National Center for Public Policy Research

National Center for Public Policy Research (NCPPR)

 Background

The National Center for Public Policy Research (NCPPR) was founded in 1982 as a free market think tank and “communications and research foundation supportive of a strong national defense and dedicated to providing free market solutions to today's public policy problems.” [1]

In the 1980s NCPPR “helped change public opinion through vocal national campaigns aimed at supporting Reagan administration initiatives,” but they have since shifted their focus to topics such as environmental policy. For example, in 2005 the Center fought against the 1973 Endangered Species Act in order to reduce the government's power to regulate private land use. As part of their effort, they formed a “grassroots coalition of dozens of groups to educate the public and Members of Congress.” [1]

In their own words, the Center says they are “Firm in the belief that private owners are the best stewards of the environment.” NCPPR's National Center's Center for Environmental and Regulatory Affairs “advocates private, free market solutions to today's environmental challenges.” [1]

Amy Ridenour, NCPPR's president, has claimed that global warming is a religion. [2]

Stance on Climate Change

In June, 2014, the National Center for Public Policy Research released a paper by Amy Ridenour titled “Top Ten Reasons Washington Should Not Impose New Global Warming Laws or Regulations.” The following are included among the “top ten reasons” listed include: [3]

  • “The Earth hasn't warmed since the Clinton Administration;
  • New global warming laws and regulations harm people, and harm lower-income and minorities disproportionately;
  • U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions already fell 12.6 percent between 2005 and 2012, while worldwide emissions went up 17.7 percent during the same period;
  • The climate models upon which President Obama's belief in human-caused catastrophic global warming is based do not work - since 1979, over 96 percent of climate models predicted more warming by now than has taken place;
  • Claims that 97 percent of scientists endorse the global warming theory are propaganda.”

The National Center for Public Policy Research released a “Earth Day 2002 Fact Sheet” that contained the following statement on global warming (*Note that the petition NCPPR refers to is the Oregon Petition, which has had its credibility questioned by numerous sources, including whether it includes fake signatures [4])

“Claims that scientific opinion is nearly unanimous on the subject of global warming are wrong. The Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine received signatures* from over 17,100 basic and applied American scientists, two-thirds with advanced degrees, to a document saying, 'There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gasses is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth's atmosphere and disruption of the Earth's climate.' [5]

“… There are many indications that carbon dioxide does not play a significant role in global warming.” [5]

 Funding

The following is based on data the Conservative Transparency project compiled from publicly-available tax records. Note that not all individual funding values have been verified by DeSmogBlog for accuracy.

View the attached spreadsheet for additional information on The National Center for Public Policy Research's funding by year (.xls). [6]

Donor Contributions
The Carthage Foundation $815,000
The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation $629,100
Dunn's Foundation for the Advancement of Right Thinking $409,000
Exxon Mobil* $445,000
Sarah Scaife Foundation $375,000
The Randolph Foundation $352,050
DonorsTrust $313,950
Castle Rock Foundation $170,000
William H. Donner Foundation $164,000
John M. Olin Foundation $100,000
Donors Capital Fund $86,000
The Gordon and Mary Cain Foundation $35,000
Earhart Foundation $25,000
Armstrong Foundation $15,000
American Chemistry Council $10,000
Tepper Family Foundation $10,000
Same Line Foundation $7,500
The Shelby Cullom Davis Foundation $5,000
The Roe Foundation $3,000
Chase Foundation of Virginia $2,000
Grand Total $3,971,600

* According to Greenpeace's ExxonSecrets, the National Center for Public Policy Research has received at least $445,000 from ExxonMobil since 1998. [7]

Key People

Board of Directors

According to a NCPPR list last updated May 13, 2015: [8]

Horace Cooper
Attorney, Legal Commentator
Former Assistant Law Professor, George Mason University
General Counsel, Office of the U.S. House Majority Leader, 1995-2002
Elected October 19, 2010
 
Senior Research Fellow, Health Policy Studies
Washington, D.C.
Elected October 27, 1997
 
Victor Porlier
North Country Advisors
Delmar, NY
Elected October 27, 1997
 
Chairman, The National Center for Public Policy Research
Washington, D.C.
Elected chairman January 3, 1996; to the board 1985
 
David Ridenour
President, The National Center for Public Policy Research
Washington, D.C.
Elected president October 18, 2011; to the board October 27, 1997
 
Attorney
Reston, VA
Elected May 12, 2009
 
Peter Schweizer
President, Government Accountability Institute
Elected June 27, 2006
 
Mackenzie Canter III
Serves as Legal Counsel to the Board
Copilevitz & Canter, LLC
Washington, D.C.

