Roy Innis

Roy Innis (Deceased)


Roy Innis claimed that his experience of climate science came from being “exposed to climate variation dynamics while a student in chemical engineering at the City College of New York.”1Roy Innis,” International Conferences on Climate Change ( Archived October 13, 2017. URL:


Roy Innis was the National Chairman and CEO of the Congress for Racial Equality (CORE), a New York-based civil rights organization. Roy Innis passed away on January 8, 2017.2Roy Innis,” International Conferences on Climate Change ( Archived October 13, 2017. URL: 3Roy Innis,” Congress of Racial Equality. Archived October 13, 2017. URL:

According to his bio at the Congress for Racial Equality (CORE), Innis entered a four-year program in chemistry at City College of New York and held positions as a research chemist at Vick Chemical Company and Montefiore Hospital.4Roy Innis,” Congress of Racial Equality. Archived October 13, 2017. URL:

CORE’s mission is to “establish, in practice, the inalienable right for all people to determine their own destiny – to decide for themselves what social and political organizations can operate in their best interest and to do so without gratuitous and inhibiting influence from those whose interest is diametrically opposed to theirs.”5What is CORE,” Congress for Racial Equality. Archived October 13, 2017. URL:

Since 2002, CORE has received $325,000 from oil-giant ExxonMobil for work related to activities described as “climate change outreach” and “change regulation/legislation.”6ExxonSecrets Factsheet: Congress for Racial Equality, CORE.

A 1996 New York Times article described CORE as “one of the leading voices of the small but growing number of black conservatives in the United States.”7James V. O’Connor. “Roy Innis Defines Himself and Politics,” The New York Times, September 22, 1996. Archived October 13, 2017. URL:

The original founder of CORE, James Farmer, described CORE in 1993:

“CORE has no functioning chapters; it holds no conventions, no elections, no meetings, sets no policies, has no social programs and does no fund-raising. In my opinion, CORE is fraudulent.”8Nick Charles. “Equal Opportunity Scam,” The Village Voice, April 22, 2003. Archived June 29, 2011. URL:

Roy’s son, Niger Innis, has served as National Spokesman for CORE.9National Spokesperson,” CORE Executive Staff. Archived February 24, 2017. URL:

Stance on Climate Change

March 2009

The New American quoted Roy Innis, who had spoken at CORE’s 2009 Conference in New York City:

“A lot of people are searching for the right thing to believe in and [have been] captured by a corrupted ideology, a ‘green’ religion,” Innis said. “’Coal and natural gas are the new civil rights battleground […] because without these sources, “we” cannot enjoy this great society.’”10Ed Hiserodt. “CORE Leader Blasts Global-warming Alarmists,” The New American, March 24, 2009. Archived April 30, 2009. URL:

Key Quotes

February 2008

In a February 2008 article Innis wrote:

“Energy Killers justify these demands by pointing to computer models that conjure up disaster scenarios in which rising carbon dioxide causes icy habitats to melt 50-100 years from now, driving polar bears to extinction. However, hundreds of climate scientists emphasize that these models can’t forecast accurately even one year in advance, much less 50. They say there is no evidence that Earth’s moderate warming of the past century will turn into a disaster, or that CO2 is the primary cause of climate change.”11Roy Innis. “Poisoning the Economy,Eco-Imperialism, February, 2008. Archived March 17, 2010. URL:

Key Deeds

March 8–10, 2009

Roy Innis presented at the Heartland Institute’s 2009 International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC2) the topic of “The Morality of Energy Rationing.”12Roy Innis,” International Conferences on Climate Change ( Archived October 13, 2017. URL:

DeSmogBlog found that the event’s sponsors in 2009 had collectively received over $47 million from oil companies and right-wing foundations.

December 2008

CORE co-organized a campaign in December 2008, with the conservative value group High Impact Leadership Coalition (HILC) titled “Don’t Freeze Us Out.” The campaign was a response to Robert Redford’s opposition of oil and gas rights auctions (some near national parks) in Utah. Redford had used his celebrity to oppose a sale which he described as “morally criminal” in intent.

CORE’s campaign promised to “organize churches, civil rights groups, consumer groups and others ‘to fight Redford and self-styled environmental groups that are working to constrict supplies of natural gas and other energy resources.’”13Lee Davidson. “Group protests Redford’s stand on drilling,” Deseret News, January 3, 2009. Archived October 13, 2017. URL:

March 2008

CORE organized a pro-drilling campaign titled “Stop the War on the Poor” in 2008, in conjunction with the HLC, as well as the front-group Americans For American Energy.

The goal of the campaign was to increase domestic oil and gas production, with the expectation of reducing the cost of fuel for low-income families.

March 2–4, 2008

Innis spoke at the Heartland Institute’s first International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC1) on the topic of “Climate Change Economics.” View video below.14“The 2008 International Conference on Climate Change” (PDF), The Heartland Institute.

January 2005

In 2005, CORE ran a pro-genetically modified foods campaign.15Jonathan Matthews. “Monsanto Rolls Out Their ‘Fake Parade’ Once Again,” Organic Consumers Association, January 19, 2005. Archived October 13, 2017. URL:

According to an archived version of CORE’s website the pro-GM food campaign was sponsored by ag-food and pesticide giant Monsanto. Here is a screen capture of the CORE site in 2005 where Monsanto is listed as “CORE’s corporate partner in the quest for bio-tech information.”

In January 2005, Monsanto’s Chairman and CEO, Hugh Grant chaired CORE’s celebratory reception in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. A screen shot of the Monsanto photo is archived here.

At the same time, CORE organized what it called the “UN World Conference on Biotechnology.” The closing address for the conference was made by Gerald Steiner, Monsanto’s Executive Vice President.


CORE has been accused by the state of “browbeating companies into donations.” In 1981 they were accused of illegal fundraising practices, and questioned for the way they represented themselves. As part of a settlement, Innis admitted to no wrongdoing, but paid $35,000 out of his own pocket to CORE. He charged racism. An ex-CORE employee who worked in the call center described the fundraising process as “racial hustle.”16Nick Charles. “Equal Opportunity Scam,” The Village Voice, April 22, 2003. Archived June 29, 2011. URL:


Social Media


In 2004, CORE released a publication called Eco-Imperialism: Reflections on Earth Day, arguing that:

[s]afeguarding environmental values is essential… But we must stop trying to protect our planet from every imaginable, exaggerated or imaginary risk. And we must stop trying to protect it on the backs, and the graves, of the nation’s and world’s most powerless and impoverished people.”

“Eco-imperialism” is seen by CORE as denying impoverished people the chance for better lives and the ability to rid their countries of diseases that were vanquished long ago in the United States and Europe.

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