Internal Fossil Fuel Industry Memos Reveal Decades of Corporate Disinformation
U.S. Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma, now chair of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, has famously and repeatedly called climate change “a hoax.”
written by Kathy Mulvey and Seth Shulman...
In addition to his frequent claims, Inhofe went so far as to bring a snowball onto the Senate floor to somehow illustrate his point. Of course, Senator Inhofe fails to acknowledge the overwhelming evidence of global warming. The science has been clear for decades that the planet is rapidly warming and that emissions of heat-trapping gases from the burning of fossil fuels are largely to blame.
But Senator Inhofe is right about one thing: there has been a climate hoax that continues today. It is the decades’ long campaign by a handful of the world’s largest fossil fuel companies - such as Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, and Peabody Energy - to deceive the American public by distorting the realities and risks of climate change, sometimes acting directly and sometimes acting indirectly through trade associations and front groups.
The internal documents collected and excerpted in this report tell the story of this deception. Disclosed to the public as recently as this year, the seven “deception dossiers” presented here tell an undeniable truth - that, for nearly three decades, major fossil fuel companies have knowingly worked to distort climate science findings, deceive the public, and block policies designed to hasten our needed transition to a clean energy economy.
Their tactics have included collusion, the use of front groups to hide companies’ influence and avoid accountability, and the secret funding of purportedly independent scientists. Companies’ front groups have even used forged letters, claiming to be from nonprofits that advocate for the wellbeing of women, minorities, children, seniors, and veterans, to dissuade members of Congress from supporting much-needed climate legislation (see, for example, Miller 2009).
Deception Dossiers This report presents seven “deception dossiers” - collections containing some 85 internal company and trade association documents that have either been leaked to the public, come to light through lawsuits, or been disclosed through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. While many of these documents have been analyzed by others (Oreskes 2011; Oreskes and Conway 2010; Gelbspan 1998), these dossiers offer the most complete and up-to-date collection yet available. Excerpts of the documents are provided in the report’s appendices; the complete dossiers - totaling some 336 pages - are available online. Each collection of internal documents reviewed here reveals a separate glimpse of a coordinated campaign underwritten by the world’s major fossil fuel companies and their allies to spread climate misinformation and block climate action. The campaign began decades ago and continues today.
These documents build a case for why these companies must stop and must be held accountable for their share of responsibility for global warming.
The fossil fuel industry - like the tobacco industry before it - is noteworthy for its use of active, intentional disinformation and deception to support its political aims and maintain its lucrative profits. The following case studies show that:
Fossil fuel companies have intentionally spread climate disinformation for decades. The roots of the fossil fuel companies’ deception and disinformation run deep. Internal documents dating back to the early 1990s show a series of carefully planned campaigns of deception orga- nized by companies and by trade groups representing the industry. As the scienti c evidence concerning climate change became clear, some of the world’s largest carbon producers—including BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Peabody Energy, and Shell—developed or participated in campaigns to deliberately sow confusion and block policies designed to reduce the heat-trapping emissions that cause global warming.
Fossil fuel company leaders knew that their products were harmful to people and the planet but still chose to actively deceive the public and deny this harm.The letters, memos, and reports in the dossiers show that company executives have known for at least two decades that their products - coal, oil, and natural gas - cause harm to people and the climate.
The campaign of deception continues today.With documents made public as recently as 2014 and 2015, the evidence is clear that a campaign of deception about global warming continues to the present. Today, most major fossil fuel companies acknowledge the main ndings of climate science. Many even say they support policies to cut emissions. And yet, some of these same companies continue to support groups that spread mis- information designed to deceive the public about climate science and climate policy.
Taken together, these documents build a case for why these companies must stop sowing doubt and blocking progress, and must be held accountable for their share of responsibility for global warming and the damages already underway.
Undeniable Climate Impacts Today, global warming is already having harmful effects on our communities, our health, and our economy. These consequences will only intensify as the planet’s temperature continues to rise. Communities, people, and businesses are now facing impacts including:
Rising sea level. Global warming is accelerating the rate of sea level rise and dramatically increasing coastal ooding risks.
Longer and more damaging wildfire seasons. In the dry season in many parts of the world and in drought-prone regions, wild re risks are increasing and wild re seasons are getting longer as global temperatures rise.
Costly and growing health impacts. Climate change has serious implications for our health, including increased air pollution and high temperatures that can lead to dehydration, heat exhaustion, and deadly heat stroke.
Heavier precipitation and more extreme ooding. As temperatures increase, more rain falls during the heaviest downpours, increasing the risk of oods.
More frequent and intense heat waves. Dangerously hot weather occurs more frequently than it did 60 years ago, and heat waves have gotten hotter.
Climate scientists have documented that global warming is happening and that fossil fuel emissions are the primary cause. A wealth of scientific evidence shows that the above impacts are primarily the result of increased levels of heat-trapping carbon dioxide in the atmosphere - carbon that can be traced back to the fuels (coal, oil, and natural gas) that fossil fuel companies have extracted and brought to market. A key question becomes: What responsibility do the major fossil fuel companies hold for these damaging impacts? The answer requires a closer look at some key facts about the industry.
A Concentrated Industry The extraction, refining, and distribution of fossil fuels is an enormous industry worldwide. The global oil and gas sector alone has annual revenues of roughly $4 trillion (IBISWorld 2015). Five of the top six companies in the Fortune Global 500 are in the petroleum re ning industry - including BP, ExxonMobil, and Shell (Fortune 2015). Meanwhile, Peabody Energy, the world’s largest publicly traded coal company, boasted annual revenues approaching $7 billion in 2014 (Peabody Energy 2014).
Half of all industrial carbon emissions have been released since 1988, more than 750 Gigatons - and rising.
The fossil fuel industry’s concentration is as notable as its size. According to a recent study, just 90 companies have produced and marketed the fossil fuels and cement (an industrial product with very high carbon intensity) responsible for almost two-thirds of the world’s industrial heat-trapping carbon emissions over the past two and a half centuries. Of these, 50 are investor-owned coal, oil, and natural gas companies and include BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Peabody, and Shell. Indeed, nearly 30 percent of all industrial emissions since 1850 can be traced to just 20 investor- and state-owned companies (Heede 2014).
In a rapidly industrializing world, the rate of emissions has sped up dramatically: more than half of all industrial carbon emissions have been released into the atmosphere since 1988, after major fossil fuel companies indisputably knew about the harm their products were causing to the climate. (Although the Industrial Revolution began more than 250 years ago, more than half of all industrial carbon emissions have been released since 1988 - after major fossil fuel companies knew about the harm their products were causing.)
What Fossil Fuel Companies Knew and When They Knew It The fundamentals of global warming have been well established for generations. The idea that heat-trapping emissions could alter our climate dates back to the late 1800s (Weart 2015).
By the 1950s, scientists knew that climate change could present significant risks to people and places (Weart 2015; Craig 1957; Revelle and Seuss 1957). In 1965, the highly respected oceanographer Roger Revelle explained in a report prepared for the President’s Science Advisory Committee that increasing amounts of carbon dioxide could be trapped in the atmosphere and function “much like the glass in a greenhouse, to raise the temperature of the lower air” (Revelle 1965).
In 1965, President Lyndon Johnson warned about the potential dangers of a changing climate. In a special message to Congress, he said: “Air pollution is no longer con ned to isolated places. This generation has altered the composition of the atmosphere on a global scale through radioactive mate- rials and a steady increase in carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels” (Johnson 1965; emphasis added). By 1969, Charles Keeling, a scientist whose careful measurements of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are still considered among the most respected sources of climate science data, reported: “I believe that no atmospheric scientist doubts that a sufficiently large change in atmospheric CO2would change the climate” (Keeling 1969).
The major fossil fuel companies were likely aware of all of these developments. Evidence shows that from as early as 1977 representatives of fossil fuel companies including BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Peabody Energy, and Shell attended dozens of congressional hearings in which the contribution of carbon emissions to the greenhouse effect and other aspects of climate science were discussed (Davies 1990; Gifford 1990; Greenpeace 1990; Lashof 1990; Beyaert 1989; Chafee 1989; Tucker 1988; Evans 1987; Walsh 1987; The Wilderness Society 1987; MacDonald 1985; Schneider 1985; Sharp 1985; Sherick 1984; Longenecker 1981; Oppenheimer 1981; Commoner 1977).
By 1983, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had begun assessing potential policy solutions to the risks that climate change presented, based on the growing body of science on climate change and its impacts (Seidel and Keyes 1983). In 1988, Richard F. Tucker, then president of Mobil Oil, acknowledged in a speech to the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (a speech that was subsequently submit- ted as testimony to Congress) that environmental protection and pollution prevention, including action to address the greenhouse e ect, might require “a dramatic reduction in our dependence on fossil fuels” (Tucker 1988).
The year 1988 marked an important milestone for scienti c certainty concerning climate change. In that year James Hansen, a leading climate scientist and director of the Institute for Space Studies at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), testi ed before Congress that scienti c data had con rmed humans’ role in climate change (Figure 2). It was also in 1988 that the United Nations formed the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the U.S. Congress introduced the National Energy Policy Act of 1988 in an e ort to reduce emissions of heat-trapping gases. By that year, the well-established science of global warming was making front-page headlines; the issue had moved from the scienti c community to the national stage. It is di cult to imagine that executives, lobbyists, and scientists at the major fossil fuel companies were by this time unaware of the robust scienti c evidence of the risks associated with the continued burning of their products.
There is ample evidence demonstrating what companies did know. Exxon, for example, had a staff scientist serve as an expert reviewer for the first IPCC scientific assessment on climate change, published in 1990 (IPCC 1990). The industry’s own scientists were internally warning of climate dangers by the mid-1990s, as evidenced by a leaked draft document by a team headed by a scientist at Mobil that was distributed to other major fossil fuel companies in 1995 (Figure 8, p. 26, Appendix G, p. 44). As that internal document from 1995 unequivocally states: “The scientific basis for the Greenhouse Effect and the potential impact of human emissions of greenhouse gases such as CO2on climate is well established and cannot be denied” (Bernstein 1995; emphasis added).
Nonetheless, despite what fossil fuel companies knew about the harm their products were causing, some of the world’s largest fossil fuel companies continued to engage in an active campaign to deny the science, deceive the public, and delay action, rather than acknowledge the science publicly or change their business models and lobbying goals to be consistent with the urgent need to work toward a lower-carbon economy.
The case studies that follow, spanning decades, o er an illuminating inside look at this ongoing campaign of deception.
Deception Dossier #1 - Dr. Wei-Hock Soon's Smithsonian Contracts
Documents released in February 2015 reveal the extent to which ExxonMobil and other powerful fossil fuel interests secretly funded a purportedly independent contrarian climate scientist for more than a decade. What’s worse, this happened at the Smithsonian Institution, one of America’s oldest and most respected scientific research organizations.
