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Author Topic: Fossil Fuel Propaganda Modus Operandi  (Read 37807 times)

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Re: Fossil Fuel Propaganda Modus Operandi
« Reply #90 on: April 15, 2016, 10:53:28 pm »
Oil Industry’s Suppression of Climate Science Began in 1940s  >:(, Documents Reveal

Posted on Apr 13, 2016

By Nadia Prupis / Common Dreams

A trove of newly uncovered documents shows that fossil fuel companies were explicitly warned of the risks of climate change decades earlier than previously suspected.
And while it’s no secret—anymore—that the companies knew about those dangers long ago, the documents, published Wednesday by the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL), reveal even more about the broader industry effort to suppress climate science and foment public doubt about global warming.

Industry executives met in Los Angeles in 1946 to discuss growing public concern about air pollution. That meeting led to the formation of a panel—suitably named the Smoke and Fumes Committee—to conduct research into air pollution issues.

But the research was not meant to be a public service; rather, it was used by the committee to “promote public skepticism of environmental science and environmental regulations the industry considered hasty, costly, and potentially unnecessary,” CIEL writes.

The group continues:

In the decades that followed, the Smoke and Fumes Committee funded massive levels of research into an array of air pollution issues, often conducted by institutes fostered and governed by the oil companies themselves. By the mid-1950s at the very latest, climate change was one of those issues.

The documents also show how Humble Oil (now ExxonMobil) scientists actively engaged on climate science in the company’s name beginning in the 1950s, even as they actively funded and published research into alternate theories of global warming.

Among the documents is a report by the Stanford Research Institute presented to the American Petroleum Institute (API) in 1968 warning of the potential consequences of releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

That report states:

Significant temperature changes are almost certain to occur by the year 2000 and these could bring about climate change. If the Earth’s temperature increases significantly, a number of events might be expected to occur including the melting of the Antarctic ice cap, a rise in sea levels, warming of the oceans, and an increase in photosynthesis. [....]

[T]here seems to be no doubt that the potential damage to our environment could be severe.

“We begin with three simple, related questions,” said CIEL President Carroll Muffett. “What did they know? When did they know it? And what did they do about it?”

What we found is they knew a great deal,” Muffett said, “and they knew it much earlier and with greater certainty than anyone has recognized or that the industry has admitted.”

Annie Leonard, executive director of Greenpeace USA, said of the release, “It’s increasingly clear that the fossil fuel industry knew a lot more about the causes of climate change—and its effects—much earlier than anyone else. It pains me to think how much better shape the planet and vulnerable communities could be in if the fossil fuel industry had taken positive action based on this knowledge instead of trying to profit from it.”

The industry’s coverup of climate science was exposed last July by the Union of Concerned Scientists and through reporting by InsideClimate News and the Los Angeles Times.

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Re: Fossil Fuel Propaganda Modus Operandi
« Reply #91 on: April 21, 2016, 04:09:47 pm »
Exxon Tries To Bury Climate Documents By Claiming First Amendment Rights

The oil giant says attorneys general trying to access their internal docs “discriminates based on viewpoint.” 


Et tu, AGU? Group Continues Exxon Relationship

InsideClimate News has been named a Pulitzer finalist for its series of stories on ExxonMobil’s climate denial, ranking it as some of the best journalism of 2015. This will be yet another blow for Exxon, which has repeatedly attacked the credibility of the outlet and the story.

But now Exxon has gotten a small win, handed to them by one of the biggest scientific societies on the planet, the American Geophysical Union (AGU).

In February, a group of scientists wrote an open letter to AGU asking them to end ExxonMobil’s sponsorship of the group, as per AGU policy prohibiting partnerships with groups that “disseminate misinformation of science.”

AGU's board held a meeting, examined the evidence, and came to the conclusion that they would continue to take ExxonMobil’s money because  ;) they can’t confirm that the company is STILL funding misinformation, just that it has in the past.   Joe Romm at ThinkProgress lampoons the decision, calling it the “You can’t prove they didn’t stop yesterday” defense.

Because of how AGU’s rules are written, Exxon's wrongdoing is in the past and therefore forgiven, as AGU didn’t see proof that Exxon is funding denial on a daily basis. Apparently, AGU needs impossible-to-get information to make the right call, as the report showing ExxonMobil’s denial funding is current as of 2014, the latest year such information is available. So to prove that the company is currently funding denial, they would need 2016’s information on charitable giving, which won’t be released until those taxes are filed in 2017.

In that case, to get info about Exxon’s current spending, maybe the IPCC can lend the AGU their time machine?
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Re: Fossil Fuel Propaganda Modus Operandi
« Reply #92 on: April 26, 2016, 08:23:15 pm »
CNN Viewers See Far More Fossil Fuel Advertising  Than Climate Reporting:

Oil industry ads outpaced climate-related coverage by almost 5-to-1 on CNN in periods following major climate announcements, according to a study done by Media Matters.

After reporting that 2015 was the hottest year on record and that February 2016 was the most abnormally hot month on record, CNN ran just five minutes of climate news coverage, compared to 23.5 minutes of fossil fuel ads.
“That disparity does not even account for dozens of Koch Industries ads that also ran on CNN, which were not energy-focused but did serve to boost the image of the oil billionaire Koch brothers’ primary corporation,” wrote researcher Kevin Kalhoefer.
(Media Matters, Grist)

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Re: Fossil Fuel Propaganda Modus Operandi
« Reply #93 on: April 26, 2016, 09:00:02 pm »

What Could Possibly Be Fueling ‘Fraud Is Protected Free Speech’ Defense?  ;)


April 26, 2016
The past week has seen a barrage of opinion pieces carrying water for the fossil fuel industry, defending against the ongoing fraud investigations. The Washington Post had two pieces, Newsweek had one and the Financial Times had an editorial, in addition to op-eds in a couple of other conservative outlets. Of those six, half were penned by groups funded at least in part by fossil fuel companies.
The arguments are all by and large the same, claiming that the investigations infringe on fossil fuels companies' right to free speech  while steadfastly ignoring the fact that ExxonMobil funded climate denial to protect their business model.

Only the Financial Times editorial actually acknowledges the “misleading claims from fossil fuel interests and their allies” but concludes that it is “because the stakes [of the debate] are so high that all arguments must be heard.” While that sounds fair at first Glantz   , it quickly sounds silly when applied to a recent example: the tobacco industry’s denial of the fact that its carcinogenic product is addictive.

All but one of the pieces similarly ignored the tobacco industry precedent, and the only person who mentioned it was one of the few voices not plugged into the professional denial apparatus.  

As for the pros, Newsweek ran a blog post from the Hoover Institution, which rambled on about climate science that’s supposedly still uncertain  ;), lamenting that fair debate is impossible if one side can bring the other to court. Not mentioned is how a fair debate can be possible if one side launches multi-million dollar PR campaigns to mislead the public about the science. 

Heritage’s Hans von Spakovsky's
piece in the Washington Times misses the tobacco precedent, but went all the way back to the Spanish Inquisition for his First Amendment fear mongering. George Will  used his column in the Washington Post to offer a lesson on how this campaign is part of a larger progressive strategy to shut down debate. But apparently it’s Will that needs a history lesson, as he uses as evidence a story about a 2013 IRS investigation accusing the agency of targeting conservatives. But that investigation “found no evidence” that the IRS actions were politically motivated. No doubt his column is similarly bereft of evidence.
The Washington Post also gave space to the Competitive  Enterprise Institute (CEI)  to defend itself by pretending it is being investigated for political dissent, not its years of Exxon funding for climate denial. Worth noting CEI's careful phrasing about its relationship with Exxon, which CEI says "publicly ended its support for us after 2005.” With Donors Trust and others making it possible to anonymize giving, the key word is “publicly.”
Ironically, despite the admission that its Exxon funding is a perfectly legitimate reason to look into its communications, CEI considers its subpoena to be a fishing expedition. Meanwhile, CEI's own coal-funded Chris Horner continues to engage in nuisance FOIAs for climate scientists.
Exxon’s defense    is a hot topic in denierland, as it advances the narrative that the fossil fuel industry is an embattled population facing government persecution. But here’s a reality check: before Honduran activist Berta Cáceres was murdered on March 2nd, she reported receiving 33 death threats after years of intimidation. Instead of investigating a man who had previously bragged about his plans to murder her, authorities claim the prime suspects are two of her fellow activists.
Looks like the fossil fuel industry isn't the one facing persecution after all.
He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Matt 10:37


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Re: Fossil Fuel Propaganda Modus Operandi
« Reply #94 on: April 27, 2016, 06:43:24 pm »
The days of that prosperity are ending or at least on hold for now though. Jobs for petroleum engineers are becoming increasingly scarce even for grads from traditionally good universities. Part of the problem is that as U.S. shale oil boomed, so did the number of petroleum engineering grads. There are more than three times as many students graduating today with petroleum engineering degrees as there were in 2008.

