Institute for Public Policy
- Carol Platt Liebau — Yankee Institute for Public Policy
June 6, 2016
Following CEI’s subpoena from Claude Walker, Attorney General for the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Competitive Enterprise Institute received a letter of support signed by thirty-one organizations described as a “broad coalition of free market groups.” 
“This subpoena was an all-out assault on free speech. Forcing the CEI to hand over private information to government officials is an affront to the First Amendment rights of all Americans,” the letter states.
“Free market and taxpayer groups have been under assault by government officials including the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). This is just another example of how the government is engaging in selective targeting based on a political agenda that is meant to intimidate others from participating and engaging in any debate that may run contrast to the position of the current administration. ”
Signatories listed included the following: 
- David Williams — President, Taxpayers Protection Alliance
- Dan Greenberg — President, Advance Arkansas Institute
- Dan Schneider — Executive Director, American Conservative Union
- Lisa B. Nelson — CEO, American Legislative Exchange Council
- Brent Wm. Gardner — Vice President of Government Affairs, Americans for Prosperity
- Grover Norquist — President, Americans for Tax Reform
- Justin Owen — President & CEO, Beacon Center of Tennessee
- Mark Bucher — CEO, California Policy Center
- John Hinderaker — President, Center of the American Experiment
- Norm Singleton — President, Campaign for Liberty
- Andrew F. Quinlan — President, Center for Freedom and Prosperity
- Jeffrey Mazzella — President, Center for Individual Freedom
- Tom Schatz — President, Citizens Against Government Waste
- Col Francis X. De Luca USMCR (Ret) — President, Civitas Institute
- Robert Roper — President, Ethan Allen Institute
- Tarren Bragdon — CEO, Foundation for Government Accountability
- Tom McCabe — CEO, Freedom Foundation
- George Landrith — President, Frontiers of Freedom
- Kelly McCutchen — President and CEO, Georgia Public Policy Foundation
- Andresen Blom — Executive Director, Grassroot Hawaii Action, Inc.
- Joseph Bast — President, Heartland Institute
- Sabrina Schaeffer — Executive Director, Independent Women’s Forum
- Heather Higgins — President & CEO, Independent Women’s Voice
- Andrew Langer — President, Institute for Liberty
- Bob McClure — President and CEO, The James Madison Institute
- Brett Healy — President, The John K. MacIver Institute for Public Policy
- Seton Motley — President, Less Government
- Brandon Arnold — Vice President, National Taxpayers Union
- Kevin P. Kane — President, Pelican Institute for Public Policy
- Mike Stenhouse — CEO, Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity
- Paul J. Gessing — President, Rio Grande Foundation
May 18, 2016
The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) placed a full page color advertisement in The New York Times titled “Abuse of Power” (PDF). The ad serves as an open letter from 43 signatories including organizations and individuals in response to New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, U.S. Virgin Islands Attorney General Claude Walker, and the coalition of Attourneys General investigating groups denying man-made climate change. , 
“Attempts to intimidate CEI and our allies and silence our policy research are unconstitutional,” said CEI president Kent Lassman. “The First Amendment protects us and everyone has a duty to respect it – even state attorneys general. CEI will continue to fight for all Americans to support the causes in which they believe.” 
The Competitive Enterprise Institute received a subpoena from AG Walker on April 7, 2016. On April 20, CEI filed an objection to the subpoena calling it “offensive,” “un-American,” and “unlawful,” and are contending that AG Walker is “violating CEI’s First Amendment rights.” 
The “freedom of speech” argument was echoed by ExxonMobil’s legal team, as well as numerous other conservative groups including the Pacific Legal Foundation, and Heritage Foundation and the recently-formed Free Speech in Science Project, a group created by the same lawyers who defended the Competitive Enterprise Institute in the past. 
