Speaking of Dirty Tricks

Flavin tunnel with Marty Spellerberg

Al Gore has some enemies who don’t want his name even mentioned as a possible compromise candidate at the Denver 2008 Convention.

Al Gore’s opulent lifestyle and his virtuous plea to save the planet from global warming don’t mesh, according to the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), which announced plans yesterday for a new national advertising campaign to showcase the contrast before the American public.

Yet his name is also being bandied about in some Democratic and progressive circles for a presidential “dream team” ticket pairing him with Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois.

The CEI ad will highlight Mr. Gore’s “hypocrisy,” said Sam Kazman, general counsel of the free-market public policy group.

The spot, which begins airing Tuesday on several cable networks, is also meant to counter a new outreach by the Alliance for Climate Protection, an umbrella organization founded by Mr. Gore last year. The group is planning a massive music festival in July and will spend a reported $10 million on advocacy ads promoting the “climate crisis” and eco-consciousness.

[From Ad to challenge Gore’s planet-saving image – – The Washington Times, America’s Newspaper aka The Mooney Times]

So who exactly is the Competitive Enterprise Institute? and more importantly, who funds their efforts? Before I looked, I guessed ExxonMobil, and apparently, was right.

In its IRS Form 990 for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2004, CEI reported revenues totalling $2,919,537, including donations from individuals, foundations and corporations. Its net assets were $1,670,808.…

According to page nine of a report from the CEI contained on the University of California, San Francisco’s Legacy Tobacco Documents Library (LTDL), the following companies and foundations were among those listed as supporting CEI’s work with annual contributions of at least $10,000, currently the CEI’s “Entrepreneurs” level:

Aequus Institute, Amoco Foundation, Inc., Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, Coca-Cola Company, E.L. Craig Foundation, CSX Corporation, Earhart Foundation, Fieldstead and Co., FMC Foundation, Ford Motor Company Fund, Gilder Foundation, Koch Family Foundations (including the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation, David H. Koch Charitable Foundation, and Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation), Philip M. McKenna Foundation, Inc., Curtis and Edith Munson Foundation, Philip Morris Companies, Inc., Pfizer Inc., Precision Valve Corporation, Prince Foundation, Rodney Fund, Sheldon Rose, Scaife Foundations (Carthage Foundation and Sarah Scaife Foundation), and Texaco, Inc. (Texaco Foundation).

Other documents in the LTDL show that CEI has received funding directly from various tobacco companies.[7],[8],[9] For example, the listing on the Philip Morris Glossary of Names: C gives the note “Received public policy grant from Philip Morris (1995); Pro-market public interest group dedicated to advancing the principles of free enterprise and limited government.”

ExxonMobil Corporation was a major donor to CEI, with over $2 million in contributions between 1998 and 2005. [10] In 2002 the company gave $405,000;[11] in 2004 it gave CEI $180,000 that was earmarked for “global climate change and global climate change outreach.” [12] In 2006, the company announced that they had ended their funding for the group.[12]

[From Competitive Enterprise Institute – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia]

A veritable rogues gallery of corporate evil-doers. The most surprising name (to me anyway) is Ford Motor Company. I thought Ford had turned a new leaf, and was promoting green ventures? Seems that was only propaganda, and behind the scenes Ford is still dragging their feet, fighting regulation that would tackle global climate change.

Sourcewatch says of CEI

It postures as an advocate of “sound science” in the development of public policy. However, CEI projects dispute the overwhelimng scientific evidence that human induced greenhouse gas emissions are driving climate change. They have a program for “challenging government regulations”, push property rights as a solution to environment problems, opposed US vehicle fuel efficiency standards and been a booster for the drug industry.


CEI belongs to various conservative alliances, including the Alliance for America, Get Government Off Our Backs, Townhall.com, the National Consumer Coalition (a pro-corporate front group headed by Frances B. Smith, the wife of CEI founder Fred Smith), and the Environmental Education Working Group (EEWG), a national umbrella group for organizations working to undermine environmental education in schools. It is linked to the UK-based rightwing thinktank, the International Policy Network, via shared staff and an identical US contact address. It also sponsors several other subsidiary organizations, including:
The Center for Private Conservation, a green-sounding front group that opposes environmental regulations by claiming that “free market” solutions work better.

The Cooler Heads Coalition, chaired by former CEI director Marlo Lewis and directed by Myron Ebell, CEI’s Director of Global Warming and International Environmental Policy. The Cooler Heads Coalition was formed on May 6, 1997, “to dispel the myths of global warming by exposing flawed economic, scientific and risk analysis.” In March 2001, the nonprofit Clean Air Trust named Ebell its “clean air villain of the month,” citing his “ferocious lobbying charge to persuade President Bush to reverse his campaign pledge to control electric utility emissions of carbon dioxide.”

and this list of funders/enemies of the planet:

CEI does not publish a list of its institutional donors. However, in a CEI report sent to Philip Morris, the think tank identified a range of companies and foundations as having given $10,000 or more. [21] Contributors included: Aequus Institute
Amoco Foundation, Inc.
Coca-Cola Company, contributions were $25,000 per annum for the period 1991-1995;
E.L. Craig Foundation
CSX Corporation
Fieldstead and Co.
FMC Foundation
Ford Motor Company Fund
Curtis and Edith Munson Foundation
Philip Morris Companies, Inc.
Pfizer Inc.
Precision Valve Corporation
Prince Foundation
Sheldon Rose
Texaco, Inc.
Texaco Foundation
Alex C. Walker Foundation

In a 2006 profile of CEI and other global warming skeptics, Washington Post reporter Joel Achenbach noted that “the most generous sponsors” of CEI’s 2005 annual dinner were “the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, Exxon Mobil, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, and Pfizer. Other contributors included General Motors, the American Petroleum Institute, the American Plastics Council, the Chlorine Chemistry Council and Arch Coal.”

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.