The Heartland Institute is hosting the “America Energy First” Conference on November 9, 2017.
The Heartland Institute is a free market think tank at the forefront of denying manmade climate change. Joseph Bast was the director and CEO of the institute from its inception in 1984 until 2017. Heartland has deep ties to ExxonMobil’s climate denial campaign and is now funded by the Mercer family. The Mercers have also financially supported the Trump campaign as well as Breitbart News. Heartland works closely with a network of right-wing funders and climate-denying think tanks including the Competitive Enterprise Institute, CATO Institute, CFACT and others.
Heartland has a long reputation as a mouthpiece for the corporations who fund it. In the 1990s, the Heartland Institute worked with the tobacco company Philip Morris to question the science linking secondhand smoke to health risks, and lobbied against government public health reforms.
Heartland documents show funding over time from the Charles Koch Foundation, American Petroleum Institute, National Coal Association, Edison Electric Institute, Amoco Foundation, Chevron, Ford Motor Company, General Motors and others. From 1997-2006, the Heartland Institute received at least $676,000 from ExxonMobil. Of this total, $140,000 was specifically earmarked for climate change programs in disclosure reports by the corporation. Heartland has also received over $21,000,000 from Donors Trust and Donors Capital Fund. Both organizations are conservative dark money funnels that advertise their ability to transfer huge sums to conservative groups without donor disclosure. The Koch brothers have also donated at least $60,000 to the Heartland Institute. Heartland doesn’t just question climate science, they put up billboards comparing people who accept the science of climate change to murderers and terrorists like the Unabomber and Osama Bin Laden.
“The point is that believing in global warming is not “mainstream,” smart, or sophisticated. In fact, it is just the opposite of those things. Still believing in man-made global warming – after all the scientific discoveries and revelations that point against this theory – is more than a little nutty. In fact, some really crazy people use it to justify immoral and frightening behavior.”