The documents, obtained through a FOIA request by Greenpeace and the Climate Investigations Center, show that Wei-Hock (“Willie”) Soon received more than $1.2 million in research funding between 2001 and 2012 from fossil fuel interests including ExxonMobil, the American Petroleum Institute (API), the Charles Koch Foundation, and Southern Company, a large electric utility in Atlanta that generates most of its power from coal. Soon, whose background is not in climate science but rather in aerospace engineering, has long used his affiliation with the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics to add credence to his climate-related research. Soon has written about many aspects of climate change but is best known for his work on the role of solar variability, research that has broadly overstated the role the sun plays in climate change and has been largely discredited by his scientific peers (see, for example, Mooney 2015; Schmidt 2015; Schmidt 2005; Sanchez 2003). Outcry from the climate science community over a 2003 paper published by Soon in Climate Research even resulted in the resignation of several of the journal editors and an admission by the journal’s publisher that the paper should not have been accepted (von Storch 2003).
A Corporate Intent to Deceive In response to the Soon revelations, the Smithsonian Institution has launched an investigation into its disclosure and funding policies. As the contracts, proposals, reports, letters, and other documents reveal, Soon relied exclusively on grants from the fossil fuel industry for his entire salary and research budget (Gillis and Schwartz 2015; Smithsonian 2015). Particularly troubling, the Smithsonian Institution entered into funding agreements that gave Soon’s funders the right to review his scientific studies before they were published. The documents also show that the Smithsonian agreed not to disclose the funding arrangement without the funder’s permission (Smithsonian 2008). Soon reported his research articles and even his congressional testimony to his corporate underwriters as “deliverables” (McNeil 2011; Soon 2011). While requirements for disclosing funding sources vary among disciplines and institutions, scientists generally expect one another to be transparent about their funding sources and to uphold scientific integrity by ensuring that funders do not interfere with or pre-determine research results.
Soon sought to portray his research as independent; the fact that he was paid by fossil fuel interests was never publicly disclosed.
The released documents clearly show a corporate intent to deceive. Although Soon’s research methodology and conclusions have been widely criticized and discredited by his scientific peers (see, for example, Schmidt 2015; IPCC 2007; Schmidt 2005), ExxonMobil and Southern Company clearly saw value in directly - and secretly - funding Soon. Politicians and interest groups backed by the fossil fuel industry have promoted Soon’s work for years to spread doubt about the role of human-caused emissions in climate change. Senator Inhofe (OK), for instance, prominently mentions Soon’s work on his U.S. Senate website in a section on the “facts and science of climate change” (Inhofe 2015b). From the start, despite the covert funding, Soon sought to portray his research as independent, and his a liation with the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics has lent it an air of credibility; the fact that he was paid by fossil fuel interests was never publicly disclosed in his published work or testi- mony to lawmakers. According to the New York Times, at least 11 papers published by Soon since 2008 omit any disclosure of this clear conflict of interest (Gillis and Schwartz 2015).
After Soon’s secret ties to the fossil fuel industry were made public, the Smithsonian Institution launched an ethics investigation in February 2015 (Smithsonian 2015). Southern Company also announced that it will no longer fund Soon’s work after his 2015 contract ends (Hasemyer 2015).
A Pattern of Deception The revelations about Soon’s funding arrangement have raised renewed suspicions that fossil fuel interests have covertly funded other key, purportedly “independent” researchers who continue to vocally challenge climate sci- ence in an e ort to manufacture uncertainty where there is broad consensus.
Some elements of Soon’s secret contract strongly suggest that it is part of a broader pattern of deception. Starting in 2005, more than $400,000 of Soon’s funding came from a subsidiary of Southern Company. In the funding arrange- ment, Southern Company was represented by Robert Gehri, a fossil fuel industry operative with a long history of pro- moting misinformation about climate science (Smithsonian 2008). In 1998, Gehri was one of the authors of an infamous memo outlining the API’s plans to spread misinformation about climate science by supporting scientists who would emphasize cherry-picked messages of uncertainty, precisely what fossil fuel interests were doing in their secret arrangement with Soon (Walker 1998).
As the released documents from the Soon-Smithsonian contract show, Gehri was instrumental in steering money toward Soon. A $60,000 contract on behalf of Soon between Southern Company and the Harvard-Smithsonian Astro- physical Observatory in 2008, for instance, identi es Gehri as the key point of contact with the company (Smithsonian 2008). Between 2005 and 2012, Southern Company gave almost $350,000 to fund Soon’s controversial work on climate change. ExxonMobil, Koch Industries, and Donors Trust (a so-called “dark money” group that does not reveal its funders) are also known to have supported contrarian research at the Smithsonian and elsewhere. According to one in-depth study, Donors Trust - which has received millions of dollars from Koch foundations - distributed at least $80 million between 2004 and 2013 to groups - including the Heartland Institute, Americans for Prosperity, and the Com- mittee for a Constructive Tomorrow - that deny the science and impacts of human-caused climate change and the need to cut global warming emissions. (DeSmogBlog 2015; Brulle 2014; VanderHeyden 2013; Ball 2012; Ball 2010).
Today, major fossil fuel companies tend to publicly acknowledge the basics of climate science, and many even say they support policies to address global warming, such as establishing a price on carbon. And yet, as the Soon-Smithsonian dossier illustrates, some fossil fuel companies are still covertly supporting efforts to spread misinformation about climate science as well as climate policy. While companies are required to publicly report their contributions to political campaigns and their lobbying spending, companies’ funding of public relations rms and nonpro t organizations is more opaque.
Through deceptive arrangements such as the ones that ExxonMobil, Southern Company, and others negotiated in the Soon-Smithsonian contracts, fossil fuel companies have actively worked to mislead the American public about the overwhelming extent of agreement about human-caused climate change by experts in the eld. In so doing, these fossil fuel interests closely mimic the strategy pioneered by the tobacco industry when it surreptitiously funded misleading public health research that questioned the health risks of smoking. The specifics of Soon’s arrangement with the Smithsonian were exposed in 2015, yet, as the next case study shows, active deception by the fossil fuel industry stretches back more than two decades.
Deception Dossier #2 - American Petroleum Institute's "Roadmap" Memo
Among the most revelatory documents to have emerged about the fossil fuel companies’ campaign of deception is an internal strategy document written in 1998, a roadmap memo outlining the fossil fuel industry’s plan to use scientists as spokespersons for the industry’s views. The memo was written by a team convened by the API, the country’s largest oil trade association whose member companies include BP, ConocoPhillips, Chevron, ExxonMobil, and Shell. The innocuously titled “Global Climate Science Communications Plan,” written with the direct involvement of fossil fuel companies including ExxonMobil (then Exxon) and Chevron, details a plan for dealing with climate change that explicitly aimed to confuse and misinform the public.
Articulating an Accurate Understanding of Climate Science The API’s Global Climate Science Communications Team consisted of representatives from the fossil fuel industry, trade associations, and public relations rms. At the time, the team’s attention was focused on derailing the Kyoto Protocol - the international agreement committing participating countries to binding emissions reductions - that had been adopted by the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in December 1997. In response to this development, and to stave off approval of the treaty by the U.S. Senate and other climate action in the United States, the API team’s 1998 memo mapped out a multifaceted deception strategy for the fossil fuel industry that continues to this day - outlining plans to reach the media, the public, and policy makers with a message emphasizing “uncertainties” in climate science.
"Doubt is our product, since it is the best means of competing with the 'body of fact' that exists in the minds of the general public."
According to the memo, “victory” would be achieved for the campaign when “average citizens” and the media were convinced of “uncertainties” in climate science despite overwhelming evidence of the impact of human- caused global warming and nearly unanimous agreement about it in the scientific community.
The timing of this document - 1998 - is important to note, as an earlier internal memo from 1995 shows that Mobil’s own climate scientist had informed the industry that global warming was undeniable [see this page of TheIndispensableNation: Exxon: The Road Not Taken]. Thus, this memo cannot be interpreted as a legitimate call for “balance” in the understanding of climate change.
In fact, the words eerily echo the strategy developed and implemented by the large tobacco companies to deceive the public about the hazards of smoking and to forestall govern- mental controls on tobacco consumption. As an infamous internal memo from the Brown and Williamson tobacco company put it: “Doubt is our product, since it is the best means of competing with the ‘body of fact’ that exists in the minds of the general public” (B&W 1969).
The fossil fuel companies, mimicking the tobacco companies, adopted a strategy that sought to “manufacture uncertainty” about global warming even in the face of overwhelming scientific evidence that it is human-caused, is accelerating at an alarming rate, and poses myriad public health and environmental dangers. The fossil fuel industry not only took a page from the tobacco playbook in its efforts to defeat action on climate change, it even drew upon a number of the key players who had contributed to the tobacco industry’s deception campaign and a remarkably similar network of public relations rms and nonprofit “front groups,” some of whom continue to actively sow disinformation about global warming today (Oreskes and Conway 2010; Hoggan and Littlemore 2009).
Identifying, Recruiting, and Training Undercover Scientists Given that scientists are a trusted source of information for policy makers and the public, it is not surprising that the API roadmap memo calls for cultivating and deploying them. Importantly, the API’s communication team realized that scientists seen as spokespeople for the fossil fuel industry would lack credibility. They aimed to “identify, recruit and train a team of ve independent scientists to participate in media outreach,” and their deception depended on ensuring that these scientists’ financial ties to the fossil fuel industry remained hidden from the public - precisely the arrangement they ultimately made with Dr. Wei-Hock Soon (Dossier #1). According to the leaked memo, “These will be individuals who do not have a long history of visibility and/or participation in the climate change debate. Rather, this team will consist of new faces who will add their voices to those recognized scientists who are already vocal” (Walker 1998).
While the funding of the hand-selected scientists wasvto remain secret, their intended mission was clear: Exxon, Chevron, and the other fossil fuel industry representatives needed these scientists to produce “peer-reviewed papers that undercut the ‘conventional wisdom’ on climate science.” They intended to fund and train the scientists to get their crafted message of uncertainty out to print, radio, and TV journalists (Walker 1998).
Targeting Teachers and Students Another section of the API roadmap memo outlines a plan to target the National Science Teachers Association. Exxon, Chevron, and the other Global Climate Science Communications Team members recognized that the tide might turn against fossil fuels unless they could reach the next generation. So, under the guise of “present[ing] a credible, balanced picture of climate science,” they opted to push out materials for teachers and their students that directly countered the scientific evidence. As the memo explains, their assumption was that emphasizing “uncertainties in climate science will begin to erect a barrier against further e orts to impose Kyoto-like measures in the future” (Walker 1998).
The leaked memo also outlines a tactic of working through grassroots organizations to promote debate about climate science on campuses and in communities during the period mid-August through October 1998 (Walker 1998). In the years since this memo, many of the activities outlined in the memo have been carried out, as evidenced by the API’s online curriculum for elementary schools that presents non-renewable energy sources such as oil, natural gas, and coal, as “more reliable, affordable, and convenient to use than most renewable energy resources."
