Jay H. Lehr

Jay H. Lehr


  • Ph.D., Ground Water Hydrology. University of Arizona (1962). [1]
  • Degree in Geological Engineering from Princeton University. [1]


Jay H. Lehr is a Senior Fellow and “Science Director” of the Heartland Institute. He is also a “motivational speaker” and prolific writer. He was editor of “Rational Readings of Environmental Concerns,” which labels environmentalists as “extremists” and “alarmists” among other things. He has testified before Congress numerous times on environmental issues.

Dr. Lehr’s experience is in groundwater hydrology. He received the nation’s first Ph.D. in Groundwater Hydrology from the University of Arizona and later became the executive director of the National Association of Groundwater Scientists and Engineers. [2]

Jay Lehr, who has called the EPA “Fraudulent” in its estimates of how pollution poses hazards to human health, was himself convicted and sentenced to six months in prison for defrauding the EPA, reports Connor Gibson of Polluterwatch. [20]

According to archived tobacco industry documents, Jay Lehr was among “TASSC member scientists” who helped The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition (TASSC) draft its “Five Guiding Scientific Principles” document. TASSC began as an astroturf group for Philip Morris Tobacco, working as a “national coalition intended to educate the media, public officials and the public about the dangers of ‘junk science’” and to “link the tobacco issue with other more ‘politically correct’ products”; and to associate scientific studies that cast smoking in a bad light with “broader questions about government research and regulations” – such as “global warming”, “nuclear waste disposal” and “biotechnology, according to memos from the PR firm APCO to Philip Morris in 1993. [57], [58]

Stance on Climate Change

November 2018

In testimony before New York City Council, Lehr responded to a question from Costa G. Constantinides: [63]

Constantinides:  “So you do not believe that climate change is manmade and do not believe we’re contributing at all?’”

Lehr: “Absolutely not”

Later clarifying, Lehr suggested a period of global cooling is imminent:

“In 20 years[…] in New York City, we’ll be making some resilient adjustments to the fact that, probably, we will be entering a period of global cooling as a result of the fact that the sun spots are at a very low point, and we could probably look forward in 20 years to, ah, maybe a degree and a half Fahrenheit cooler and we’ll manage. We’re resilient.”

With regards to Constantinides’ differing stance on climate change, Lehr added: “There’s no chance of you being right and me being wrong. […] Not on climate change. No chance at all. And I hope we all live long enough to see it.”

Lehr also described it as “arrogant” to think we could have an influence on climate or extreme weather events:

“It’s arrogant to think [increases in 100-year storms] are manmade because nature is so overwhelming compared to what the impact that we have.”

April 4, 2006

In a letter to the Editor in the Chicago Sun Times, Lehr wrote: [3]

“The media willfully ignores thousands of scientists who believe in global warming but do not believe its effects will be ‘catastrophic.’ The only global warming catastrophes are going to be bad public policies based on fear and panic rather than caution and science.” [3]

Key Quotes

Lehr testified before New York City Council to “push back at the notion the Big Apple will be underwater soon due to man-caused climate change.” Some notable quotes below: [63]

Jay Lehr: [05:37]  “It’s interesting that everybody here is so worried about increasing sea level rise when the national oceanographic and atmospheric agency has the best record on the planet, right here at Battery Park, 160 years, which shows no increase in the rate of sea level rise. While the increase in carbon dioxide has been 30 percent over the last 40 years, the rate of sea level rise in the metropolitan area has not changed at all. And they’re predicting it will not change. […]”

Costa Constantinides: [06:54] ”So you’re telling me that the New York City panel on climate change has completely got this wrong, that everyone in this room has somehow gotten this wrong today, that…”

Jay Lehr: [07:01] “I am, definitely.”

Costa Constantinides: [07:02]    Let me finish my train of thought. So the middle range that they show, um, or about the lower estimate is 15 inches. The high estimate is 75 inches. So you’re telling us we’re nowhere near any of that.

Jay Lehr: [07:22] “Costa, I am saying exactly that. […]  You’re nowhere near that, and you’re ignoring our own government agency. NOAA is as an outstanding agency, you’re, you’re ignoring, uh, a very liberal president that thought climate change was a problem. Who directed NOAA to really double their efforts in collecting data and the data they collected does not at all support your view of climate change, but we’re not talking about carbon dioxide.”

Costa Constantinides: [07:49] “So let’s talk about that. So I see that that you have put up publications recently: Why the UN climate report cannot be trusted?”

Jay Lehr: [07:55] “Absolutely.”

Costa Constantinides: [07:56]  “How Al Gore built the global warming fraud?”

Jay Lehr: [07:59]  “That’s correct.”

Costa Constantinides: [08:00]  “So…”

Jay Lehr:  [08:01] “I am the author of those documents.”

Costa Constantinides: [08:02]  “You are the author of those documents. So you do not believe that climate change is manmade and do not believe we’re contributing at all?”

Jay Lehr:  [08:08]    “Absolutely not.”

Costa Constantinides: [08:13 ]   “And we’re all somehow wrong and somehow you’re the one that got it right?”

