Frontiers of Freedom

Frontiers of Freedom (FoF)

 Background

Frontiers of Freedom (FoF) is a 501(C)4 nonprofit organization founded in 1995 by U.S. Senator Malcolm Wallup. It describes itself as an educational foundation with the mission “to promote the principles of individual freedom, peace through strength, limited government, free enterprise, free markets, and traditional American values as found in the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.” [1]

Frontiers of Freedom, Inc. does business as “Frontiers of Freedom,” a 501(C)4 nonprofit which is tax-exempt but can't accept tax-deductible donations, and also maintains a separate “educational organization” called the Frontiers of Freedom Institute that operates under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code. [2] In their original mission statement, the Frontiers of Freedom described themselves as “the antithesis to the Sierra Club and Vice President Al Gore's Earth in the Balance.” [3]

In 2002, Frontiers of Freedom released “Ten Tenets” as their mission statement. Their ninth tenet reads as follows (emphasis added) “To remove sound science from public policy is legislative and regulatory malpractice. To employ junk science in public policy is unethical and irresponsible.” Notably, the term “Junk Science” was often used by by Steve “The Junkman” Milloy. [4]

Frontiers of Freedom (FoF) maintains a number of “Centers” on their website  including the Center for Constitutional and Political Studies, Center for Economic Liberty and Property Rights, Center for National Security, Center for Science and Public Policy, and Reagan Legacy. [5]

Stance on Climate Change

October, 2015

“Many scientists are predicting the onset of two or three centuries of cooler weather — which would mean bigger glaciers. That’s despite the world’s growing use of fossil fuels. No matter what humans do, temperature trends go up, and then down; glaciers expand and then recede; sea levels rise and then fall, explains Will Happer, professor emeritus of physics at Princeton.” [6]

2010

Frontiers of Freedom used to maintain a list of “Global Warming Papers” including many written by prominent climate change skeptics including: [8]

October, 2007

“The Earth's climate has changed many times with many cooling phases and many warming phases. The Earth’s current modest warming trend (less than 1 degree C over 100 years), is well within historical norms.” [7]

February, 2004
“Climate has always varied, often with large swings. […] These dramatic climatic ebbs and flows are naturally occurring events. A more appropriate response to potential climate change is the production and employment of resources toward meaningful adaptation strategies.” [29]

 Funding

In 2001, the Wall Street Journal reported that the largest donors to Frontiers for Freedom were Philip Morris, Exxon Mobil, and R.J. Reynolds. [9]

Frontiers of Freedom Institute is the 501(c)(3) arm of FoF. The other arm, Frontiers of Freedom, Inc., is a 501(c)4 organization and so is not required to publicly list their donors. According to the IRS, 501(c)4 organizations are also permitted to attempt to influence legislation, and participate in political campaigns or elections. [10], [11]

The following is compiled from data the Conservative Transparency Project collected from publicly available 990 tax forms for Frontiers of Freedom, Inc.  [12]

View the attached spreadsheet for additional information on Frontiers of Freedom Funding by year (.xlsx).

  Frontiers of Freedom Frontiers of Freedom Institute
Exxon Mobil   $1,127,000
Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation   $175,000
John M. Olin Foundation   $125,000
DonorsTrust   $107,500
Earhart Foundation   $100,000
Sarah Scaife Foundation   $100,000
The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation   $100,000
Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation   $75,000
The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation   $48,450
The Carthage Foundation   $35,000
William H. Donner Foundation   $35,000
The Roe Foundation   $7,500
True Foundation   $7,200
Aequus Institute   $4,500
Windway Foundation   $4,000
Armstrong Foundation $4,500  
The Randolph Foundation $25,000  
Grand Total $29,500 $2,051,150

ExxonMobil Funding

According to ExxonSecrets, FoF has received a total of $1,272,000 from ExxonMobil since 1998. [13]

Koch Funding

Greenpeace reported that FoF received a total of $175,000 from Koch Foundations between 2004 and 2007. [14]

990 Forms

 

Key People

Senior Staff

As of October, 2015, Frontiers of Freedom listed the following staff on their website: [15]

Other People

 Actions

April 7, 2016

Frontiers of Freedom President George Landrith issued the following statement on proposed renewable energy tax benefits: [36]

“Millions of Americans are deeply disappointed that Senators John Thune (R-S.D.), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) worked to insert sweetheart tax benefits for special interests in the so-called renewable energy industry. Simply stated, hard working Americans who are struggling to make ends meet may now end up paying hundreds of millions of dollars to well-healed 'green energy' companies — like wind and geothermal energy — who can afford the best lobbyists money can buy.
 
