CO2 Coalition

CO2 Coalition

Background

The CO2 Coalition was established in 2015 from the remains of the now-defunct George C. Marshall Institute (GMI) and registered as a 501(c)(3) organization for the purpose of “educating thought leaders, policy makers, and the public about the important contribution made by carbon dioxide and fossil fuels to our lives and the economy.” [1], [2]

The GMI shut down in September/October of 2015. A GMI press release noted the group's national security research would be transferred to the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), while it is apparent that the CO2 Coalition would take over Marshall's “work on energy and climate change.” [3][4]

The CO2 Coalition's tag line is “Carbon dioxide, a nutrient vital for life,” and it appears to share many of the views put forward by Craig Idso's Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change (Co2science.org). Craig Idso is notably listed on the CO2 Coalition's Board of Directors. [1]

“The CO2 Coalition seeks to engage thought leaders, policy makers, and the public in an informed and dispassionate discussion about the important contribution made by carbon dioxide and fossil fuels. We seek to shift the debate from the unjustified criticism of CO2 and fossil fuels to one based on a solid scientific foundation. Any discussion of climate change needs to address the extent of our knowledge of the climate system, well-established uncertainties, the limitations of climate models, and the consequences of mandated reductions in CO2 emissions,” the CO2 Coalition's homepage states[1]

In December of 2015, coalition director William Happer was implicated in a Greenpeace investigation where activists posed as consultants for a Middle Eastern energy company and asked Happer and Frank Clemente, an emeritus sociology professor at Pennsylvania State University, to author reports on the benefits of coal and carbon dioxide emissions, which the professors agreed to do. [5]

The Mercer Family Foundation was a top donor to the CO2 Coalition in 2016 with a $150,000 donation. The Foundation is run by by Rebekah Mercer, the daughter of hedge fund manager Robert Mercer, and has funnelled millions of dollars to conservative causes and climate change denial groups. [42]

Stance on Climate Change

2017
According to the CO2 Coalition's website, under a section titled “CO2 Fundamentals,” they declare: [6]
“The debate about global warming and climate change has shifted from genuine scientific exploration to a campaign demonizing CO2. The use of energy, the primary source of human CO2 emissions, have played an essential role in the economic progress and improved standard of living that has been experienced in many nations since the Industrial Revolution. ” [6]
The CO2 Coalition outlines its mission as to “demonstrate with science based facts” the following: [6]
CO2 is a nutrient that is essential to life. CO2 at current levels and higher enables plants, trees, and crops to grow faster and more efficiently. It is essential for life. 
 
“Just as we require oxygen for life, our economy requires energy, often described as the oxygen or lifeblood of the economy. Energy must be abundant, reliable, and reasonably priced for an economy to achieve robust and sustained growth.” [6]
The CO2 Coalition also makes the claim that “Current CO2 levels of 400 ppm are still much less than optimum for most plant growth.” With regards to planetary warming due to greenhouse gases, they contend that increasing CO2 would be “beneficial.” [6]
“Increasing levels of the greenhouse gas CO2 from fuel combustion will slightly increase the surface temperature of the earth. Observations indicate that every doubling of the CO2 concentration will increase the earth’s surface temperature by 1 to 2 C, and perhaps less. The warming is so small that the resulting longer growing seasons and increased plant productivity from additional CO2 will of great benefit to life on earth.” [6]
April 8, 2016
 
According to Norman Rogers, Senior Policy Advisor to the Heartland Institute and member of the CO2 Coalition's Board of Advisors, “Global warming is an example of junk science where there is a kernel of scientific truth that has been abused and beaten into a junk science edifice supporting huge money flows. ” [7]

Funding

The following is based on data collected from publicly available 990 forms. View the attached spreadsheet for additional information on the CO2 Coalition's funding by year (.xlsx).

