Heritage Foundation

Heritage Foundation


The Heritage Foundation is a conservative think tank founded in 1973 by Paul Weyrich to “formulate and promote conservative public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense.” [1]

The Heritage Foundation has been a fervent opponent of the Kyoto Protocol and its online database of “policy experts” includes many climate change skeptics such as Patrick Michaels, Sallie Baliunas, Thomas Gale Moore, Robert Balling, and Fred Singer[2], [3]

The Heritage Foundation has had considerable influence over Republican politicians. It is estimated that two-thirds of the policy recommendations it made in 1981 were adopted by the Reagan Administration. The Heritage Foundation has been described as “the most effective media operation in American politics.” [4][5]

Jim DeMint, former South Carolina Republican Senator, became Heritage Foundation president in 2013. According to The New York Times, this marked a shift in the foundation: “Long known as an incubator for policy ideas and the embodiment of the party establishment, it has become more of a political organization feeding off the rising populism of the Tea Party movement.” [6]

Heritage is a former member of the Cooler Heads Coalition (as of 2004). [7] Thomas A. Roe, a member of the board of trustees of the Heritage Foundation, founded the State Policy Network in 1991 as a way to promote conservative policies at the state level. [62]

It was also behind the right-wing news website Townhall.com. In 2005, Townhall.com split from The Heritage Foundation “in order to expand the scope of Townhall.com’s mission to inform, empower and mobilize citizens for political change.” In 2006, it was acquired by Salem Communications. [8]

Donald Trump’s “Shadow Transition Team”

Politico reports that the Heritage Foundation has emerged as one of the most influential forces behind Donald Trump‘s transition team. [60]

“Part gatekeeper, part brain trust and part boots on the ground, Heritage is both a major presence on the transition team itself and a crucial conduit between Trump’s orbit and the once-skeptical conservative leaders who ultimately helped get him elected,” Politco’s Katie Glueck writes. [60]

Three sources with conservative groups said that Heritage employees were tracking resumes, looking to staff Trump’s administration with conservative appointees. One source described the effort as a “shadow transition team” and “an effort to have the right kind of people in there.” [60]

The transition team is being assisted from Heritage officials including: [60]

A source reported that Rebekah Mercer had also been working with Heritage to recruit appointees for positions at the undersecretary level and below. [60]

Stance on Climate Change


“[C]limate change […] is a contentious and unproven scientific theory.” — Hans von Spakovsky, Senior Legal Fellow and manager of the Election Law Reform Initiative at The Heritage Foundation. [9]

“Regardless of one’s opinions on the degree to which climate change is occurring, regulations associated with the Paris accord will have no meaningful impact on the planet’s temperature.” [10]


“What I conclude from a policy standpoint is that global warming is clearly not a crisis and should not be addressed as one … None of the scary stuff about global warming is true, and what is true about global warming, what the science actually tells us about man’s role in changing the climate, is far from terrifying.” — Ben Lieberman, Senior Policy Analyst for Energy and Environment at The Heritage Foundation. [11]


Global warming will not hurt the U.S. economy.” [12]

On Carbon Emissions


“I think the serious people, the economists that have looked at this, understand there is a cost to reducing carbon emissions, because CO2 is a necessary byproduct of their most affordable and reliable energy sources, which are the natural resources of coal, natural gas, and petroleum. To take that choice away from people forces them to more expensive sources of energy” — David Kreutzer, research fellow in energy economics and climate change at The Heritage Foundation. [13]


The following is based on data compiled by the Conservative Transparency Project. Note that not all funding information has been verified by DeSmog.  [14]

View the attached spreadsheet for additional information on The Heritage Foundation’s funding by year (.xlsx).