 Personnel

As of November, 2015, according to the National Center for Public Policy Research's website: [1]

  • Amy Moritz Ridenour — Chairman 
  • David Ridenour — President 
  • Justin Danhof — General Counsel & Director of the Free Enterprise Project 
  • Jeff Stier — Senior Fellow & Risk Analysis Division Director 
  • David W. Almasi — Senior Fellow
  • Horace Cooper — Adjunct Fellow & Co-Chair of Project 21 
  • Cherylyn Harley LeBon — Co-Chair of Project 21 
  • Bonner Cohen — Senior Fellow 
  • R.J. Smith — Senior Fellow 
  • Dana Gattuso — Senior Fellow
  • Jennifer Biddison — Internet Consultant
  • Judy Kent — Media Director
  • Deroy Murdock — Distinguished Fellow
  • Joe Roche — Adjunct Fellow
  • Bradley Krieger — List Manager
  • Julianna Ustica — Program Assistant
  • Nickie Kelley — Program Assistant
  • Jennifer Lee — Program Assistant

Past Personnel (2012)

As of February, 2012, NCPPR also listed these member of their Personnel: [9]

  • Thomas J. Borelli, Ph.D. —Senior Fellow and Free Enterprise Project Director **
  • Mychal Massie — Chairman, Advisory Board, Project 21
  • Deneen Borelli — Fellow, Project 21
  • Katherine Nielsen  Development Manager
  • Devon Carlin — Research Associate
  • Eric Peters — Senior Fellow

** Thomas J. Borelli was the manager of Philip Morris Corporate Scientific Affairs Department circa 1990.

Center for Environmental and Regulatory Affairs (CERA) Experts

As of November, 2015, the NCPPR's Center for Environmental and Regulatory Affairs (CERA) included the following “Experts”: [10]

 Actions

June 3, 2015

At a Google shareholder meeting, the National Center for Public Policy Research presented a shareholder resolution suggesting Google “come clean with investors about the risks associated with its alternative energy projects - many of which receive lavish taxpayer subsidies that may not continue indefinitely,” reads the NCPPR press release. [11]

A video excerpt of the meeting, featuring the National Center's Free Enterprise Project Director Justin Danhof, is available below:

April 28, 2015

When the president of the American energy company Exelon supported proposed emissions regulations under the Obama Administration, the National Center for Public Policy's Research Executive Director David W. Almasi tried to change his mind in an Exelon Shareholder Meeting. [12]

Almasi cited a study by the Heritage Foundation (an organization which itself received over $680,000 from energy giant ExxonMobil) that suggested emissions controls would raise the price of electricity and “destroy 500,000 manufacturing jobs and 45 percent of all coal-mining jobs.” [13]

March 10, 2015

National Center Free Enterprise Project Director Justin Danhof attended the Apple shareholder meeting in Cupertino, California on behalf of the NCPPR where he contributed a resolution opposing alternative energy investment.

According to the NCPPR's press release, “the National Center for Public Policy Research introduced a shareholder resolution asking the tech giant for more transparency about the risks associated with its alternative energy investments.” [14]

July 28, 2014

The National Center for Public Policy Research offered a positive review of climate change skeptic Tim Ball's book, “The Deliberate Corruption of Climate Science” in the Summer, 2014 newsletter. NCPPR describes Tim Ball as a “thorn-in-the-side of dishonest scientists everywhere and supporter of your National Center for Public Policy Research.” 

