Chris Horner


Chris Horner


  • Juris Doctorate from Washington University in St. Louis. [1]


Christopher C. Horner is a Senior Legal Fellow for the Energy and Environment Legal Institute (E&E Legal) (formerly American Tradition Institute), where he “provides strategic and legal counsel on cases involving Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) filings and government transparency.” [14] 

Additionally, Horner serves as a senior fellow for the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), a Washington, DC-based think-tank. He formerly served as director of litigation at the American Tradition Institute’s Environmental Law Center (now the Energy and Environment Legal Institute).

Horner is a lawyer by training and regularly appears on television as a commentator on the issue of climate change.

Chris Horner & Coal

Bankruptcy filings for Alpha Natural Resources in 2015, reported on by Lee Fang at the Intercept, revealed that Chris Horner was being funded by the coal company. [16]

A signed declaration, filed with the bankruptcy court on January 11, 2016, list Horner's role as Regulatory Counsel for Alpha Natural Resources. Another document shows that funding from Alpha to Horner has continued through to at least the end of January, 2016, which is the most recent reporting period. [17], [18]

The Wall Street Journal reports that Alpha Natural Resources paid Chris Horner $18,600 before it declared bankruptcy. [21] Meanwhile, the Free Market Environmental Law Clinic, also an Alpha creditor, paid Horner $110,000 in 2014, $115,865 in 2013, and $60,449 in 2012, according to the clinic’s tax filings. [19], [20]

The Energy & Environment Legal Institute also received funding from the coal company. For example, The Wall Street Journal reported a $10,000 donation to E&E Legal in 2014. E&E Legal’s executive director, Craig Richardson, told the Journal the contribution was for “general support.” [19][20]

Huffington Post notes that the exposure of Horner’s financial ties to coal companies is significant because he is a regular guest on Fox News Channel, which identifies him by his affiliation with CEI or E&E Legal but not by his connection to the coal industry. [19]

Stance on Climate Change

“Given that the atmosphere inarguably shows no appreciable warming in the 25-year history of satellite and radiosonde measurements (initiated in response to the cooling panic), to assert that runaway global warming is as real as President Bush's re-election is an absurd proposition.” [2]

Key Quotes

“Pluto's warm-up is a reminder that no matter where you are climate happens. It always has, it always will – with or without SUVs. And it should remind us to continue taking with an ever-increasing grain of salt these claims that your car acts as a weather machine.” [3]

Key Deeds

December 12, 2016

Chris Horner was an attendee at a private meeting also attended by Trump's EPA Transition team lead Myron Ebell on Capitol Hill. E&E News reported that the event was not open to the public or to the press and Ebell refused to give any details. The event was hosted by the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) and held in the hearing room of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee. The EPW committee is chaired by Senator James Inhofe who, like Trump, has described human-caused climate change as a hoax. [23]

DeSmog reported that the event featured the “Who's Who of Climate Science Deniers.”  Australian Senator Malcolm Roberts, who spoke at the event, also wrote that the meeting was a gathering of the Cooler Heads Coalition and listed some of the participants on Facebook: [24], [25]

Malcolm Roberts Facebook Post

Names mentioned above included:

DeSmog also noted that three of the attendees—Myron Ebell, Randy Randol, and Steve Milloy—had all been part of the Global Climate Science Communications Team in the late 1990s, a group organized by the American Petroleum Institute. According to an early memo, the group said “victory will be achieved when […] Average citizens 'understand' (recognize) uncertainties in climate science; recognition of uncertainties becomes part of the 'conventional wisdom'.” [26]

October 15, 2015

Chris Horner was paid $18,600 by coal company Alpha Natural Resources, Inc. “before it filed for chapter 11 this summer [2015],” according to the Wall Street Journal's Bankruptcy Beat piece, “Alpha Natural Discloses Payments to Climate Change Skeptic Chris Horner.” [15]

Horner received three payments from Alpha Natural Resources, each for $6,200, through the months of May, June, and July of 2015. [15] The WSJ's report notes that prior to “the recent bankruptcy filing, it wasn’t clear how much Alpha was paying Mr. Horner.” [15]

In an e-mail response to the WSJ, Horner wrote, “As you know, I’m a working attorney … Parties come to me seeking legal assistance. Obviously I can’t discuss that any more than I could if it was you seeking advice.” [15]

June 30 - July 1, 2011

Horner spoke at the Heartland Institute's Sixth International Conference on Climate Change. [4] His presentation was titled “Crony Capitalism and the 'Green Jobs' Charade.”

DeSmogBlog found that 17 of the 43 sponsors of the Heartland Institute’s Sixth International Conference on Climate Change, including the Heartland Institute itself, have collectively received over $46 million from either Scaife Foundations, Koch Foundations, or ExxonMobil and its foundation.

March 8-10, 2009

Horner was a speaker at the Heartland Institute's 2009 International Conference on Climate Change.  The conference is described as “a platform for scientists and policy analysts from around the world who question the theory that global warming is a crisis.” [4]

His presentation was titled “Re-Writing the Roles for Kyoto II: Turning a Treaty into a Congressional-executive Agreement”

DeSmogBlog found that organizations sponsoring the conference had collectively received over $40 million from oil companies and right-wing foundations such as Koch Foundations and Scaife Foundations.

February 27, 2009

Horner accused NASA's chief climate scientist, James Hansen, of “doctor[ing] temperature data on two occasions in 2001 and once in 2007 in attempts to show an impending climate catastrophe.”