The CEI letter lists the following signatories:
- Kent Lassman — President & CEO, Competitive Enterprise Institute
- C. Boyden Gray — Former White House Counsel
- Andrew C. McCarthy — Former Chief Assistant United States Attorney, Southern District of New York
- Michael B. Mukasey — U.S. Attorney General, 2007-2009; U.S. District Judge, 1988-2006
- Ross McKitrick — Professor of Economics, University of Guelph
- Ronald D. Rotunda — Distinguished Professor of Jurisprudence, Chapman University
- Richard S. Lindzen — Professor Emeritus of Atmospheric Sciences, MIT
- William Happer — Emeritus Professor of Physics, Princeton University
- Jim DeMint — President, The Heritage Foundation
- James H. Amos, Jr. — President & CEO, National Center for Policy Analysis
- John A. Baden — Chairman, Foundation for Research on Economics & the Environment
- Lisa B. Nelson — CEO, American Legislative Exchange Council
- Paul Driessen — Author & Energy Policy Analyst
- Thomas J. Pyle — President, Institute for Energy Research
- Steven J. Allen — Vice President & Chief Investigative Officer, Capital Research Center
- David Ridenour — President, National Center for Public Policy Research
- Steven J. Milloy — Publisher, JunkScience.com
- Brooke Rollins — President & CEO, Texas Public Policy Foundation
- Paul Gessing — President, Rio Grande Foundation
- Ron Arnold — Researcher & Author
- William Perry Pendley — President, Mountain States Legal Foundation
- Adam Brandon — President & CEO, FreedomWorks
- Hank Campbell — President, American Council on Science and Health
- Craig Rucker — Executive Director, Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow
- Tom McCabe — CEO, Freedom Foundation
- Richard B. Belzer — Economist
- Heather R. Higgins — President & CEO, Independent Women’s Voice
- Joseph G. Lehman — President, Mackinac Center for Public Policy
- Sabrina Schaeffer — Executive Director, Independent Women’s Forum
- Joseph Bast — President, The Heartland Institute
- John C. Eastman — Founding Director, The Claremont Institute’s Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence
- Robert Alt — President & CEO, The Buckeye Institute
- Michael Pack — President & CEO, The Claremont Institute
- Josh Blackman — Assistant Professor, South Texas College of Law
- Lynn Taylor — President, Tertium Quids
- David Rothbard — President, Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow
- Tracie Sharp — President & CEO, State Policy Network
- Kenneth Haapala — President, Science and Environmental Policy Project
- Tim Phillips — President, Americans for Prosperity
- Myron Ebell — Director of the Center for Energy & Environment, Competitive Enterprise Institute
- George Landrith — President, Frontiers of Freedom
- John Tillman — CEO, Illinois Policy Institute
- Craig D. Idso — Chairman, Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change
Richard Lindzen, a prominent denier of man-made climate change, appeared on the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Real Clear Radio Hour where he spoke to host Bill Frezza.
Lindzen’s comments were transcribed at Marc Morano’s Climate Depot (reproduced below): 
Question: How much warming do you expect for a doubling of carbon dioxide?
Lindzen: “Doubling is chosen for a very good reason. The dependence of the greenhouse gas effects what is called logarithmic. Which means if you double CO2 from 280 to 560ppm, you would get the same thing you as you would get from doubling from 560 to 10120. It’s a diminishing return thing.”“There is no obvious trend for at least 18 years in temperature.”
Lindzen on 97% consensus:
Lindzen: “It was the narrative from the beginning. In 1998, [NASA’s James] Hansen made some vague remarks. Newsweek ran a cover that says all scientists agree. Now they never really tell you what they agree on. It is propaganda.”
“So all scientists agree it’s probably warmer now than it was at the end of the Little Ice Age. Almost all Scientists agree that if you add CO2 you will have some warming. Maybe very little warming. But it is propaganda to translate that into it is dangerous and we must reduce CO2 etc.
If you can make an ambiguous remark and you have people who will amplify it ‘they said it not me’ and he response of the political system is to increase your funding, what’s not to like?
If I look through my department, at least half of them keep mum. Just keep on doing your work, trying to figure out how it works.MIT ‘has just announced that they see this bringing in $300 million bucks. It will support all sorts of things.’”
Inverse magazine offers a brief fact check of Lindzen’s most recent claims. They also quote climate scientist Ray Perrehumbert’s 2012 lecture to the American Geophysical Union: 
“It’s OK to be wrong, and [Richard Lindzen] is a smart person, but most people don’t really understand that one way of using your intelligence is to spin ever more clever ways of deceiving yourself. … He has made a career of being wrong in interesting ways about climate science.”
August 5, 2015
The Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Myron Ebell was interviewed alongside of the Environmental Defense Fund’s Jeremy Symons on the August 5 edition of CSPAN’s Washington Journal. During the interview, EDF’s Symons “confronted” Ebell about his sources of funding, asking, “Isn’t Murray Energy your biggest funder of your dinner? They’re the biggest coal company in the United States for underground mining.” 