Sarah Scaife Foundation$27,535,000
Howard Charitable Foundation$19,300,000
The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation$16,507,202
The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation$15,000,000
DeVos Urban Leadership Initiative$13,300,000
Herrick Foundation$12,530,000
National Christian Charitable Foundation$11,148,999
Diana Davis Spencer Foundation$9,049,250
John M. Olin Foundation$8,620,835
Lillian S. Wells Foundation$7,242,428
Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation$5,262,571
Schwab Charitable Fund$4,718,796
Castle Rock Foundation$3,098,760
The Carthage Foundation$2,544,000
The Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation$2,200,000
Mercer Family Foundation$2,000,000
Searle Freedom Trust$1,925,000
The Roe Foundation$1,831,000
Jaquelin Hume Foundation$1,725,000
F.M. Kirby Foundation$1,595,000
Armstrong Foundation$1,370,000
Allegheny Foundation$1,350,000
Aequus Institute$1,266,827
Barney Family Foundation$1,240,000
Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation$1,206,630
William E. Simon Foundation$1,187,500
Deramus Foundation$1,100,000
Philip M. McKenna Foundation$1,025,000
The Galbraith Foundation$1,000,000
Robert S. and Star Pepper Foundation$970,000
Charles M & Gloria F Parrish Foundation$950,000
Adolph Coors Foundation$950,000
John Templeton Foundation$930,821
Richard Seth Staley Educational Foundation$880,795
John Dawson Foundation$725,400
Exxon Mobil$725,000
Scaife Family Foundation$702,640
The Thirteen Foundation$700,000
Stuart Family Foundation$657,500
Holman Foundation$656,971
William H. Donner Foundation$614,500
Albert and Ethel Herzstein Charitable Foundation$502,000
Robert and Audrey Zinser Charitable Foundation$429,707
Lovett and Ruth Peters Foundation$400,000
Walton Family Foundation$385,000
Pew Charitable Trusts$350,000
Peter G. Peterson Foundation$350,000
Bill and Berniece Grewcock Foundation$345,000
Fairchild-Martindale Foundation$320,000
Sidney A. Swensrud Foundation$299,812
Donors Capital Fund$296,000
Dorothy D. and Joseph A. Moller Foundation$260,000
Pierre F. and Enid Goodrich Foundation$245,000
Stiles-Nicholson Foundation$232,700
National Philanthropic Trust$215,243
The TWS Foundation$200,000
JM Foundation$185,000
Same Line Foundation$170,250
Dodge Jones Foundation$167,500
The Vernon K. Krieble Foundation$153,400
Lowndes Foundation$152,000
Orville D. and Ruth A. Merillat Foundation$150,000
John William Pope Foundation$150,000
Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation$125,000
The Challenge Foundation$120,000
The Weiler Foundation$120,000
Joyce and Donald Rumsfeld Foundation$116,000
Apex Foundation$105,000
The McWethy Foundation$100,000
Thomas W Smith Foundation$100,000
Fairbrook Foundation$100,000
Kantner Foundation$98,312
Ed Uihlein Family Foundation$85,000
Legett Foundation$81,500
Tepper Family Foundation$79,250
The Hamlin Family Foundation$77,500
Robert and Marie Hansen Foundation$70,000
K W Grader Foundation$68,000
The Rodney Fund$66,000
Richard F. Aster Jr. Foundation$64,000
Huizenga Foundation$64,000
The Opportunity Foundation$57,000
The Whitcomb Charitable Foundation$51,000
George Edward Durell Foundation$50,000
Earhart Foundation$50,000
Arthur N. Rupe Foundation$48,500
Leadership Institute$45,935
The Shelby Cullom Davis Foundation$45,000
The A William & Eileen Pratt Foundation$44,450
Bochnowski Family Foundation$40,000
Bradley Impact Fund$27,000
Kickapoo Springs Foundation$25,000
Neal and Jane Freeman Foundation$20,000
The Marcus Foundation$20,000
Eyas Foundation$17,500
Charles and Ann Johnson Foundation$17,000
Edgar and Elsa Prince Foundation$15,000
True Foundation$14,000
Thewes Family Foundation$14,000
Chiavacci Family Foundation$12,000
Charles Koch Institute$12,000
Woodhouse Family Foundation$12,000
Einhorn Family Foundation$12,000
PG Beil Foundation$11,500
Robert and Nina Rosenthal Foundation$11,000
Wodecroft Foundation$10,500
Floyd Foundation$10,000
Chase Foundation of Virginia$10,000
Eric Javits Family Foundation$8,250
The Randolph Foundation$5,000
Barbara and Barre Seid Foundation$5,000
Whatley Foundation$4,500
Cato Institute$2,500
John P & Kathryn G Evans Foundation$2,500
Bradey Education Foundation$2,000
It Takes A Family Foundation$1,035
Dunn’s Foundation for the Advancement of Right Thinking$1,000
Logos Charitable Fund$500
Foundation for Economic Education$300
Betcher Family Foundation$250
Gilder Foundation$100
Grand Total$197,793,674

ExxonMobil Funding

According to ExxonSecrets, Heritage Foundation has received $780,000 from ExxonMobil since 1998[2]

Koch Funding

According to Greenpeace, The Heritage Foundation received $6,130,201 from Koch foundations from 1997 to 2017[15]

YearClaude R. Lambe Charitable FoundationCharles G. Koch Charitable FoundationCharles Koch InstituteGrand Total
Grand Total$5,262,571$1,206,630$12,000$6,481,201

*Original tax forms prior to 1997 are no longer available for verification.