In that sense, the petroleum engineering glut is even worse than the oil glut.

Oh GOD does this bring back memories. The petroleum engineers putting in resumes at the companies I was working for...as welltenders! Lured by the adventure and wages they flooded into the schools back in the late 1970's, I recall an entire freshman class at one school where 85% of the kids were declared petroleum engineering majors. The % that graduated as petroleum engineers 4 years later? 2%. Of course, this was during the last real crash, not like the 1998 crash or the 2008 crash or even this one..but the KABOOM!!!!

Put a huge demographics hiccup in the profession that is still visible today.

Oh, and officially, the newest petroleum engineer I hired starts May 2. And he isn't making even 6 figures, and has wonderful experience. You couldn't find a guy like him for <$200G 18 months ago. So yup...downturns suck...the strong survive...the experienced knew it was coming and are now taking advantage of it. Woo Raa!

Woo Rah!  It is great to Butt **** those young guys with $100K in college debt and pay them as low as the market will bear while you live high on the hog. You are scum.


Well said, RE.

 MKing is everything you said and more!

AND, he's probably LYING about "hiring" ANYBODY. But he loves to BULLSHIT about the prospects for his DYING and SOON TO BE DEAD beloved fossil fuel crooks and lairs "bidness model".

MKing is counting on his pals fighting the last war. The 1980s are gone now to baby him and his subsidy welfare queen fascist predators.

Some people have issues with reality. Below please find the current mindset of the MKings of this world:

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Re: Fossil Fuel Propaganda Modus Operandi
« Reply #95 on: May 02, 2016, 08:41:47 pm »

Clean Power Plan, Steyer, and McKibben, All in the Crosshairs 
A Koch-backed bill to protect donors from IRS disclosure has just passed the House Ways and Means committee. This will make it harder for the government to prevent nonprofits from acting as lobbying arms for industry. But even without it, figuring out who is behind attacks on clean energy is already difficult, with shell groups and shady funding streams making it impossible to track down their true source.
 Take, for example, the freshly launched corenews.org, a fake news page for a new campaign dedicated to attacking Tom Steyer and Bill McKibben (among others). The site discloses that it’s “a product of America Rising Advanced Research,” which sounds fine at face value. But some quick digging uncovers that this “news” site is run by a Republican opposition research group whose attacks are so deceitful even Fox News has called them out.
 Funding secrecy is understandable for oppressed minorities who are up against powerful forces. It is why the 1958 ruling in NAACP v Alabama was well warranted in finding that groups don’t have to turn over membership or donor info. But now, this secrecy gives the fossil fuel industry a way to circumvent lobbying disclosures that could hurt its public image. For example, if the fossil fuel industry wanted to spend millions opposing policies (those that regulate carbon dioxide as a pollutant), which 75 percent of voters approved of but would hurt the industry’s bottom line. They might “donate” that money to other groups to lobby unofficially on their behalf. Because the beneficiary is a nonprofit, they don’t have to disclose the donation as lobbying.
 Sometimes, though, it’s not so hard to tell who’s behind the coordinated, state-by-state legislative assault on clean energy. Such is the case with the American Energy Alliance, which has been taking credit for efforts across multiple states to pass legislation that prevents the state from spending any money on compliance plans for the Clean Power Plan, which is temporarily on hold. They’ve gotten restrictions passed in Virginia, Colorado and Wyoming, and bills are pending in Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire and Kansas. 
 This particular fossil fuel-funded group is an offshoot of the Charles G. Koch co-registered Institute for Energy Research and has been working with the industry-funded State Policy Network to prevent state budgets from acknowledging the reality that at some point they’re probably going to have to comply with the Clean Power Plan. Wyoming Dept. of Environmental Quality Director Todd Parfitt recently said that, “It would be a mistake to bury our heads in the sand” and waste the additional planning time the temporary Supreme Court stay has given the states. 
 But of course, when it comes to the fossil-fuel industry's stance  on climate change and clean energy, heads in the sand is the modus operandi.
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Re: Fossil Fuel Propaganda Modus Operandi
« Reply #96 on: May 09, 2016, 02:45:58 pm »
An overwhelming majority of scientists agree — global warming is happening and human activity is the primary cause.

Yet several prominent global warming skeptic organizations are actively working to sow doubt about the facts of global warming.

These organizations play a key role in the fossil fuel industry's "disinformation playbook," a strategy designed to confuse the public about global warming and delay action on climate change. Why? Because the fossil fuel industry wants to sell more coal, oil, and gas — even though the science clearly shows that the resulting carbon emissions threaten our planet.

Who are these groups? And what is the evidence linking them to the fossil fuel industry?

Here's a quick primer on several prominent global warming skeptic organizations, including examples of their disinformation efforts and funding sources from the fossil fuel industry. Many have received large donations from foundations established, and supported, by the fossil fuel billionaire Koch brothers.

American Enterprise Institute

The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) has routinely tried to undermine the credibility of climate science, despite at times affirming that the “weight of the evidence” justifies “prudent action” on climate change. [1]

For years, AEI played a role in propagating misinformation about a manufactured controversy over emails stolen from climate scientists [2], with one AEI research fellow even claiming, “There was no consensus about the extent and causes of global warming.” [3] A resident scholar at AEI went so far as to state that the profession of climate scientist “threatens to overtake all” on the list of “most distrusted occupations.” [4]

AEI received $3,615,000 from ExxonMobil from 1998-2012 [5], and more than $1 million in funding from Koch foundations from 2004-2011. [6]

Americans for Prosperity

Americans for Prosperity (AFP) frequently provides a platform for climate contrarian statements, such as “How much information refutes carbon dioxide-caused global warming? Let me count the ways.” [7]

While claiming to be a grassroots organization, AFP has bolstered its list of “activists” by hosting “$1.84 Gas” events, where consumers who receive discounts on gasoline are asked to provide their name and email address on a “petition” form. [8] These events are billed as raising awareness about “failing energy policies” and high gasoline prices, but consumers are not told about AFP’s ties to oil interests, namely Koch Industries.

AFP has its origins in a group founded in 1984 by fossil fuel billionaires Charles and David Koch [9], and the latter Koch still serves on AFP Foundation’s board of directors [10]. Richard Fink, executive vice president of Koch Industries, also serves as a director for both AFP and AFP Foundation. [11]

Koch foundations donated $3,609,281 to AFP Foundation from 2007-2011. [12]

American Legislative Exchange Council

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) maintains that “global climate change is inevitable” [13] and since the 1990s has pushed various forms of model legislation aimed at obstructing policies intended to reduce global warming emissions.

ALEC purports to “support the use of sound science to guide policy,” but routinely provides a one-sided platform for climate contrarians. State legislators attending one ALEC meeting were offered a workshop touting a report by a fossil fuel-funded group that declared “like love, carbon dioxide's many splendors are seemingly endless." [14, 15] Another ALEC meeting featured a Fox News contributor who has claimed on the air that carbon dioxide “literally cannot cause global warming.” [16, 17]

ALEC received more than $1.6 million from ExxonMobil from 1998-2012 [18], and more than $850,000 from Koch foundations from 1997-2011. [19]

Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University

From its position as the research arm of the Department of Economics at Suffolk University, the Beacon Hill Institute (BHI) has published misleading analyses of clean energy and climate change policies in more than three dozen states.