Jay Lehr: [08:17] “You’re wrong only because you’re not looking at real science. And I flew here just to be one voice of scientific reason rather than emotion.”

Costa Constantinides:  [08:27] “Okay? So no note from the crowd please. We want to keep some level of decorum. Um, so, uh, where does the Heartland institute get its funding from?”

Jay Lehr: [08:37] “Uh, individuals. We’re a very small organization. We get no money from oil companies or large corp[orations]…”

Costa Constantinides: [08:43]   “No money from ExxonMobil at all?”

Jay Lehr: [08:45] “Not In the last 15… I’ve been there 25 years. I would say not in the last 20…”

Costa Constantinides:  [08:47]  :So the Guardian article that exposed ExxonMobil as a big funder and the Mercer Family was completely wrong?”

Jay Lehr: [08:56]   “Nothing from ExxonMobil for sure. I don’t know anything about funding from the Mercer Family and I don’t think they’re in the oil business.”

Costa Constantinides: [09:02] “Oh, no, they’re not in the old business, but they are a large climate denier.”

Jay Lehr: [09:05] “We have a budget of six and a half million dollars a year. About 80 percent of it comes from individual, small donations.”

Costa Constantinides:    09:12  “Individual, small donations…”

Jay Lehr:  [09:13] ”Individuals. Small… we are not a mouthpiece for any corporation.”

Costa Constantinides: [09:17]    “Really?”

Jay Lehr: [09:18]  “Yea, really.”

Costa Constantinides: [09:19] “You say that with a straight face?”

Jay Lehr:  [09:19]  “Ah, easily… We turned down money from the Koch Foundation because they wanted to run our organization; We don’t do that. Basically we’re a free market organization that wants to seek…To keep government out of our pocket books and look at things objectively rather than emotionally.”

Costa Constantinides: [09:37]  “Government out of your pocket books how?”

Jay Lehr: [09:39] “Uh, individual freedom.”

Costa Constantinides:    09:41    “Individual freedom.”

Jay Lehr:  [09:44]  “We’re a libertarian organization.”

Costa Constantinides: [09:46] “Ah, ok. So if, if, if things do, if somehow our view is right in your view is wrong. And so, but then there isn’t an economy, but you’re okay with that?”

Jay Lehr: [09:54] “No, I’m not okay with that. There’s no chance of you being right and me being wrong.”

Costa Constantinides: [09:58]  “Really?”

Jay Lehr: [09:58] “Really. Not on climate change. No chance at all. And I hope we all live long enough to see it. In fact…”

Costa Constantinides: [10:04] “As do I. I’ve got an eight year old son who will be very impacted…”

Jay Lehr: [10:07] “In 20 years, 20 years in New York City, we’ll be making some resilient adjustments to the fact that, probably, we will be entering a period of global cooling as a result of the fact that the sun spots are at a very low point, and we could probably look forward in 20 years to, ah, maybe a degree and a half Fahrenheit cooler and we’ll manage. We’re resilient. You’ve proved your resilience in this room. I’m, I’m absolutely astounded of all the terrific things you’re doing for the citizens of New York with regard to protecting against storm surges and the like. It just isn’t about sea level.”

Costa Constantinides: [10:43]  “So all these 100 year storms that keep blowing through in different parts of the world are of no consequence? They’re just…”

Jay Lehr: [10:49]  “They’re not manmade, that’s for sure.”

Costa Constantinides: [10:51]  “They’re not manmade?”

Jay Lehr: [10:51] “No.”

Costa Constantinides:  [10:52] “Nothing?”

Jay Lehr: [10:52] “No. It’s arrogant to think they are manmade because nature is so overwhelming compared to what the impact that we have. You can change a microclimate. In Phoenix, Arizona, people used to go there, uh, when they had breathing problems before they built 125 golf courses and irrigated them clean. Phoenix, Arizona is no longer so dry. You impact small areas, but you can’t impact the planet at all.”

Costa Constantinides: [11:20] “And the other 99 percent of scientists who believe that…?”

Jay Lehr: [11:23] “That isn’t true at all. That ninety-nine percent, ninety-seven [percent], that’s ridiculous. That’s ridiculous. Ninety seven percent of nobody agrees with everything. We have a… We sent out a, a statement to 33,000 scientists that all said, uh, you know, man-caused global warming is ridiculous. And it is ridiculous.”

January 31, 2018

Following President Donald Trump‘s State of the Union Address, Lehr said in a statement[46]

On Tuesday evening President Donald Trump delivered the finest State of The Union speech of my lifetime. After watching it a second time, I could not find a single sentence I would have changed. The special guests President Trump honored were extraordinary, bringing real tears to my eyes over and over again.  They were all uncomfortable in the spotlight but understood the importance of their stories.  While we know the radical liberal media will find some faults, all NPR could muster this morning was a disagreement with his plan for 1.8 million people brought to America as children. My expectations for President Trump and the future of the country have never been higher.

One of the most thrilling aspects of the speech was the total absence of climate change hysteria. President Trump’s delivery was flawless, allowing each and every point to be understood and absorbed.  Unlike past State of the Union speeches, President Trump did not step on some of his lines or bore the audience with a slow delivery.  I am simply in awe of what I saw and heard last night.”

