Environmental Literacy Council (disbanded)

Koch Industries Climate Denial Front Group

$180,000 from Koch foundations, 2001-2007

The Environmental Literacy Council is a disbanded front group that was run out of the office of the Koch- and Exxon-funded George C. Marshall Institute. According to SourceWatch:

“Its predecessor, the Marshall Institute’s Independent Commission on Environmental Education (ICEE), had issued an April 1997 report about the need for a group like the Environmental Literacy Council and then disbanded; the ELC promptly formed, at the same address and with all the ICEE personnel.”

ELC itself was also funded $100,000 by ExxonMobil, according to its corporate giving reports and ExxonMobil Foundation tax filings. In addition to money from fossil fuel interests and conservative foundations associated with billionaire industrialist Richard Mellon Scaife and the late chemical magnate John M. Olin, the Environmental Literacy Council received grants from the federal government, including the Department of Energy (US DOE’s David Wojick was contracted by the Heartland Institute to write climate denial curriculum for schools).

The Environmental Literacy Council existed to promote unscientific doubt (as opposed to healthy scientific skepticism) over climate change and focused on influencing K-12 education. This effort was complimented by model state legislation created by the Koch- and Exxon-funded American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the Heartland Institute, which both sought to water down climate science in classrooms.

The Environmental Literacy Council was created by former George C. Marshall Institute executive director Jeffrey Salmon. ELC’s leadership included know climate science deniers such as Kenneth Green of the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and the late Fred Seitz.


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