Not only do ratepayers pay more on the electrical bill for these forms of 'green energy,' they also pay for the corporate welfare these special interests receive. This is doubly insulting. This is reminiscent of the Solyndra scandal — taxpayers paying hundreds of millions for a failed business model.
 
Just two days ago, Frontiers of Freedom was part of a large coalition of organizations representing millions of Americans expressing our strong opposition to extending expiring renewable energy tax benefits when reauthorizing the Federal Aviation Administration. In that letter, we stated, 'Government subsidies, loans, mandates, and tax policies regarding renewables have consistently failed to deliver on their promises of long-term job creation and economic viability. Americans deserve access to energy solutions that are affordable and reliable — ones that should be able to stand on their own in the marketplace.'
 
 Americans have once again been let down by some of their elected representatives in the U.S. Senate. Given the frustration and anger that is plainly visible in the electorate, it is shocking that business continues as usual inside the Beltway. Out of touch politicians often decry the frustrated and angry tone of the public. But if they are concerned about the tone of the electorate, politicians must start listening to regular Americans and abandon cozy corporate welfare deals that have become all too much the norm in Washington. The budget process must return to 'regular order' where the public can see what is being done with their money and where secret backroom deals are prohibited.”

July 27, 2015

Frontiers of Freedom was a signatory to a letter to House members urging them to support a bill that would kill the wind production tax credit (PTC). [33]

The letter claimed the proposed legislation “protects Americans from the large costs of an out-of-control subsidy.” Since the PTC was created, the letter asserted that, “taxpayers have sent billions of dollars to large multinational corporations in the wind industry.”
 
The bill referenced in the letter, “The PTC Elimination Act,” was sponsored by Mike Pompeo of Wichita, Kansas—the top recipient of Koch funding in Congress. As of November 17, the bill had 53 co-sponsors, forty-six of which had received contributions from Koch Industries over the last five years, reports Elliot Negin of the Union of Concerned Scientists. [34]
 
Signatories included:

March 25, 2015

Frontiers of Freedom was one of a group of organizations to submit a group letter to chairman Michael Boots regarding the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review.  According to the letter, the NEPA review is “an inappropriate framework for making climate policy.” [18]
 
Other organizations behind the letter include many which have received significant funding from the fossil fuel industry and right-wing foundations:

October, 2013

Frontiers of Freedom was behind a coalition letter urging Congress to repeal the Renewable Fuel Standard. The letter was also signed by the Heartland Institute. [30]

“We, collectively and individually, believe the only reform to this failed government mandate should be to repeal the RFS. Repealing this mandate would bring certainty to the fuel markets and eliminate the harmful impacts this government program has had on businesses and consumers,” the FoF letter reads. “[…] With the recent scandals at EPA showing its lack of transparency and its willingness to break the law to further its agenda, expanding the RFS would only give the EPA another avenue to exercise power over the lives of Americans and further harm the economy.” [31]

May 21 - 23, 2012

Frontiers of Freedom is listed as an official co-sponsor (PDF) of the Heartland Institute's Seventh International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC7) in Chicago, IL. [19]

DeSmogBlog investigated sponsors behind the conference and found they had collectively received over $67 million from ExxonMobil, Koch, and Scaife family foundations. [20]

March, 2009

Frontiers of Freedom is listed as a sponsor of the Heartland Institute's Second International Conference on Climate Change. [21]

DeSmogBlog found that conference sponsors had collectively received over $47 million from energy companies and right-wing foundations, with over 78% coming from Scaife Family Foundations. [22]

April 12, 2007

George Landrith, president of the Frontiers of Freedom Institute (FFI), said the idea behind the Durbin-Hagel proposal which would have the CIA and Pentagon assess the national security implications of climate change is “a big waste of time and effort” at a period when numerous security issues need to be addressed. [28]
 