These economic analyses are at times accompanied by a dose of climate contrarianism. For example, BHI Director David Tuerck has claimed that “the very question of whether the climate is warming is in doubt…” [20] Claims such as “wind power actually increases pollution” can be found in many of BHI’s reports.

BHI has publicly acknowledged its Koch funding [21], which likely includes at least some of the approximately $725,000 the Charles G. Koch foundation contributed to Suffolk University from 2008-2011. [22]

Cato Institute

Cato acknowledges that “Global warming is indeed real…” But when it comes to the causes of global warming, Cato has sent mixed messages over the years. Cato's website, for instance, reports that “… human activity has been a contributor [to global warming] since 1975.” [23] Yet, on the same topic of whether human activity is responsible for global warming, Cato’s vice president has written: “We don’t know.” [24]

Patrick Michaels, Director of Cato’s Center for the Study of Science, has referred to the latest Draft National Climate Assessment Report as “the stuff of fantasy.” [25] The most recent edition of Cato’s “Handbook for Policymakers” advises that Congress should “pass no legislation restricting emissions of carbon dioxide.” [26]

Charles Koch co-founded Cato in 1977. Both Charles and David Koch were among the four “shareholders” who “owned” Cato until 2011 [27], and the latter Koch remains a member of Cato’s Board of Directors. [28] Koch foundations contributed more than $5 million to Cato from 1997-2011. [29]

Competitive Enterprise Institute

The Competitive Enterprise Institute has at times acknowledged that “Global warming is a reality.” [30] But CEI has also routinely disputed that global warming is a problem, contending that “There is no ‘scientific consensus’ that global warming will cause damaging climate change.”  [31]

These kinds of claims are nothing new for CEI. Back in 1991, CEI was claiming that “The greatest challenge we face is not warming, but cooling.” [32] More recently, CEI produced an ad calling for higher levels of carbon dioxide. [33] One CEI scholar even publicly compared a prominent climate scientist to convicted child molester Jerry Sandusky. [34]

CEI received around $2 million in funding from ExxonMobil from 1995-2005 [35], though ExxonMobil made a public break with CEI in 2007 after coming under scrutiny from UCS and other groups for its funding of climate contrarian organizations. CEI has also received funding from Koch foundations, dating back to the 1980s. [36]

Heartland Institute

While claiming to stand up for “sound science,” the Heartland Institute has routinely spread misinformation about climate science, including deliberate attacks on climate scientists. [37]

Popular outcry forced the Heartland Institute to pull down a controversial billboard that compared supporters of global warming facts to Unabomber Ted Kaczynski [38], bringing an early end to a planned campaign first announced in an essay by Heartland President Joseph Bast, which claimed “… the most prominent advocates of global warming aren’t scientists. They are murderers, tyrants, and madmen.” [39]

Heartland even once marked Earth Day by mailing out 100,000 free copies of a book claiming that “climate science has been corrupted” [40] – despite acknowledging that “…all major scientific organizations of the world have taken the official position that humankind is causing global warming.”

Heartland received more than $675,000 from ExxonMobil from 1997-2006 [41]. Heartland also raked in millions from the Koch-funded organization Donors Trust through 2011. [42, 43]

Heritage Foundation

While maintaining that “Science should be used as one tool to guide climate policy,” the Heritage Foundation often uses rhetoric such as “far from settled” to sow doubt about climate science. [44, 45, 46, 47] One Heritage report even claimed that “The only consensus over the threat of climate change that seems to exist these days is that there is no consensus.” [48]

Vocal climate contrarians, meanwhile, are described as “the world’s best scientists when it comes to the climate change study” in the words of one Heritage policy analyst. [49]

Heritage received more than $4.5 million from Koch foundations from 1997-2011. [50] ExxonMobil contributed $780,000 to the Heritage Foundation from 2001-2012. ExxonMobil continues to provide annual contributions to the Heritage Foundation, despite making a public pledge in 2007 to stop funding climate contrarian groups. [51, 52]

Institute for Energy Research

The term “alarmism” is defined by Mirriam-Webster as “the often unwarranted exciting of fears or warning of danger.” So when Robert Bradley, CEO and founder of the Institute for Energy Research (IER), and others at his organization routinely evoke the term “climate alarmism” they do so to sow doubt about the urgency of global warming.

IER claims that public policy “should be based on objective science, not emotion or improbable scenarios …” But IER also claims that the sense of urgency for climate action is due not to the science that shows the real and growing conequences of global warming. Rather, IER suggests that researchers “exacerbate the sense [that] policies are urgently needed” for monetary gain, noting that “issues that are perceived to be an imminent crisis can mean more funding.” [53]

IER has received funding from both ExxonMobil [54] and the Koch brothers [55].

Manhattan Institute for Policy Research

The Manhattan Institute has acknowledged that the “scientific consensus is that the planet is warming,” while at the same time maintaining that “… accounts of climate change convey a sense of certitude that is probably unjustified.” [56]

“The science is not settled, not by a long shot,” Robert Bryce, a Manhattan Institute senior fellow has written in the Wall Street Journal [57]. At other times Bryce has expressed indifference to the science on climate change. “I don’t know who’s right. And I really don’t care,” he wrote in one book. [58]

The Manhattan Institute has received $635,000 from ExxonMobil since 1998 [59], with annual contributions continuing as of 2012, and nearly $2 million from Koch foundations from 1997-2011. [60]