990 Forms

Key People

Board of Trustees

Abby MoffatYYYHeritage Trustee Since 2009
Anthony J. SalibaYYHeritage Trustee Since 2012; Executive Managing Director, ConvergEx Group, Chicago, Ill.
Barb Van Andel-GabyYYYHeritage Trustee Since 1996; Director, Alticor
Brian TracyYYYHeritage Trustee since 2003, Heritage Associate, Founder, Brian Tracy International, San Diego, California
David R. Brown, M.D.YYYChairman Emeritus and Honorary Trustee .Heritage Trustee Since 1978; Emeritus, Orthopedic Associates, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Douglas F. AllisonYHeritage Trustee Since 1998
Edwin J. FeulnerYYYHeritage Trustee Since 1973; Founder, The Heritage Foundation, Washington, D.C.
J. Frederic RenchYSecretary. Heritage Trustee Since 1973.
Jerry HumeYYYHeritage Trustee Since 1993; Chairman of the Board, Basic American Inc., San Francisco, California
Jim DeMintYYHeritage Trustee Since 2013; President, The Heritage Foundation, Washington, D.C.
Kathryn DavisYHonorary Trustee since 1994; Partner, Shelby Cullom Davis & Co., LP, New York, New York
Kay Coles JamesYYYHeritage Trustee Since 2005
Larry P. Arnn, Ph.D.YYYHeritage Trustee Since 2002; President, Hillsdale College, Hillsdale, Michigan
Marion WellsYYYHeritage Trustee since 2003; Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
Mark A. KolokotronesYYHeritage Trustee Since 2015; Founder and President, Castle Knoll Investments LLC
Meg AllenYYYHeritage Trustee Since 2009; Director, DRAMLA, S.A., Geneva, Switzerland
Michael W. GlebaYHeritage Trustee from 2016; Chairman/CEO, Treasurer and Trustee, Sarah Scaife Foundation
Midge DecterYYHeritage Trustee Since 1981; New York, New York
Nersi Nazari, Ph.D.YYYHeritage Trustee since 2006; Chairman & CEO, Vital Connect, Inc.
Phillip N. TruluckYYYHeritage Trustee from 2001 to 2015;Chairman, Society of Emeritus Trustees, Since 2015
Rebekah A. MercerYYHeritage Trustee Since 2014; Owner, Ruby et Violette
Richard M. ScaifeYVice Chairman. Heritage Trustee Since 1985, Publisher and Owner, Tribune-Review Publishing Co., Inc., Greensburg, Pennsylvania
Robert J. HerboldYHeritage Trustee Since 2003; Retired Chief Operating Officer, Microsoft
Robert PenningtonYYYHeritage Trustee Since 2009
Steve ForbesYYYHeritage Trustee Since 2001; President and Chief Executive Officer, Forbes Inc.
The Hon. Belden H. BellYYYHeritage Trustee Since 2000
The Hon. Frank ShakespeareYYYHonorary Trustee. Heritage Trustee Since 1979; former U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican, La Jolla, California
The Hon. J. William Middendorf IIYYYHeritage Trustee Since 1989; Chairman, Middendorf and Company, Washington, D.C.
The Right Honourable The Baroness ThatcherYPatron of the Heritage Foundation. Former British Prime Minister.
Thomas A. Saunders IIIYYYChairman. Heritage Trustee Since 2005
Todd W. HerrickYYYHeritage Trustee Since 2007; Retired chairman, president and CEO of Tecumseh Products Co.
William E. Simon, Jr.YYHeritage Trustee Since 2008
William L. WaltonYYHeritage Trustee Since 2015; Founder and Chairman, Rappahannock Ventures LLC

Policy Experts

According to ExxonSecrets, Heritage Foundation’s Policy experts have included notable climate change deniers such as: [2]


May 13, 2021

Mother Jones obtained leaked video provided by watchdog group Documented revealing Heritage Foundation’s potential role in voter suppression laws in Georgia. [81]

Jessica Anderson, executive director at Heritage Action for America, a sister organization of the Heritage Foundation, stated in a private meeting that “eight key provisions that Heritage recommended” had made their way into the final Georgia law, which was passed on March 25, 2020. [81]

The law included limitations on mail ballot drop boxes, additional voter requirements for mail-in ballots, and prohibitions on counties accepting donations from non-profit organizations looking to expand Georgia’s voting base. The initiative formed part of a wider campaign, which involved spending $24 million over two years in eight battleground states, to restrict voting rights. [81]

Mother Jones noted all of those recommendations were part of the Heritage Foundation’s February 2021 report[82]

During the private meeting with political donors in Tucson, Arizona during April 2021, Anderson reportedly stated she had told the Governor of Georgia: “Do not wait to sign that bill. If you wait even an hour, you will look weak. This bill needs to be signed immediately.” [82]

The Heritage Foundation also drafted three provisions in legislation which Iowa Republicans had adopted prior to Georgia’s law. Anderson stated: “We worked quietly with the Iowa state legislature. We got the best practices to them. We helped draft the bills. We made sure activists were calling the state legislators, getting support, showing up at their public hearings, giving testimony.” [82]