March 23, 2017

In a keynote presentation at the Heartland Institute’s Twelfth International Conference on Climate Change, Lehr repeated the common myth that CO2 couldn’t be the driver of global temperatures given its small percentage in the atmosphere: [53]

“I mean, how impossible it is to think that that little, tiny bit [of CO2] controls the temperature of the planet… it’s absurd. It’s absolutely absurd,” Lehr said.

Heartland repurposed Lehr’s statements in a short video in February, 2018:


Writing at Breitbart, in an article titled “The Beginning of the End of EPA,” Jay H. Lehr declares: [32]

“Trump and the GOP are saying, finally, what millions of people have been thinking for a long time: EPA has become the cause of, not the solution to, the nation’s major environmental problems. It’s time to end EPA.”  [32]

“Dismantling EPA is one part of a comprehensive set of reforms, many of them discussed by Trump and referred to in the GOP platform, to lighten the massive weight of government regulations on the American people. The nation needs a pro-energy, pro-environment, and pro-jobs agenda that recognizes the tremendous value of the natural resources under our feet.” [32]

EPA has long outlived its usefulness. Let’s return its powers to the states, where they belong.”  [32]

According to Lehr,  “By the 1980s, nothing more needed to be done beyond monitoring our continuing success in cleaning up the environment. It was time to declare victory and go home.” [32]


Lehr was presented as an expert on Fox News’s “Hannity” show to discuss the recent nuclear disaster in Japan. He concluded that “I can tell you with the utmost confidence there will not be a health impact of anything that is going on at the Fukushima power plant.” [4]


In one of Lehr’s presentations, he suggests that “global warming is the best thing to socialize the world”: [24]

September 1994

“I am delighted with the early success TASSC is having … Perhaps TASSC is just the organization the media has long needed,” Lehr wrote in an issue of The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition’s newsletter. [59]

Key Deeds

February 4, 2020

Jay Lehr co-authored an article with Tom Harris of the International Climate Science Coalition. Lehr and Harris argue there is “overwhelming” evidence against mankind’s influence on climate change.  In the article, the authors repeat common change myths. For example, the idea that because CO2 is only a small part of the atmosphere that it is not important (see that debunked here): [64]

“Carbon dioxide (CO2) comprises only .04% (.0004) of our atmosphere. There is only 1/10,000 more CO2 in the atmosphere now than there was 260 years ago,” they wrote. [64]

Next, the authors claim there has been no rise in global temperatures (another myth debunked at SkepticalScience, as well as the myth that El Nino is the cause): [64]

“The fact that average temperatures did not rise much (other than during two naturally caused El Nino events) over the past two decades, during which about 1/3 of all human CO2 has been emitted, indicates that CO2 has no significant effect on real world temperatures.” [64]

They claim that temperatures have been lower in the past when CO2 levels were higher, and suggest this is another reason to invalidate global warming (see that debunked)[64]

“There have been times in history when CO2 levels were high and temperatures very low. And times in which CO2 levels were very low and temperatures very high. This negative correlation indicates that global warming argument fails again and the hypothesis of CO2 causing much real-world temperature change is almost certainly wrong.” [64]

Finally, another myth, that climate models just aren’t good enough (See SkepticalScience’s summary of the reliability of models): [64]

“The point is there are hundreds of variables that affect temperatures. The climate models that inform the alarmist argument use very few of them and, even for those, just guess at their influence.” [64]

They conclude: [64]

“For people who have studied climate change for over 40 years, like the senior author of this article, Dr. Jay Lehr⏤it is frustrating to know that the evidence against mankind having any role in it, is overwhelming. Yet the public and the opposition believe otherwise.”

November 2018

Lehr testified before New York City Council to “push back at the notion the Big Apple will be underwater soon due to man-caused climate change.” View the video below, via the Heartland Institute’s YouTube channel: [63]

November 2, 2018

In an opinion piece for Townhall.com, Lehr and Tom Harris of the International Climate Science Coalition claim that international efforts to curb manmade climate change are part of a global conspiracy theory to eliminate human freedom:

For many of the entities driving the global warming debate, the goal has never been about climate. Their long-term goal is to unite the world under a single socialistic government in which there is no capitalism, no democracy, and, ultimately, no freedom.” [62]

Lehr and Harris assert complicity in this scheme by every major agency of the U.S. government with oversight of energy, environmental, and climate policy. [62] 

The pair further alleges that proponents of the scientific consensus regarding climate change are attempting to subvert the U.S. Constitution by stifling counterfactual viewpoints:  

Personal freedoms are declining as a result of the climate scare as well. Socialists are using global warming to attack freedom of speech guaranteed by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.” [62]

October 19, 2018

Wrote an article titled “How Al Gore Built The Global Warming Fraud” at Climate Change Dispatch with the International Climate Science Coalition’s Tom Harris. In the article, they conclude that “essentially everything in Gore’s climate change agenda is either wrong or highly misrepresented.” They also stress that Will Happer needs to leverage his position in the Trump administration: “Now that he is President Donald Trump’s Senior Scientist for the National Security Council, Dr. Happer needs to show there is no “scientific consensus” on these issues …  to help end the dangerous mythology of dangerous man-made global warming.” [84]