Sources and References

1  American Enterprise Institute. 2009. Climate Change Email Scandal Underscores Myth of Pure Science.
2  Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), 2011. Debunking Misinformation About Stolen Climate Emails in the "Climategate" Manufactured Controversy.
3  American Enterprise Institute. 2011. Climategate (Part II)
4  American Enterprise Institute. 2010. How Climate-Change Fanatics Corrupted Science.
5  ExxonSecrets.org. 2012. Factsheet: American Enterprise Institute, AEI.
6  UCS. 2013. Unreliable Sources: How the News Media Help the Koch Brothers and ExxonMobil Spread Climate Disinformation.
7  Americans for Prosperity. 2013. AFP GA Activists Fire Major Shot Against Obama’s ‘War on Consumer Energy’ Agenda.
8  PR Watch. 2012. Koch's AFP Complains about Gas Prices, but Koch Speculation Helps Fuel High Prices at the Pump.
9  Koch Industries. 2010. Koch and Americans for Prosperity/Citizens for a Sound Economy.
10  Americans for Prosperity Foundation. About AFP Foundation: Directors.
11  Americans for Prosperity. About AFP: Directors.
12  Investigative Reporting Workshop. 2013. Koch database: donations to nonprofits.
13  American Legislative Exchange Council. 2011. ALEC Energy Principles.
14  The Cap Times. 2011. Brendan Fischer: CO2 is good for you, and other ALEC talking points.
15  Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change. 2011. The Many Benefits of Atmospheric CO2 Enrichment.
16  PR Watch. 2013. A Side of Climate Change Denial with Your Coffee? ALEC Dishes up Some Hard to Swallow Spin with the Heartland Institute.
17  Climate Progress. 2012. WeatherBELL Chief Forecaster Joe Bastardi Denies Basic Physics: ‘CO2 Cannot Cause Global Warming’
18  ExxonSecrets.org. 2012. Factsheet: ALEC – American Legislative Exchange Council.
19  Greenpeace. 2011. Koch Industries Climate Denial Front Group. American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).
20  Carolina Journal Online. 2008. Friday Interview: Global Warming Policy Costs.
21  Washington Post. 2012. Climate skeptic group works to reverse renewable energy mandates.
22  Greenpeace. 2013. Koch Brother Fronts Flood into Kansas to Attack Wind Industry.
23  Cato Institute. Global Warming.
24  Cato Institute. 2005. Hot Enough for You? The state of the global-warming debate, and politicking.
25  Cato Institute. 2013. Federal Climatologists Pen Fantasy Novel.
26  Cato Institute. 2009. Cato Handbook for Policymakers.
27  Cato Institute. 2012. Cato Institute and Shareholders Reach Agreement in Principle.
28  Cato Institute. 2012. Cato Institute and Shareholders Reach Agreement in Principle.
29  Greenpeace. 2011. Koch Industries Climate Denial Front Group: Cato Institute.
30  Competitive Enterprise Institute. 2009. 10 Cool Global Warming Policies.
31  Competitive Enterprise Institute. Global Warming FAQ.
32  Competitive Enterprise Institute. 1991. Why Worry About Global Warming.
33  UCS. 2009. New Disinformation Ads Argue for More Carbon Dioxide.
34  UCS. 2013. Timeline: Legal Harassment of Climate Scientist Michael Mann.
35  UCS. 2013. Fossil Fuel Industry Funders of Climate Contrarian Groups, 2001-2011.
36  Greenpeace. Koch Industries Climate Denial Front Group: Competitive Enterprise Institute.
37  UCS. 2012. Scientists Who Had Emails Stolen Ask Heartland Institute to End Attack on Climate Science.
38  UCS. 2012. Who’s the Crazy One Here?
39  Heartland Institute. 2012. Do You Still Believe in Global Warming?’ Billboards Hit Chicago.
40  Heartland Institute. 2013. Heartland Institute Celebrates Earth Day with Release of New Book.
41  ExxonSecrets.org. Factsheet: Heartland Institute.
42  The Guardian. 2013. How Donors Trust distributed millions to anti-climate groups.
43  The Center for Public Integrity. 2013. Donors use charity to push free-market policies in states.
44  Heritage Foundation. 2013. Climate Change: The Cost of “Bold Action”
45  Heritage Foundation. 2013. With Climate Change Science Unsettled, a Carbon Tax is Even More Useless.
46  Heritage Foundation. 2009. Sen. Inhofe Discusses Climategate, “The Greatest Scandal in Modern Science”
47  Heritage Foundation. 2013. 10 Questions for DOE Nominee Ernest Moniz.
48  Heritage Foundation. 2010. How the “Scientific Consensus” on Global Warming Affects American Business—and Consumers.
49  Heritage Foundation. 2009. Global Warming Conference: The Science of Climate Change
50  Greenpeace. 2011. Koch Industries Climate Denial Front Group: The Heritage Foundation.
51  ExxonSecrets.org. 2012. Factsheet: Heritage Foundation.
52  UCS. 2012. ExxonMobil Corporation.
53  Institute for Energy Research. Climate Change Overview.
54  ExxonSecrets.org. Factsheet: Institute for Energy Research.
55  Investigative Reporting Workshop. 2013. Koch database: donations to nonprofits.
56  Manhattan Institute. 2007. Realities and Uncertainties of Global Warming.
57  Media Matters. 2011. Who Is Robert Bryce?
58  Media Matters. 2011. Who Is Robert Bryce?
59  ExxonSecrets.org. 2012. Factsheet: Manhattan Institute for Public Policy Research.
60  Greenpeace. 2011. Koch Industries Climate Denial Front Group: The Manhattan Institute for Policy Research.


The Fossil Fuelers   DID THE Climate Trashing, human health depleteing CRIME,   but since they have ALWAYS BEEN liars and conscience free crooks, they are trying to AVOID   DOING THE TIME or     PAYING THE FINE!     Don't let them get away with it! Pass it on!
He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Matt 10:37


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Re: Fossil Fuel Propaganda Modus Operandi
« Reply #97 on: May 10, 2016, 10:40:46 pm »

Exxon Exxcitment Multiplying as Investigations Go International  ;D
 Prepare yourselves, dear readers. It’s only been five days since we last talked Exxon, but in that time, there’ve been a number of new stories to cover.
InsideClimate News’s latest investigative piece into the fossil fuel industry’s climate change knowledge dug up a three-page article written in 1982 by Mobil’s former chief executive Rawleigh Warner Jr. He acknowledges the “disastrous consequences” that may arise from the “excessive use” of “heavier fossil fuels” extracted from new shale mining operations (fracking) and admits that the concerns “should be seriously addressed.”


He recognizes that the greenhouse effect “may become a serious issue for the future” before placing his faith in the National Academy of Sciences and UN efforts to “supply us with the information to deal with this problem well before the catastrophic consequences which some predict can happen.” Which is ironic, given that these are the very institutions whose findings the fossil fuel industry spent millions to undercut with the Global Climate Coalition and similar efforts.
 This, along with the recent story from DeSmog about Exxon’s Canadian subsidiary admitting that “there is no doubt” that fossil fuels are “aggravating the potential problem of increased CO2 in the atmosphere,” suggests that the #ExxonKnew investigations may be poised to go global.

 In fact, in a way it already has. While Mobil's Warner was confident that the scientific community would steer us to solutions before climate catastrophes hit, thanks to lobbying campaigns by ExxonMobil and others, the public has been deceived for decades about the certainty of climate science. As a result, regulations on fossil fuels have been stalled far longer than the science has been settled, exacerbating extreme weather events and strengthening storms like Typhoon Haiyan. That’s why the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines is in the process of convening a hearing to determine whether the policies of ExxonMobil and 49 of the biggest fossil fuel companies are sufficiently addressing the intersection of climate, oil and human rights. This could be the first salvo in an international effort to hold the industry accountable for its actions.
 Back home in the US, though, the ongoing investigations by state attorneys general continue to face pushback. Politico covers Exxon’s efforts to fight the campaign to publicize the truth of their two-faced approach to climate, and two other editorials offer an important glimpse into what may be the opinion of the press more generally on the issue. The Colorado Gazette takes a straightforward approach of assuming there’s still uncertainty on the science (nothing unusual for them, as a commenter points out) thus demonstrating the success of the carbon-funded denial campaigns.
 The Richmond Times-Dispatch editorial, on the other hand, combines the Exxon investigations with two other examples of government efforts to protect the public from profit-motivated deceptions involving the Federal Trade Commission and California AG Kamala Harris.
 One important line makes it clear that they (and other papers) aren’t defending Exxon or conservative groups so much as they are themselves: "It’s not hard to see how the logic of such a demand could be extended to other institutions that also engage in political speech about government agencies — such as, oh, newspapers and magazines.”
This thinking is quickly dispatched by a piece from the Union of Concerned Scientists’s Elliot Negin, mocking how ExxonMobil’s strategy of “Play[ing] the Victim.” He concludes by quoting NY AG Schneiderman: "The First Amendment, ladies and gentlemen, doesn’t give you the right to commit fraud.”

But since the right to free speech and a free press are both protected by the First Amendment, that Exxon’s (faulty) First Amendment defense is being seconded and third’ed by the fourth estate just makes sense—it all adds up.   ;) 
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Re: Fossil Fuel Propaganda Modus Operandi
« Reply #98 on: May 11, 2016, 08:04:48 pm »
Deniers Try Their Hand at Satire

Satire can be a powerful tool in the right hands, pointing out the folly of a dominant power by highlighting shortcomings, creating a cartoonish exaggeration of its target through parody or sarcasm. The grade school example is the 1729 work by Jonathan Swift, in which he puts forth A Modest Proposal that poor Irish citizens sell their children as food for the rich. It’s a classic use of satire to call out economic inequality and lack of empathy for those who could use a helping hand.

There’s a long history of satire being cleverly used as a mechanism for intelligent public discourse. But for every example of satire done with a deft touch, there are untold examples of ham-handed misfires. Enter the deniers.

Over on cliscep where a sad set of UK deniers pool their efforts in a futile hope that someone will notice them, self-styled satirist Brad Keyes has a couple of posts up in a fit of click-bait handwaving. Giving the finger to Dr. Michael Mann, Keyes headlined one post “BREAKING: Mann Quits Climate Science”   and the other “Mann Retirement: Analysis, Reax."