Ebell responded:“I’d like to see a lot more funding from all of those companies, but unfortunately many of the coal companies are now going bankrupt … I would like to have more funding so that I can combat the nonsense put out by the environmental movement.”
July 7–8, 2015
The Competitive Enterprise Institute was a co-sponsor to the Heartland Institute’s Tenth International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC10) in Washington, DC. 
Lawson Bader, representing the Competitive Enterprise Institute, was a speaker at FreedomFest 2015 where he offered a July 10 presentation titled ”Gavel Out! Legal Opportunities to Push Back Regulatory Overreach.” 
- Elizabeth Ames — Founder, Free Market Central.com and Think Tank Central.com
- Lawson Bader — President, Competitive Enterprise Institute
- Peter Goettler — President & CEO, Cato Institute
- Chris Long — President & CEO, Intercollegiate Studies Institute
- David Nott — President, Reason Foundation
Mother Jones magazine reported the Competitive Enterprise Institute was the driving force behind two lawsuits opposing Obamacare including King v. Burwell. 
According to Mother Jones, “If the CEI-backed case prevails, more than 8 million people could lose their health coverage, premiums could skyrocket 35 percent or more, and the fledgling health care reform effort could collapse. CEI also helped launch Halbig v. Burwell, a similar case that is on hold pending the Supreme Court’s decision in King.” 
The magazine noted that while “Even after CEI filed its anti-Obamacare lawsuits, Big Pharma continued to fund the think tank” even while the health care law was projected to boost the industry’s profits by up by $25 billion over the following decade. While PHRMA declined whether to say if they would continue to fund CEI, while a GlaxoSmithKline spokeswoman said that ”GSK supports efforts to increase access, improve quality and reduce cost growth in the US health system and we remain committed to working with the administration and other stakeholders as the ACA is fully implemented.” 
“If that’s the case, though, it begs the question of why Glaxo and other pharmaceutical industry outfits that pledged their support to Obamacare have simultaneously backed a group that for years has been plotting the law’s destruction,” writes Mother Jones. 
October 29, 2014
The Competitive Enterprise Institute filed a lawsuit suing the White House “over a video that claimed global warming might be tied to last year’s extreme cold spell, commonly referred to as the ‘polar vortex,’” according to a report from ThinkProgress. The White House stated that the video did not “represent the official agency position,” and instead represented the “personal opinions” of the White House’s Office of Science and Technology director, John Holdren, and OSTP Senior Communications Advisor, Becky Fried. 
CEI then filed a Freedom of Information Act request “for all White House documents and e-mails discussing whether the validity of the science really does constitute Holdren and Fried’s personal opinions, and all documents related to the cost of producing Holdren’s video.” The White House came forth with some material following the FOIA request, but withheld 47 additional pieces of information that it claimed contained “privileged material.” 
September 26, 2014
CEI’s Marlo Lewis attended the “At the Crossroads; Energy & Climate Policy Summit” in Houston, Texas, hosted by the Texas Public Policy Foundation and The Heritage Foundation. Lewis presents in “Panel II: Taking Stock of Current Climate Regulation.” 
July 7–9, 2014
The Competitive Enterprise Institute was a co-sponsor to the Heartland Institute’s Ninth International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC9) in Las Vegas, Nevada. 
The Competitive Enterprise Institute filed a lawsuit against the NSA. CEI President Lawson Bader wrote their reasoning is to gain access to information they have failed to retrieve from the EPA including “cell phone and text message records that we believe will show the degree to which left-leaning environmental pressure groups have had unfettered, back-channel access to EPA leadership.” 
Bader writes that “the NSA might have the information that the EPA claims is non-existent. So we are asking the federal government to snitch on itself. And that is actually kind of funny.” 
June 30–July 1, 2011
June 2, 2009
The Competitive Enterprise Institute cosponsored the Heartland Institute’s Third International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC3). 
The conference’s theme was “Climate Change: Scientific Debate and Economic Analysis,” to reflect Heartland’s belief that that “scientific debate is not over.”
March 8–10, 2009
The Competitive Enterprise Institute cosponsored the Heartland Institute’s Second International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC2). 
“Here’s the electricity we use at home. Al Gore uses twenty times as much. Mister gore’s friends use lots of energy too. But Al Gore wants to cut our energy use, putting our jobs and our future in jeopardy. Mr Gore’s future, on the other hand, couldn’t be brighter. We depend on reliable, affordable energy for our food, our transportation, our homes. It’s the best protection we have against the hazards of life and it’s even more important to people elsewhere who are struggling to survive; to break out of the prison of poverty. For them, affordable energy is something to hope for and something to celebrate. But what will happen to that hope if we restrict energy use? Some people may have a bright future. But don’t kid yourself: Without affordable energy, hundreds of millions of people won’t have any future at all.”