Mike Marshall, Executive Director of the Iowa Ethics & Campaign Disclosure Board, opened an investigation into the claims made by Anderson regarding the Heritage Foundation’s role in pushing the aforementioned legislation. An article in EIN Presswire written by Iowa’s State Democrats stated: “The claims made recently by Heritage Action about their role in secretly pushing voter suppression legislation in Iowa and other states are disturbing.” [83]

September 25, 2018

Heritage Foundation Senior Statistician Kevin Dayaratna testified before the Oregon Joint Interim Committee on Carbon Reduction on the economic and climate impacts of proposed carbon regulations being considered by the Oregon State Legislature. [79]

Video of the meeting is available at the Oregon State Legislature’s website.

Dayaratna asserted a proposed cap and trade policy would result in the elimination of thousands of jobs and have little to no effect on the climate.

He responded to questioning about the apparent links between climate change and extreme weather events as “myths propagated by the mainstream media.” [79]

September 19, 2018

UK Treasury minister Liz Truss met with representatives from the Heritage Foundation during a visit to Washington DC, Greenpeace’s investigative unit, Unearthed, found. The taxpayer-funded trip also included meetings with the Cato Institute, the American Enterprise Institute, Americans for Tax Reform, and the American Legislative Exchange Council. [80]

January 23, 2018

The Heritage Foundation claimed that the Trump Administration had implemented nearly two-thirds of a list of 334 policy recommendations titled the “Mandate for Leadership” series. View the full list here. [77], [78]

“Over the past several months, Heritage’s executive branch relations staff reviewed the 334 policy recommendations and met with senior administration officials in the several agencies. Heritage analysts briefed administration officials on the recommendations, provided additional insight and information, and advocated for reform,” the Foundation notes. [77]

“Examples of some of the most notable policy recommendations and their adoption or implementation by the Trump administration include:

Leaving the Paris Climate Accord: In August 2017, Trump announced the U.S. was ending its funding and membership in the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

Repealing Net Neutrality: In December 2017, Trump’s Federal Communications Commission chairman proposed ending the 2015 network neutrality rules.

Reshaping National Monuments: Heritage’s recommendation to prohibit Land Acquisition (Cap and Reduce the Size of the Federal Estate) was adopted by Trump when he issued two executive orders effectively shrinking the size of national monuments in Utah.

Reinstating the Mexico City Policy: This executive order prevents taxpayer money from funding international groups involved in abortion and ending funding to the United Nations

Population fund. On Jan. 23, 2017, in his first pro-life action, Trump signed an executive order today reinstating the Mexico City Policy.
Increasing Military Spending: Trump’s budget calls for a $54 billion increase in military spending to improve capacity, capability, and readiness of America’s armed forces.

Reforming Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program (TANF): The Trump administration adopted and is in favor of strengthening existing work requirements in order to receive benefits.

Allowing Development of Natural Resources: The Trump administration opened off-shore drilling and on federal lands. Executive Order 13783 directed Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to commence federal land coal leasing activities.

Reforming Government Agencies: Trump tasked each of his Cabinet secretaries to prepare detailed plans on how they propose to reduce the scope and size of their respective departments while streamlining services and ensuring each department runs more efficiently and handles tax dollars appropriately.

Withdrawing from UNESCO: In October 2017, Trump announced he was putting an end to U.S. membership in the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).” [77]

May 8, 2017

Heritage Action for America and The Heritage Foundation, represented Michael Needham and Michael Costigan respectively, were 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.” [74]

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. [75]

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. [76]

Apri, 28, 2017

Several news sources reported that Heritage Foundation president Jim DeMint was being forced out as leader of the group due to internal tensions inside the group. His ouster had been described by a “coup” against him, The New York Times reported[71]

Politico reported that the move was imminent and that additional changes would likely be coming soon, according to a GOP Operative that works with DeMint. There’s massive turmoil over there right now,” the operative said. President Donald Trump had praised DeMint around the time the news broke, mentioning him by name, calling him “amazing” and “a real friend.” [72], [73]

February 22 – 25, 2017

The Heritage Foundation was a Presenting Sponsor of the 2017 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), among a range of other conservative and pro-industry groups. [69]

Heritage reported that they had nine speakers who addressed CPAC over three days including Rob Bluey, Lindsey Burke, Mike Gonzalez, Bruce Klingner, Ana Quintana, Bryan Riley, Grant Strobl, and Bridget Wagner. Jim DeMint, president of Heritage, also spoke at the event. [70]

January 12, 2017

Michael Needham of Heritage Action for America, an affiliate of the Heritage Foundation, was a signatory to a January 12, 2017 official letter of support (PDF) for Scott Pruitt, in which numerous groups, including The Heartland InstituteAmerican Energy Alliance (AEA), and others, declared that the Senate should “swiftly approve his nomination” for Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Other signatories of the letter included: [68]