Both have a similar format, using real media banners from the New York Times, Guardian and others as a sleight of hand.

It’s a (sadly successful) trick to fool readers into thinking what follows is a re-hosted version of a real news story
, instead of what it really is -- hackneyed satire. Someone should tell Keyes the key to good satire is a clear message driven home by hyperbole, because he wanders from one denier meme to the next, touching on the hockey stick and climategate and litigation without really pounding the table on any of them.

Perhaps inspired, Anthony Watts hands over some of his own satire on WUWT in response to the news that Hillary Clinton is planning on creating a climate change-focused Situation Room if elected. His little screenplay suggests Clinton would expect to see screens with climate info constantly changing, due to the phrase “you can see climate change happening now." Of course, that phrase refers to seeing things like record-breaking glacial melt, or warming-intensified hurricanes and typhoons, or empty reservoirs in California due to drought.

Obviously, actual temperature readings or model runs would be static on a day to day basis and as Watts’ “technician” character points out, “the standard baseline for measuring climate is 30 years."

By having the "technician" reinforce the fact that climate refers to longer-term trends, Watts unintentionally serves us some delicious irony  ;D, as this debunks one of the most popular denier arguments that “the pause” means climate concerns can be waved off.  

On the flip side, for someone who knows satire like the back of his hand, check out the latest episode of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. He takes on the media’s oft-overblown science reporting and ends the show with a perfect example of satire, spoofing pseudoscientific TED Talks with his own Todd Talks.   

What Oliver hands up is hands down one of the best examples of science-satire out there, so we hope you digit.       
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Re: Fossil Fuel Propaganda Modus Operandi
« Reply #99 on: May 11, 2016, 09:00:42 pm »
Deniers Try Their Hand at Satire

Perhaps inspired, Anthony Watts hands over some of his own satire on WUWT in response to the news that Hillary Clinton is planning on creating a climate change-focused Situation Room if elected. His little screenplay suggests Clinton would expect to see screens with climate info constantly changing, due to the phrase “you can see climate change happening now." Of course, that phrase refers to seeing things like record-breaking glacial melt, or warming-intensified hurricanes and typhoons, or empty reservoirs in California due to drought.

Obviously, actual temperature readings or model runs would be static on a day to day basis and as Watts’ “technician” character points out, “the standard baseline for measuring climate is 30 years."

Our very own troll has tried his hand at satire, with less-than-Swiftian results. Long timers will recall MKing offering up the website "co2science" as evidence of one thing or another, probably that methane is a vegetable.
Hilarity ensued.


MKing is a busy fellow. He is now trying to compare Senator Sanders with trenchfoot and Hussein! 

Thank you agelbert for getting this thread back on track after the 'greenwashing' instigated by our king of trolls.

We need a patriot like Bernie because the other two candidates are not.  One sees themself as a citizen of the great synenergy of globalism and will kick America to the curb in a quest for global community and low tax on capital gains.  The other is a specimen of our opportunistic class who reads Anne Rand for bedtime and wants a low tax on capital gains.  I leave it as an excercise for the reader to match up the two descriptions with Trump and Clinton.

With Bernie in contrast there is a chance for a future.  The other two will lead to only a future of collapse.  It is not a hard decision who to support.

You are most welcome, sir.

But really, we mustn't be too hard on the Mkings of this world.

We need Bernie like we need trenchfoot, but then I would say that about any politician. Voting is usually about the lesser of two (or more) evils, and Bernie certainly meets that low bar.

MKing is, in fact, accurate in his statement about "we" needing Bernie like we need trenchfoot.

You see, in Mking's mind, "we" EQUALS the fossil fuel fascists he worships. So, YEAH. that "we" is scared S H I T less of a Sanders Presidency. The dirty energy subsidy welfare queens have a business model in jeopardy as it is.

"We used to worry about peak oil and demand exceeding supply; now the industry has the opposite problem as demand shrinks."

'Energy expert: Oil companies must shrink and diversify or face rapid decline   

A President Sanders would complete the destruction.

In the meantime, people like me, who use their car "so often" that a chipmunk family resides under the hood and scamper off when the two weeks between "gas guzzling" (LOL!) expeditions for groceries (and other combined stuff like mail) are up, will continue to give the  giant finger to the fossil fuelers out there.   
I'm hanging out here until my Camry house comes back from it's twice a month trip. 
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Re: Fossil Fuel Propaganda Modus Operandi
« Reply #100 on: May 16, 2016, 11:15:37 pm »
More misinformation from fossil fuel-backed special interests about renewable energy

By Gabe Elsner

Gabe Elsner is executive director of the Washington, D.C.,-based Energy & Policy Institute, which works to expose attacks on clean technology and counter misinformation by fossil fuel and utility interests.

It’s no surprise that Merrill Matthews’ April 15 commentary is full of misleading claims about renewable energy. After all, his organization, the Institute for Policy Innovation, is funded by groups like Exxon Mobil and the Koch Brothers. Matthews is also a senior fellow at the Heartland Institute, another entity with a lengthy history of climate denial and fossil fuel funding. So, we should expect the misinformation and distortions.

Here’s the truth of the matter: all forms of energy in the United States receive government incentives, and American tax payers have paid conventional fuels more than $500 billion and counting over the last 100 years.

The International Monetary Fund calculated global fossil fuel subsidies to be a whopping $5.3 trillion in 2015, greater than the total health spending of all the world’s governments.

"Wind and solar have received a small fraction of that amount. Furthermore, fossil fuels received five times more in government assistance than renewable energy during their incubation period, and nuclear received 10 times more.

From 1950 through 2010, 70 percent of all energy subsidies went to oil, coal, and natural gas and less than 10 percent went to renewables.

Despite Matthews’ claims, wind energy is cheaper than conventional fuels in many parts of the country. When President Obama made that statement in his State of the Union address this January, and again at a recent event in Dallas, numerous organizations fact checked it.

Politifact, the University of Pennsylvania’s FactCheck.org, and an Energy Information Administration analyst all confirmed its veracity.

Wall Street Investment firm Lazard also found wind to be the cheapest source of new electric generating capacity in its most recent levelized cost of energy report.

American innovation and improved domestic manufacturing continue to drive down the cost of renewable energy; for example, wind is 66 percent cheaper than it was six years ago. That’s why renewables made up the majority of new electric generating capacity in 2015, representing 68 percent of all new capacity that came online. The price of a solar panel has dropped more than 60 percent since early 2011.

All of this new renewable energy means more money in the pockets of American families and businesses. Continuing to grow wind could save consumers $149 billion through 2050.

And the policies supporting renewable energy demand have been good for Americans across the country. The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory recently concluded that renewable energy projects built to satisfy state renewable energy standards created $7.5 billion in annual environmental benefits, $1.3 to $4.9 billion in reduced energy prices, 200,000 American jobs and $20 billion in annual gross domestic product.

Matthews also brings up the point about the true cost of energy. However, he conveniently fails to discuss the true cost of conventional fuels.

What would they really cost if their mercury, carbon, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions were accounted for?

How about the smog, water pollution and asthma attacks those pollutants create?

What about the cost of dealing with climate change and price increases for insurance from rising sea levels?

We can put a number on some of those expenses. By reducing those sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions, wind power saved $7.3 billion in public health costs in 2015 alone.

Matthews’ commentary is just another tired example of anti-renewable energy special interests spreading misinformation in order to cloud the reality that renewable energy is affordable and reliable and the future of our global energy supply.

It’s what will help us create a cleaner tomorrow, and it’s already saving money for Americans across the country.   

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Re: Fossil Fuel Propaganda Modus Operandi
« Reply #101 on: May 19, 2016, 08:36:21 pm »

 Anti-EPA Suit Uses 'Exhibit A’ from Tobacco's RICO Loss

Apologies dear reader, this is a long post. It’s worth reading, though, we promise!   