August 7, 2018

Lehr spoke at the Heartland Institute‘s “America First Energy Conference” (AFEC 2018) in New Orleans, Louisiana. [54]

The purpose of this event is to promote and expand energy freedom in the United States, as outlined in President Donald Trump’s bold America First Energy Plan, a proposal first released during the 2016 presidential campaign. The president’s plan marks a decisive change in direction from the Obama administration’s ‘war on fossil fuels’ and focus on the theory of catastrophic man-caused climate change,” the conference description reads[55]

Lehr moderated a panel titled “Why CO2 Emissions Are Not Creating a Climate Crisis.” [56]

February 4, 2018

In January 2018, more than 200 scientists endorsed an open letter calling on the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) to remove climate change denier Rebekah Mercer from its board and to “end ties to anti-science propagandists and funders of climate science misinformation.” The New York Times reported that those among the AMNH letter calling for Mercer to step down were Michael E. Mann, director of the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University, and Katharine Hayhoe, director of the Climate Science Center at Texas Tech University. [50]

Lehr was among a group of climate change deniers who responded with their own open letter, calling for the AMNH “not to cave in to this pressure.” The letter was signed by numerous individuals with ties to groups funded by the Mercer Family Foundation such as Will Happer of the CO2 CoalitionRichard Lindzen, a fellow at the Cato InstituteCraig Idso, the chairman of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change. There are a number of signatories affiliated with the Heartland Institute, which has received over $5.78 million from the Mercer Family Foundation since 2008. [51]

The letter reads: [52]

The Earth has supported abundant life many times in the geological past when there were much higher levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. It is quite likely that future generations will benefit from the enrichment of Earth’s atmosphere with more carbon dioxide.

Make no mistake, the agitators are not defending science from quackery — quite the contrary!”

November 9, 2017

Lehr spoke at the Heartland Institute’s “America First Energy Conference” at the Marriott Hotel in Houston, Texas. His speech was titled “The Other Side of the Global Warming Story”: [42]

The event description read as follows: [36]

At the America First Energy Conference, we plan to examine—one year and one day after Trump’s shocking Election Day victory—the following:

Where does Trump’s America First Energy Plan stand?

How much progress has been made in implementing it, and what remains to be done?

What scientific and economic evidence is there that the plan is putting the nation on the right path for economic growth, environmental protection, or both?”[36]

In a fundraising letter obtained by DeSmog, Fred Palmer had promoted the event as having the goal to “review the scientific and economic evidence that exposes the fraud inherent in the Obama-era regulation regime” while discussing “the overwhelming benefits of fossil fuels to us all.” [37]

Many of the other speakers have regularly spoken at the Heartland Institute’s past ICCCs. Notable speakers listed so far include Joe Bast, Fred PalmerRoger BezdekH. Sterling BurnettHal Doiron, Paul DriessenJohn Dale DunnMyron Ebell, Heartland’s new President Tim HuelskampCraig IdsoDavid LegatesJay LehrAnthony LupoRoss McKitrickSteve MilloyTodd MyersJohn Nothdurt, David Schnare, and numerous others. [38]

As reported at the Houston Chronicle, speakers notably included two Trump Administration officials: Richard W. Westerdale II of the State Department and Vincent DeVito of the Department of Interior. David Bernhardt, deputy secretary of the Interior Department, was also formerly listed as a Heartland conference speaker, but apparently withdrew. [43]

Scott Pruitt also addressed the conference in a recorded video, personally thanking Heartland for “what you’re doing to advance energy” and “for what you’re doing to advance natural resources. [44]

The Climate Investigations Center put up a parody of the America First Energy conference website, complete with profiles on the individual speakers and highlighting their corporate funding and ties to groups such as the Cooler Heads Coalition (CHC)[45]

October 12, 2017

Lehr commented on President Donald Trump‘s appointment of Kathleen Hartnett-White as chair of the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), pending approval. Lehr was quoted in a October 13 Heartland Institute newsletter: [39]

We can all be sure that President Trump’s nomination of Kathleen Hartnett White to head the Council on Environmental Quality will prove to be a grand slam home run. Her experience in environmental protection and her knowledge of the nation’s outstanding energy resources make her perfect for this era. Her book Fueling Freedom, which she coauthored with Stephen Moore[JH2] , shows an amazing depth of knowledge required to develop our energy resources while protecting our environment,” Lehr said. [40]

Hartnett-White has a history of representing fossil fuel interests. During her tenure as chair of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), appointed by then-governor Rick Perry, the TCEQ was found to “not consistently ensure violators are held accountable.” According to a 2003 Texas State Audit, polluters “often have economic benefits that exceed their penalties, which could reduce their incentive to comply.” [41]

As head of the CEQ, Hartnett-White would be in charge of coordinating interagency science, climate, and environmental policy and oversee things such as the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review process and agency compliance with that law. [39]