According to the NCPPR description, “The Deliberate Corruption of Climate Science explains how a small group of committed leftwingers led by Canadian anti-capitalism activist Maurice Strong seized upon 'climate change' as their issue and the United Nations as their vehicle to trick governments and populations into believing 'the only hope for the planet [is] that industrialized civilizations collapse'.”  [15]

They quote Ball saying that “The entire exercise of global warming and climate change is a deception.” [15]

June 2, 2014

The National Center for Public Policy Research released a new paper titled “Top Ten Reasons Washington Should Not Impose New Global Warming Laws or Regulations” by NCPPR Chairman Amy Ridenour. [16]

According to the NCPPR's press release, “President Obama's new climate rules for existing power plants, expected to be announced by the Environmental Protection Agency Monday morning, are unnecessary.” [3]

February, 2010

The National Center for Public Policy Research published a blog post titled, “Climate of Confusion: Global Warming 'Science' a Blizzard of Contradictions.” [17]

The post states:

“In less than a week, two back-to-back blizzards have pummeled and paralyzed much of the East coast, bringing snow accumulations of 50-plus inches to the D.C. area and breaking records for snow accumulation in D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Atlantic City … So what's going on here? Global warming, of course. At least, that's what 'experts' are telling us.” [17]

October, 2002

Lobbyist Jack Abramoff, now a convicted and sentenced felon, was a member of NCPPR's Board of Directors until his resignation in October 2004 after NCPPR concluded he had violated the organization's conflict of interest policy. 

In October 2002, Abramoff told President Amy Ridenour to send the Mississippi Band of Choctaws an invoice for $1 million. He then told Amy to distribute the funds as follows: “$450,000 to the Capital Athletic Foundation, $500,000 to Capital Campaign Strategies and $50,000 to a company called Nurnberger and Associates, run by a Mr. Ralph Nurnberger.” [18]

Greenberg Traurig, the firm employing Abramoff, sent $1.5 million to NCPPR in June, 2003. Following directions, Ridenour distributed $250,000 to Capital Athletic Foundation and the remainder ($1,250,000) to Kay Gold LLC. According to her testimony, Amy Ridenour believed that Kay Gold was owned by Abramoff's associate, Michael Scanlon.

“It was not until 2004 that I learned that this money did not come from the Choctaw, but rather from an Internet gambling company apparently unrelated to the Choctaw Tribe […] I would have never issued any money to Kaygold if I had known that Jack was the owner because this was a clear violation of the National Center’s conflict of interest policy, which Jack had signed,” she said. [19]

Some reporters have written that NCPPR repeatedly wrote articles that aligned with the positions held by Abramoff, “suggesting possible coordination between the lobbyist and the group in violation of federal law.” [20]

2002

NCPPR launched its website “Envirotruth,” a project which received at least #30,000 in funding from ExxonMobil. The website no longer appears to be in operation. [21]

EnviroTruth claims that “environmental groups have seized the world stage and the public's attention by distorting facts, bending the truth and even committing acts of terrorism against innocent citizens.” [24]

The following are some of examples of what Envirotruth lists as “Myths”: [22]

  • “Humanity is the primary cause of global climate change.”
  • “Climate change is occurring at an unprecedented rate.”
  • “Sea level is rising quickly and it will get worse if the polar ice caps melt due to global warming. Coastal settlements and low-lying islands will be submerged.”
  • “Recent global temperature rise has been dramatic.”
  • “Humanity is causing earth's polar regions to warm quickly resulting in unusual rates of ice melting.”

February 8, 1998

NCPPR was profiled in “The Fear Merchants, ” an article criticizing the organization's direct mail fundraising in the San Francisco Examiner. [23]

According to the article, the letters targeted senior citizens, with “so-called 'fright mail,' computer-generated by self-proclaimed public policy organizations in mostly legal but controversial campaigns to raise cash.”

Amy Moritz Ridenour of NCPPR admitted that “her organization sent donors up to a dozen major pitches a month. The appeals are sent on four different letterheads. She said anyone receiving more than a dozen solicitations in a month probably was on mailing lists the National Center has 'rented' from other organizations, which she said were outside her control.”

The article also revealed that in 1995, NCPPR spent more than 77 percent of the $2.3 million it had raised that year on fundraising. The Council of Better Business Bureaus standards say fund-raising costs should not exceed 35 percent of contributions raised.

Related Organizations

NCPPR maintains numerous “Departments” including:

NCPPR also runs a “Polar Bear Information Center,” a project of their Center for Environmental and Regulatory Affairs which includes a video produced by NCPPR described as “A lighthearted parody political ad points out that the global polar bear population has doubled over the last four decades.” Note that this argument, among many others by climate change skeptics, is debunked at SkepticalScience.