December 8, 2016

The Heritage Foundation is a co-sponsor of the Texas Public Policy Foundation‘s “At the Crossroads III: Energy and Climate Policy Summit.” The event, describing itself as “the premier energy-and-climate policy event in America,” has historically attracted a range of prominent climate change deniers. The event description invites attendees to “Join national policymakers, leading energy experts, and the field’s most innovative minds to explore what’s next in energy policy, what’s coming in climate science, and how you may affect both.” Note the full video is now listed as “private” on YouTube. [61]

The agenda listed the following speakers:

  • Brooke Rollins, President, Texas Public Policy Foundation
  • Becky Norton Dunlop, Ronald Reagan Distinguished Fellow, The Heritage Foundation
  • The Honorable Mike Lee (R-UT), Member, Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources, and Chairman, Subcommittee on Water & Power
  • The Honorable Lamar Smith (R-TX), Chairman, House Committee on Science, Space and Technology
  • The Honorable Pete Olson (R-TX), Chairman, Subcommittee on Energy & Power, House Committee on Energy & Commerce
  • The Honorable Gary Palmer (R-TX), Member, House Committee on Science, Space and Technology
  • Michael Needham, Chief Executive Officer, Heritage Action for America – Moderator
  • The Honorable James Inhofe (R-OK), Chairman, Senate Environment & Public Works Committee
  • The Honorable Kathleen Hartnett White, Director, Armstrong Center for Energy & the Environment, TPPF
  • Stephen Moore, Distinguished Visiting Fellow, The Heritage Foundation
  • Bud Brigham, Chairman, Brigham Resources, and Founder, Anthem Ventures – Moderator
  • David W. Kreutzer, Ph.D., Senior Research Fellow, Center for Data Analysis, The Heritage Foundation
  • Patrick J. Michaels, Director, Center for the Study of Science, Cato Institute
  • Mark P. Mills, Chief Executive Officer, Digital Power Group; Senior Fellow, The Manhattan Institute; and Faculty Fellow, McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science, Northwestern University
  • Horace Cooper, Adjunct Fellow, National Center for Public Policy Research – Moderator
  • Patrick Forkin, Vice President Strategy & Global Energy Analytics, Peabody Energy
  • Allen Gilmer, President, Texas Independent Petroleum Producers Association
  • Karen Harbert, President, Institute for 21st Century Energy, U.S. Chamber of Commerce (Invited)
  • Nick Loris, The Herbert and Joyce Morgan Fellow, The Heritage Foundation – Moderator
  • Dr. Richard Lindzen, Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology, MIT
  • Dr. Willie Soon, Astrophysicist and Independent Scientist
  • Andrew M. Grossman, Co-Founder, Free Speech in Science Project – Moderator
  • Dr. William Happer, Emeritus Professor of Physics, Princeton University
  • Dr. Craig Idso, Chairman, Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change
  • Dr. Roy Spencer, Principal Research Scientist, University of Alabama in Huntsville

Doug Domenech, director of the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s “Fueling Freedom” project, wrote about the proceedings at The HillDomenech outlined the common climate change denial message shared among the speakers: “ Is climate change real? Yes, it has happened in the past and will happen in the future.  Is man making an impact on the climate? Perhaps but in very small ways. But the overarching consensus remains the climate change we are experiencing is by no means catastrophic.” [63]

Many of the speakers at the event have close ties to Donald Trump and his transition team. Becky Norton Dunlop, Ronald Reagan Distinguished Fellow at the Heritage Foundation, was deputy to the senior adviser on President-Elect Donald Trump’s transition team for policy and personnel. [64]

Brooke Rollins, President and CEO of the Texas Public Policy Foundation, is on Trump’s economic advisory council. Two other members of Trump’s “economic advisory team,” are Kathleen Hartnett-White and Stephen Moore. Hartnett-White was also in the running for a top EPA position. [65]

Climate change denier James Inhofe was said to be joining Trump’s National Security Advisory Council. Other connections include David Kreutzer, who is on Trump’s “landing team” and Allen Gilmer, CEO at Drilling Info, Inc., who donated $2,700 to Donald John Trump, Sr. on September 28, 2016 according to disclosures. [66], [67]

During his presentation, Richard Lindzen said “the only meaningful question would be whether we are seeing anything sufficiently unusual to warrant concern and the answer to this is unambiguously no.” [63]

Corbin Robertson of Quintana Resources said, “I’m gonna start out with a confession, I’m guilty. I’m guilty of providing goods and services and clean affordable energy to the world’s growing population and now the environmentalists and the media want to convict me for my services to humanity.” [63]

July 12, 2016

The Heritage Foundation, represented by Bridgett Wagner, 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. [55]

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. [58]