Though CEQ oversees the NEPA process, it remains unclear how seriously Hartnett-White will take the NEPA review process, for decades seen as a bedrock of U.S. environmental regulation since NEPA became law in 1970,” DeSmog’s Steve Horn reported[39]

March 23, 2017

Lehr was a speaker at the Heartland Institute‘s 12th International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC12). He appeared on a panel titled “Climate Politics and Policy:” [35]

Lehr also gave a keynote “Global Warming Briefing” where he claimed that carbon dioxide couldn’t possibly be the driver of climate due to being a small percentage in the atmosphere (see this myth debunked at Skeptical Science). See Lehr’s ICCC12 PowerPoint here. [53]

February 23, 2017

Jay H. Lehr was a signatory of a petition (PDF) organized by Richard Lindzen of the Cato Institute urging President Donald Trump to pull the United States out of the United Nations international convention on climate change (UNFCCC). [33]

In just a few weeks, more than 300 eminent scientists and other qualified individuals from around the world have signed the petition below,” Lindzen wrote in the letter. [33]

DeSmog investigated the list, and found that only a small handful of the signatories could be considered “even remotely ‘qualified’ or ‘eminent’ — but not in the field of climate science.” The list included individuals “interested in climate,” and one signatory who only identified as an “emailer who wished to sign the petition” while some signers provided no affiliation or address whatsoever. [34]

January 24, 2017

Writing at Breitbart, Jay H. Lehr argues that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has outlives its usefulness: [32]

“Trump and the GOP are saying, finally, what millions of people have been thinking for a long time: EPA has become the cause of, not the solution to, the nation’s major environmental problems. It’s time to end EPA.”

According to Lehr, the ”EPA is now an obstacle” that has been controlled by “radical Leftists” who  “realized they could advance their political agenda by taking over the environmental movement and use it to advocate for ever-more draconian regulations on businesses.” [32]

Before going on to cite a report by the conservative Heritage Foundation, Lehr adds that “Today, EPA is a captive of activist and special-interest groups. Its regulations have nothing to do with protecting the environment.” [32]

Lehr advocates that “The solution is to return this authority to the states, replacing EPA with a Committee of the Whole of the 50 state environmental protection agencies.” [32]

“Dismantling EPA is one part of a comprehensive set of reforms, many of them discussed by Trump and referred to in the GOP platform, to lighten the massive weight of government regulations on the American people. The nation needs a pro-energy, pro-environment, and pro-jobs agenda that recognizes the tremendous value of the natural resources under our feet. […] EPA has long outlived its usefulness. Let’s return its powers to the states, where they belong.”

August 2016

Jay Lehr is listed as a “Founding Member” of group named Climate Exit (Clexit) led by climate change denier Christopher Monckton. According to Clexit’s founding statement (PDF), “The world must abandon this suicidal Global Warming crusade. Man does not and cannot control the climate.” [28][29]

Desmog reports on how the group grew in the wake of the UK‘s decision to leave the EU. A key member of Clexit’s “60 well-informed science, business and economic leaders” is Hugh Morgan, a former board member of the Reserve Bank of Australia and former CEO of Western Mining Corporation with close ties to Australia’s Liberal party. [30][31]

According to Clexit’s founding statement

If the Paris climate accord is ratified, or enforced locally by compliant governments, it will strangle the leading economies of the world with pointless carbon taxes and costly climate and energy policies, all with no sound basis in evidence or science […]” [29]

June 13, 2016

Jay H. Lehr was quoted in the Heartland Institute‘s press release, “Heartland Institute Experts React to U.S. House Passing Anti-Carbon Tax Resolution.” [27]

I have spent much of a half century studying and understanding this fact: Were our planet not blessed with carbon dioxide, life would not exist. It seems unfathomable that a group of intelligent people would want to limit our life’s blood.

Without 150 parts per million of CO2 in our atmosphere, plants would perish – and man along with them. Before World War II, we were perilously close to having too little CO2 in the atmosphere. Now the industrial revolution has saved us, and hopefully we are on our way to 500 and 600 ppm, which the planet has exceeded for much of its history.

Carbon dioxide has no down sides. It increases green matter everywhere, including the yields of our crops, which are slowly reducing starvation in the world. And surely CO2’s insignificant role as a greenhouse gas, when compared to water vapor, is not negatively impacting the temperature of our planet. It is surely time to end the insanity and defeat the idea of imposing a carbon tax.” [27]

April 2016

Jay H. Lehr and Jack Keeley edited a book titled Alternative Energy and Shale Gas Encyclopedia, (Wiley—April 25, 2016) described as a “a comprehensive depository of all information relating to the scientific and technological aspects of the world’s energy.” [25]

The book is introduced by Howard Hayden, and features a chapter on shale gas by Heartland Institute “expert” and research fellow Isaac Orr. [26]

June 11–12, 2015

Jay Lehr was a speaker on Panel 4: “Energy Policy,” at the Heartland Institute’s Tenth International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC10) in Washington, D.C., with Marlo Lewis and Isaac Orr. [17]

View Jay Lehr’s Panel 4 presentation at the Heartland Institute’s ICCC10, below: [18]

Jay Lehr was a speaker on Panel 7: “Climate Policy and National Security,” at the Heartland Institute’s Tenth International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC10) in Washington, D.C., with James Taylor. [17]

View Jay Lehr’s Panel 7 presentation at the Heartland Institute’s ICCC10, below: [19]

May 6, 2015

Jay Lehr provided a positive review for Climate Change, The Facts in an article titled “Top Climate Skeptics Captured in One Book: Review of Climate Change The Facts” on the Heartland Institute’s publication Heartlander.