Horner stated that Hansen had “clearly abused his platform provided to him by the taxpayer, principally by the way he's been exposed of manipulating and revising data with the strange coincidence of him always found on the side of exaggerating the warming.” [5]


Participated in the “Climate Chains” video along with fellow climate change skeptics Myron Ebell, Marlo Lewis, Patrick Michaels, and Todd Wynn. The video claims that “One of the greatest threats to freedom and prosperity in America is climate change legislation.” The video was organized by the Cascade Policy Institute. [6]

March 2 - 4, 2008

Horner spoke at the Heartland Institute's First International Conference on Climate Change. The purpose of this conference was reported to be to “generate international media attention” on global warming skepticism. [4]

May 2, 2007

Appeared on Glenn Beck's May 2, 2007 special “Exposed: The Climate of Fear.”

July 24, 2002

Horner testified before the Senate Committees on Foreign Relations and Environmental and Public Works on Kyoto Protocol. [27]

Horner argues that “Skipping specific pursuit of the U.S.’ Rio promises, in favor of Kyoto’s binding commitments even greater than those we’ve failed to attain, seems highly illogical.” [27]

He goes on to criticize the Kyoto agreement, claiming that its models “predict an undetectable climatic impact.” [27]

June 4, 2002

Chris Horner wrote CEI’s petition to stop the EPA from sharing the 2002 Climate Action Report, claiming that the EPA’s report is “in violation of the Federal Data Quality Act (‘FDQA’).” [28]

EPA must immediately cease electronic and other dissemination of the “Climate Action Report 2002”, which relies in part on, cites, and further disseminates (see esp. “Chapter 6”), the unacceptable data provided by the National Assessment on climate Change, as defined by OMB and described, supra,” Horner wrote.



Horner has written two books published through Regnery Publishing: Red Hot Lies: How Global Warming Alarmists Use Threats, Fraud and Deception to Keep You Misinformed (2008) and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming and Environmentalism (2007).

According to a search of Google Scholar, Horner has not published any peer-reviewed articles on the subject of climate change.


  1. Christopher C. Horner,” Competitive Enterprise Institute. Accessed January, 2012.

  2. Christopher C. Horner. “Reviving 'Global Warming',” letter in the Washington Times. Republished by the Competitive Enterprise Institute, April 29, 2005.

  3. Marc Morano. “'Alarmist' Global Warming Claims Unfounded Says Climatolgist,, July 14, 2003. Archived March 13, 2008.

  4. Chris Horner,” International Conference on Climate Change, accessed January, 2012.

  5. NASA's Chief Climate Scientist Stirs Controversy With Call for Civil Disobedience,”, February 27, 2009.

  6. About the Experts,” Archived April 1, 2010.

  7. Court Orders University of Virginia to Produce Documents of Dr. Michael Mann” (Press Release), American Tradition Institute, May 25, 2011.

  8. ExxonSecrets Factsheet: Christopher C. Horner.

  9. Contributors,” Accessed January, 2012.

  10. Christopher C. Horner,” Tech Central Station. Archived February 8, 2005.

  11. Christopher C. Horner,” Profile at the National Center for Policy Analysis. Accessed January, 2011.

  12. Executive,” European Enterprise Institute. Archived January 6, 2009.

  13. Chris Horner,” SourceWatch Profile.

  14. Senior Leadership,” Energy and Environment Legal Institute (formerly American Tradition Institute). Accessed April 28, 2014.

  15. Alpha Natural Discloses Payments to Climate Change Skeptic Chris Horner,“ Wall Street Journal, October 15, 2015. Archived November 4, 2015.

  16. Lee Fang. “Coal Mining CEO Defends Financing Harassment of Climate Scientists,” The Intercept. September 30, 2015. Archived .pdf on file at DesmogBlog.

  17. In re: Alpha Natural Resources, Inc. Et Al., Debtors” (PDF), Case No. 15-33896 (KRH). Archived .pdf on file at DeSmogBlog.

  18. Nick Surgey. “Lawyer Tormenting Scientists Revealed Working For Coal Company,” PR Watch, March 18, 2016. Archived March 18, 2016. WebCite URL

  19. Elliott Negin. “Coal Companies’ Secret Funding of Climate Science Denial Exposed,” Huffington Post, April 12, 2016. Archived April 18, 2016. WebCite URL

  20. Patrick Fitzgerald. “Arch Coal Made $10,000 Gift to Energy & Environment Legal,” The Wall Street Journal, May 11, 2016. Archived April 18, 2016. WebCite URL

  21. Patrick Fitzgerald. “Alpha Natural Discloses Payments to Climate Change Skeptic Chris Horner,” The Wall Street Journal, October 15, 2015. Archived April 18, 2016. WebCite URL

  22. Our Leadership,” Frontiers of Freedom. Archived June 8, 2003. URL

  23. George Cahlink. “Trump EPA adviser Myron Ebell meets with Hill aides,” E&E News, December 12, 2016.

  24. Graham Readfearn. “Donald Trump’s Aide at EPA Myron Ebell Meets with Who’s Who of Climate Science Deniers,” DeSmog, December 13, 2016.

  25. Yesterday I spoke at an event for the Competitive Enterprise Institute called Cooler Heads Coalition in Washington. […]” Facebook post by Malcolm Roberts - QLD Senate - One Nation, December 13 at 6:38 pm. Archived image on file at DeSmog.

  26. Global Climate Science Communications Plan (1998),” SourceWatch.


  28. Chris Horner. “CEI's Petition To EPA To Cease Dissemination Of Climate Action Report,” Competitive Enterprise Institute, June 4, 2002. Archived October 9, 2002. URL