 With few exceptions (like this weak WSJ column), the folks defending Exxon from RICO accusations focus their attention on the free speech argument and avoid the tobacco comparison. But now one of their own, Dr. James Enstrom , has provided a painfully clear connection between the beleaguered industries. 
 The Daily Caller carries the news that the Energy & Environment Legal Institute’s (EELI) latest attempt to waste its (probably coal) funders' money is a lawsuit against the EPA, claiming an independent review panel for air quality regulations isn’t actually independent. Their reason is that members of the panel have received funding from the EPA for past studies.
 Obviously, that’s ridiculous, since public and private funding are vastly different in terms of conflict of interest. 
 So what does a real conflict of interest look like? For a prime example, look no further than the plaintiffs EELI is representing: The Western States Trucking Association (WSTA) and Dr. James Enstrom.
 Now, the WSTA has a legitimate stake here, as the regulation in question deals with particulate matter emissions from trucks, so the organization's members would face a cost to upgrade their trucks to meet stricter EPA standards. Fine.
 But who is Dr. James Enstrom? Oh, he's just your run of the mill epidemiologist who took funding from tobacco giant Philip Morris and produced a study in 2003 downplaying the connection between second-hand smoke and cancer. Enstrom was such a pivotal player in the pro-smoking propaganda that when the Department of Justice wrapped up its successful RICO case against the tobacco industry, it dedicated an entire chapter to Enstrom—one of just three researchers to receive such a distinction. (H/T DeSmog)

 A search of his name in the Tobacco Industry Documents database returns over 500,000 results.
An LA Times article notes that Enstrom became “Exhibit A” in the fight between the tobacco industry and anti-smoking activists, a prime example of how the tobacco industry funded friendly studies for PR and lobbying purposes.
 Since then, Dr. Enstrom has turned his attention to other epidemiology questions, namely the dangers from particulate matter. And who funded his work? None other than an electric utility group, which used his study to argue against stricter PM standards that would force utilities to reduce the pollution from coal plants. 

So even as the fossil fuel industry fights off RICO accusations and denies the tobacco parallels, its surrogate EELI is fighting to give “Exhibit A” from the tobacco corruption case a chance to use his industry-funded science to shape the EPA’s regulations. 
 Though connecting the dots between tobacco corruption and fossil fuels looks like a colossal own-goal, maybe EELI isn’t as foolish as this makes them seem. After all, if the fossil fuel industry needs to defend itself from a RICO suit like the tobacco industry did, surely EELI will offer their services? 
 And odds are slim they’d do it pro bono…   ;)
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Re: Fossil Fuel Propaganda Modus Operandi
« Reply #102 on: May 20, 2016, 02:55:58 pm »
Watson, the CEO of Chevron, just wrote an amazing bit of Orwellian discourse (behind the fossil fuel industry enabler Wall Street Journal paywall) titled, "The Morality of Oil".

It should have been titled, "The Immorality of Oil Executives".

Watson is a textbook example of what Camus observed many years ago.

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Re: Fossil Fuel Propaganda Modus Operandi
« Reply #103 on: May 20, 2016, 03:45:32 pm »

Fossil Fuel Industry-Funded Attorneys General Try to Block Exxon Climate Fraud Probe

Elliott Negin, Union of Concerned Scientists | May 20, 2016 11:31 am

You could call it the battle of the attorneys general: One side representing the public interest , exactly what attorneys general are supposed to do; the other side representing the special interests    , exactly what they are not supposed to do.

In late March, 17 attorneys general held a press conference to announce they will defend the new federal rule curbing power plant carbon emissions and investigate energy companies that may have misled investors and the public about climate risks. They call themselves AGs United for Clean Power and so far attorneys general from California, Massachusetts, New York and the Virgin Islands have launched investigations of ExxonMobil, the world’s largest publicly traded oil company, for fraud.

In response, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange decided to push back. On May 16, they intervened on behalf of ExxonMobil to quash one of the investigations of the Irving, Texas-based company, accusing AGs United for Clean Power of trying to stifle the “debate” over climate science.


Paxton and Strange filed their intervention plea  in a case that ExxonMobil brought against Virgin Islands Attorney General Claude Walker in a Fort Worth district court. The company maintains Walker’s subpoena demanding internal climate change-related records violates its right to speak freely and be protected from unreasonable searches and seizures.

Paxton called Walker’s investigation a “fishing expedition of the worst kind,” representing “an effort to punish Exxon for daring to hold an opinion on climate change that differs from that of radical environmentalists.” Echoing Paxton, Strange charged the “fundamental right of freedom of speech is under assault by an attorney general pursuing an agenda against a business that doesn’t share his views on the environment.”

Fishing expedition? Free speech?

The facts say otherwise.

Like the other three investigations, Walker’s probe followed the release of documents by the Union of Concerned Scientists, InsideClimate News and the Los Angeles Times revealing that Exxon scientists conducted cutting-edge climate research decades ago and warned top management of the potentially catastrophic risks posed by global warming. Regardless, the company publicly emphasized uncertainty about climate science for years and, to a certain extent, still does. Furthermore, it has been financing a network of advocacy groups and think tanks to spread disinformation about climate science and the viability of renewable energy for the last two decades.

Based on that preliminary evidence, there is strong justification for Walker and the other AGs to investigate further.

As for the free speech argument, Walker and the other AGs have subpoenaed internal company documents to determine whether ExxonMobil’s statements to investors regarding climate risks contradicted what it was hearing from its own scientists. If so, ExxonMobil could be guilty of fraud and fraud is not protected by the First Amendment.

Surely Paxton and Strange, the chief legal officers in their states, are aware of that. And, according to Robert Percival, director of the Environmental Law Program at University of Maryland’s law school, their “political grandstanding” will likely have no impact on the case.

So why are they making such a fuss?   

Follow the Money 

Both Paxton and Strange are from energy-producing states and, no surprise, they receive generous campaign funding from electric utilities and fossil fuel industries
. That might help explain a few things.

follow_money_exxon (graphic at article link)

SNIPPET of the Exxon MONEY ACTION (Climate Denier Liars 'R' US  :evil4:):
Organization ExxonMobil Funding (1998-2014)

AEI American Enterprise Institute $3,770,000
CEI Competitive Enterprise Institute $2,005,000
ALEC American Legislative Exchange Council $1,730,200
American Council for Capital Formation Center for Policy Research $1,729,523
Frontiers of Freedom $1,272,000
Annapolis Center $1,153,500
Atlas Economic Research Foundation $1,082,500
National Black Chamber of Commerce $1,025,000
US Chamber of Commerce Foundation $1,000,000

Paxton was first elected Texas’ attorney general in 2014. Before that, he served in the Texas House of Representatives for 10 years and the Texas Senate for two. During the 12 years he spent at the state house, he received only $69,000 in campaign contributions from oil and gas companies. But when he ran for attorney general, they contributed $929,000, nearly twice as much as any other sector. The energy companies that chipped in for his run for attorney general included Chesapeake Energy, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Koch Industries, Marathon Oil and Phillips 66. ExxonMobil sat out Paxton’s 2014 campaign, but between December 2006 and October 2012, the company’s political action committee gave him $3,250, according to state ethics disclosure filings. Not much, but the rest of the industry has more than made up for it.

Strange became Alabama’s attorney general in 2010. In 2014, mining, oil and gas and electric companies and their trade associations collectively donated $177,850 to his reelection campaign, placing them among his top contributors. His benefactors that year included the American Coal Association, American Gas Association and Koch Industries, but his biggest energy industry supporter was Alabama Power, which gave him a whopping $72,500.

Alabama Power is a subsidiary of Southern Company, one of the nation’s largest electric utilities. Three of the company’s coal-fired power plants are the biggest carbon emitters in the country. Two are located near Atlanta and the third, near Birmingham, is operated by Alabama Power. Southern Company’s support for the climate science denier network, meanwhile, goes back more than 20 years. And just last year it was revealed that the company had been secretly funding dubious research conducted by climate contrarian aerospace engineer Wei-Hock “Willie” Soon since 2005. Soon’s studies concluded that solar activity is the main cause of global warming and carbon emissions have little or no impact.