“While there are dozens of excellent books exploding the man caused global warming myth, I believe no more need to be written after this single volume brilliantly put together by Alan Moran,” Lehr said. [13]

Climate Change: The Facts is published by the Institute of Public Affairs and features “22 essays on the science, politics and economics of the climate change debate.” The Institute of Public Affairs, while not revealing most of its funders, is known to have received funding from mining magnate Gina Rinehart and at least one major tobacco company. [14]

The book includes essays and articles from a range of climate change skeptics, with contributers including the following:

March 2015

Jay Lehr was a guest on the Fox News Channel’s Your World with Neil Cavuto where he discussed regulations on hydraulic fracturing. As reported in the Heartland Institute’s Blog Somewhat Reasonable , Lehr claims that studies showing fracking contaminates well water are exaggerated:

“We fractured a million wells between the beginning and when the shale gas boom began and we really haven’t proven that there’s been a single water supply contaminated.” [15]

View a full report at Media Matters for America, and view the video coverage below. [16]

November 5, 2014

The Heartland Institute‘s “environmental science and policy experts” published comments following the release of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) “Synthesis Report,” completing the IPCC‘s Fifth Assessment Report (AR5). [12] Jay Lehr wrote it is “clear that the shrill panic of the global warmers has worn thin on the common people in this nation.” [12]

September 4, 2014

Jay Lehr was a guest on Fox News’s Stossel show, where he described the EPA as “fraudulent” in estimates of amounts of pollution that pose hazards to people’s health, such as particulate matter in coal pollution. [20], [23]

Polluterwatch’s Connor Gibson notes that Jay Lehr himself had been sentenced to six months–serving three–in a minimum security federal prison back in 1991 for fraud, and his organization at the time was fined over $200,000. [20], [21], [22]

According to a Heartland Institute email advertising Lehr’s attendance on Stossel’s show, Mr. Lehr’s relevance in attacking the EPA comes from a Heartland report he wrote urging the agency to be “systematically dismantled.” [20]

August 28, 2014

Jay Lehr appeared on the Stossel Show with John Stossel on Fox News, calling the Environmental Protection Agency “fraudulent,” despite having previously defrauded the EPA himself by “falsifying employee time sheets on a government contract,” and serving a six month sentence and paying a $200,000 fine for it in 1991. [11]

Lehr contends that the EPA is “fraudulent” in its “estimates of the amounts of pollution that pose hazards to people’s health, such as particulate matter in coal pollution.” Lehr states that none of the EPA’s amendments since 1980 have been beneficial to our environment or human health and “all they [EPA] do is ruin our economy.” [11]

When asked by Stossel if it would be a good idea to reduce carbon dioxide in the air, Lehr said it was “absurd to call carbon dioxide a pollutant … and it has given the US EPA an opportunity to run our lives.” Lehr reiterated his stance to phase out the EPA in a five-year plan, which he detailed in his July, 2014 Policy Brief for the Heartland Institute titled “Replacing the Environmental Protection Agency.”

July 2014

Jay Lehr, science director and senior fellow, writes a Policy Brief for the Heartland Institute entitled, “Replacing the Environmental Protection Agency,” which he describes in the abstract as a “plan to replace the United States Environmental Protection Agency with a Committee of the Whole of the 50 state environmental protection agencies, utilizing a phased five-year transition period.” 

Within the Policy Brief, Lehr writes that the ten years following the establishment of the EPA in 1971 he “helped write a significant number of legislative bills that were to make up a true safety net for our environment,” including, “Water Pollution Control Act (later renamed the Clean Water Act), Safe Drinking Water Act, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, Surface Mining and Reclamation Act (which, surprisingly, covered deep mines as well), Clean Air Act, Federal Insecticide, Rodenticide, and Fungicide Act, and Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (which we now know as Superfund).” 

Following Lehr’s ten-year period of legislative bill writing, he notes in the brief that “around 1981, liberal activist groups recognized EPA could be used to advance their political agenda by regulating virtually all human activities regardless of their impact on the environment … Since that time, not a single environmental law or regulation has been passed that benefitted either the environment or society … Today, EPA is all but a wholly owned subsidiary of liberal activist groups.”

Lehr concludes the Policy Brief by writing “it’s time for the national EPA to go,” and that “the path forward is now clear and simple: A five-year transition from a federal government bureaucracy to a Committee of the Whole composed of the 50 state environmental protection … All that is missing is the political will.” 