Fossil Fuel Company Involvement: Direct and Indirect Fossil fuel companies contributed to the campaign indirectly, through their membership in and funding of the API, and directly, through the participation of their own employees. Joseph Walker of the API facilitated the process, and the largest fossil fuel companies were implicated in this memo. BP, ConocoPhillips, and Shell were members of the API at the time. Along with ExxonMobil and Chevron, all these firms remain API members today. Exxon and Chevron contributed directly to the development of the plan through their representatives Randy Randol and Sharon Kneiss, respectively. Exxon, Chevron, and Occidental Petroleum also exerted influence through a team member, Steve Milloy, who was the executive director of a front group, called The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition, funded by these companies. (Milloy had previously aided tobacco rms with their decep- tion campaign (Walker 1998).)
BP and Shell, among other fossil fuel companies, indirectly supported this deception campaign via their API memberships. It is noteworthy that these companies began to publicly acknowledge the threat of climate change around this time. Shell, for example, publicly acknowledged in its 1998 corporate sustainability report that rising global temperatures were “possibly due in part to greenhouse gas emissions caused by human activity.” The report also noted that “human activities, especially the use of fossil fuels, may be influencing the climate, according to many scientists, including those who make up the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change” (Royal Dutch Shell 1998). Despite such comments, however, fossil fuel companies’ broader campaign to sow confusion continued.
Funding the Campaign The fossil fuel companies knew that a disinformation campaign of the scope they intended would not be cheap. The Global Climate Science Communications Team estimated the budget for the program at $5,900,000, which included a national media program and national outreach as well as a data center (Walker 1998). The roadmap identified an array of fossil fuel industry trade associations and front groups, fossil fuel companies, and free-market think tanks to underwrite and execute the plan, including:
The American Petroleum Institute and its members
The Edison Electric Institute and its members
The Independent Petroleum Association of America and its members
The National Mining Association and its members
The American Legislative Exchange Council
Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow
The Competitive Enterprise Institute
Frontiers of Freedom
The Marshall Institute
The API Today: Still Fueling Uncertainty The trade association continues its misinformation efforts today. For instance, since October 2002, the API has carried out its plan to distribute curriculum materials that question the established science through the National Science Teachers Association by maintaining the website Classroom Energy!, which offers lesson plans and materials for teachers of kindergarten through high school (API 2002). Additionally, the API funded now well-known contrarian scientists such as Wei-Hock Soon (Dossier #1), whose work sought to discredit the scientific evidence of human-caused climate change (Mooney 2004). In 2009, the API attempted to undermine the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 - often known as the Waxman-Markey climate bill and a key federal attempt to regulate carbon emissions - by mobilizing front groups to hold staged “energy citizens” rallies in roughly 20 states, rallies designed to suggest that there was signi cant public opposition to regulating carbon emissions where little actually existed (Gerard 2009; Talley 2009). An API memo leaked to Greenpeace reveals that API urged fossil fuel company executives, including from BP, Chevron, Exxon- Mobil, and Shell, to send their employees to the staged rallies (Center for Media and Democracy 2012; Gerard 2009).
More recently, in 2011, the API protested the EPA’s decision to regulate carbon pollution under the Clean Air Act, joining a coalition of industry groups to le a lawsuit challenging the EPA’s authority to regulate global warming emissions. The API’s lawsuit challenged the EPA on the grounds of the very doubts about climate science the trade group had worked for years to manufacture, stating that the “EPA professes to be 90–99% certain that anthropogenic emissions are mostly responsible for ‘unusually high current planetary temperatures,’ but the record does not remotely support this level of certainty” (Coalition for Responsible Regulation, et al., v. EPA 2010).
Deception Dossier #3 - Western States Petroleum Association's Deception Campaign
Internal documents have shown that a key component of the major fossil fuel companies’ deception campaign about climate change has been the cultivation of so-called “astroturf” organizations, groups created to falsely represent grassroots opposition to forward-looking policy on climate change and renewable energy.
These activities have rarely been revealed as starkly as in a presentation leaked in 2014 from the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA), the top lobbyist for the oil industry in the western United States and the oldest petroleum trade association in the country. The Sacramento-based WSPA counts among its members BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil, Shell, Occidental, and other major fossil fuel companies. The group serves as a key organizer of opposition to California’s groundbreaking climate poli- cies, including the state’s low-carbon fuel standard and its so-called AB32 plan that requires a sharp reduction in carbon emissions by 2020. Between January 2009 and September 2014, oil companies spent more than $26.9 million through WSPA directly lobbying in California (Bacher 2014). Chevron alone reported spending nearly $14 million (Bacher 2015; California Secretary of State 2015).
But what makes the leak of the WSPA presentation especially noteworthy is the glimpse it offers of the extent of the fossil fuel companies’ deceptive practices.
The Illusion of Grassroots Opposition The presentation was delivered by WSPA President Catherine Reheis-Boyd to the Washington Research Council, a business group, and was subsequently leaked to Bloomberg Businessweek (Wieners 2014). In it, Reheis-Boyd explains WSPA’s plan to “activate” a “significant number of campaigns and coalitions.” As a presentation slide obliquely explains, WSPA “invested in several coalitions that are best suited to drive consumer and grassroots messages to regulators and policymakers.”
In addition to direct lobbying, WSPA planned to use this network of front groups to counter California's state climate and energy policy.
In all, Reheis-Boyd showcased a total of 16 fake-grass- roots groups and campaigns orchestrated and funded by WSPA and its allies. Among these astroturf coalitions were groups with names such as Fed Up at the Pump, the California Drivers Alliance, Californians Against Higher Taxes, and Oregonians for Sound Fuel Policy.
In addition to WSPA’s direct lobbying on behalf of the fossil fuel companies, the group planned to use this network of front groups - some of which WSPA created out of whole cloth - to counter California’s state climate and energy policy. The groups were designed to sound like grassroots public interest groups (Wieners 2014). But, in truth, they were little more than channels through which the fossil fuel companies could exaggerate the extent of popular support for its positions undermining action on climate change. Through these groups, the industry attempted to create the impression of a consumer backlash against climate legislation.
Recent filings with the California secretary of state show that WSPA nearly doubled its lobbying budget in 2014 - the year of Reheis-Boyd’s presentation - to nearly $8.9 million. Equally revealing, the vast majority of this spending - some $7.2 million - was reported under a catchall “other” category that requires no detailed disclosure about how the money was spent. The leaked presentation slide strongly suggests where much of this money went: to create and promote astroturf groups (Rosenhall 2015).
Undermining Public Discourse WSPA’s tactics are clearly designed to undermine authentic public discourse, especially given that California boasts a roughly 70 percent voter approval on clean energy issues. Concerns are raised by groups of purportedly everyday citizens when, in fact, they are disguised messages from fossil fuel companies seeking to undermine climate legislation.
At least two of the front groups set up by WSPA - California Driver’s Alliance and Fed Up at the Pump - launched aggressive public relations campaigns in 2014, including radio ads and billboards. Their efforts were credited with helping to convince 15 Democrats in the California Assembly to argue in June 2014 that the policy placing transportation fuels under the state’s carbon cap should be postponed. Ultimately, the groups’ efforts failed, and transportation fuels were included in the emissions limits set up by the state. The fabricated Fed Up at the Pump group still has a Facebook page that bills itself as “a grassroots coalition of consumers, businesses, and advocates” concerned about gas prices (Fed Up at the Pump 2015). The portrayal is badly undercut, however, when a click on the link describing the mission of the group redirects the visitor, inadvertently or not, to the website of the California Independent Oil Marketers Association (CIOMA 2015).
Even though WSPA’s efforts in California were unsuccessful, the organization has adopted a regional approach, aware that nearby states are watching California closely. While working to dismantle California’s policies, WSPA is also active in Washington and Oregon - states that are also debating aggressive carbon emissions reduction policies - through groups such as Washington Consumers for Sound Fuel Policy and Oregon Climate Change Campaign (Wieners 2014).
After the details of WSPA’s presentation were leaked, Reheis-Boyd defended WSPA’s use of front groups by euphemistically calling them “partnerships.” As she put it: “The fact we are engaged in partnerships with a large array of business and consumer coalitions isn’t a secret to anyone familiar with our active engagement on behalf of our members in all of the states for which we are responsible.” She suggested that WSPA’s actions were transparent, while charging - with no trace of irony - that its opponents “skulk in the shadows and attack the legitimacy of voices with whom they disagree” (Reheis-Boyd 2014).
Deception Dossier #4 - Forged Letters From the Coal Industry to Members of Congress
While the surreptitious funding of astroturf groups to disseminate a corporate message is certainly a deceptive practice, on at least one key occasion, some fossil fuel companies have gone much further, backing an effort in which forged letters from actual nonprofit groups were sent to members of Congress in an effort to influence a vote on key federal climate change legislation. The Coal Industry Posing as Nonprofits In 2009, Congress was debating the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (often known as the Waxman-Markey climate bill), which proposed to institute a federal carbon emissions reduction plan. Two weeks prior to the vote, Rep. Tom Perriello (VA) received a letter opposing the legislation from Creciendo Juntos, a nonprofit Latino organization based in his Charlottesville district.
“My organization, Creciendo Juntos, represents minorities in your district,” the letter began. “We ask you to useyour important position to help protect minorities and other consumers in your district from higher electricity bills. Please don’t vote to force cost increases on us, especially in this volatile economy.”
Only after the vote on the bill did Rep. Perriello learn - from Crescendo Juntos - that the letter was a fraud.
As it turns out, the letter on Creciendo Juntos stationery was not the only forgery, and Rep. Perriello was not the only member of Congress to receive forged letters opposing the bill. Forged letters were sent purportedly on behalf of orga- nizations including the National Association of the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the American Association of University Women, the American Legion, and the Je erson Area Board on Aging. Fraudulent letters were also sent to Representatives Kathy Dahlkemper (PA) and Chris Carney (PA) (Perriello 2009).
The NAACP is appalled that an organization like Bonner and Associates would stoop to these depths to deceive Congress. In this case, Bonner and Associates are exploiting the African-American Community to achieve their misdirected goal. These tactics illustrate that discriminatory tactics normally used to deceive voters are now being used to deceive the Congress.
Public exposure of the fraud resulted in a congressional investigation and hearing before the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming. The congressional investigation revealed that the fraud was perpetrated by Bonner and Associates, a lobbying firm subcontracted by a front group called the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE), composed of and funded primarily by coal industry representatives (Center for Media and Democracy). The ACCCE, which remains in operation today, counts among its corporate members Arch Coal, Murray Energy, and Peabody Energy.
Testimony Opposing Climate Action in Congressional Hearings In all, some 13 fraudulent letters were uncovered in the congressional investigation. The group had appropriated letterheads from respected constituent groups representing minorities, seniors, and women. It then wrote lobbying letters that ran directly counter to the stances held by those nonprofit groups. The letters were targeted to three House members whose position in favor of the Waxman-Markey bill was seen as vulnerable.
Testimony given during the congressional investigation reveal that Bonner and Associates was offcially hired on June 10, 2009, by the Hawthorn Group, a public relations and communications firm employed by the ACCCE. The contract was verbal, according to material Bonner provided to Congress; nothing was committed to paper. But the choice of Bonner and Associates was likely no accident. The firm had a well-known reputation for astroturfing on behalf of the sugar, tobacco, and pharmaceutical industries (Zapanta 2009). Documents released during the congressional investigation also show that the ACCCE paid Hawthorn nearly $3 million in 2009 for “outreach” to community groups, with a specific focus on minorities, seniors, and veterans.
