Hudson Institute

Holy Gas: Donald Trump's Foreign Policy Team Member Pushed Offshore Drilling in Israel

When Republican Party presidential campaign front-runner Donald Trump named 2009 DePaul University graduate George Papadoupolous as a member of his foreign policy advisory team, some in the media raised eyebrows, while others jested that his wunderkind status makes him more likely to serve as office coffee fetcher than in a position of such prestige. 

But you aren't named to sit on such a team without serious connections, few of which the media made with regards to Papadoupolous, who has spent most of his professional career working as a research assistant at the Hudson Institute and now works as director of the Center for International Energy and Natural Resources Law & Security at the London Center of International Law Practice.

The story of who Papadoupolous is begins and ends with the Hudson Institute, a think-tank with a long history of climate change denial and anti-science advocacy

A DeSmog investigation has revealed that the Hudson Institute, via industry funding its advocacy efforts, has proven instrumental in opening up Israel's offshore natural gas reserves for drilling in the Mediterranean Sea for Noble Energy. Likewise, the efforts of Papadoupolous have helped pave the way for Noble to tap into the Mediterranean. 

How Koch-, Oil-Funded Climate Deniers Inserted Themselves Into Natural Gas Debate in Israel

DeSmog recently revealed the latest troubling chapter in the story of Israel’s nascent oil and gas boom – a saga of revolving doors, multinational fossil fuel intrigue, and significant American political intervention. But there’s another interesting tale to tell, one that has gone unnoticed by many observers.
 
Individuals and groups associated with climate denial or science obfuscation have recently inserted themselves into the raging public debates over the use of Israel’s newly discovered natural gas fields.
 
Sparked in 2010, the contentious debate surrounding the offshore fields has largely revolved around how to allocate royalties and ownership rights rather than whether to extract the enormous amounts of gas in the first place.
 
There are many reasons for this narrow framing. One is the inability of Israel’s environmentalists to shift the discourse in a way that will take into account the global imperative of keeping most fossil fuels in the ground to stave off climate catastrophe.
 
As was evident in the lost battle over the construction of the Trans-Israel Highway, another privatized infrastructure project, the country’s greens always seem to be a step behind quick global investors and multinational corporations.
 
In addition, the misleading characterization of natural gas as a “clean bridge fuel” in Israeli public discourse myopically overlooks the role caused by methane leaks in perpetrating global warming. The disastrous methane leak in Porter Ranch, California is the latest case in point, although that calamity has been temporarily stopped.   
 
Clearly, though, the participation of climate change deniers in debates about Israel’s energy future surely does not help shift the conversation.

Smoke and Mirrors: Obama DOE Fracked Gas Export Study Contractor's Tobacco Industry Roots

At first, it was kept secret for months, cryptically referred to only as an “unidentified third-party contractor.”

Finally, in November 2012, Reuters revealed the name of the corporate consulting firm the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) hired to produce a study on the prospective economic impacts of liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports.

LNG is the super-chilled final product of gas obtained - predominatly in today's context - via the controversial hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) process taking place within shale deposits located throughout the U.S. This “prize” is shipped from the multitude of domestic shale basins in pipelines to various coastal LNG terminals, and then sent on LNG tankers to the global market

The firm: National Economic Research Associates (NERA) Economic Consulting, has a long history of pushing for deregulation. Its claim to fame: the deregulation “studies” it publishes on behalf of the nuclear, coal, and oil/gas industry - and as it turns out, Big Tobacco, too.

Revealed: NERA Economic Consulting is Third Party Contractor for DOE LNG Export Study

Reuters has revealed the identity of the mysterious third party contractor tasked to publish the economic impact study on LNG (liquefied natural gas) exports on behalf of the Department of Energy (DOE). Its name: NERA Economic Consulting.

NERA” is shorthand for National Economic Research Associates, an economic consulting firm SourceWatch identifies as the entity that published a June 2011 report on behalf of coal industry front group American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE). ACCCE's report concluded, “clean-air rules proposed by the Obama administration would cost utilities $17.8 billion annually and raise electricity rates 11.5 percent on average in 2016.”

That report went so far to say that Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations of the coal-generated electrcity sector would amount to some 1.5 million lost jobs over the next four years.