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.” [56]

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.” [57]

The full list of signatories and their respective organizations is as follows:

June 24, 2016

Writing in the Heritage Foundation’s The Daily Signal, Heritage policy analyst Katie Tubb describes the striking down of Wyoming’s Bureau of Land Management’s hydraulic fracking rule as a “win for good environmental policy.” [52]

The regulatory rule would have set federal water, chemical disclosure, and construction requirements for fracking operations on federal and Indian lands. [52]

June 23, 2016

Ted Bromund, senior research fellow at The Heritage Foundation, describes Britain’s exit from the european union (“Brexit”) as “a victory for all Britons who voted.” [51]

“It is a triumph for the simple idea that Britain should be governed by the British people. And it is a tremendous, crushing rebuke for the European Union, and its desire to override the sovereignty of the nations of Europe,” Bromund writes in The Daily Signal[51]

June 2016

The Heritage Foundation was listed among organizations named in a Massachusetts subpoena looking for communications between ExxonMobil and organizations denying climate change, reports The Washington Times. [53]

Epstein’s response, writes The Washington Times, was “Buzz off, fascist. […] Only he didn’t say ‘buzz.’” Organizations named in the Massachusetts subpoena included the following: [53]

This latest inquiry by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey is one in a series of investigations into what ExxonMobil knew about climate change and when, started by a coalition of attorneys general in the US[54] 

April 13, 2016

Three Heritage Foundation researchers, including Nicolas Loris (formerly of the Charles G. Koch Foundation), claim to have modeled the impact of President Obama’s plans to combat climate change based on the 2015 UN Climate Change Conference in Paris and found it to have “essentially zero environmental benefits.” [18], [19]

According to the authors, “restricting energy production to meet targets like those of the Paris agreement will significantly harm the U.S. economy.” They contend that “ Policymakers should therefore make every effort possible to prevent implementation of these harmful environmental regulations.” [19]

Shortly after the “backgrounder” was released, Nicolas Loris published a similarly-themed article in The Heritage Foundation’s The Daily Signal entitled “Top 5 Reasons Congress Should Reject Obama’s Climate Change Treaty.” [10]

March 4, 2016

Research fellows Salim Furth and David W. Kreutzer of The Heritage Foundation argue against Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards, calling them a “costly mistake.” [20] 

They cite a research article by prominent economist Richard Tol and claim that a 2.5 degree Celsius increase in average world temperature would increase world gross domestic product (GDP) by up to 2.3 percent.  [20] 

February 2, 2016

<[>Steven Groves, Bernard and Barbara Lomas Senior Research Fellow at The Heritage Foundation, testified before the Committee on Science, Space, & Technology  of the United States House of Representatives on why he believes the Paris Climate agreement is “A bad deal for America.”[21]

Groves recommends that Congress should “Block funding for the Paris Agreement” because he contends the agreement is “illegitimate.” His other recommendations include “Withhold funding for the UNFCCC” and to “Take prophylactic legislative measures […] to ensure that no adaptation funding committed under the Paris Agreement is authorized.” [21]

July 7, 2015

The Heritage Foundation’s Nicolas Loris published a research report titled “The Many Problems of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan and Climate Regulations: A Primer,” one month prior to President Obama’s and the EPA‘s announcement of the Clean Power Plan. [22], [23]

In the report’s abstract, Loris writes the “Obama Administration’s proposed climate-change regulations will exact a high price on Americans and have a negligible impact—if any—on global temperatures.” [22]

Loris continues, stating that “Higher energy bills for families, individuals, and businesses will destroy jobs and strain economic growth—and it will all be for naught.” [22]

July 7–9, 2015

The Heritage Foundation was a co-sponsor of The Heartland Institute’s Tenth International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC10) in Washington, DC. [24]

July 7-9, 2014

The Heritage Foundation is listed as an official Co-sponsor of the Heartland Institute‘s Ninth International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC9). [25], [26]

August 28, 2012

The Heritage Foundation’s Nicolas Loris published a research report titled “Hydraulic Fracturing: Critical for Energy Production, Jobs, and Economic Growth.” [27]

Within the report, Loris states that much of the “public concern” over hydraulic fracturing “has been over the possibility of contaminated drinking water, the chemicals used in fracking, the potential to create earthquakes, and wastewater management.” [27]

Loris then lists what he refers to as the “four most prevalent myths” about hydraulic fracturing:

Myth #1: Hydraulic fracturing threatens underground water sources and has led to the contamination of drinking water.

Myth #2: The chemicals used in the fracking process are foreign chemicals that industry hides from the public.

Myth #3: Wastewater from hydraulic fracturing is dangerous and unregulated.