Edward Markey, then chair of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, called the forged letters a symptom of the millions of dollars of “shadow lobbying” undertaken by the coal coalition to block clean energy policy. He stated that “these subterranean lobbying campaigns, where millions of dollars are spent in the cynical attempt to buy the support ideas don’t earn, have become a substitute for an honest exchange of views and distort the playing eld away from other Americans longing to have their voices heard” (Markey 2009).
Not surprisingly, the nonprofit groups involved were outraged. Hilary O. Shelton, director of the NAACP’s Wash- ington Bureau and senior vice president for advocacy, said of the incident: “The NAACP is appalled that an organization like Bonner and Associates would stoop to these depths to deceive Congress. In this case Bonner and Associates are exploiting the African-American community to achieve their misdirected goal” (Shelton 2009) Lisa Maatz, director of public policy and government relations at the American Association of University Women, called the forgery a “very personal deceit.” Bonner and Associates had resurrected a defunct Charlottesville branch of her organization, used its logo and the home address of the group’s former president, and used the name of a staff member who had died before the congressional debate over regulating carbon emissions had ever arisen.
Jack Bonner, founder and president of Bonner and Associates, testified on behalf of his firm, claiming that the letters were the work of a single, rogue temporary employee. Further, Bonner claimed to have fired the employee responsible and revealed the fraud to the ACCCE before the vote on the Waxman-Markey bill. However, the members of Congress who received fraudulent letters were not informed of the forgery until weeks after the vote (Kaplun 2009; Perriello 2009).
At the hearing, Steve Miller, president of the ACCCE, admitted that he and Bonner knew about the forgeries at least two days before the House voted on the climate bill but did not notify the targeted lawmakers until after the votes were recorded (Miller 2009).
Deception Dossier #5 - Coal's "Information Council on the Environment" Sham
Long before the formation of the ACCCE, U.S. coal companies and their allies formed a short-lived but potent front group in 1991 called the Information Council on the Environment (ICE) with the express purpose of deceiving the public about climate science. Like the oil and gas industry, the coal industry put forth scientist spokespeople and ran ad campaigns through ICE. And like those of the oil and gas industry, the coal industry’s tactics stayed under the radar until they were exposed by leaked documents.
Internal documents leaked to the public in 1991, reveal ICE’s strategy: a plan to “reposition global warming as theory (not fact)” and to “use a spokesman from the scienti c community,” recognizing that “technical sources receive the highest overall credibility ratings” (ICE 1991).
Misleading Advertising ICE’s $500,000 advertising campaign was designed to disparage climate science and cherry-pick the data to highlight claims of cooling temperatures in order to confuse the public. Print and radio ads presented climate science as alarmist and out of touch with reality. One print advertisement prepared for the ICE campaign showed a sailing ship about to drop off the edge of a at world into the jaws of a waiting dragon. The headline read: “Some say the earth is warming. Some also said the earth was at.” Another featured a cowering chicken under the headline “Who told you the Earth was warming...Chicken Little?”
An ad aired in 1991 on the Rush Limbaugh show is emblematic of the tone and content of ICE’s messaging: Stop panicking! I’m here to tell you that the facts simply don’t jibe with the theory that catastrophic global warming is taking place. Try this fact on for size. Minneapolis has actually gotten colder. So has Albany, New York. (Simmons Advertising, Inc. 1991)
ICE’s own internal documents show that as the organization was running its ad campaign the group was aware of science showing a “long-term warming trend,” including record warmth and above-average temperatures. For example, one state climatologist is cited as saying about the climatic record: “It certainly did not show cooling” - precisely the opposite of the information the group was disseminating to the public through its advertising (ICE 1991a).
The leaked ICE documents also show that the group planned to particularly target younger, lower-income women with its deceptive messages, noting that:
These women are more receptive than other audience seg- ments to factual information concerning the evidence for global warming. They are likely to be “green” consumers, to believe the earth is warming, and to think the problem is serious. However, they are also likely to soften their support for federal legislation after hearing new information on global warming. (ICE 1991b)
Fossil Fuel Interests Fueling the Deception ICE was formed by and closely linked to fossil fuel companies and trade associations, including the Edison Electric Institute, the Western Fuels Association, and the National Coal Association. One of the vice presidents of the board of directors of the ICE campaign was Fred Palmer, then chief executive officer (CEO) of Western Fuels and now senior vice president at Peabody Energy (Peabody Energy 2010). Peter Lilly, then president and chief operating officer of Peabody Holding Company, served on the National Coal Association’s board of directors at the time. Several major fossil fuel companies or their subsidiaries pledged support for ICE, including:
Peabody Holding Company (Peabody Energy)
Ohio Valley Coal Company, a subsidiary of Murray Energy (Ohio Valley Coal Company n.d.)
Pittsburgh and Midway Coal Mining, a subsidiary of Chevron at the time (BLM 2014)
Island Creek Coal Company, a subsidiary of Occidental Petroleum (Oreskes 2011, EIA 1993)
Breaking the ICE A bald attempt to mislead the public about climate science, ICE was a short-lived effort and was terminated in 1991 - the same year it began - after it was exposed in the press. In its television and radio broadcasts, as well as newspaper opinion articles and interviews, ICE had promoted its “science advisory panel,” including well-known climate contrarians Robert Balling, Patrick Michaels, and Sherwood Idso. But even these three scientists admitted to the New York Timesthat “the salient element in two of [ICE’s] ads - that some areas might be cooling - did not contradict the theory of global warming” (Wald 1991). Once the documents showing ICE’s misleading intent leaked to the public, Balling and Michaels quickly sought to distance themselves from the ICE campaign. Michaels complained that “with only three names on the mailing, people would identify him as the source of the information, while he was not, in fact, the author, and that the size of the [science advisory] panel was so small that it made the position appear scientifically unpopular” (Wald 1991).
Even years later, some in the coal industry expressed disappointment that ICE could not have continued its work after its deceptive aims were uncovered. In a 1999 letter, Peabody Energy’s Fred Palmer wrote, “it is unfortunate that ICE did not go forward” since the campaign did provoke a “dramatic turnaround in how people viewed the issue of global warming” (Readfearn 2013; Oreskes 2011).
Deception Dossier #6 - Deception by the American Legislative Exchange Council
The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a group that purports to stand for free-market principles, provides a venue for industry groups to influence policy makers behind closed doors. Leaked internal documents show that ALEC, backed by many industry groups including many major fossil fuel companies such as Chevron, ExxonMobil, Peabody Energy, and Shell, continues to serve as an important conduit for climate misinformation and policy proposals designed to block climate action today.
Like other industry groups, ALEC provides a means for major fossil fuel companies to pay lip service to the realities of climate science in their public-facing materials while their behind-the-scenes memberships and sponsorships support misinformation and block climate action. Much of ALEC’s lobbying has focused on dismantling, at the state level, policies that have proven e ective in reducing carbon pollution and accelerating the transition to clean energy. ALEC has honed several tools in the fossil fuel industry’s lobbying and public relations toolbox: closed-door access to public policy makers - including more than 2,000 state legislators and a network that includes many members of Congress - and the development of industry-friendly sample legislation intended to be used as templates in state legislatures across the country.
Sponsoring Misinformation ALEC’s current official position obscures climate change by calling it a “historical phenomenon,” ignoring the primary driver of climate change today - the burning of fossil fuels - and asserts that “the debate will continue on the significance of natural and anthropogenic contributions." While downplaying the impacts of climate change, ALEC has been working to block climate action at the federal and state level since the 1990s and was named in the API roadmap memo (Dossier #2) as a participating organization or “fund allocator” (Walker 1998).
Leaked internal documents reveal the extent of ALEC’s misinformation. For example, ALEC’s 2014 annual meeting in Dallas featured a presentation by Joseph Bast, president of the Heartland Institute, a group with a long history of misrepresenting science that is probably best known for posting a billboard likening people who accept climate science to the “Unabomber” Ted Kaczynski. The billboard featured a mug shot of a disheveled Kaczynski with the text: “I still believe in Global Warming. Do you?”
In his talk, Bast falsely claimed that “there is no scientific consensus on the human role in climate change” (Heartland Institute 2014). Equally notable, Bast disparaged the work of the IPCC - among the world’s largest and most respected scientific bodies with experts from more than 130 countries. One of Bast’s misleading presentation slides atly stated: “The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a project of the United Nations, is not a credible source of science or economics” (Heartland Institute 2014; emphasis in the original). Immediately following Bast’s session, ALEC held a meeting for legislators and fossil fuel industry lobbyists to hammer out the wording of a sample state resolution against the EPA’s pending carbon emissions standard for power plants (ALEC 2014).
At the same meeting, ALEC featured a talk by David Rothbard, a contributor to API’s Global Climate Science Communications Team in 1998 (Dossier #2) and then president of the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow. Rothbard’s presentation, “Climate Science Talking Points 2014,” began with the outright falsehood that “the scientific reality is that on virtually every claim - from A to Z - the claims of the promoters of manmade climate fears are falling short or going in the opposite direction” (CFACT 2014). Sponsors of the 2014 ALEC annual meeting included the ACCCE, Chevron, ExxonMobil, and Peabody Energy.
Working to Stymie Climate Action Internal documents also show that ALEC’s Energy, Environment, and Agriculture Task Force sits at the center of the organization’s efforts to attack climate science and clean energy policy. The task force convenes frequent closed-door meetings in which state legislators are briefed with climate misinformation and lobbied by utility and fossil fuel interests. Meeting minutes from the task force were leaked to and released by Common Cause starting in 2011, and these revealed that the task force’s members at that time included BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil, Peabody Energy, and Shell. ExxonMobil is listed as a current member of ALEC’s Private Enterprise Advisory Council, and Peabody Energy and Shell have served in this capacity in the past.
Today, ALEC’s Energy, Environment, and Agriculture Task Force continues to distribute sample legislation to state legislators that they can easily introduce to oppose EPA carbon emissions standards and attempt to roll back successful renewable energy standards and multi-state climate initiatives, such as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative in the northeastern United States (see, for example, Surgey 2014b; ALEC 2011; ALEC 2010). In a leaked resolution adopted in 2007, ALEC urged the EPA not to regulate global warming emissions from cars and trucks, claiming that there was a “lack of evidence that human-caused emissions of greenhouse gases will ‘endanger public health or welfare’” (ALEC 2007).
Between 2013 and 2015, some 65 ALEC-sponsored bills introduced in state legislatures were designed to roll back or repeal state standards requiring utilities to increase their use of renewable energy (Center for the New Energy Economy 2015). While most of these bills have so far failed to pass, other sample bills drafted by ALEC are still being debated and would impede government oversight of hydraulic fracturing (fracking), undermine regional cap-and-trade climate pacts, and introduce science misinformation in school curricula (Negin 2012). For example, in 2011 ALEC publicly took credit for 13 states adopting resolutions “in opposition to the EPA’s plans to regulate greenhouse gas emissions” (ALEC 2011). ALEC’s Environmental Literacy Improvement Act has provided a template for attempts to legislate content contrary to accepted climate science into school curricula.
