John Nothdurft

John Nothdurft


  • B.A, Political Science, University of Mississippi.  [1] 


John Nothdurft is the Heartland Institutes Government Relations Director, and previously served as a legislative specialist on budget, tax, and tobacco policy. Prior to joining Heartland John was the National Press Coordinator for Americans for Fair Taxation[2]

Stance on Climate Change

November 17, 2015

A paper co-authored by Nothdurft and published by the Heartland Institute, “Ten State Solutions to Emerging Issues“ stated:

“Fear of Global warming – aka “climate change” – led to the adoption of numerous taxes, regulations, and subsidies aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Real-world observations and improved scientific methods, however, reveal the threat of global warming was exaggerated. Laws discouraging or restricting carbon dioxide emissions have almost zero impact on climate and temperature.” [3]

Key Quotes

December 7, 2017

In a press release from the Heartland Institute regarding Scott Pruitt‘s EPA appointment, Nothdurft stated:

The selection of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt is an obvious commitment to a pro-environment, pro-energy, pro-jobs agenda. Pruitt has been a vocal critic of federal overreach and understands that state agencies are well-positioned to take on a larger role in protecting the environment while also allowing for responsible and necessary commerce and energy production. This pick will go a long way towards correcting the Obama administration’s regulatory overreach, which has cost us jobs, hurt farmers, and has had an insignificant effect on the environment.” [4]

November 17, 2015

From Ten State Solutions to Emerging Issues:

“Although moratoria are sought by environmental activists, there is no scientific justification for banning fracking.

“Global warming alarmists argue human activities, primarily the emission of greenhouse gases from energy use, are driving a rapid rise in global average temperature that is causing a climate crisis. This theory and the climate models that underpin it are strongly contradicted by real-world evidence.” [3]

April 20, 2012

In a post on the Heartland’s blog Somewhat Reasonable, Nothdurft wrote:

“Despite what these fringe groups want you to believe, ALEC is not involved in any black helicopter conspiracy. ALEC is in fact a very effective and respected public-private partnership that brings together state legislators, members of the private sector, the federal government, and general public to openly discuss public policy and free-market solutions. It does not hide that its stated mission is to advance “Jeffersonian principles of free markets, limited government, federalism, and individual liberty.” [5]

Key Deeds

August 7, 2018

Nothdurft attended the Heartland Institute‘s “America First Energy Conference” (AFEC 2018) in New Orleans, Louisiana. [17]

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[18]

Nothdurft moderated a panel titled “Fudiciary Malpractice: The Sustainable Investment Movement.” [19]

November 9, 2017

Nothdurft moderated two panels at the Heartland Institute’s “America First Energy Conference” at the Marriott Hotel in Houston: [16]

Panel 1B “Energy and Prosperity”:

Panel 5A “The Cost of Excessive Regulation”:

The event description read as follows: [10]

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?” [10]

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.” [11]

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. [12]

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. [13]

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. [14]

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)[15]

March 23, 2017

Nothdurft was listed as being involved in two sessions of the Heartland Institute‘s 12th International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC12), including lunch keynotes that featured Patrick Michaels and Lamar Smith, and a dinner keynote presentation by Robert Mendelsohn and Roger Helmer. [9]

January 27, 2017

Nothdurft co-hosts the Heartland Institute’s podcast, “In the Tank” with graphic designer Donny Kendall. In Episode #73, titled “Oil Pipeline Safety, State Solutions to Obamacare, Privatizing DC‘s Metro, and Road Beers,” Nothdurft said:

“The keystone pipeline, outside the leftist environmentalist, most people were not against this. I mean, the opposition to the building of these pipelines was very small, very vocal, and you know, you show any normal person a map of where the pipelines are in this country and they are all over the pace. So, it’s kind of ridiculous that they are in this mentality that if we don’t build this they are just going to keep this oil in Canada and in the ground. They keep saying keep it in the ground.” [6]

June 30, 2011

John Nothdurft was listed as a speaker at the Heartland Institute‘s Sixth International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC6). Nothdurft gave an introduction to keynote speaker James Inhofe.  [7] 

Research done by DesmogBlog found that 17 of the 43 sponsors of the Heartland Institute’s Sixth International Conference on Climate Change, including the Heartland Institute itself, have collectively received over $46 million from either Scaife Foundations, Koch Foundations, or ExxonMobil and its foundation. 


Social Media


Nothdurft has a blog at the Heartland Institute where he voices anti-regulatory views. [8]

Some of his entries include:


  1. John Nothdurft: Director of Government Relations at The Heartland Institute,” LinkedIn Profile. Accessed March 2, 2017.
  2. Heartland Staff: John Nothdurft,” The Heartland Institute. Archived March 26, 2017. URL
  3. Ten State Solutions to Emerging Issues,” (PDF) The Heartland Institute. Accessed March 2, 2017. URL
  4. Press Release: Heartland Institute Experts React To Trump Appointing Scott Pruitt To Head EPA.The Heartland Institute. Archived March 26, 2017. URL
  5. John Nothdurft. “Standing Up For ALEC,” Somewhat Reasonable, April 20, 2012. URL
  6. Kendal, Donny and John Nothdurft. “Oil Pipeline Safety, State Solutions to Obamacare, Privatizing DC‘s Metro, and Road Beers.” Podcast. In the Tank. Heartland Institute. January 27, 2017. Accessed March 23, 2017. 
  7. Sixth International Conference On Climate Change: Conference Program,” The Heartland Institute. June 30, 2011Archived March 26, 2017. 
  8. AUTHOR: JOHN NOTHDURFT,” The Heartland Institute. Archived March 28, 2017. URL:
  9. JOHN NOTHDURFT,” Archived April 6, 2017. URL:
  10. About,” America First Energy. Archived October 11, 2017. URL
  11. October 2017 Fundraising letter by Fred Palmer. On file at Desmog.
  12. SPEAKERS,” America First Energy. Archived October 10, 2017. URL
  13. James Osborne. “Trump officials to appear at Houston event hosted by climate skeptics,” Houston Chronicle, November 2, 2017. Archived November 20, 2017. URL
  14. Scott Pruitt,” America First Energy ConferenceArchived November 20, 2017. URL
  15. America First Energy Conference Stacked with Climate Change Deniers,” Climate Investigations Center, November 6, 2017. Archived November 20, 2017. URL
  16. JOHN NOTHDURFT,” America First Energy Conference. Archived November 20, 2017. URL:
  17. Speakers,” America First Energy Conference 2018. Archived August 1, 2018. URL:
  18. About,” America First Energy Conference 2018. Archived July 23, 2018. URL
  19. JOHN NOTHDURFT,” America First Energy Conference 2018. Archived August 1, 2018. Archive URL:

Other Resources

Profile image of John Nothdurft speaking at the Heartland Institute’s 12th International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC12), screenshot via YouTube.

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