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Scrutinizing the Funding Behind Climate Studies

The Hill : “Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) wants oil and coal companies to reveal the extent to which they have funded research questioning the causes of climate change.”  

“He said he will soon write to various companies, trade organizations and others involved in fossil fuels in an attempt to find whether they are paying for skeptical climate research.”  

“Markey’s comments came after The New York Times reported that Willie Soon, a prolific scientist questioning the human role in climate change, received more than $1.2 million from the industry and did not consistently report that funding when publishing his research.”  

Meanwhile, the Guardian reports that “Richard Berman, a one-time lobbyist turned industry strategist, has zeroed in on another target: Barack Obama’s new power plant rules.”  

Nicknamed “Dr. Evil” by Washington insiders, Berman “has secretly routed funding for at least 16 studies and launched at least five front groups attacking Environmental Protection Agency rules cutting carbon dioxide from power plants, the Guardian has learned.”  

“The Employment Policies Institute , a tax-exempt organisation headed by Berman and operating out of his office according to tax filings, funded a series of reports by an ultra-conservative thinktank, the Beacon Hill Institute .”  

“The reports, claiming the power plant rules would lead to rolling blackouts, send electricity prices skyrocketing, and devastate local economies, are being published in 16 states by a network of pro-corporate and ultra-conservative thinktanks.”  

“Those familiar with Berman say he is a prime example of a new industry strategy of bypassing traditional lobbying organisations, and using thinktanks, foundations, experts, and social media to shape the public conversation and – ultimately – legislation.”

Topics: wonk-wire