A Wave of Defections from ALEC In September 2014, Google made a very public defection from ALEC. Speaking on National Public Radio’s Diane Rehm Show, Google’s Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt said that his company had decided that funding ALEC was a mistake. Google “has a very strong view that we should make decisions in politics based on facts,” Schmidt said. “And the facts of climate change are not in question anymore. Everyone understands climate change is occurring. And the people who oppose it are really hurting our children and our grandchildren and making the world a much worse place. And so we should not be aligned with such people. They’re just literally lying."
ALEC also lost a few energy sector members over the last two years, notably ConocoPhillips, Occidental Petroleum, and, most recently, BP. But roughly 30 fossil fuel companies and trade associations remain supporters, including Chevron, Exxon-Mobil, Koch Industries, Peabody Energy, and Shell. Two of these companies - ExxonMobil and Koch Industries - have even supported ALEC above and beyond the group’s annual membership fees. ExxonMobil donated at least $1.6 million to ALEC over the last decade, while Koch Industries gave $747,000 between 2007 and 2012.
As ALEC continues to actively work to sponsor misinformation about climate science and to block climate action, most of the major fossil fuel companies supporting ALEC (with the exception of Koch Industries and Peabody Energy) publicly acknowledge the threat posed by climate change and claim on their respective websites to be doing something about it.
Chevron says, for example, that “taking prudent, practical, and cost-effective action to address climate change risks is the right thing to do” (Chevron 2014). And ExxonMobil, whose representative sits on ALEC’s corporate board, asserts that it “engage[s] with policymakers directly and through trade associations around the world to encourage sound policy solutions for addressing the risks of climate change” (ExxonMobil 2015).
Shell’s website features a lengthy question and answer exchange with the company’s chief climate change adviser, David Hone, who explains the basics of climate science and then concedes: “Business can’t solve the climate problem on its own. I think it’s the role of companies like Shell - which has been a strong advocate of the core solutions since the late 1990s - to help identify possible solutions for policy- makers." In September 2014, Shell CEO Ben van Beurden reiterated his company’s position in an inter-view with the Washington Post. Even as his company continues to sponsor ALEC’s activities, van Beurden contended: “Let me be very, very clear. For us, climate change is real and it’s a threat that we want to act on. We’re not aligning with skeptics."
Deception Dossier #7 - The Global Climate Coalition's Primer on Climate Change Science
The preceding deception dossiers present internal documents offering strong evidence that major fossil fuel companies worked for decades, often through front groups, to deceive the American public by suppressing and distorting the realities and risks of climate change. As noted earlier, climate science findings were strong enough and public attention great enough that there is little chance that the major fossil fuel companies were unaware of the realities from as early as 1988. The internal document in this dossier presents the strongest evidence yet that major fossil fuel companies knew the reality of human-caused climate change and its implications even as they continued their deceptive practices. This internal memo, “Predicting Future Climate Change: A Primer,” was written in 1995 by a fossil fuel company scientist for the benefit of a fossil fuel industry coalition.
The primer, which came to light in 2009, was leaked to the New York Times after surfacing in a lawsuit led by the auto industry against the state of California’s efforts to limit vehicles’ carbon emissions. It was written by a team led by Leonard S. Bernstein, a chemical engineer and climate expert at Mobil Corporation, on behalf of an industry group called the Global Climate Coalition (GCC). The GCC presented itself as an umbrella trade association coordinating business participation in the international debate on global climate change policy, but, as we now know, its real purpose was to oppose mandatory reductions in carbon emissions. Its members included BP, Chevron, Exxon, Mobil, Shell, and others. Bernstein served as chair of the GCC’s science and technology advisory committee in the 1990s (Bernstein 1995).
Denying the Undeniable The leaked GCC “primer on climate change science” demonstrates that the fossil fuel industry was well aware of the scientific understanding of climate change even as it continued to sow doubt about the science and block climate action. The 17-page primer assessed what was known about climate science and unequivocally stated that “the scientific basis for the Greenhouse Effect and the potential impact of human emissions of greenhouse gases such as CO2on climate is well established and cannot be denied” (Bernstein 1995; emphasis added).
One section of the leaked primer - which was reportedly excised before it was approved for circulation to GCC members at large but was written by Bernstein’s team of fossil fuel scientists and seen by the GCC Technology Advisory Committee - even examined and debunked existing “contrarian” climate science theories. It discussed why a number of contrarian theories failed to “offer convincing arguments against the conventional model of greenhouse gas emission-induced climate change,” including those highlighting the role of water vapor, anomalies in the temperature record, and the contribution of solar variability (Revkin 2009; Bernstein 1995).
For example, the excised section dismisses the claims of “contrarian” research featuring the role of solar radiation as an explanation for global warming by saying that “direct measures of the intensity of solar radiation over the past 15 years indicate a maximum variability of less than 0.1%, sufficient to account for no more than 0.1°C temperature change,” which the primer identifies as “one-fifth of the temperature change observed during that [120-year] period.” The primer notes that such a finding “does not allay concerns about future warming which could result from greenhouse gas emissions. Whatever contribution solar variability makes to climate change should be additive to the effect of greenhouse gas emissions” (Bernstein 1995).
The clear refutation of the solar variability argument in the memo is especially noteworthy given the continued funding by ExxonMobil and other fossil fuel interests of Dr. Willie Soon for more than two decades, considering that Soon’s work has long spuriously emphasized the role of solar variability (Schmidt 2005).
Bowing Out As the GCC’s dismissal of the reality of human-caused climate change became less tenable, some companies responded by withdrawing from the coalition. BP left in 1997 and Shell followed in 1998. Upon withdrawing, BP stated that “the time to consider the policy dimensions of climate change is not when the link between greenhouse gases and climate change is conclusively proven, but when the possibility cannot be discounted and is taken seriously by the society of which we are part. We in BP have reached that point” (Center for Media and Democracy 2012).
With key members bowing out, the GCC announced in 2000 that it would undergo a “strategic restructuring” much as the tobacco industry, under growing pressure, gave up its lobbying arm (the Tobacco Institute) and its wing devoted to promoting misleading science about the links between tobacco and disease (the Council for Tobacco Research) as part of the 1998 master settlement agreement with U.S. states. When the GCC disbanded in 2002, after President Bush had rejected the Kyoto Protocol and withdrawn U.S. support, the organization stated that it “had served its purpose by contributing to a new national approach to global warming” and that it had “achieved what [it] wanted to accomplish with the Kyoto Protocol” (Center for Media and Democracy 2012; Najor 2002).
Sowing Doubt Through their membership in the GCC, the major fossil fuel companies would have received “Predicting Future Climate Change: A Primer” in 1995, a document acknowledging that climate change and the human role in it were undeniable. And yet, for more than a decade to follow, many of these companies continued to make statements and produce advertisements that claimed that climate science was uncertain or inconclusive.
Despite the fact that the fossil fuel industry’s own scientists were advising them of the reality of human-caused climate change, until the group was disbanded in 2002 the GCC and its industry members continued to implement a media strategy to invoke “uncertainty” in order to undermine the public’s trust in climate scientists and oppose policies designed to reduce emissions from fossil fuels. Tactics included a video news release claiming that increased levels of carbon dioxide would help alleviate world hunger by boosting crop production and ads warning that a proposed tax on carbon would increase the price of gas by fifty cents or more per gallon, when no such proposed tax was on the table (Brown 2000).
Exxon received the primer but continued to participate in the deception campaign mapped out by API’s Global Climate Science Communications Team in 1998. In 2000, ExxonMobil even published an ad in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal titled “Unsettled Science.” The ad referenced a scientific paper, published in Science, claiming that the paper disputed that global warming was happening. However, after the ad appeared, the author of the referenced scientific paper, Dr. Lloyd Keigwin, wrote to ExxonMobil charging that the company had inappropriately and selectively used his data and exploited his research for political purposes.
The 1995 “Predicting Future Climate Change: A Primer” is remarkable for indisputably showing that, while some fossil fuel companies’ deception about climate science has continued to the present day, at least two decades ago the companies’ own scientific experts were internally alerting them about the realities and implications of climate change. The fact that these companies were fully aware of the realities of climate change is well established and cannot be denied.
Conclusions - Holding the Fossil Fuel Industry Accountable
Despite climate impacts faced by communities in the United States and elsewhere, today, more than two decades since the fossil fuel industry and policy makers learned that the climate is changing and that emissions from burning fossil fuels are the cause, there is still no comprehensive U.S. federal policy to address the problem. Meanwhile, some fossil fuel companies continue deceptive practices, both directly and through trade associations and front groups like API, ACCCE, and ALEC, in an effort to block climate and energy policies such as the EPA’s Clean Power Plan and the Renewable Fuel Standard.
At the federal level, the campaigns described in this report have sought to block legislative action that would have addressed the worst consequences of climate change. At the state level, the deceptive tactics of companies like BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil, Peabody Energy, and Shell - individually and collectively through groups like ALEC and WSPA - have sought to weaken, delay, and defeat climate-related policies. These rear-guard efforts have exacerbated the problem of cli- mate change and likely slowed much-needed climate action.
These efforts to obstruct action on climate change continue today. The giant coal company Peabody Energy is at the forefront of attacks on the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, for example, which seeks to limit carbon pollution from its largest source - electricity-generating power plants (see, for example, Goldman 2015). The Clean Power Plan is also being opposed by oil and gas industry trade groups representing BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil, and Shell - trade groups that include API, the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers, and the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA). The IPAA believes that the Clean Power Plan sets a “dangerous precedent” for EPA regulation of the oil and gas industrys’ global warming pollution, a sentiment echoed by Shell.
As the picture of the fossil fuel companies’ efforts to deceive the public comes into clear view, the time is ripe to hold these companies accountable for their actions and responsible for the harm they have caused. Some fossil energy companies have advertised a commitment to renewable energy while at the same time encouraging the expanded use of their fossil fuel products, which they know to be responsible for disruptive climate change. Moreover, some companies are also exploring or exploiting increasingly carbon-intense fuel sources, from tar-sands to the exploration of warming Arctic regions for oil drilling.
Given the conflict between the fossil fuel industry’s interests and the public interest, additional measures are necessary to ensure transparency and to prevent ongoing deception that could negatively influence public policy on climate change.
How should the American public expect fossil fuel companies to behave?
Recommendations To be sure, responsibility for climate change is spread across society. Governments, carbon-emitting industries (for example, electric utilities), and individuals all bear some responsibility. But given that the world’s largest fossil fuel companies have actively worked to deceive the public and block climate action while knowing that their products have caused significant damage to people and the planet, they must be held responsible for their actions.