March 2008

Lehr spoke at the Heartland Institute’s 2008 International Conference on Climate Change.

His presentation, below, is titled “Humans Are Not the Cause of Climate Change”:



According to the Heartland Institute, Lehr is the author of 400 magazine and journal articles and 12 books.

Lehr’s profile at “The Encyclopedia of Water,” where he was chief editor, reveals that these 400 articles were on “ground water hydrology.” According to a search of Google Scholar, Lehr has not published any articles in peer reviewed journals on the subject of climate change.

Sample Publications:

  • Jay H. Lehr, ed., Rational Readings on Environmental Concerns (New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1992).
  • Jay H. Lehr, Standard Handbook of Environmental Science, Health, and Technology (McGraw-Hill Publishing Co. 2000).


  1. Dr. Jay H. Lehr,” The Encyclopedia of Water. Archived August 8, 2008.
  2. Policy Experts & Staff,” The Heartland Institute. Archived October 4, 2008.
  3. Alarmism Undermines Sound Policy” (Letter to the Editor in the Chicago Sun Times). The Heartland Institute, April 4, 2006. Archived November 25, 2006.
  4. Are Fears of a Catastrophic Nuclear Meltdown in Japan Warranted?” (Transcript), Fox News, March 14, 2011.
  5. Heartland Experts: Jay Lehr,” The Heartland Institue. Accessed January, 2012.
  6. “The Health Effects of Low-Level Radiation” (PDF), American Council on Science and Health. See page 14.
  7. “Modern Groundwater Exploration: Discovering New Water Resources in Consolidated Rocks Using Innovative Hydrogeologic Concepts, Exploration, Drilling, Aquifer Testing, and Management Methods,” Wiley Online Library, January 28, 2005 (see “Author Biography”).
  8. Who We Are,” International Climate Science Coalition. Accessed January, 2012.
  9. Jay Lehr,” SourceWatch entry.
  10. ExxonSecrets Factsheet: Jay H. Lehr.
  11. Connor Gibson. “Man Who Defrauded EPA calls EPA “Fraudulent” on FOX,” PolluterWatch, August 29, 2014. Archived September 5, 2014.
  12. Heartland Institute Experts Comment on Latest United Nations Climate Report,” Heartland Institute, November 5, 2014.
  13. Jay Lehr. “Top Climate Skeptics Captured in One Book: Review of Climate Change The Facts,” Heartlander, May 6, 2015.
  14. Institute of Public Affairs,” SourceWatch. Accessed May 27, 2015.
  15. Donald Lendal. “Heartland’s Jay Lehr Talks Fracking Regulations with Neil Cavuto,” Somewhat Reasonable (Heartland Institute Blog). March 26, 2015.
  16. Denise Robbins. “Fox’s Cavuto, Heartland’s Lehr In Denial About Fracking Pollution,” Media Matters for America. March 24, 2015. 
  17. Speakers,” Heartland Institute. Archived June 30, 2015.
  18. Panel 4: Energy Policy with Marlo Lewis, Jay Lehr, Ph.D., and Isaac Orr,” Heartland Institute, June 11. Archived July, 2015.
  19. Panel 7: Climate Policy and National Security with Capt. Donald K. “Deke” Forbes (USN, ret.), Jay Lehr, Ph.D., and James Taylor,” Heartland Institute, June 11, 2015. Archived July 20, 2015.
  20. Connor Gibson. “Heartland’s Jay Lehr calls EPA ‘Fraudulent,’ Despite Defrauding EPA and Going to Jail,” DeSmogBlog (Crossposted from Polluterwatch), September 4, 2014.
  21. Minnesota Ground Water Association Newsletter (PDF) Vol. 10, No. 3, October, 1991. p.11. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmogBlog.
  22. Minnesota Ground Water Association Newsletter (PDF) Vol. 10, No. 2, June, 1991. p.5. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmogBlog.
  23. Man Who Defrauded EPA Calls EPA ‘Fraudulent’ On FOX,” Crooks and Liars, September 2, 2014.
  24. Climate change – It`s about freedom – Jay Lehr,” YouTube. Video uploaded by Bushvision, May 1, 2008.
  25. Jay H. Lehr and Jack Keeley. Alternative Energy and Shale Gas Encyclopedia (Wiley—April 25, 2016). ISBN: 978-0-470-89441-5
  26. Expert: Isaac Orr,” Heartland Institute. Archived May 10, 2016. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6hPNr0i8B
  27. Heartland Institute Experts React to U.S. House Passing Anti-Carbon Tax Resolution,” Heartland Institute, June 13, 2016. Archived June 23, 2016.
  28. The Clexit Committee comprises” (PDF), Clexit.net. Archived.pdf on file at Desmog.
  29. After Brexit, Clexit” (PDF), Clexit.net. Archived .pdf on file at Desmog.
  30. Graham Readfearn. “After Brexit, Climate Science Denialists Form New Group to Call for a Clexit,” Desmog, August 3, 2016.
  31. Hugh Morgan AO,” Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Archived February 22, 2002. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/1ObOB
  32. Jay H. Lehr: The Beginning of the End of EPA,” Breitbart, January 23, 2017. Archived January 24, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/PIAmB
  33. “PETITION” (PDF), February 23, 2017. Richard Lindzen. PDF Archived at DeSmog.
  34. Graham Readfearn. “Climate Science Denier Richard Lindzen’s List of 300 “Scientists” Sent to Trump Is the Usual Parade of Non-Experts,” DeSmog, February 27, 2017.
