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ExxonMobil Caught Funding Network of Global Warming Deniers, New Analysis Reveals
GREENPEACE USA PRESS RELEASE (print Adobe version) Friday May 18, 2007
Contact: Jane Kochersperger, Greenpeace Media Officer, (202) 319-2493 direct; (202) 680-3798 cell
View Full Report: ExxonMobil's Continued Funding of Global Warming Denial Industry Click here for the Exxpose Exxon Overview and Full List of Key Documents
WASHINGTON–Analysis of the latest ExxonMobil funding reports reveals that in spite of recent public statements to the contrary, the company continues to bankroll organizations that misrepresent the science and urgency of global warming.
The research, conducted by Greenpeace's ExxonSecrets.org project, a member of the Exxpose Exxon coalition, shows that in 2006, ExxonMobil spent $2.1 million funding dozens of prominent climate-denial organizations.
Moreover, recently unearthed Exxon tax forms show that the company specifically covered up grants earmarked for Global Climate Change Efforts, Activities, Issues, Education or Outreachto fourteen skeptic organizations in 2005.
In response to mounting criticism by the Exxpose Exxon coalition, UK's prestigious scientific body, the Royal Society, U.S. Senators, and others, ExxonMobil launched a carefully crafted public relations campaign earlier this year to give the public impression that it has been "misunderstood" on global warming. ExxonMobil's Ken Cohen, who is both Vice President of Public Affairs and Chair of the company's grantmaking foundation, has repeatedly told the media that Exxon has stopped funding climate skeptic organizations.
"Exxon's decade-long campaign of denial and deception on global warming has provided cover for the Bush Administration's inept climate policy," said Kert Davies, Research Director at Greenpeace "Although Exxon's public rhetoric on global warming appears to be shifting, in reality they continue to fund the denial industry."
In late 2006, it was revealed that Exxon had stopped funding the Competitive Enterprise Institute (which had received $2.2 million from Exxon since 1998). The company told shareholders and the media that they had cut their funding of these obstructive groups because it became an embarrassing public relations problem, a "distraction" in Exxon's words.
Greenpeace's analysis shows that Exxon continues to fund the core network of front groups that have been misrepresenting the science on global warming and attacking the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change since the early 1990s. Among the recipients of Exxon funding in 2006 are several organizations which have been at the center of Exxon's tobacco-style disinformation campaign. These organizations were named in a leaked 1998 industry memo that laid out a plan to manufacture uncertainty around the science of global warming (see Greenpeace analysis for details).
A report released earlier this year by Exxpose Exxon Coalition member, The Union of Concerned Scientists, documents how ExxonMobil adopted the tobacco industry's disinformation tactics, as well as some of the same personnel, to cloud the scientific understanding of climate change and delay government action. "The only way for ExxonMobil to be taken seriously at the policy table is to halt the flow of cash to these groups and to denounce their work," said Exxpose Exxon campaign director Shawnee Hoover. "Without a deliberate policy change in this area, the company is continuing with the same old strategy: double-crossing America on global warming."
Click here for the Exxpose Exxon Background and Full List of Key Documents