Myth #4: Fracking causes earthquakes.” [27]

May 21–23, 2012

The Heritage Foundation is listed as an official Co-sponsor of the Heartland Institute‘s Seventh International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC7). [28], [29]

November 16, 2011

The Heritage Foundation’s Nicolas Loris, who was formerly an associate at the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation, published a report in the Heritage Foundation’s “Energy and Environment” section of its website titled, “New EPA Inspector General Report: One More Reason to Reject Climate-Change Regulation.” [30]

Loris writes that “Congress should vote to prevent the EPA from regulating greenhouse-gas emissions, and foster a transparent debate about the EPA’s endangerment finding and climate change generally.” Citing Richard Lindzen as a “respected climatologist,” Loris continues by stating “there has been plenty of dissent among the scientific community on the causes and magnitude of climate change.” [30]

June 30–July 1, 2011

The Heritage Foundation was a sponsor of The Heartland Institute’s Sixth International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC6) in Washington, DC. [31]

DeSmogBlog concluded that 17 of the 43 sponsors of the Heartland Institute’s Sixth International Conference on Climate Change, including the Heartland Institute itself, had collectively received over $46 million from either Scaife Foundations, Koch Foundations, or ExxonMobil. [32]

October 1, 2010

The Heritage Foundation claimed that the Royal Society had “significantly softened its position on global warming,” but Greenpeace’s Polluterwatch reports that this was a misrepresentation of the Royal Society’s actual position.  [33], [34]

Heritage selectively edited the report in a way that manufactured doubt about man-made climate change by editing out 10 pages and 48 paragraphs of text that had provided context in the report. [35]  

The Royal Society’s view that man-made climate change is a problem is evidenced in the report summary: “[This report] shows that there is strong evidence that over the last half century, the earth’s warming has been caused largely by human activity.” [36]

Nicolas Loris, the author of Heritage’s controversial post, is a former associate of the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation. [18]

May 16 – 18, 2010

The Heritage Foundation was a sponsor of The Heartland Institute’s Fourth International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC4) in Chicago, IL. [37]

DeSmogBlog found that ExxonMobil, Koch Foundations, and Scaife Family Foundations had contributed a combined total of over $40 million to co-sponsors of The Heartland Institute’s ICCC4. [38]

June 2, 2009

The Heritage Foundation was a sponsor of The Heartland Institute’s Third International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC3) in Washington, DC. [39]

May 4, 2009

Heritage held a panel titled “Busting the Myth of Green Jobs" that aimed to “explore the lessons of Spain, and examine some of the fundamental flaws in the green jobs-as-an-economic-salve line of argument.”  [40]

Media Matters found that the entire Heritage panel had received money from ExxonMobil. [41]

The Heritage Foundation’s senior policy analyst Ben Lieberman joined Robert Murphy, an economist at the Institute for Energy Research (IER), on a panel to discuss the study on renewable energy sources (PDF) done by economist Gabriel Calzada that suggested green jobs were harmful to the economy. [42]

Calzada’s study has been debunked on numerous occasions. [43]

March 8 – 10, 2009

The Heritage Foundation was a sponsor of The Heartland Institute’s Second International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC2) in New York. [44]

DeSmogBlog researched the funding behind Heartland’s Second International Conference on Climate Change and found that sponsor organizations had received over $47 million in funding from energy companies and conservative foundations. [45]

November 5, 2008

In a “WebMemo” published on by the Heritage Foundation, Dr. Donald Kreutzer claimed that policy initiatives to advance green investment hurt economic growth and employment. [46]

Kreutzer claimed to have found three studies that had made false claims that green investment can promote job creation. Robert Pollin, the co-author of one of the studies (“Green Recovery”) responded here. See a PDF version of his response here[46]


The Heritage Foundation reportedly encouraged conservatives to work together to “Strangle the environmental movement” as “It’s the greatest single threat to the American economy.” [47]

This originally presented in a blueprint for policy in the 1990s and published in its journal “Policy Review.”  [47]

Heritage Foundation Contact & Location

The Heritage Foundation lists the following contact information on their website: [50]

The Heritage Foundation
214 Massachusetts Ave NE
Washington DC 20002-4999

Phone: 202.546.4400
Email: [email protected]

