WATCH: Industry-Funded Climate Denier Goes Off on Camera, Lies About Fossil Fuel Funding

by Ryan Schleeter

December 8, 2015

Princeton scientist William Happer got heated while denying receiving funding from the fossil fuel industry at a Senate hearing convened by presidential candidate Ted Cruz today.

That’s footage of William Happer, a Princeton scientist-for-hire favored by the fossil fuel industry, responding to questions from Greenpeace investigator Jesse Coleman at a U.S. Senate hearing earlier today. 

If it looks like Happer didn’t appreciate that line of questioning, there’s a reason.

Happer — who was invited to speak before the Senate at a ‘Data or Dogma’ panel by Ted Cruz — was one of two high-profile academics exposed by an undercover investigation into how the fossil fuel industry funds climate denial.

In emails sent to undercover Greenpeace investigators, Happer agreed to author a paper promoting the benefits of carbon dioxide without disclosing the source of his funding. His fee for producing this research was $250 per hour. He also disclosed that he received $8,000 from U.S. coal giant Peabody Energy to testify at a Minnesota state hearing on the impacts of carbon dioxide earlier this year.

In the footage above, Happer can be heard telling Coleman, “you son of a b*tch, I haven’t taken a dime” in response to questions about his funding from Peabody Energy.

William Happer Greenpeace

Image by Greenpeace.

Happer also stated in email exchanges that he believes “more carbon dioxide will benefit the world” and that “the only way to limit carbon dioxide would be to stop using fossil fuels, which I think would be a profoundly immoral and irrational policy.”

Read the full investigation here from Greenpeace Energydesk.

UPDATE December 10, 2015: The Independent reports that Charity Commission officials in the U.K. have launched an investigation into the Global Warming Policy Foundation, where Happer serves as a member of the Academic Advisory Council.

Ryan Schleeter

By Ryan Schleeter

Ryan Schleeter is a content editor with the communications team at Greenpeace International. His writing has appeared in National Geographic, Grist, GreenBiz, EcoWatch, and more. Find him on Twitter @ryschlee.

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