“We've seen in the last several years, leading up to 9/11, lots of intelligence and security failures,” Landrith notes. “And it seems to me that diverting [the agencies'] attention with things that matter, like protecting Americans from people who want to kill them, would be a much higher priority than worrying about whether temperature change is going to change by one degree over the next hundred years. […] I just don't see how that military's problem.” [28]
 
According to Landrith, former Vice President Al Gore and “the global-warming alarmists at the U.N.,” have convinced people that global warming is real, that the science behind it is certain, and that there is no serious debate about its reality. “And of course, that's not true,” says Landrith. “I talk to scientists everyday who question it and scratch their head [about what global-warming advocates are saying].” And to the extent that there is a consensus about global warming, he adds, “it seems that there's a political consensus – which is [when] politicians have licked their finger, stuck it in the air, and they have a sense that the breeze is blowing in a certain direction. […]” [28]

2003-2004

ExxonMobil received two grants from ExxonMobil in 2003: one $95,000 grant for “Global Climate Change Outreach,” and another $50,000 grant for “Global Climate Change Activities,” Greenpeace reports. [32]

Exxon gave more than $200,000 to the Frontiers of Freedom Institute in 2004, reports the Portland Press Herald. [35]

June 7, 2002

President George Landrith signed a letter to President Bush, asking him to withdraw the “Climate Action Report 2002.” [23]

The letter describes the Climate Action Report as “largely a compilation and summary of junk science produced by the Clinton-Gore Administration in order to support their Kyoto agenda,” and calls on Bush to have the report “re-written on the basis of sound science.”

A further demand of the letter is for Bush to “dismiss or re-assign all administration employees who are not pursuing your agenda, just as you have done in several similar instances.” [23]

May 14, 2002

Held a briefing at the National Press Club, in conjunction with the Cooler Heads Coalition and The Science and Environmental Policy Project, entitled “Experts Discuss Why United States Should Withdraw Its Signature From Kyoto; Whatever Happened To Global Warming Anyway?” [24]

Speakers included John Daly, S. Fred Singer, and Chris Horner.

August 19, 1997

Held a “Countdown to Kyoto” conference in Canberra, Australia “to bolster support for the government's increasingly isolated position on global warming in preparation for Kyoto.”

The conference was co-organized by The Australian APEC Study Centre and featured well known climate change deniers such as Patrick Michaels, John Christy, and Alan Oxley. Other speakers including Jerry Ellis, past Chairman of the multinational BHP Ltd. And Peter Hartley, director of a think tank called the Tasmania Institute. [25]

At the conference, U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel commented, “I believe we are headed down the wrong path in the negotiations for any global climate treaty to be signed in Kyoto, Japan, this December.” [26]

Related Organizations

 Resources

  1. Mission,” Frontiers of Freedom. Archived October 17, 2015. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6cMEE3V5C

  2. About Us,” Frontiers of Freedom. Archived February 5, 2003. 

  3. Frontiers of Freedom Mission Statement,” Frontiers of Freedom. Archived August 16, 2000. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmogBlog.

  4. (Press Release). “Frontiers of Freedom Releases 'Ten (Belief) Tenets,'” Frontiers of Freedom, September 20, 2002. Republished by Free Republic. Archived October 17, 2015. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6cMEr8A1E

  5. Centers,” Frontiers of Freedom. Archived October 17, 2015. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6cMFA2oVK

  6. Wake up, Obama, climate change has been happening forever,” Frontiers of Freedom, October 10, 2015. Archived October 18, 2015. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6cMc4Wtlq

  7. George Landrith. “Climate Change: Fabricating the Numbers,” Frontiers of Freedom, October 3, 2007.

  8. Global Warming - Papers,” Frontiers of Freedom Centre for Science and Public Policy. Archived July 12, 2010.

  9. Anne Marie Chaker. “Conservatives Seek IRS Inquiry On Environmental Group's Status,” The Wall Street Journal, June 21, 2001 (subscription required).

  10. “Rev. Rul. 68-656, 1968-2 C.B. 216,” (PDF), Internal Revenue Service.