Social Media


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  4. Carl Deal. The Greenpeace guide to anti-environmental organizations. Odonian Press, Emeryville, Calif. Distributed through Publishers Group West, 1993. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/ucmdl
  5. Norman Solomon. “The Media’s Favorite Think Tank,” Extra!” July/August 1996. Archived October 14, 2005. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmogBlog. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/SM1B0
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  7. The Cooler Heads Coalition,” GlobalWarming.org. Archived April 12, 2004. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmogBlog. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/lWnpt
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  9. Hans von Spakovsky. “The Left’s Climate Inquisition’s New Target,” The Daily Signal, April 8, 2016. Archived April 20, 2016.  Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/6ElPn
  10. Nicolas Loris. “Top 5 Reasons Congress Should Reject Obama’s Climate Change Treaty,” The Daily Signal, April 19, 2016. Archived April 20, 2016. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/FYmpk
  11. Ben Lieberman.”The Economics of Global Warming Policy,” The Heritage Foundation, June 16, 2010. Archived April 20, 2016.  Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/TPGCH
  12. Conn Carroll. “Study Shows Global Warming Will Not Hurt U.S. Economy,” The Daily Signal, January 6, 2009. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmogBlog. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/whGeJ
  13. Chris Woodward. “There’s a cost to reducing carbon emissions,” OneNewsNow.com, April 18, 2016. Archived April 20, 2016. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/hnG0F
  14. The Heritage Foundation,” Conservative Transparency. Data retrieved May 28, 2016.
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  20. Fuel Economy Standards Are a Costly Mistake,” The Heritage Foundation, March 4, 2016. Archived April 20, 2016. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/kvF2K
  21. Steven Groves. “Paris Climate Promise: A Bad Deal for America,” The Heritage Foundation, February 2, 2016. Archived April 20, 2016. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/js013
  22. The Many Problems of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan and Climate Regulations: A Primer,” Heritage Foundation, July 7, 2015. Archived April 20, 2016. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/VU0D5
  23. Clean Power Plan,” EPA, August 3, 2015. Archived April 20, 2016. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/xklfq
  24. Sponsors,” ICCC10. Archived July 15, 2015. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmogBlog. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/Uyj2K
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  26. Return of Climate Denial-a-Palooza: Heartland Institute Hitches Anti-Science Wagon to Vegas FreedomFest,” DeSmogBlog, July 7, 2014.
  27. Hydraulic Fracturing: Critical for Energy Production, Jobs, and Economic Growth,” Heritage Foundation, August 28, 2012. Archived September 23, 2015. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/J80r6
  28. Cosponsors,” 7th International Conference on Climate Change. Archived May 10, 2012. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmogBlog. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/VAY3r
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  30. New EPA Inspector General Report: One More Reason to Reject Climate-Change Regulation,” The Heritage Foundation, November 16, 2011. Archived September 22, 2015. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/WXFEM
  31. Sixth International Conference on Climate Change Conference Program (PDF), the Heartland Institute. Archived July 25, 2015. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmogBlog.
  32. Brendan DeMelle. “Denial-a-Palooza 6: Heartland’s Sixth International Conference on Climate Change, Courtesy of Koch, Scaife & Exxon,” DeSmogBlog, June 30, 2011.
  33. U.S. Could Learn from U.K.’s Global Warming Reversal,” The Daily Signal, September 30, 2010. Archived April 20, 2016. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/LbFsN
  34. Connor Gibson. “Heritage Foundation Cuts and Pastes to Upend Scientific Report,” Polluterwatch, October 19, 2010. Archived April 20, 2016.  Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/canXc
  35. Dan Lashof. “Heritage Gate,” Switchboard, October 1, 2010. Archived April 17, 2012. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmogBlog. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/zpFgO
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  37. 4th International Conference on Climate Change: Sponsored by the Heartland Institute” (Conference Program – PDF), The Heartland Institute, May, 2010. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmogBlog.
  38. Brendan DeMelle. “Denial-a-palooza Round 4: ‘International Conference on Climate Change’ Groups Funded by Exxon, Koch Industries,” DeSmogBlog, May 13, 2010.
  39. Co-Sponsors,” Third International Conference on Climate Change. Archived July 14, 2010. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmogBlog. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/7M3LQ
  40. Busting the Myth of Green Jobs,” The Heritage Foundation, May 4, 2009. Archived April 20, 2016.  Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/Y2ZGa
  41. Heritage Foundation Green Jobs Panel – Bought and Paid For By ExxonMobil,” politicalcorrection.org, May 4, 2009. Archived April 20, 2016. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/oGj5w
  42. “Study of the effects on employment of public aid to renewable energy sources (PDF), Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, March, 2009. PDF archived at DeSmogBlog.
  43. Pete Altman. “Imported Lies: Debunking the Spanish Green Jobs Smear,” NRDC, April 16, 2009. Archived April 19, 2016. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/2tHMB
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  46. Robert Pollin. “Green Investments and Jobs: A Response to the Heritage Foundation,” Center for American Progress, November 7, 2008. Archived February 9, 2009. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmogBlog. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/g8zG2
  47. Andrew Rowell. Green Backlash: Global Subversion of the Environmental Movement. Page 52. Routledge; 1 edition (Sep 24 1996)
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  81. Ari Berman and Nick Surgey. “Leaked Video: Dark Money Group Brags About Writing GOP Voter Suppression Bills Across the Country,” Mother Jones, May 13, 2021. Archived May 25, 2021. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/M4lgZ
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