Fraser Institute among dozens of climate denial groups funded by oil company, report says

The Vancouver-based Fraser Institute is one of almost 40 climate-denial groups that have received funding linked to a U.S. conglomerate with oil interests, according to a report by Greenpeace USA.

The report, released today (March 30), shows that foundations controlled by Kansas-based Koch Industries contributed US$48.5 million to climate opposition groups from 1997 to 2008.

Koch, which Greenpeace calls the second-largest privately-held corporation in the U.S., is involved in petroleum refining, crude oil supply, petrochemicals marketing, and commodities trading, among other areas.

The report—Koch Industries: Secretly Funding the Climate Denial Machine—argues that the little-known company has become “a financial kingpin of climate science denial and clean energy opposition”.

“ExxonMobil has responded to public scrutiny by slightly reducing their support of climate denial, and Koch Industries is outpacing ExxonMobil’s funding activities while drawing very little public attention,” the report states.

According to the report, the Fraser Institute received US$175,000 from Koch foundations between 2005 and 2008.

“The Fraser Institute publishes in-depth critiques of climate science, including a 110-page report attacking the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fourth Assessment report,” the Greenpeace report states. “They also offer lesson plans and educational materials designed to encourage children to be skeptical of mainstream climate science.”

Since 2005, more than US$5 million has gone to Americans for Prosperity, a conservative political advocacy group, and over US$1 million went to the Cato Institute, a libertarian think-tank that has been criticized for its stance on global warming.

“On repeated occasions documented below, organizations funded by Koch foundations have led the assault on climate science and scientists, ”˜green jobs,’ renewable energy and climate policy progress,” the report says.

The report also notes that, since the 2006 election cycle, Koch’s political action committee has made more contributions to federal candidates than any other oil-and-gas-sector PAC.

Greenpeace says Koch’s environmental record isn’t exactly clean either. As noted in the report, the company was fined US$30 million by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2000 for its role in 300 oil spills in Texas and five other states.

In 2009, the U.S. Justice Department and EPA announced a Koch subsidiary would pay a US$1.7-million penalty and spend US$500 million to fix environmental violations at facilities in seven states.

The Greenpeace report goes on to document five case studies outlining how organizations funded by Koch were involved in spreading misinformation about climate change and the environment.

“At least twenty Koch-funded organizations have repeatedly rebroadcast, referenced and appeared as media spokespeople in the story, dubbed ”˜ClimateGate,’ of supposed malfeasance by climate scientists gleaned from a cache of stolen emails from the University of East Anglia in November 2009,” the report says of one case study. “These organizations claim the emails prove a ”˜conspiracy’ of scientists and casts doubt on the scientific consensus regarding climate change.”

Koch has responded to the report, sending a statement to AFP.

“Koch companies have consistently found innovative and cost-effective ways to ensure sound environmental stewardship and further reduce waste and emissions of greenhouse gases associated with their operations and products,” read the statement sent to the news agency by spokesperson Melissa Cohlmia.

“Based on this experience, we support open, science-based dialogue about climate change and the likely effects of proposed energy policies on the global economy,” the statement added.


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It's about time

Mar 30, 2010 at 8:43pm

I am very pleased to see this report released. It's about time we start understanding who is behind the campaign to confuse us about climate science.

More great news on the climate front:

Today, the investigation regarding climate scientist Phil Jones of CRU unit at East Anglia University in England by the British parliament's House of Commons' Science and Technology Committee reported that:

"they'd seen no evidence to support charges that the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit or its director, Phil Jones, had tampered with data or perverted the peer review process to exaggerate the threat of global warming — two of the most serious criticisms levied against the climatologist and his colleagues."

In their report, the committee said that, as far as it was able to determine:

"the scientific reputation of Professor Jones and CRU remains intact," adding that nothing in the more than 1,000 stolen e-mails, or the controversy kicked up by their publication, challenged scientific consensus that "global warming is happening and that it is induced by human activity."

Source: Associated Press,

glen p robbins

Mar 30, 2010 at 9:02pm

Okay depending--it's 45k to 60k per year from "Koch". What other think tanks in Canada--does "Koch" support -- if any?

How many studies did the Fraser Institute produce that went against climate change positions---each of those years -- and what is the relative value each year of those studies?

If the Fraser Institute produced - say - one 'anti' climate change study in each year that had a value of $45K to 60K--then maybe we are on to something.

If the Fraser Institute produced - say - ten 'anti' climate change studies in a year at a value of $600,000 -- my interest begins to wane---

tool boy

Mar 30, 2010 at 9:45pm

get a electric car breathing from cars is worse than smoking and deisel trucks is even worst. take a walk in the cuntry and boy its amazing fresh air.


Mar 31, 2010 at 1:32am

OK Koch Industries fund climate skepticism campaigns. But that is still a fraction of what Greenpeace receives as funding for climate alarmism. What makes Koch so wrong and Greenpeace's donors so right? We need a debate and for a debate we need two sides.


Mar 31, 2010 at 1:54am

And what about the funding received by Greenpeace?


Mar 31, 2010 at 9:04am

Old news. Also, big oil funds both sides of this debate, so the Greenpeace 'report' isn't very meaningful.


Mar 31, 2010 at 3:29pm

Koch industries owns Georgia-pacific (they bought them in 2006), who locally manufactures drywall in surrey at their facility under the puttulo bridge, and I'm sure everyone has seen GP paper-dispensers in the washroom at your local pub!

Janie Jones

Apr 1, 2010 at 12:41pm

I see that Greenpeace no longer lists its foundation supporters by name but so? is correct. Greenpeace receives annual grants from the Rockefeller Foundation (Standard Oil) and the Pew Foundation (Suncor who recently swallowed up PetroCanada and are the tar sands largest developer). Let's also not forget the source of the Gore family fortune - shares in Occidental Petroleum earned by the the old man for acting as a political frontman for Soviet agent Armand Hammer. Big Oil is also firmly on board the carbon-credit trading scam, carbon taxes etc.

Closer to home, the Campbell government is using the carbon tax to build highways and subsidize the northeast oil and gas industry.


Apr 1, 2010 at 1:30pm

So oill companies have contributed to the Fraser Institute. Fine.

Now, what do you make of the fact that a large percentage of the Pembina Inst's funding comes from contract they do with the energy industry? What do you make of the fact that the David Suzuki Foundation, in its most recent reported year, received over a million dollars, one eighth of its total funding, from Paul Demerais's Power Corp?
Rod Smelser

Justin Credible

Apr 2, 2010 at 3:29am

Greenpeace is running scared with all the recent public opinion polls clearly showing that most people no longer buy into their climate hysteria and green lies. Must read: Advocacy Group Greenpeace attacks Other Advocacy Groups:

The gig is up, manmade climate change is dead dead dead and Big Green is desperately looking for new funding scares already. Earth Hour propaganda failed to attract numbers this year, global warming "scientists" have been exposed ala Climategate, and the earth is still cooling. It's amazing a few sheep still cling to their AGW religion at all!