At a minimum, society should expect them to:
Stop disseminating misinformation about climate change. The science is clear. Burning fossil fuels is a primary driver of climate change, and the impacts are already being felt today - from rising seas to longer and more frequent droughts to extreme heat. It is not acceptable for fossil fuel companies to deny the science, nor is it acceptable for them to publicly accept the science while funding climate contrarian scientists or front groups that distort or deny the science. Fossil fuel companies must distance themselves - publicly - from deceptive activities. To make clear that they are making such commitments, companies should publicly disclose all funding they provide to researchers, political organizations, and cultural institutions.
Taking action to stop deceiving the public about the risks of fossil fuels is, however, necessary but not sufficient. Fossil fuel companies should take further action to align their practices with the magnitude of the harm we face, driven by the continued use of their products. In addition to ceasing the spread of misinformation, fossil fuel companies should also:
Support fair and cost-effective policies to reduce global-warming emissions. The fossil fuel industry has generally opposed a wide array of policies, including carbon pricing, cap-and-trade, renewable energy standards, renewable fuel standards, direct emission regulation, and others. It is time for the industry to identify and publicly support policies that will lead to the reduction of emissions at a scale needed to lessen the worst effects of global warming.
Reduce emissions from current operations and update their business models to prepare for future global limits on emissions. Fossil fuel companies should take immediate action to cut emissions from their current operations, for example, by ending the wasteful practice of flaring natural gas. They should update their business models to reflect an understanding of the risks of unabated burning of fossil fuels, as well as the importance, and the necessity, of national and international policies limiting carbon emissions. As a key component of this, fossil fuel companies should map out the pathway they plan to take in the next 20 years to ensure we achieve a low-carbon energy future.
Pay for their share of the costs of climate damages and preparedness. Communities around the worldare already facing and paying for damages from rising seas, extreme heat, more frequent droughts, and other climate-related impacts. Additional investments must be made to protect and prepare communities for these risks today and in the future, and fossil fuel companies should pay a fair share of the costs.
Fully disclose the nancial and physical risks of climate change to their business operations. By law, public U.S.-based fossil fuel companies are required to discuss risks that might materially affect their business in their annual Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) lings. However, compliance with this guidance is not consistent. Fossil fuel companies should fully assess climate change risks and disclose any material risks to the SEC and their shareholders (adapted from Frumho et al., under review).
Virtually all companies operate under a “social license” - an agreement wherein the public trusts the company to protect workers and consumers from the adverse effects of the company’s products and actions. But companies can lose that license. Over the past several decades, the public has made it clear on issues such as tobacco, asbestos, and lead that companies can lose their social license when they fail to acknowledge and address the known negative impacts of their products on human health and well-being.
Climate change is no different. The conduct we describe in this report justifies revoking the social license of those companies. Fossil fuel companies must accept responsibility for their heat-trapping emissions, halt their use of deceptive tactics to block policies designed to speed the transition to a low-carbon energy system, and pay their fair share of the costs of harm.
A global call to action - including efforts such as share-holder engagement, divestment campaigns, consumer pressure, and litigation - may be needed to bring about this transformation. We trust and expect that the information laid out in this report can be helpful in moving this transformation forward.
By Kathy Mulvey and Seth Schulman, with contributions from Dave Anderson, Nancy Cole, Jane Piepenburg, and Jean Sideris, first published by the Union of Concerned Scientists, July 2015
American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). 2015a. Position statement on renewables and climate change. Online at www. alec.org/position-statement-renewables-climate-change, accessed March 3, 2015.
American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). 2015b. Private enterprise advisory council. Online at www.alec.org/about-alec/ private-enterprise-advisory-council/, accessed June 1, 2015.
American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). 2014. Resolution concerning EPA’s proposed guidelines for existing fossil fuel- red power plants. Online at www.alec.org/model-legislation/ resolution-concerning-epas-proposed-guidelines-existing-fossil-fuel red-power-plants, accessed April 28, 2015.
American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). 2011. ALEC state legislators push back EPA’s onslaught of regulations: ALEC’s EPA regulatory train wreck proving to be successful. Online at www. alec.org/alec-state-legislators-push-back-epa’s-onslaught-of- regulations-alec’s-epa-regulatory-train-wreck-proving-to-be- successful, accessed February 25, 2015.
American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). 2010. State withdrawal from regional climate initiatives. Online at www.alecexposed. org/w/images/4/49/3C0-ALEC_State_Withdrawal_from_Regional_ Climate_Initiatives_Exposed.pdf, accessed June 1, 2015.
American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). 2007. Resolution in opposition to EPA’s regulation greenhouse gases from mobile sources. (Version with comments from ALEC Exposed.) Online at www.alecexposed.org/w/images/5/50/3B0-ALEC_Resolution_in_ Opposition_to_EPA_Regulation_of_Greenhouse_Gases_from_Mobile_ Sources_Exposed.pdf, accessed May 10, 2015.
American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). 1992. Annual report. http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/lcn47b00/pdf, accessed June 1, 2015.
American Petroleum Institute (API). 2002. Classroom energy! October 1. Online at www.classroom-energy.org, accessed April 29, 2015.
Bacher, D. 2015. Western States Petroleum Association spent $8.9M lobbying against climate and fracking e orts in California last year. DeSmogBlog, February 5. Online at www.desmogblog.com/ 2015/02/05/western-states-petroleum-association-spent-8-9m- lobbying-against-climate-and-fracking-e orts-california-last-year, accessed May 10, 2015.
Bacher, D. 2014. Big oil has spent $63 million on lobbying in Sacra- mento since 2009! LA Progressive, August 20. Online at www. laprogressive.com/big-oil-lobbying, accessed May 15, 2015.
Ball, W.L. 2012. Memorandum to Thomas G. Bonnenfant, contract specialist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. February 28. Alexandria, VA: DonorsTrust. Online at https:// s3.amazonaws.com/s3.documentcloud.org/documents/1672782/ climate.pdf, accessed May 15, 2015.
Ball, W.L. 2010. Memorandum to Charles Alcock, director of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. November 18. Alexandria, VA: DonorsTrust. Online at https://s3.amazonaws.com/ s3.documentcloud.org/documents/1672782/climate.pdf, accessed May 15, 2015.
Bernstein, L.S. 1995. Predicting future climate change: A primer. Online at http://s3.amazonaws.com/nytdocs/docs/122/122.pdf, accessed May 15, 2015.
Beyaert, B. 1989. Testimony, air pollution and alternative fuels, before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Com- merce. 101st Congress, January 11. Beyaert was a planning consul- tant in strategic planning and business evaluation for Chevron.
Boden, T.A., G. Marland, and R.J. Andres. 2013. Global, regional, and national fossil-fuel CO2 Emissions. Oak Ridge, TN: Carbon Diox- ide Information Analysis Center, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy.
Brown, L.R. 2000. The rise and fall of the Global Climate Coalition. Earth Policy Institute. Online at www.earth-policy.org/plan_b_ updates/2000/alert6, accessed February 20, 2015.
Brown and Williamson (B&W). 1969. Smoking and health proposal. Internal memorandum. Online at http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/ tid/tgy93f00, accessed April 13, 2015.
Brulle, R. 2014. Institutionalizing delay: Foundation funding and the creation of US climate change counter-movement organizations. Climatic Change 122:681–694.
Bureau of Land Management (BLM). 2014. Successful competitive lease sales since 1990, eastern states. Washington, DC: U.S. Depart- ment of the Interior. Online at www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/ energy/coal_and_non-energy/coal_lease_table/Eastern_States_ Coal_Table.print.html, accessed March 4, 2015.
California Independent Oil Marketers Association (CIOMA). 2015. About: California Independent Oil Marketers Association. Online at www.cioma.com/about, accessed April 28, 2015.
California Secretary of State. 2015. Raw data for campaign nance and lobbying activity. Online at www.sos.ca.gov/campaign-lobbying/ cal-access-resources/raw-data-campaign- nance-and-lobbying- activity, accessed May 18, 2015.
Center for Media and Democracy. 2015a. ALEC corporations. Sourcewatch, May 14. Online at www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/ ALEC_Corporations, accessed May 18, 2015.
Center for Media and Democracy. 2015b. Corporations that have cut ties to ALEC. Sourcewatch, May 14. Online at www.sourcewatch. org/index.php/Corporations_that_Have_Cut_Ties_to_ALEC, accessed May 18, 2015.
Center for Media and Democracy. 2014a. American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity. Sourcewatch, November 22. Online at www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/American_Coalition_for_Clean_ Coal_Electricity, accessed June 1, 2015.
Center for Media and Democracy. 2014b. ALEC “private enterprise” board of directors. Sourcewatch, November 7. Online at www. sourcewatch.org/index.php/ALEC_%22Private_Enterprise%22_ Board_of_Directors, accessed June 1, 2015.
Center for Media and Democracy. 2012. Global climate coalition. Sourcewatch, January 12. Online at www.sourcewatch.org/index. php?title=Global_Climate_Coalition, accessed May 10, 2015.
Center for the New Energy Economy. 2015. Advanced energy legis- lation tracker: Summary of state renewable portfolio standard legislation in 2015. Colorado State University, April. Online at www.aeltracker.org/graphics/uploads/2015-Trends-in-Renewable- Portfolio-Standard-Legislation_4_15.pdf, accessed June 1, 2015.
Chafee, J.H. 1989. Testimony, the oil spill in Prince William Sound, Alaska, before the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. 101st Congress, April 19. Chafee was a representa- tive from Rhode Island. Chevron. 2014. Climate change. Online at www.chevron.com/ globalissues/climatechange, accessed April 28, 2015.
Coalition for Responsible Regulation, et al., v. United States Environ- mental Protection Agency and Lisa P. Jackson, Administrator. 2010. 09 U.S. 1322.
Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT). 2014. Climate change talking points 2014. Presented at the annual meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council, Dallas, TX, July 30–August 1. Online at www.prwatch.org/ les/cfact1.pdf, accessed April 12, 2015.
Commoner, B. 1977. Appendix X, ERDA authorization fossil fuels, before a subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science and Technology. 94th Congress, February 17–25. Commoner was a reporter for the New York Times.
Craig, H. 1957. The natural distribution of radiocarbon and the exchange times of CO2 between atmosphere and sea. Tellus 9:1–17.
Davies, C.J. 1990. Testimony, the environment, before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means. 101st Congress, March 6. Davies was assistant administrator for policy, planning, and evaluation, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. DeSmogBlog. 2015. Who is Donors Trust? Online at www.desmogblog. com/who-donors-trust, accessed June 1, 2015.
Energy Information Administration (EIA). 1993. The changing struc- ture of the U.S. coal industry: An update, July. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Energy. Preview available online at http:// books.google.com/books?id=jIO1b25HnvkC&lpg=PA47&ots=JwGb JdAAnV&dq, accessed May 15, 2015.
Evans, B. 1987. Testimony, Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska, before the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. 100th Congress, June 11. Evans was vice president for national issues at the National Audubon Society.
ExxonMobil. 2015. Engaging on climate change policy and planning. Online at http://corporate.exxonmobil.com/en/current-issues/ climate-policy/climate-policy-debate/overview, accessed April 28, 2015.
Fang, L. 2014. Shell warns oil industry may join big coal’s war on EPA to prevent “precedent” of carbon regulation. Republic Report. Online at www.republicreport.org/2014/shell-warns-oil-industry- may-join-big-coals-war-on-epa-to-prevent-precedent-of-carbon- regulation, accessed June 1, 2015.