Given the support Strange gets from Southern Company, Koch Industries and other interested parties, perhaps it’s no coincidence that the day after the AGs for Clean Power held their press conference, he issued a joint press release with Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt insisting there is a lively debate over the reality of climate change. “Reasonable minds can disagree about the science behind global warming and disagree they do,” they said. The debate “should not be silenced with threats of criminal prosecution by those who believe that their position is the only correct one and that all dissenting voices must therefore be intimidated and coerced into silence.”

Leaving aside the fact that reasonable minds at this point do not disagree about climate science, the AGs for Clean Power investigations are not about debating the science of global warming. They are about something quite different: when scientists told energy companies about the risks of climate change and what company executives did in response.

Paxton, Strange and Pruitt Have an AG Coalition, Too 

All but one of the 17 attorneys general behind AGs for Clean Power belong to the Democratic Attorneys General Association (DAGA). But Paxton, Strange and Pruitt have their own coalition, the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA). Both associations get their share of corporate support, but the coal, oil and gas and electric utility industries have placed most of their bets on RAGA.

DAGA gets relatively limited support from the energy industry. Since January 2015, for example, it has received $80,000 from that sector, according to data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics. Its top energy industry donor was the American Petroleum Institute (API), the oil and gas industry’s primary trade association, which donated $25,000.

By comparison, RAGA pulled in more than $800,000 from coal, oil and gas and utilities over the same time frame, according to Center for Responsive Politics data. The top RAGA donor was coal giant Murray Energy, which chipped in $250,000. Two years ago, Murray Energy CEO Bob Murray unsuccessfully sued the Environmental Protection Agency over the Clean Power Plan, charging that the agency has been “lying” about the reality of global warming and that the Earth is actually cooling. Koch Industries, meanwhile, donated $125,400. The coal, oil and gas conglomerate’s co-owner, Charles Koch, recently told ABC News that “the evidence is overwhelming” that the climate is “changing in a mild and manageable way.” Other major energy industry RAGA funders included API and ExxonMobil, which each donated $50,000 and Southern Company, which contributed $35,000.

The industry’s support for RAGA has paid off big time—for both sides. According to a December 2014 New York Times exposé on the secret links between the energy industry and attorneys general, AGs “in at least a dozen states are working with energy companies and other corporate interests, which in turn are providing them with record amounts for their political campaigns, including at least $16 million” in 2014. Those AGs include Paxton, Strange and Pruitt.

The Times found that Pruitt and other energy industry-funded AGs have invited industry lobbyists to draft letters for them to send to federal agencies, promoted energy industry-written bills in their state legislatures and joined energy companies as plaintiffs in court challenges. Strange, Pruitt and other RAGA attorneys general even went so far as to file an amicus brief in support of Bob Murray’s challenge to the Clean Power Plan.

Legal experts told the Times that the scope of the AGs’ collaboration with the energy industry is “unprecedented” and “threatens the integrity of the office.”

“When you use a public office, pretty shamelessly, to vouch for a private party with substantial financial interest without the disclosure of the true authorship, that is a dangerous practice,” said David B. Frohnmayer, a Republican who served as Oregon’s attorney general for a decade. Terry Goddard, a Democrat who served two terms as Arizona’s attorney general, agreed. “It is a magnificent and noble institution, the office of attorney general, as it is truly the lawyer for the people. That independence is clearly at risk here.”

Goddard got that right. By definition, attorneys general are the “people’s lawyer” and their duties include investigating—and suing—companies that flout state laws. That is exactly what AGs in California, Massachusetts, New York and the Virgin Islands are doing. By intervening on behalf of ExxonMobil, Paxton and Strange are trying to stop Claude Walker from doing his job. If they were truly independent and took the responsibility of their office seriously, they would open ExxonMobil investigations of their own.

Elliott Negin is a senior writer at the Union of Concerned Scientists. Unless otherwise noted, all campaign contribution data came from the National Institute on Money in State Politics website.


Agelbert NOTE: A bullshit artist for the fossil fuel industry trots out the "Exxon is a great investment" style propaganda (along with the MKing style "you are hypocrite" straw grasping). I explained the facts to her.  ;D



If someone doesn't like Exxon Mobil, then perhaps they: 1) shouldn't buy their gas or natural gas or plastics (ha ha - good luck with that!) 2) don't buy their stock (one of the few dividend aristocrats remaining) and 3) check your 401K for mutual funds and get rid of all of good performers (because they are the ones that have XOM in them). These liberal, showboating, hypocritical (do you use any petroleum related products?....fly anywhere lately?) Attorney Generals make me sick. Go after someone else - like big Pharma.
agelbert > 1Wausaugirl1

People HAVE been selling fossil fuel stocks. People ARE using less and less fossil fuels for everything from heating to transportation..

That is why the fossil fuel industry has been steadily losing energy market share and that is why reputable asset management firms like IMPAX have, with a recent 7 year stock tracking study, recommended and acted on TOTAL divestment from the DOOMED fossil fuel industry and its stocks.

Do you know why Exxon hasn't tanked? It is because their soon to not be CEO anymore, Tillerson, under harsh criticism for doing this, SPENT over 2 BILLION DOLLARS of the corporation's funds in BUYING BACK STOCK to keep the price from cratering.

So, whether people like you want to believe it or not, it's OVER for the polluting bastards running the fossil fuel industry.

But, hey, feel free to back up the truck and buy lots of fossil fuel stocks! There really is one born every minute. But I'm not one of them.
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Re: Fossil Fuel Propaganda Modus Operandi
« Reply #104 on: June 13, 2016, 03:25:31 pm »
Uncovered Documents Reveal MSNBC Show Worked to Promote Fracking

Steve Horn, DeSmogBlog | June 13, 2016 1:37 pm

Cable TV network MSNBC has made headlines in recent days for apparently moving away from its “Lean Forward” progressive brand, catering instead to a more center-to-right-leaning crowd.

“People might start accusing us of leaning too far to the right,” the station says in a new advertisement featuring MSNBC’s conservative personalities—an array of Republican identities such as Michael Steele, Steve Schmidt and Ben Ginsberg.

But on the issue of hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) for shale oil and gas, documents from 2011 obtained under Oklahoma’s Open Records Act demonstrate that the network saw itself as a promoter of both the controversial drilling method and natural gas vehicles.

NBCUniversal, at the time, was owned on a 49-percent basis by the natural gas utility and electricity company General Electric (GE) and is now wholly owned by Comcast.

The documents, obtained from Oklahoma State University (OSU), relate to the filming of an episode of The Dylan Ratigan Show on the OSU campus in April 2011. The episode came two and a half years before the network announced in late-2013 that its website would run native advertisements (content that looks like original news) on behalf of fracking lobbying group America’s Natural Gas Alliance (ANGA). ANGA is now part of the American Petroleum Institute (API).

That episode of Ratigan’s show featured oil and gas industry hedge fund tycoon T. Boone Pickens, who now serves as a fundraiser for Republican Party presidential candidate Donald Trump and who was stumping at the time for his pro-fracking “Pickens Plan.” The emails offer a rare look inside the making of an episode of a popular MSNBC show and a glimpse into a future business relationship, too.

“Steel on Wheels”

The April 2011 episode of Ratigan was part of a broader “Steel on Wheels” tour MSNBC pushed at the time featuring Ratigan, whose show is no longer on-air. The tour, conducted on a bus and catching media attention for being a sponsored partnership with steel company Nucor, looked to find “solutions to the most pressing problems facing America today.”

“I am committed to getting this country back on track for the benefit of all Americans and ‘Steel on Wheels’ is the perfect vehicle to show how we can make that happen,” Ratigan said in a statement announcing the partnership between Nucor and MSNBC. “There is no better partner for this than Nucor and their visionary CEO Dan DiMicco, a man who is as dedicated to his own extraordinary employees as he is to helping get all of America working again.”

