John Locke Foundation

John Locke Foundation (JLF)


According to their website, The John Locke Foundation was created in 1990 as an independent, nonprofit think tank that would work “for truth, for freedom, and for the future of North Carolina.” The Foundation is funded significantly by Art Pope, who also serves on the foundation's board of directors

A 2010 investigation by the Institute for Southern Studies found the John Locke Foundation to be one of the most outspoken climate skeptics in North Carolina, working together with other groups funded by the Koch Brothers and Art Pope. [1]

JLF 's mission states “The John Locke Foundation employs research, journalism, and outreach programs to transform government through competition, innovation, personal freedom, and personal responsibility.” It was  founded by John Hood and Marc Rotterman, treasurer of the American Conservative Union.

Hood describes JLF’s journalism arm as a “key milestone for the foundation,” and as a “relentless government watchdog.”

He noted, “there are still many policy challenges ahead, including alarmist climate change policies, the stifling of public charter schools, the spend-and-tax habit of state and local officials, weak private property rights protections, and local government intrusion disguised as 'smart growth' policies.” [2]

Stance on Climate Change

“… the scientific issues involved [in climate change] are complex and unsettled… . a green house gas reduction policy would have only costs and no benefits.” [3]

“The Earth has indeed warmed during the last few decades and may warm further in the future. But the pattern of climate change is not consistent with the greenhouse effect being the main cause.” [4]


Media Transparency breaks down JLF's funding as follows: [5]

According to an article in the New Yorker, the John William Pope Foundation supplies roughly 85% of JLF's funding. [6]

A search of 990 forms for the John William Pope Foundation reveals that JLF received at least $13,149,712.75 from the Pope family foundation between 2004 and 2011, with an additional $131,000 in 1993.

According to SourceWatch, JLF has also received funding from Philip Morris. [7], [8]

According to Greenpeace, JLF received $47,472 from Koch foundations from 2005 to 2009 with a total of $122,472 from Koch between 1997 and 2009. [9]

Key People

John HoodPresident and Chairman. [10]

Research Division

Board of Directors

  • Bruce M. Babcock
  • Charlie Carter
  • Dr. James S. Fulghum III
  • Charles F. Fuller
  • William T. Graham
  • Robert L. Luddy
  • Dr. Assad Meymandi
  • Baker A. Mitchell, Jr.
  • Carl Mumpower
  • J. Arthur Pope
  • Thomas H. Roberg
  • David M. Stover
  • J. M. Bryan Taylor
  • Andy Wells


May 21 - 23, 2012

JLF is listed as an official Co-sponsor of the Heartland Institute's Seventh International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC7).

July, 2007

The John Locke Foundation released a report authored by Joel Schwartz of the American Enterprise Institute titled, “A North Carolina Citizen's Guide to Global Warming.” [11]

In the report (PDF), which recants many of the popular skeptical arguments regarding climate change, Schwartz claims that [Al] “Gore's brand of over-the-top climate hysteria has nothing to do with reality,” and that “Most of the greenhouse effect is natural and is due to water vapor naturally in the atmosphere, as well as natural levels of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane, and a few other greenhouse gases.” [12]

Related Organizations

Philip Morris — Marc Rotterman, former president of the JLF, sat on the National Advisory Board of a group set up by Phillip Morris called the “National Smokers Alliance.”

JLF Websites and Blogs” include:


  1. Sue Sturgis. “A Pope of climate denial,” FacingSouth, December 26, 2010.

  2. A 20-Year Legacy: Fighting for Freedom, Truth, Responsibility,” John Locke Foundation.

  3. “Global Warming Policy: NC Should Do Nothing” ( PDF ), No. 253— April 12, 2005.

  4. “A North Carolina Citizen’s Guide to Global Warming” (PDF), John Locke Foundation Policy Report, July, 2007.

  5. John Locke Foundation,” Media Transparency. Accessed March 14, 2012.

  6. Jane Mayer. “State for Sale,” The New Yorker, October 10, 2011.

  7. John Locke Foundation,” SourceWatch profile.


  9. John Locke Foundation (JLF) - Koch Industries Climate Denial Front Group,” Greenpeace.

  10. John Hood,” Profile at the John Locke Foundation. Accessed March 14, 2012.

  11. Policy Reports: A North Carolina Citizen's Guide to Global Warming,” John Locke Foundation website, July 25, 2007.

  12. Joel Schwartz, “Policy Reports: A North Carolina Citizen's Guide to Global Warming” (PDF ), John Locke Foundation, July 2007.