NERA was founded by Irwin Stelzer, senior fellow and director of the right-wing Hudson Institute’s Center for Economic Policy. In Oct. 2004, The Guardian described Stelzer as the “right-hand man of Rupert Murdoch,” the CEO of News Corp., which owns Fox News. 

According to NERA's website, the late Alfred E. Kahn, the “father of deregulation,” advised NERA's 1961 foundation

Dennis Avery fails to correct Right Wing Echo Machine

Dennis Avery at the Hudson Institute pushed out a story the other day claiming that: “The atmospheric CO2 levels at Hawaii’s Mauna Loa observatory have declined since 2004.” He’s totally wrong and admitted he was, but has failed to correct this mistruth and now the story is bouncing around the right-wing media echo chamber.

Here’s the graph from the Mauna Loa observatory:

First off, how could Avery, who claims to be an “environmental economist” get this so wrong?

I’m not a scientist or an economist, but it seems to me that this graph is pretty darn clear. This is far from an innocent mistake and Avery is doing nothing to stop the echo machine. If Avery had any sense of ethics he would make sure that every single outlet who carried this blatant misrepresentation corrected him on the record.

Drip, Drip, Drip: Heartland's Credibility Leaks Steadily Away

Matthew Reichbach of the New Mexico Centre for Independent Media contributes another name and another quote from scientists objecting to being added to the Heartland Institute's overcooked list of scientists who deny climate change.

“From what I can tell, the list was compiled mostly from reviewed scientific articles in which authors proposed or identified various sources of natural variability in climate; in my case solar irradiance and cosmic ray flux. I’m not sure of the intent of the compilation of 500 names, but the supplied information seems to suggest 500 authors have questioned human induced variability. This does not hold in my case and probably does not in the case of many others.”

Roger Y. Anderson, University of New Mexico

Heartland Institute Condemned for "Major Ethical Transgression"

Here is a brief taste of some of the emails that have been flying this week to the Heartland Institute in protest over their distribution of a purported scientific paper that announces 500 Scientists with Documented Doubts about Man-Made Global Warming Scares.

Notwithstanding these requests - and many more, as well - as of 4 p.m. EST on Friday, May 2, 2008, the offending article remained on the Heartland website with the names all still attached. There is no apology, clarification or correction. It's as if Heartland President and CEO Joseph Bast just doesn't care about the accuracy of his output or the credibility of his organization ….

A Few Scientists Who Won't Deny Being Deniers

We can now count the dead and the imaginary among the shrinking number of scientists in the Heartland Institute list of 500 Scientists with Documented Doubts of Man-Made Global Warming Scares.

“Bond, G., Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory;” “Bradbury, J. Pratt, USGS;” and “Keeling, Charles D., Scripps Institute of Oceanography” are all deceased and therefore unable to join the chorus of legitimate scientists who are demanding that their names be removed from the list.

500 Scientists with Documented Doubts - about the Heartland Institute?

UPDATE: we have received notes now from 45 outraged scientists whose names appear on the list of 500. We've published more quotes here.

Dozens of scientists are demanding that their names be removed from a widely distributed Heartland Institute article entitled 500 Scientists with Documented Doubts of Man-Made Global Warming Scares.

The article, by Hudson Institute director and Heartland “Senior Fellow” Dennis T. Avery (inset), purports to list scientists whose work contradicts the overwhelming scientific agreement that human-induced climate change is endangering the world as we know it.

DeSmogBlog manager Kevin Grandia emailed 122 of the scientists yesterday afteroon, calling their attention to the list. So far - in less than 24 hours - three dozen of those scientists had responded in outrage, denying that their research supports Avery's conclusions and demanding that their names be removed.

Outrage in the Climate Science Community Continues Over the "500 Scientist" List

I view that the inclusion of my name in such a list without my permission or consensus has damaged my professional reputation as an atmospheric scientist.”

Dr. Ming Cai, Associate Professor, Department of Meteorology, Florida State University.

Earlier today we broke the story about dozens of scientists outraged at the use of their good names in an article by Heartland Institute's “Senior Fellow” Dennis Avery (inset) posted on their website entitled 500 Scientists with Documented Doubts of Man-Made Global Warming Scares.

The letters are pouring in from angry scientists, with over 45 scientists now demanding that there names be stricken from the list, some are going much further and threatening legal action.

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