Heartland Institute

Koch Industries Climate Denial Front Group

$55,000 from Koch foundations, 1997-2011

The Heartland Institute, a Chicago-based, industry-funded conservative think-tank, has had a long history of climate denial that continues today. Heartland is a member of the State Policy Network.

On Feb. 14, 2012 several Heartland Institute documents were leaked to the public and revealed the organization’s climate science denial campaign for 2012. The “Heartland Institute 2012 Proposed Budget” revealed potentially illegal plans to pay federal employees to write unscientific global warming material for K-12 school programs and for anti-climate science reports. The “global warming curriculum project” is set to cost $200,000. Additional, it confirmed continued funding to known career climate science deniers such as Willie Soon and Fred Singer as well as payment proposals to several people affiliated with universities, such as Robert Balling at Arizona State University. Heartland denied or avoided confirming authenticity of these documents until physicist Peter Gleick announced he duped Heartland into sending him their budget and other documents by email.

After dropping funding to Heartland after 1999, the Heartland Institute 2012 Fundraising Plan shows that Koch foundations sent $25,000 to the Institute in 2011. Heartland’s plan shows it hopes to raise $200,000 in 2012 from the Charles G. Koch Foundation (p. 22). The leaked Heartland 2012 budget confirms cooperation with the Koch Internship Program for their lobbying work (p. 18)

Since 2007, HI has hosted their annual International Conference on Climate Change, where dozens of climate deniers converge to discuss issues and strategies to oppose climate action. On their global warming website, HI has dozens of articles, dating back to 1996, documenting their perspective that the Kyoto Protocol is unnecessary because “greenhouse gases (GHG) levels will unlikely ever pose a problem.” 

The Heartland Institute has also been a major part of the “Climategate” echo chamber. The Institute has posted dozens of blogs to exaggerate the significance of the incident, claiming “the global movement to ‘do something’ about global warming…stands discredited” and “the IPCC should be disbanded as a threat to mankind.”

In addition to blogs, spokespeople from the Heartland Institute have commented on “ClimateGate” several times in the media as well.

Heartland’s America First Energy Conference was established to influence Trump administration policies to incentivize fossil fuel leases, extraction, and its staunch opposition to climate science.

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