Donor Organizations

Year
Donor 2004 2006 2007 2008 2009 2011 2012 2013 2015 2016 2017 Grand Total
Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation $30,000 $70,000 $70,000 $70,000 $70,000 $40,000 $70,000 $420,000
George C. Marshall Institute $364,985 $364,985
Mercer Family Foundation $150,000 $170,000 $320,000
Sarah Scaife Foundation $132,000 $135,000 $267,000
Charles G Koch Charitable Foundation $75,000 $125,000 $9,126 $209,126
Thomas W Smith Foundation $50,000 $75,000 $125,000
Searle Freedom Trust $50,000 $75,000 $125,000
The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation $50,000 $50,000 $100,000
Achelis and Bodman Foundations $50,000 $50,000
Charles Koch Institute $13,126 $33,283 $46,409
The Randolph Foundation $40,000 $40,000
Science and Environmental Policy Project $25,000 $25,000
EOG Resources $5,000 $5,000
Grand Total $30,000 $70,000 $70,000 $70,000 $70,000 $40,000 $70,000 $75,000 $514,985 $504,252 $583,283 $2,097,520

Individual Donors

Year
Donor 2016 2017 Grand Total
Norman Rogers $15,000 $15,000
Jeanne McWilliams Blasberg $10,000 $10,000
Roger Cohen $10,000 $10,000
Bruce Everett $5,000 $5,000
Stewart Leighton $5,000 $5,000
William Happer $3,000 $3,000
Grand Total $13,000 $35,000 $48,000

2017 Donors List

First mentioned at The Washington Post, tax filings obtained by the Climate Investigations Center revealed a number of previously unknown donors in the CO2 Coalition's 2017 990 form. Below is a listing of donors and amounts for 2017: [43], [44]

Donor Total (2017)
Charles Koch Institute $33,283
Lynde & Harry Bradley Foundation $50,000
Mercer Family Foundation $170,000
Sarah Scaife Foundation $135,000
Searle Freedom Trust $75,000
Thomas W. Smith Foundation $75,000
EOG Resources $5,000
Bruce Everett $5,000
Jeanne McWilliams Blasberg $10,000
The Randolph Foundation $40,000
Norman Rogers $15,000
Stewart Leighton $5,000
Grand Total (2017) $618,283

Research Documents

Mercer Funding

The Mercer Family Foundation gave the CO2 Coalition $150,000 in 2016, making them the largest donor to the coalition in that year. As BuzzFeed News noted, the foundation also gave $125,000 to the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change that year, another group questioning the link between climate change and carbon dioxide emissions. The CO2 Coalition received another $170,000 from the Mercer Family Foundation in 2017, according to the CO2 Coalition's most recent 990. [42][44]

Koch Funding

GreenPeace USA compiled data, totalling funding from Koch-related foundations for for the George Marshall Institute, now the CO2 Coalition, at $620,000 since 2004: [37]

Year Charles Koch Foundation Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation Grand Total
2004 $30,000 $30,000
2006 $70,000 $70,000
2007 $70,000 $70,000
2008 $70,000 $70,000
2009 $70,000 $70,000
2011 $40,000 $40,000
2012 $70,000 $70,000
2013 $75,000 $75,000
2015 $125,000 $125,000
Grand Total $200,000 $420,000 $620,000

Key People

Executive Director

Caleb Rositer is the executive director of the CO2 Coalition. He is a professor and consultant with a background in international policy. In 2014, it was reported that Rossiter’s Associate Fellowship at the Institute for Policy Studies was terminated after he published an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal in which he referred to the scientific consensus on climate change as “unproven.” He is also a fellow at the Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF). [51], [52]

Founders

Listed in 2019 :[51]