NCPA lists two of it's “websites” as EnviroTruth (now-defunct) and GroupSnoop. While it was running, the EnviroTruth website was strongly critical of the environmental movement. 

 Resources

  1. About Us,” The National Center for Public Policy Research. Archived November 12, 2015. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6czcc03bp

  2. The Church of Global Warming,” Amy Ridenour's National Center Blog, December 16, 2009. Archived November 12, 2015. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6czdIZGLS

  3. (Press Release). “Top Ten Reasons to Oppose President Obama's New Climate Regulations,” The National Center for Public Policy Research, June 2, 2014. Archived November 12, 2015. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6czhxJVi6

  4. H. Josef Hebert. “Jokers Add Fake Names To Warming Petition,” Seattle Times, May 1, 1998. Archived November 12, 2015. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6czdbHwgh

  5. Earth Day 2002 Fact Sheet: Myths and Facts About the Environment,” Earth Day Information Center (nationalcenter.org), National Center for Public Policy Research. Archived November 12, 2015. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6czdTRCON

  6. National Center for Public Policy Research,” Conservative Transparency. Accessed November 12, 2015. 

  7. ExxonSecrets Factsheet: National Center for Public Policy Research, NCPPR. Accessed November 12, 2015.

  8. “The National Center For Public Policy Research Current Board Of Directors” (PDF), National Center for Public Policy Research, May 13, 2014. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmogBlog.

  9. About Us,” The National Center for Public Policy Research. Archived February 5, 2012

  10. CERA Experts,” Center for Environmental and Regulatory Affairs.  Archived November 12, 2015. 

  11. (Press Release). “Free-Market Organization Asks Google to Be Transparent with Investors Regarding Cost of 'Green” Initiatives',” The National Center for Public Policy Research, June 3, 2015. Archived November 12, 2015. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6czgQGxeT

  12. Exelon Shareholder Meeting Question David Almasi, Executive Director The National Center for Public Policy Research” (PDF) National Center for Public Policy Research, April 28, 2015. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmogBlog.

  13. (Press Release). “Cynical Power Company Supports Regulations that Will Increase Its Profits, But Harm the American People,” The National Center for Public Policy Research, April 28, 2015. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6czh8z6Qe

  14. (Press Release). “Tim Cook has Another 'Tim Cook Moment'; Denigrates Capitalism at Apple Shareholder Meeting,” The National Center for Public Policy Research March 10, 2015. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6czhVMCv1

  15. “In the News” (PDF), The National Center for Public Policy Research, Summer 2014 issue. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmogBlog. 

  16. Amy Ridenour. “Top Ten Reasons Washington Should Not Impose New Global Warming Laws or Regulations,” National Policy Analysis, June, 2014. Archived November 12, 2015. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6cziG1Zwo 

  17. Climate of Confusion: Global Warming 'Science' a Blizzard of Contradictions,” The National Center for Public Policy Research, February, 2010. Archived November 1, 2015. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6czen0aqv

  18. Hearing Before The Committee On Indian Affairs United States Senate One Hundred Ninth Congress First Session On Oversight Hearing Regarding Tribal Lobbying Matters, Et Al,” Senate Hearing 109-135, From the U.S. Government Printing Office, June 22, 2005. Archived November 12, 2015. WebCite URL:  http://www.webcitation.org/6czfB4iFO

  19. “Statement of Amy Moritz Ridenour At the Hearing before the United States Senate Committee on Indian Affairs on Lobbying practices Involving Indian Tribes” (PDF), Committee on Indian Affairs United States Senate, June 22, 2005. Archived June 24, 2005.

  20. John Byrne and Ron Brynaert. “Washington nonprofit where Abramoff was director wrote articles favoring Abramoff clients,” The Raw Story, March 8, 2006. Archived November 12, 2015. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6czfHVdXT

  21. Envirotruth,” SourceWatch. Accessed November 12, 2015.

  22. Myths and Envirotruth Regarding Climate Change,” EnviroTruth.org. Archived January 18, 2006.

  23. Diana Walsh. “The fear merchants,” San Francisco Examiner, February 8, 1998. Archived November 12, 2015. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6czfnSPkS

  24. About Envirotruth,” EnviroTruth.org. Archived January 18, 2006. 

Other Resources