Fed up at the Pump. 2015. Facebook page. Online at www.facebook.com/ fedupatthepump, accessed April 28, 2015.
Fineren, D. 2014. Urging action to ght climate change. Interview with David Hone of Royal Dutch Shell, October. Online at www.shell. com/global/future-energy/inside-energy/inside-energy-stories/ urging-action-to- ght-climate-change, accessed April 28, 2015.
Fortune. 2015. Global 500. Online at http://fortune.com/global500, accessed April 14, 2015.
Frumho , P., R. Heede, and N. Oreskes. In review. The climate responsibilities of industrial carbon producers. Climatic Change.
Gelbspan, R. 1998. The heat is on: The climate crisis, the cover-up, the prescription. Jackson, TN: Da Capo Press. Gerard, J.N. 2009. Email to membership, August. Washington, DC: American Petroleum Institute. Online at www.greenpeace.org/ international/Global/international/planet-2/report/2009/8/oil- memo.pdf, accessed May 10, 2015.
Gifford, R.R. 1990. Testimony, the environment, before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means. 101st Congress, March 6. Gi ord was president of the East Ohio Gas Company.
Gillis, J., and J. Schwartz. 2015. Deeper ties to corporate cash for doubt- ful climate researcher. New York Times, February 21. Online at www. nytimes.com/2015/02/22/us/ties-to-corporate-cash-for-climate- change-researcher-Wei-Hock-Soon.html, accessed May 15, 2015.
Greenpeace. 1990. Appendix of hearing, investigation of the Exxon Valdez oil spill, Prince William Sound, Alaska, before a subcom- mittee of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Inte- rior and Insular A airs. 101st Congress, March 22 and April 24.
Goldman, G. 2015. Peabody Energy, the EPA Clean Power Plan, and corporate consistency on climate change. The Equation blog of the Union of Concerned Scientists. Online at http://blog.ucsusa. org/peabody-energy-the-epa-clean-power-plan-and-corporate- consistency-on-climate-change-703, accessed June 1, 2015.
Hasemyer, D. 2015. Utility giant cuts ties with Willie Soon. Inside Climate News, April 7. Online at http://insideclimatenews.org/news/ 07042015/utility-giant-cuts-ties-willie-soon-southern-company- coal-climate-change-skeptic-contrarian, accessed April 13, 2015.
Heartland Institute. 2014. Nongovernmental Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change update. Presented at the annual meet- ing of the American Legislative Exchange Council, Dallas, TX, July 31. Online at www.prwatch.org/ les/nipcc_update_at_alec_ dallas_2014.pdf, accessed March 3, 2015.
Heede, R. 2014. Tracing anthropogenic carbon dioxide and methane emissions to fossil fuel and cement producers, 1854–2010. Climatic Change 122:229–241.
Herrick, T. 2001. Weighing the evidence of global warming: A scientist’s work on ocean becomes fodder for skeptics—much to his dismay. Wall Street Journal, March 22.
Hoggan, J., and R. Littlemore. 2009. The climate cover-up: The crusade to deny global warming. Vancouver, Canada: Greystone Books.
Horn, S. 2013. Three states pushing ALEC bill to require teaching climate change denial in schools. DeSmogBlog, January 31. Online at www.desmogblog.com/2013/01/31/three-states-pushing- alec-bill-climate-change-denial-schools, accessed May 8, 2015.
Horn, S. 2012. ALEC model bill behind push to require climate denial instruction in schools. DeSmogBlog, January 26. Online at www. desmogblog.com/alec-model-bill-behind-push-require-climate- denial-instruction-schools, accessed June 2, 2015.
IBISWorld. 2015. Global oil and gas exploration and production: Market research report. Online at www.ibisworld.com/industry/ global/global-oil-gas-exploration-production.html, accessed April 23, 2015. Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA). 2014. Comments on carbon emission guidelines for existing stationary sources: Electricity utility generating units; Docked ID No. EPA- HQ-OAR-2013-0602. Online at www.ipaa.org/wp-content/uploads/ downloads/2014/12/IPAA-Comments-on-Clean-Power-Plan-Rule- making-FINAL-12.1.2014.pdf, accessed June 1, 2015.
Information Council for the Environment (ICE). 1991a. ICE bench- mark. Online at http://research.greenpeaceusa.org/?a=view &d=2950, 16–23, accessed March 4, 2015.
Information Council for the Environment (ICE). 1991b. ICE: Test market proposal. Online at http://research.greenpeaceusa.org/ ?a=view&d=2950, 24–35, accessed March 4, 2015.
Information Council for the Environment (ICE). 1991c. Informed citizens for the environment: Strategies. Online at http://research. greenpeaceusa.org/?a=view&d=2950, 10, accessed March 4, 2015.
Inhofe, J. 2015a. Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2015. Annals of Congress, 114th Congress, 1st session, s1138– s1150. Statement during a hearing of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, February, 26. Online at www. congress.gov/crec/2015/02/26/CREC-2015-02-26-pt1-PgS1138.pdf, accessed April 23, 2015.
Inhofe, J. 2015b. The facts and science of climate change. Online at www.inhofe.senate.gov/download/?id=13658e13-daf3-4012- aca9-0a2ac379a1bb&download=1, accessed May 15, 2015.
Inhofe, J. 2012. The greatest hoax: How the global warming conspiracy threatens your future. Washington, DC: WND Books.
Inhofe, J. 2005. Four pillars of climate alarmism. Annals of Congress, 109th Congress, 1st session, s3346–s3349. Statement during a hearing of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, April 7. Online at www.congress.gov/crec/2005/04/07/ CREC-2005-04-07-pt1-PgS3346.pdf, accessed April 23, 2015.
Inhofe, J. 2003. Science of climate change. Annals of Congress, 108th Cong., 1st sess., S10012–S10023. Statement during a hearing of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, July 28.Online at www.congress.gov/crec/2003/07/28/CREC-2003-07- 28-pt1-PgS10012.pdf, accessed April 23, 2015.
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). 2007. Solar variability and the total solar irradiance. In Climate change 2007: Working group I: The physical science basis (IPCC fourth assessment report), edited by R.K. Pachauri and A. Reisinger. New York: NY: Cambridge University Press. Online at www.ipcc. ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch1s1-4-3.html, accessed June 1, 2015.
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). 1990. Appendix 4: Reviewers of IPCC working group I report. In Climate change: The IPCC scienti c assessment (IPCC rst assessment report), edited by J.T. Houghton, G.J. Jenkins, and J.J. Ephraums. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press. Online at www.ipcc.ch/ ipccreports/far/wg_I/ipcc_far_wg_I_full_report.pdf, accessed May 10, 2015.
Johnson, L. 1965. Special message to the Congress on conservation and restoration of natural beauty. Public papers of the Presidents of the United States. Volume I, entry 54, 155–165. Washington, DC: Government Printing O ce. Online at www.lbjlib.utexas.edu/ johnson/archives.hom/speeches.hom/650208.asp, accessed April 24, 2015.
Kaplun, A. 2009. Coal industry group linked to a dozen forged cap- and-trade letters. New York Times, August 4. Online at www. nytimes.com/gwire/2009/08/04/04greenwire-coal-industry- group-linked-to-a-dozen-forged-ca-2624.html?pagewanted=all, accessed February 27, 2015.
Keeling, C.D. 1969. Is carbon dioxide from fossil fuel changing man’s environment? Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society (1970):10–17. Online at http://davidmlawrence.com/Woods_Hole/ References/Keeling_1970_CarbonDioxide_FossilFuel.pdf, accessed May 7, 2015.
Lashof, D.A. 1990. Testimony, the environment, before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means. 101st Congress, March 6. Lashof was senior scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council. Le Quéré, C., R. Moriarty, R.M. Andrew, G.P. Peters, P. Ciais, P. Friedlingstein, S.D. Jones, S. Sitch, P. Tans, A. Arneth, T.A. Boden, L. Bopp, Y. Bozec, J.G. Canadell, F. Chevallier, C.E. Cosca, I. Harris, M. Hoppema, R.A. Houghton, J.I. House, A.K. Jain, T. Johannessen, E. Kato, R.F. Keeling, V. Kitidis, K. Klein Goldewijk, C. Koven, C.S. Landa, P. Landschützer, A. Lenton, I.D. Lima, G.H. Marland, J.T. Mathis, N. Metzl, Y. Nojiri, A. Olsen, T. Ono, W. Peters, B. Pfeil, B. Poulter, M.R. Raupach, P. Regnier, C. Rödenbeck, S. Saito, J.E. Sailsbury, U. Schuster, J. Schwinger, R. Séférian, J. Segschneider, T. Steinho , B.D. Stocker, A.J. Sutton, T. Takahashi, B. Tilbrook, G.R. van der Werf, N. Viovy, Y.-P. Wang, R. Wanninkhof, A. Wiltshire, and N. Zeng. 2014. Global carbon budget 2014. Earth System Science Data Discussions 7:521–610. doi:10.5194/essdd-7-521-2014.
Longenecker, G. 1981. Memorandum in Clean Air Act oversight, presented to the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. 97th Congress, June 30. Longenecker represented the Central Vermont Safe Energy Coalition.
MacDonald, G.J. 1985. Testimony, clean coal technologies, before a subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce. 99th Congress, March 28. MacDonald was vice president and chief scientist of MITRE Corp.
Markey, E. 2009. Testimony before U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming. 111th Congress, October 29. Markey was chairman of the committee. Online at https://house.resource.org/111/gov.house.sgw.20091029.1. pdf, accessed February 23, 2015.
McNeil, C. 2011. Request for no-cost extension—Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation award letter dated November 8, 2011. Email to Logan Moore, director of operations at the Charles Koch Institute. Online at https://s3.amazonaws.com/s3.documentcloud. org/documents/1672782/climate.pdf, accessed May 15, 2015.
Miller, S. 2009. Testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming. 111th Congress, October 29. Miller was president of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity. Online at https://house. resource.org/111/gov.house.sgw.20091029.1.pdf, accessed February 23, 2015.
Mooney, C. 2015. No, the sun isn’t driving global warming. Washing- ton Post, February 23. Online at www.realclimate.org/index.php/ archiveswashingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2015/ 02/the-soon-fallacy/#ITEM-18185-0.23/no-the-sun-isnt-driving- global-warming, accessed April 29, 2015.
Mooney, C. 2004. Earth last. The American Prospect, April 16. Online at https://prospect.org/article/earth-last-0, accessed April 29, 2015.
Mufson, S. 2014. CEO of Royal Dutch Shell: Climate change discus- sion “has gone into la-la land.” Washington Post, September 10. Online at www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/ 09/10/ceo-of-royal-dutch-shell-climate-change-discussion-has- gone-into-la-la-land, accessed April 28, 2015.