  • Rodney Nichols
  • Roger Cohen
  • Will Happer

Board of Directors

Name 2015[1] 2016[8] 2017[9] 2018 2019 Description
Bruce Everett Y Y Y Y Faculty, Tufts University’s Fletcher School; over forty years of experience in the international energy industry.
Craig Idso Y Y Founder, Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change; member American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Geophysical Union, and the American Meteorological Society.
Gordon Fulks Y Y
H. Leighton Steward Y Y Y Y Y Geologist, former Chairman, Louisiana Land and Exploration Company; chair, Institute for the Study of Earth and Man Southern Methodist University, author.
Harrison Schmitt Y Y Y Y Y Geologist, astronaut and last man to walk the moon (Apollo 17), adjunct professor physics University of Wisconsin-Madison, and former U.S. Senator from New Mexico.
Jan Breslow Y Y
Jeffrey Salmon Y
Norman Rogers Y Y Y Founder of Rabbit Semiconductor company; policy advisor to The Heartland Institute; member of the American Geophysical Union and the American Meteorological Society.
Patrick Moore (Chair) Y Y Y Y Y Co-founder and 15-year leader of Greenpeace (1971-1986). Chairman and Chief Scientist, Ecosense Environmental. Leader, Campaign to Allow Golden Rice Now.
Richard Lindzen Y Y Emeritus Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology, member National Academy of Sciences, fellow of the American Meteorological Society and American Association for the Advancement of Science, author of 200 scientific articles and books.
Rodney Nichols Y Y Y Y Former Chief Executive Officer of the New York Academy of Sciences; Scholar-in-Residence at the Carnegie Corporation of New York, former Executive Vice President Rockefeller University.
Roger Cohen Y Y Y Fellow of the American Physical Society; former Manager Strategic Planning ExxonMobil Research and Engineering.
Will Happer Y Y Y Y Cyrus Fogg Brackett Professor of Physics (emeritus) Princeton University, former Director Office of Energy Research Director of Research, U.S. Department of Energy, co-founder Magnetic Imaging Technologies.
William O'Keefe Y CEO George C. Marshall Institute; former Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer American Petroleum Institute.

Advisory Committee

Name 2015[1] 2016[8] 2017[9] Description
Bruce Everett Y Faculty, Tufts University’s Fletcher School; over forty years of experience in the international energy industry.
Craig Idso Y Founder, Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change; member American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Geophysical Union, and the American Meteorological Society.
Jan Breslow Y Y Senior Attending Physician, Frederick Henry Leonhardt Professor, Laboratory of Biochemical Genetics and Metabolism, Rockefeller University.
Kathleen Hartnett-White Y Y Y Distinguished fellow and director of the Armstrong Center for Energy and the Environment, Texas Public Policy Foundation, former chair Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
Larry Bell Y Y Y Professor University of Houston, established the research program in space architecture, author of Climate of Corruption: Politics and Power Behind the Global Warming Hoax.
Lorraine Yapps Cohen Y Y Y Former communications & marketing manager ExxonMobil, columnist Examiner newspapers.
Mark Mills Y Y Y Senior fellow Manhattan Institute, CEO Digital Power Group, a tech-centric capital advisory group, faculty Fellow McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science at Northwestern University.
Norman Rogers Y Y Founder of Rabbit Semiconductor company; policy advisor to The Heartland Institute; member of the American Geophysical Union and the American Meteorological Society.
Pat Michaels Y Y Y Director of the Center for the Study of Science, Cato Institute, past president American Association of State Climatologists, former Virginia state climatologist, program chair American Meteorological Society.
Richard Lindzen Y Y Emeritus Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology, member National Academy of Sciences, fellow of the American Meteorological Society and American Association for the Advancement of Science, author of 200 scientific articles and books.
Roy Spencer Y Y Y Principal Research Scientist at the University of Alabama Huntsville; served as Senior Scientist for Climate Studies at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center; co-developer of satellite temperature measurement system.
Edward M. Bohn Y Co-founder and first president of Tempress Technologies, Inc., former Director for Planning and New Business Ventures for the TRW Space and Defense Group; former nuclear reactor research scientist at Argonne National Laboratory
Gordon Fulks Y University of Chicago Laboratory for Astrophysics, Mission Research Corporation, Corbett, Oregon.
Wallace Manheimer Y Naval Research Laboratory, Plasma Physics Division (retired).