  11. 7.25.4.6  (02-09-1999) Exemption Under IRC 501(c)(4) v. Exemption Under IRC 501(c)(3),” Irs.gov. Accessed October 17, 2015.

  12. Search String: Frontiers of Freedom,” Conservative Transparency. Search performed May 12, 2016.

  13. ExxonSecrets Factsheet: Frontiers of Freedom, FoF. Accessed October 17, 2015.

  14. Frontiers of Freedom - Koch Industries Climate Denial Front Group,” Greenpeace USA. Archived October 18, 2015.

  15. Senior Staff,” Frontiers of Freedom. Archived October 18, 2015. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6cMZe2kna

  16. Willie Soon and Robert Ferguson. “Eat More Fish!” (PDF), The Wall Street Journal Online, August 15, 2005 (Dow Jones Reprints). Archived January 9, 2006.

  17. Staff,” Frontiers of Freedom. Archived January 3, 2012.

  18. Consideration of greenhouse gas emissions and climate change effects in NEPA Reviews,” Frontiers of Freedom, March 29, 2015. Archived October 18, 2015. 

  19. Seventh International Conference on Climate Change: Sponsored by the Heartland Institute” (PDF), the Heartland Institute. Archived August 15, 2015.

  20. Michael Fisher. “A Closer Look at Heartland's ICCC7 Denial-a-Palooza Speakers and Sponsors,” DeSmogBlog, May 23, 2012. 

  21. Co-Sponsors,” Third International Conference on Climate Change. Archived July 14, 2010.

  22. “Heartland Institute's 2009 Climate Conference in New York: funding history of the sponsors,” DesmogBlog.

  23. Fred L. Smith Jr. “Joint Letter To President Bush On The EPA's Climate Action Report,” Competitive Enterprise Institute, June 7, 2002. Archived October 18, 2015. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6cMapDVLb

  24. Experts Discuss Why United States Should Withdraw Its Signature From Kyoto; Whatever Happened To Global Warming Anyway?” U.S. Newswire, May 14, 2002. Archived October 19, 2002.

  25. Countdown to Kyoto: The Consequences of Mandatory CO2 Emission Reductions,” Monash University. Archived August 6, 1997.

  26. “Countdown to Kyoto” an International Conference on The Consequences of Mandatory Global CO2 Emission Reductions: Remarks by United States Senator Chuck Hagel” (PDF), Retrieved from APEC.org.au. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmogBlog.

  27. Cooler Heads Coalition homepage (globalwarming.org). Archived October 18, 2015.

  28. Durbin, Hagel say global warming a national security threat,” OneNewsNow, April 12, 2007. Archived May 17, 2016. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6hZuZ1m6P

  29. “Congressional Staff Seminar” (PDF)Science Hill Watch, February 2, 2004. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmogBlog.

  30. Taylor Smith. “Frontiers of Freedom Backs Coalition Supporting Swift Repeal of the Renewable Fuel Standard,” Somewhat Reasonabile (Heartland Institute Blog), October 1, 2013. Archived May 17, 2016. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6hZvQZiIP

  31. Coalition Letter Opposing the Renewable Fuel Standard,” Frontiers of Freedom, September 27, 2014. Archived May 17, 2016. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6hZvv4r51

  32. Cindy Baxter. “Exxon Knew Climate Change Was Coming, but What Matters Is What Exxon Did,” Greenpeace USA, November 12, 2015. Archived May 17, 2016. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6hZwkzyNw

  33. “Coalition to Congress: Support PTC Elimination Act” (PDF), Marchant.house.gov, July 27, 2015. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmogBlog.

  34. Elliott Negin. “How the Koch Brothers' 'Bankers' Snuck an Anti-Wind Op-Ed Past the New York Times,” Alternet, January 7, 2016. Archived May 17, 2016. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6hZz1hus4

  35. Amy Lieberman and Susanne Rust. “While denying climate change in Washington, Big Oil braced for a hotter planet,” Portland Press Herald, January 11, 2016. Archived May 17, 2016. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6ha0EYRzD

  36. Group of Senators Let America Down,” Frontiers of Freedom, April 7, 2016. Archived May 17, 2016. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6ha0i0ZZq

Other Resources