  35. JAY LEHR,” Climateconference.heartland.org. Archived April 6, 2017. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/HUrqC
  36. About,” America First Energy. Archived October 11, 2017. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/8bTTJ
  37. October 2017 Fundraising letter by Fred Palmer. On file at Desmog.
  38. SPEAKERS,” America First Energy. Archived October 10, 2017. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/OJWeX
  39. Steve Horn. “Trump Names Climate Denier Kathleen Hartnett-White to Head White House Environmental Council,” DeSmog, October 13, 2017.
  40. “Heartland Institute Experts React to Trump’s Appointment of Kathleen Hartnett White for CEQ,” The Heartland Institute. Archived newsletter .pdf on file at DeSmog.
  41. An Audit Report on The Commission on Environmental Quality’s Enforcement and Permitting Functions for Selected Programs” (PDF), State Auditor’s Office, December 2003.
  42. JAY LEHR,” America First Energy Conference. Archived November 21, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/g6vgx
  43. James Osborne. “Trump officials to appear at Houston event hosted by climate skeptics,” Houston Chronicle, November 2, 2017. Archived November 20, 2017. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/XPtYc
  44. Scott Pruitt,” America First Energy ConferenceArchived November 20, 2017. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/X4F6m
  45. America First Energy Conference Stacked with Climate Change Deniers,” Climate Investigations Center, November 6, 2017. Archived November 20, 2017. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/mISrd
  46. PRESS RELEASEHEARTLAND INSTITUTE EXPERTS REACT TO PRESIDENT TRUMP’S STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS,” The Heartland Institute, January 31, 2018. Archived February 5, 2018. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/FeswS
  47. amnh18-feb4-petitionletter (PDF – Untitled). Retrieved from Watts Up With That.
  48. Robin Pogrebin and Somini Sengupta. “A Science Denier at the Natural History Museum? Scientists Rebel,” The New York Times, January 25, 2018. Archived February 13, 2018. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/tAIv4
  49. Graham Readfearn. “Climate Science Deniers Defend New York’s American Museum of Natural History From Calls to Drop Trustee Rebekah Mercer,” DeSmog, February 6, 2018.
  50. Robin Pogrebin and Somini Sengupta. “A Science Denier at the Natural History Museum? Scientists Rebel,” The New York Times, January 25, 2018. Archived February 13, 2018. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/tAIv4
  51. Graham Readfearn. “Climate Science Deniers Defend New York’s American Museum of Natural History From Calls to Drop Trustee Rebekah Mercer,” DeSmog, February 6, 2018.
  52. mnh18-feb4-petitionletter (PDF – Untitled). Retrieved from Watts Up With That.
  53. Jay Lehr, ICCC12 (Keynote, Global Warming Briefing),” International Conferences on Climate Change . Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog. 
  54. Speakers,” America First Energy Conference 2018. Archived August 1, 2018. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/mwtga
  55. About,” America First Energy Conference 2018. Archived July 23, 2018. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.fo/E4Gnt
  56. JAY LEHR, PH.D.,” America First Energy Conference 2018. Archived August 1, 2018. Archive URL: https://archive.fo/ILVpz
  57. TASSC ISSUES 5 GUIDING SCIENTIFIC PRINCIPLES,” Advancement of Sound Science Coalition, August 25, 2000. Retrieved from Truth Tobacco Industry Documents Library. Bates No. 90204222-190204224.
  58. George Monbiot. “The Denial Industry,” The Guardian, September 19, 2006. Archived March 22, 2016.
  59. Letter from the Chairman,” The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition. September 1994. Retrieved from Truth Tobacco Documents Library. Bates No. 2048294493-2048294496
  60. “An interview with Dr. Jay Lehr of the National Water Well Association,” [Ohio] : American Electric Power, Fuel Supply Dept., [198-]. Via Worldcat.
  61. How to Manage Convention Planning Programming Budgeting and Travel.” Retrieved from Truth Tobacco Industry Documents Library. Bates No. TI49570001TI49570089
  62. Jay Lehr. “Global Warming Is Not Damaging Our World – The Global Warming Movement Is,” townhall.com, November 2, 2018. Archived November 12, 2018. Archive.is URL: http://archive.is/DAT3g
  63. Heartland’s Jay Lehr Testifies to New York City Council on Sea Level Rise,” YouTube video uploaded by user “The Heartland Institute,” November 2, 2018. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.
  64. Why don’t we hear more about the Sun and its impact on Climate Change?America Out Loud, February 4, 2020. Archived February 11, 2020. Archive.ph URL: https://archive.ph/5lT5y

Other Resources

Profile image screenshot from YouTube, Jay Lehr speaking at the Heartland Institute’s 12th International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC12).

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