Coalition Members

Name 2017[9] 2018 2019
Alex Miller Y Y
Amanda Gunasekara Y
Caleb Rossiter Y Y
Charles Hohenberg Y Y
Craig Idso Y Y
D. Weston Allen Y Y
Daniel Botkin Y
David Burton Y Y
David L. Debertin Y Y
Don Easterbrook Y Y Y
Edward Bohn Y Y
Fred P. Rumak Y Y
Gene McCall Y Y
Gordon Fulks Y
Howard Thomas Brady Y Y
Hugh Kendrick Y Y Y
James Podruski Y
Jim Hollingsworth Y Y
Jim Steele Y Y
John Droz Y
John Moore Y Y
John P. Neafsey Y
John Parmentola Y
Kathleen Hartnett-White Y Y
Ken Billman Y Y
Kenneth Christie Young Y
Larry Bell Y
Lars Schernikau Y Y
Leslie P. Eastman Y Y
Lorraine Yapps Cohen Y Y
Mark Mills Y Y
Martin Fricke Y Y Y
Neil Frank Y Y
Patrick J. Michaels Y Y
Payne Kilbourn Y Y
Richard Lindzen Y
Roy Buchanan Y Y Y
Roy Spencer Y Y
Rupert Darwall Y Y
Samit K. Bhattacharyya Y Y Y
Todd Kiefer Y Y
Trueman Parish Y Y Y
Wallace Manheimer Y Y
Walter Cunningham Y Y
William D. Stewart Y
William Hayden Smith Y Y

Actions

May 9, 2019

The CO2 Coalition, represented by Caleb Rossiter, signed on to an open letter organized by the American Energy Alliance designed to fight against an electric vehicle tax credit. [48]

The American Energy Alliance has organized a coalition to proclaim in one unified voice that there should be no expansion of the misguided electric vehicle tax credit,” Thomas Pyle wrote in a statement, quoted at The Daily Caller. There is no question that the electric vehicle tax credit distorts the auto market to no gain.” [49]

According to Pyle and others who signed the letter, electric vehicle tax credits “overwhelmingly benefit the rich.” DeSmog's Koch vs. Clean project has systematically debunked this, among other well-rehearsed talking points and misinformation put forward by industry about electric vehicles. [49]

The letter cites research by the Pacific Research Institute (PRI), a group that has received over $600,000 from ExxonMobil and millions from “dark money” groups DonorsTrust and Donors Capital Fund

May 6, 2019

The CO2 Coalition announced that Patrick Moore became Chairman of the Board. In a press release, the organization announced Moore’s new role by stating: [50]

The new leadership will educate the public about the benefits of carbon dioxide, the main building block of life on Earth. They will explain how the increase in CO2 in the atmosphere from human emissions is spurring increased growth of crops, forests and plants. They will also focus on discussing how CO2 is also a very weak greenhouse gas that may have the added benefit of slight warming of the climate.They will highlight the U.S. government data showing that the modest warming, even if caused in part by industrial CO2 has resulted in no increase in extreme weather such as hurricanes and droughts or changes in the rate of sea-level rise.” [50]

Commenting on his new leadership role, Moore said: [50]

“We aim to position the CO2 Coalition as the go-to source for information on the benefits of CO2 for the environment and civilization. Human CO2 emissions are causing a greening of the Earth, which will increase agricultural and forestry production, as well as increasing the fertility and abundance of global ecosystems.” [50]

Caleb Rossiter was also announced as the organization's new Executive Director, in charge of daily operations. [50]

May 1, 2019

The CO2 Coalition, represented by Craig Idso and Caleb Rossiter, held a briefing in Washington D.C. at the Capitol Visitor Center to present findings from a report titled “What Rising CO2 Means for Global Food Security.” [46]

The Coalition’s report described carbon dioxide as “a non-polluting, non-toxic gas” and “a powerful plant food.” [46]

The briefing suggested increasing levels of atmospheric CO2 would result in higher crop yields:

The CO2 added to the air has already ‘greened’ the planet: since 1900, it has increased crop production on the order of 15 to 30 percent, and satellite imagery shows that deserts are even shrinking in places as new plants encroach on their edges. […] this effect will only improve as carbon dioxide continues to rise from four one-hundredths of one percent of the atmosphere today to, perhaps, six one-hundredths of one percent in 50 years.” [46]

Rossiter also revealed that the organization would be targeting their message at first- and second-term members of Congress who haven’t made up their minds about climate change. “They’re up for grabs,” he said. [47]

Lawmakers in attendance included Sens. Roger Wicker (R–Miss.), Jim Inhofe (R–Okla.), Maria Cantwell (D–Wash.) and Rep. Gary Palmer (R–Ala.). [47]

February 25, 2019

The CO2 Coalition released a white paper titled “What Rising CO2 Means for Global Food Security” that claimed rising CO2 levels were “non-polluting” “plant food” and a boon for global agriculture. The paper was prepared by Craig Idso. [45]

The paper’s executive summary credits CO2 with “greening” the planet, an effect that:

[W]ill only improve as carbon dioxide continues to rise from four percent of one percent of the atmosphere today to, perhaps, six percent of one percent in 50 years.” [45]

May 8, 2018

A set of documents released to the Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDCas part of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request revealed details of EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt's plan to engage in a “red team, blue team” expertise on climate change. The documents showed communications between the EPA and a number of corporate-funded conservative think tanks with views that run counter to established science on climate change including the Heartland Institute, the Manhattan Institute, and the CO2 Coalition. [41]

The documents show the extent to which the E.P.A., which is the main federal agency charged with protecting human health and the environment, worked with groups like the Heartland Institute, which holds positions on climate change that are far outside the mainstream of scientific opinion, as opposed to the agency’s own chief scientists,” The New York Times reported.[41]

The emails also suggest that the EPA's Office of Research and Development, which normally does most of the science work of the Agency, was not active in the discussions.  In one email, a program analyst in the office, Christina Moody, wrote: “We are not involved. The Administrator is the one who wants to do this and I’m guessing his folks are putting it together.” [41]

Rodney W. Nichols, a consultant to the pro-carbon CO2 Coalition, wrote to Pruitt’s senior adviser for public affairs: [41]

The ‘Red Team’ idea is superb. We will be glad to help the initiative in any way we can,” Nichols said.

In a later email, Mark Carr, another consultant for the CO2 Coalition, wrote to Pruitt’s chief of staff, Ryan Jackson: [41]

I’m following up on face-to-face conversations my CO2 Coalition colleagues and I have had with Administrator Pruitt,” Mr. Carr wrote. “As you likely know, our experts are strongly supporting and helping organize the Red/Blue team initiative.” [41]

May 8, 2017

The CO2 Coalition, represented by William Happer, is listed on an open letter to President Donald J. Trump urging him “to withdraw fully from the Paris Climate Treaty and to stop all taxpayer funding of UN global warming programs.” [38]

DeSmog reported that the 40 groups represented in the letter, including the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), The Heartland Institute, and the Heritage Foundation, have received a combined total of millions of dollars from the Koch Brothers, ExxonMobil, and other industry groups. [39]

Analysis also showed that the groups accepted about $80 million through Donors Capital Fund and Donors Trust, two groups that have been confirmed is a key financial source for key U.S-based climate change denial groups. [40]

February 24, 2017

The CO2 Coalition sponsored a discussion at the 2017 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) moderated by Tony Heller/Steven Goddard and including speakers Kathleen Hartnett-White and Craig Idso of the CO2 Coalition. View video of the event at the Energy & Environment Legal Institute's Facebook page[36]

Craig Idso of the CO2 Coalition talked about “the biological benefits of atmospheric CO2 enrichment: [36]

The positive impacts of atmospheric CO2 enrichment remain largely under-appreciated or ignored in the debate over what to do or not do about rising CO2 concentrations in the future,” Idso said. In conclusion, Idso added that “Atmospheric CO2 is not a pollutant; it is, in fact, the very elixir of life.” [36]