CEI’s Sam Kazman, the ad co-creator, said that “Global warming activists warn us about the alleged threats from global warming, but are usually silent about the much more immediate threats from global warming policies.” 
March 2–4, 2008
The Competitive Enterprise Institute was a cosponsor of the Heartland Institute’s First International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC1). The conference was titled “Global Warming: Truth or Swindle.” 
CEI offered up their in-house staff as global warming “experts” available to comment on the upcoming release by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
CEI described the IPCC’s Summary for Policymakers as a “propaganda document that will promote global warming alarmism.” 
October 24, 2006
CEI contributed an Amicus (PDF) in a Supreme Court Co2 case. The argument states that “Contrary to the Climate Scientists’ Amicus Brief, There Is Insufficient Evidence That Carbon Dioxide Emissions Will Endanger Public Health or Welfare.”
The amicus curiae provided by CEI include skeptical scientists Sallie Baliunas, John Christy, Christopher de Freitas, David Legates, Anthony R. Lupo, Patrick Michaels, Joel Schwartz, and Roy Spencer. 
CEI launched a national global warming ad campaign featuring two 60-second television ads with the tagline “CO2: They Call It Pollution; We Call It Life.”
“There’s something in these pictures you can’t see. It’s essential to life. We breathe it out; plants breathe it in. It comes from animal life, the oceans, the earth, and the fuels we find in it. It’s called carbon dioxide, CO2. The fuels that produce CO2 have freed us from a world of backbreaking labor, lighting up our lives, allowing us to create and move the things we need; the people we love. [Ominous Music] Now, some politicians want to label carbon dioxide a pollutant. Imagine if they succeed. What would our lives be like then? Carbon dioxide: they call it pollution. We call it life.”
One of the ads “focuses on the extent to which the public has received only one side of the glacial melting issue.” 
July 20, 2005
The article (PDF) begins with the admission that “Global warming is happening and man is responsible for at least some of it” but CEI proceeds to argue that “There is no ‘scientific consensus’ that global warming will cause damaging climate change.” 
February 10, 2005
CEI held an event titled “The Kyoto Protocol and Beyond: A Roundtable Discussion on the Future of International and U. S. Climate Policy” that examined what Kyoto would mean for future climate policy in the U.S.
Panelists included: 
- Senator James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.) — Chairman, Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.
- Harlan L. Watson — Senior Climate Negotiator and Special Representative at the U.S. Department of State.
- William O’Keefe — CEO of the George C. Marshall Institute.
- Myron Ebell — Director, Global Warming Policy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.
- Christopher C. Horner — Counsel to the Cooler Heads Coalition.
- Jeff Kueter (Moderator) — President of the George C. Marshall Institute.
CEI filed a lawsuit against the U.S. government, citing the Data Quality Act. The institute demanded that the National Assessment, a report on climate change, not be disseminated by the government.
The Bush administration settled the lawsuit by adding a disclaimer to the web site where the report is available, stating that it has not been reviewed under the Data Quality Act. 
October 3, 2000
CEI filed a lawsuit over the National Assessment with Senator James Inhofe as a co-plaintiff.
The suit alleged various procedural deficiencies in the report’s preparation and demanded the court block the report’s production or utilization.
Co-plaintiff Jo Ann Emerson, a Republican representative from Missouri, charged, “The administration is rushing to release a junk science report in violation of current law to try to lend support to its flawed Kyoto Protocol negotiations.” 
Marlo Lewis testified on behalf of the Competitive Enterprise Institute on the issue of “Why Kyoto Is Not an Insurance Policy.”
Lewis concludes that there are “several reasons why we shouldn’t worry about global warming,” including how man-kind would supposedly benefit from warming because “plant life grow faster, stronger, and more profusely” with increased carbon dioxide.
Lewis does not cite any scientific studies to support these claims. 
CEI Contact & Address
As of May, 2016 the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s (CEI) contact address and phone number was listed as follows: 
1899 L St NW, 12th Floor
Washington, DC 20036
- Cooler Heads Coalition — Paid for and maintained by CEI. 
- SafeChemicalPolicy.org — Project of CEI and its Coalition Members. 
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