Myslinski, D.J. 2011. 35-day mailing—38th Annual Meeting. Mem- orandum to Education Task Force members of the American Legislative Exchange Council. Online at www.commoncause.org/ issues/more-democracy-reforms/alec/whistleblower-complaint/ original-complaint/National_ALEC_Exhibit_4_Education_2011_ Annual_Meeting.pdf, accessed June 1, 2015.
Najor, P. 2002. RIP: Global Climate Coalition: Global Climate Coali- tion ends its work; voice for industry opposed global treaty. The Heat is Online, January 25. Online at www.heatisonline.org/ contentserver/objecthandlers/index.cfm?id=3872&method=full, accessed February 20, 2015.
Negin, E. 2014. Google quits ALEC, but Chevron, ExxonMobil and Shell stay put. Hu ngton Post, October 23. Online at www. hu ngtonpost.com/elliott-negin/google-quits-alec-but-che_b_ 6030760.html, accessed April 28, 2015.
Negin, E. 2012. ALEC’s other deadly force campaign initiatives. Hu - ington Post, November 5. Online at www.hu ngtonpost.com/ elliott-negin/alec-climate-change_b_1439267.html, accessed May 18, 2015.
Ohio Valley Coal Company. No date. Bob Murray. Online at www. ohiovalleycoal.com/ohiovalleycoal/aboutus.html. Archived at Internet Archive Wayback Machine, http://web.archive.org/web/ 20010805141959/http:/www.ohiovalleycoal.com/ohiovalleycoal/ aboutus.html, accessed March 4, 2015.
Oppenheimer, M. 1981. Testimony, Clean Air Act oversight, before the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. 97th Congress, July 1. Oppenheimer was a senior scientist at the Environmental Defense Fund. Oreskes, N. 2011. My facts are better than your facts: Spreading good news about global warming. In How well do facts travel? The dissemination of reliable knowledge, edited by P. Howlett and M.S. Morgan. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press. Online at http://3to1z93m5aspz1tlz1zcsjta2m.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/ goldstein2014/wp-content/uploads/sites/316/2014/08/How_Well_ Do_Facts_Travel.pdf, accessed March 4, 2015.
Oreskes, N., and E.M. Conway. 2010. Merchants of doubt: How a handful of scientists obscured the truth on issues from tobacco smoke to global warming. New York: Bloomsbury Press.
Peabody Energy. 2014. Peabody Energy announces results for the year ended December 31, 2014. Online at http://peabodyenergy.investor room.com/2015-01-27-peabody-energy-announces-results-for-the- year-ended-december-31-2014?printable, accessed April 14, 2015.
Peabody Energy. 2010. Peabody Energy announces organizational changes. PR Newswire, May 7. Online at www.bloomberg.com/ apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=ahSBMTPbexwc, accessed May 10, 2015. Perriello, T. 2009. Testimony before the U.S. House of Represen- tatives Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming. 111th Congress, October 29. Perriello was a represen- tative from Virginia. Online at https://house.resource.org/111/gov. house.sgw.20091029.1.pdf, accessed February 23, 2015.
Readfearn, G. 2013. The campaigns that tried to break the climate sci- ence consensus. DeSmogBlog, June 6. Online at www.desmogblog. com/2013/06/06/campaigns-tried-break-climate-science-consensus, accessed March 4, 2015.
Reheis-Boyd, C. 2014. News ash: Coalitions aren’t conspiracies. West- ern States Petroleum Association, November 25. Online at www. wspa.org/blog/post/news- ash-coalitions-aren%E2%80%99t- conspiracies, accessed February 20, 2015.
Rehm, D. 2014. A conversation with Google chairman Eric Schmidt. The Diane Rehm Show, September 22. Online at http://thediane rehmshow.org/shows/2014-09-22/conversation-google-chairman- eric-schmidt, accessed April 29, 2015.
Revelle, R. 1965. Atmospheric carbon dioxide. In Restoring the quality of our environment, a report of the Environmental Pollution Panel of the President’s Science Advisory Committee. Washington, DC: White House. Online at http://dge.stanford.edu/labs/caldeiralab/ Caldeira%20downloads/PSAC,%201965,%20Restoring%20the%20 Quality%20of%20Our%20Environment.pdf, accessed May 7, 2015.
Revelle, R., and H.E. Seuss. 1957. Carbonates and carbon dioxide. Memoirs of the Geological Society of America 67(1):239–295.
Revkin, A.C. 2009. Industry ignored its scientists on climate. New York Times, April 24. Online at www.nytimes.com/2009/04/24/ science/earth/24deny.html?_r=0&pagewanted=print, accessed February 24, 2015.
Rosenhall, L. 2015. Oil industry doubled spending on lobbying in California last year. The Sacramento Bee, February 4. Online at www.sacbee.com/news/investigations/the-public-eye/article 9261986.html, accessed June 1, 2015.
Royal Dutch Shell. 1998. Pro ts and principles—does there have to be a choice? Online at http://reports.shell.com/sustainability-report/ 2012/servicepages/previous/ les/shell_report_1998.pdf, accessed June 1, 2015.
Sanchez, I. 2003. Warming study draws re. Harvard Crimson, September 12. Online at www.thecrimson.com/article/2003/9/12/ warming-study-draws- re-a-study, accessed April 29, 2015.
Schmidt, G. 2015. The Soon fallacy. RealClimate, February 24. Online at www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2015/02/the-soon- fallacy/#ITEM-18185-0, accessed May 14, 2015.
Schmidt, G. 2005. The lure of solar forcing. RealClimate, July 15. Online at www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2005/07/the- lure-of-solar-forcing, accessed April 29, 2015.
Schneider, S.H. 1985. Testimony, clean coal technologies, before a sub- committee of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce. 99th Congress, March 28. Schneider was deputy director at the National Center for Atmospheric Research.
Seidel, S., and D. Keyes. 1983. Can we delay a greenhouse warming?: The e ectiveness and feasibility of options to slow a build-up of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Washington, DC: Environmen- tal Protection Agency O ce of Policy Analysis. Online at http:// nepis.epa.gov, accessed May 7, 2015.
Sharp, P.R. 1985. Testimony, clean coal technologies, before a sub- committee of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce. 99th Congress, March 28. Sharp was the chairman of the Subcommittee on Fossil and Synthetic Fuels and a representative from Indiana.
Shelton, H.O. 2009. Testimony before the U.S. House of Represen- tatives Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming. 111th Congress, October 29. Shelton was director and senior vice president for advocacy and policy, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Washington Bureau. Online at https://house.resource.org/111/gov.house.sgw.20091029.1.pdf, accessed February 23, 2015.
Sherick, J. 1984. Testimony, Department of the Interior and related agencies’ appropriations for 1985, before a subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations. 98th Congress. Sherick was President of MSE.
Simmons Advertising, Inc. 1991. Memorandoum to Rush Limbaugh Show. Grand Forks, ND: Information Council for the Environment. Online at http://research.greenpeaceusa.org/?a=browse&cat=684, accessed March 4, 2015.
Smithsonian. 2015. Smithsonian statement: Dr. Wei-Hock (Willie) Soon. Newsdeck, Newsroom of the Smithsonian, February 26. Online at http://newsdesk.si.edu/releases/smithsonian-statement- dr-wei-hock-willie-soon, accessed April 29, 2015.
Smithsonian. 2008. Agreement for funding a grant to Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. Signed agreement between the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and Southern Company. Online at https://s3.amazonaws.com/s3.documentcloud.org/ documents/1672782/climate.pdf, accessed May 15, 2015.
Soon, W. 2011. Understanding solar radiation and climate change: A research program into the physical links between surface sunshine history and Chinese temperature record. Final report prepared for Southern Company Services, Inc. Online at https://s3.amazonaws. com/s3.documentcloud.org/documents/1672782/climate.pdf, accessed May 15, 2015.
Surgey, N. 2014a. Coal and oil polluters dominate ALEC conference. Center for Media and Democracy’s PRWatch, July 31. Online at www.prwatch.org/news/2014/07/12557/polluters, accessed March 3, 2015.
Surgey, N. 2014b. Revealed: ALEC’s 2014 attacks on the environment. Center for Media and Democracy’s PRWatch, April 23. Online at www.prwatch.org/news/2014/04/12457/revealed-alec%E2%80%99s- 2014-attacks-environment, accessed May 18, 2015.
Talley, I. 2009. Lobby groups to use town hall tactics to oppose climate bill. Wall Street Journal blog, August 11. Online at http:// blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2009/08/ 11/ lobby -groups -to -use-town- hall-tactics-to-oppose-climate-bill, accessed May 10, 2015.
Tucker, R.F. 1988. High tech frontiers in the energy industry: The challenge ahead. Speech given at the American Institute of Chemical Engineers national meeting, Washington, DC, Novem- ber 30, 1988. Submitted for the record to hearing on conventional fuels and energy security before a subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Banking, Finance, and Urban A airs. 101st Congress, November 8, 1989. Tucker was president of Mobil Corporation. Online at http://babel.hathitrust. org/cgi/pt?id=pur1.32754074119482;view=1up;seq=3, accessed May 8, 2015.
The Wilderness Society. 1987. Appendix 1 in testimony, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska, before the U.S. Senate Commit- tee on Energy and Natural Resources. 100th Congress, June 11.
VanderHeyden, L. 2013. Request for no-cost extension, February 20. Email to Jill C. Robidoux, contract specialist at the Harvard- Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. Online at https://s3. amazonaws.com/s3.documentcloud.org/documents/1672782/ climate.pdf, accessed May 15, 2015.
von Storch, H. 2003. Editorial submitted to Climate Research but rejected by publisher. Online at http://web.archive.org/web/ 20070703025424/http://w3g.gkss.de/G/Mitarbeiter/storch/ CR-problem/CR.editorial.pdf, accessed June 1, 2015.
Wald, M.L. 1991. Pro-coal ad campaigns disputes warming idea. New York Times, July 8. Online at www.nytimes.com/1991/07/08/ business/pro-coal-ad-campaign-disputes-warming-idea.html, accessed March 4, 2015.
Walker, J. 1998. Draft global climate science communications plan, memo to Global Climate Science Team. Washington, DC: Ameri- can Petroleum Institute. Online at www.euronet.nl/users/e_wesker/ ew@shell/API-prop.html, accessed February 25, 2015.
Walsh, M.P. 1987. Testimony, Clean Air Act amendments, before a subcommittee of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. 100th Congress, June 16–17. Walsh was an inde- pendent technical consultant in the motor vehicle air pollution control eld.
Weart, S. 2015. The discovery of global warming. American Institute of Physics. Online at www.aip.org/history/climate/index.htm #contents, accessed May 13, 2015.
Wieners, B. 2014. Leaked: The oil lobby’s conspiracy to kill o Cali- fornia’s climate law. Bloomberg Business, November 25. Online at www.bloomberg.com/bw/articles/2014-11-25/revealed-the-oil-lob- bys-playbook-against-californias-climate-law%23p1, accessed February 20, 2015.
Zapanta, V. 2009. NAACP-forgery group, Bonner & Associates, has a decades-long history of astroturf tactics. ThinkProgress, July 31. Online at http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2009/07/31/53830/ bonner-forgery, accessed April 29, 2015.