The relationship between Nucor and MSNBC was described at the time by Ad Week as “a first of its kind partnership.” Mediaite, a media outlet that covers the U.S. media apparatus, described one on-air segment of the tour as something which “easily could have been confused for a human resources video to boost Nucor employee morale.”

Not Josh Fox

“Steel on Wheels”  focused on finding solutions to many problems ailing the U.S., including health care, education, manufacturing, public works and energy.

At the center of the energy portion sat T. Boone Pickens, the Pickens Plan, Clean Energy Fuels and promotion of natural gas vehicles. Days after the three-day (March 30-April 1) energy portion of the “Steel on Wheels” tour ended, Congress introduced the Pickens-promoted NAT GAS Act on April 6, which offered subsidies to the industry to produce gas-powered automobiles and ended up not passing.

A planning document for the three-day energy segment shows that anti-fracking voices, such as that of Josh Fox—director and producer of the two Gasland documentaries and of the forthcoming film How to Let Go of the World: and Love All the Things Climate Can’t Change—would not have a slot on the three days of energy-focused episodes. Natural gas receives an explicit mention as a “solution.”

Though Josh Fox gets mentioned as a potential guest who will not receive an invitation, prospective guests listed on the document included climate change denier and U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), former Shell North America CEO John Hoffmeister and Pickens.

Fox ended up as a guest on the show on March 31, 2011. But he was treated in a hostile manner by Ratigan when Fox pointed out that Pickens had money riding on the fracking boom and that the fracking boom could lead to global climate change chaos, water impacts and human health impacts.

“I get it, you believe that natural gas will ruin the universe and can’t be solved,” Ratigan  exclaimed to Fox in closing out the segment. “I want to have a conversation to solve the problem with you. I’m not looking to have a propaganda speech from you more than I am from Boone Pickens or anybody else.”

Pickens though, interviewed the day before Fox on Ratigan’s show, received a much friendlier reception.  ;)

Photo credit: Oklahoma State University (copy of letter at article link)

“The goal of the Steel on Wheels Energy Summit is to capitalize on the emerging opportunity to address America’s energy problem,” the document reads. “[With] (s)ignificant disruptions in the Middle East and unprecedented opportunities here in the U.S., Free America would culminate its quest to find jobs and solutions for America by highlighting ENERGY as a trillion-dollar problem that we CAN solve and in the process create jobs, capture trillions of value, and create lasting nation (sic) security—and it is (sic) problem both businesses and politicians are ready to tackle.”

Our Cause”

On March 24, 2011, MSNBC public relations employee Tanya Hayre emailed Jay Rosser—vice president of public affairs for BP Capital, a hedge fund owned by Pickens—to introduce herself and get the ball rolling on logistics for the following week’s episodes and the events surrounding them. In that email, she referred to the need to “drum up press” in service to “further promot[ing] our cause/discussion” and then asked if Pickens could speak with reporters in order to complete that task.

Photo credit: Oklahoma State University (copy of letter at article link)

GE’s business interests in natural gas and gas-powered vehicles went unmentioned in the segment, an interview between Ratigan and Pickens, which took place at OSU. OSU’s football stadium is named after Pickens and he is a major donor to the university.

In that interview, Ratigan showered praise on Pickens and called him a “patriot” while not mentioning where Pickens makes his money: from both investing in the natural gas industry and owning a major natural gas vehicles fueling station company, Clean Energy Fuels Corporation, that was actively lobbying for the NAT GAS Act at the time.

“My recollection is that I was approached by Dylan’s team wanting to factor energy into one of their town halls,” Rosser said via email. “I connected them with OSU, Boone’s alma mater [but] didn’t have any meaningful input into the program outside of Boone’s direct participation (i.e., speaking format, etc.).”

In November 2012, a year and a half after Ratigan’s shale gas-promoting stint at OSU, Pickens’ gas fueling station company Clean Energy Fuels Corporation bought some of GE’s natural gas vehicle fueling equipment as part of its “America’s Natural Gas Highway” marketing effort.

“GE is proud to be partnering with Clean Energy    Fuels to develop natural gas infrastructure in the U.S. Clean Energy is an industry leader in pioneering a new way for America to fuel its vehicles and to further gain energy independence,” GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt said in a press release announcing the deal. “With an abundance of cleaner, more affordable natural gas here in the U.S., this is an important opportunity for GE to join Clean Energy in changing the way America drives.”

The two companies would later sign another business deal in October 2013, linking them in the effort to beef up the number of natural gas-powered trucks on U.S. highways. GE also promotes its “CNG in a Box” (compressed natural gas) vehicles fueling station equipment on its website.

Lean Right: “They Already Do”

Cenk Uygur, founder and show host of the popular YouTube-based The Young Turks Network and former MSNBC show host, reacted to the news of MSNBC’s looming rightward shift by giving a contrarian take on the announcement. In the past, Uygur said he left MSNBC when he was told by CEO Phil Griffin that “We’re the establishment, and it would be cool to be like outsiders, but we’re not, we’re insiders, and we have to act like it.”

Right-wing in the Fox News sense of the term? Not quite.

But right-leaning in terms of being a corporate-owned media outlet with business interests that often converge with the stories they cover? As the case of T. Boone Pickens, Dylan Ratigan and OSU shows, without a doubt.

“MSNBC is a good case study on the parameters of mainstream media. There are certain lines you can’t cross and when people do, there’s consequences,” Michael Arria, author of the book Medium Blue: The Politics of MSNBC,  said in an email. “Everyone I researched for my book seemed extremely earnest about what they’re doing. Someone like Maddow seems genuinely convinced she can do any story she wants.”

Ratigan did not respond to multiple requests for comment.


Agelbert COMMENT: This is Par for the Course for the fossil fuel industry double talking, "we are all gonna die without our fossil fuel loyal servant and savior of civilization", SCC (social Cost of Carbon) IGNORING, energy math gaming, propaganda.

The FACT that the methane leaks from oil and gas drilling have been DELIBERATELY low balled BY the EPA should tell you all you need to know.

QUOTES from a recent EchoWatch article:

Specifically, wrote NC WARN in a press statement, “Dr. David Allen , then-head of EPA’s Science Advisory Board, has led an ongoing, three-year effort to cover up underreporting of the primary device, the Bacharach Hi-Flow Sampler and a second device used to measure gas releases from equipment across the natural gas industry. Allen is also on the faculty of the University of Texas at Austin, where he has been funded by the oil and gas industries for years.”

“The EPA’s failure to order feasible reductions of methane leaks and venting has robbed humanity of crucial years to slow the climate crisis,” said Jim Warren, director of NC WARN. “The cover-up by Allen’s team has allowed the industry to dig in for years of delay in cutting emissions—at the worst possible time.”

The cover-up was discovered by NC WARN, the group wrote in its complaint, when it became aware that the very inventor of the Bacharach Hi-Flow Sampler, an engineer named Touché Howard, had been attempting to blow the whistle for years on the crucial instrument’s malfunctioning. The critical failure causes the instrument to under-report methane emissions “up to 100-fold,” the organization wrote.

The complaint describes Howard’s repeated attempts to warn the EPA and Allen about the instrument and the silence he received in response.

“It appears that the goal of the [University of Texas] team was not to critically examine the problems but to convince [Environmental Defense Fund, who co-authored the study] and its production committee members that no problems existed, ” NC WARN added.


The entire argument of ANYBODY defending fossil fuels is that one should continue an abusive relationship with a psychopath because the first couple of dates were a lot of fun, WHICH INCLUDES the biosphere math challenged, codependent mental illness based notion that we cannot live without that psychopath.

IF the fossil fuel industry had a product that could compete on a level energy playing field with Renewable Energy, they would not CONTINUALLY stoop to this mendacity, propaganda and government corruption of pollution energy stats and energy math.

The method in the fossil fuel industry criminal modus operandi exposes their recognition that fossil fuels CANNOT compete with Renewable Energy on a level, full disclosure, energy playing field.
He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Matt 10:37


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