October 31, 2016

Rodney W. Nichols and Harrison H. Schmitt of the Co2 Coalition co-published an article in The Wall Street Journal titled “The Phony War Against CO2.” [10]

Nichols and Schmitt argued that “a myth persists that is both unscientific and immoral to perpetuate: that the beneficial gas carbon dioxide ranks among hazardous pollutants. It does not.” The two then link to the CO2 Coalition's website: [10]

“[O]bservations, such as those on our CO2 Coalition website, show that increased CO2 levels over the next century will cause modest and beneficial warming—perhaps as much as one degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit)—and that this will be an even larger benefit to agriculture than it is now. The costs of emissions regulations, which will be paid by everyone, will be punishingly high and will provide no benefits to most people anywhere in the world.” [10]

Six scientists analyzed Nichols' and Schmitt's article at Climate Feedback, noting that rather than referring to published scientific research to support their views, the two authors rely heavily on information published by the CO2 Coalition to argue that CO2 emissions are beneficial. Overall feedback from the reviewers is reposted below: [11]

William Anderegg, Associate Professor, University of Utah:
“The opinion article makes sweeping assertions that are not in line with the scientific understanding. The conclusions on CO2 uniformly benefiting agriculture are simply misleading—yes, CO2 can help plants but higher temperatures and more drought and pests with climate change also hurt plants.” [11]

Timothy Osborn, Professor of Climate Science, University of East Anglia:
“The article presents a biased view by understating the degree and impacts of global warming while overstating or simplifying the benefits of CO2 fertilisation.” [11]

James Renwick, Professor, Victoria University of Wellington:
“The article is full of half-truths, untruths, and red herrings. Casting increased CO2 as a benefit to humankind, without considering the impacts and risks associated with a changing climate, is dangerous and irresponsible.” [11]

Lauren Simkins, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Rice University:
“The lack of distinction between the role of solid particulates and greenhouse gases in the atmosphere makes many of the authors’ claims false and misleading. The article does not present a complete or accurate discussion of climate change, its causes, and its societal influence. The authors state that readers should ‘check the facts’ regarding climate change, but have presented us with little scientific support for their own claims.” [11]

Victor Venema, Scientist, University of Bonn, Germany:
“This has nothing to do with science.” [11]

October 4, 2016

The CO2 Coalition attended the State Policy Network's annual conference, where they had an informational booth. [12]

October 20, 2016

The CO2 Coalition released a series of YouTube ads promoting the supposed benefits of CO2. View videos below. [13]

March 29, 2016

The CO2 Coalition and The New Criterion held a joint conference in New York City titled “The Climate Surprise: Why CO2 is Good for the Earth.” [14]

The conference “challenged the supposedly 'settled science' on climate change and purported detrimental effects of increasing levels of carbon dioxide,” according to the event description. [14]

It added that “Members of the CO2 Coalition and many other experts argue that carbon dioxide enrichment of the atmosphere provides manifold benefits for humanity. And observed surface warmings are much smaller than predicted by climate models.  Economic models that fail to include the benefits  of CO2 and the serious exaggerations of climate models  and are being used to advocate “cures” that are much worse than the non-existent disease.” [14]

Featured speakers included the following: [14]

Videos below from The New Criterion YouTube page:

February 15, 2016

William Happer and Rodney Nichols of the CO2 Coalition published an Op-Ed in the New York Post titled “The Supreme Court sided with science against Obama.” [15]

EcoWatch reported on Happer/Nichols's Op-Ed, saying “The piece itself touts a few classic denier myths, from CO2 being good, to the existence of a global warming pause, to the letter penned by '300 experts' accusing National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of cooking the books on climate change.” [16]

EcoWatch also posed the question, given the Greenpeace exposure of Happer's willingness to accept funding from fossil fuel companies: “Did someone pay Happer for this particular piece of pro-CO2 propaganda published in the Post?” [16]

February 22, 2016

The CO2 Coalition released a white paper titled “A Prime on Carbon Dioxide and Climate” (PDF). According to the CO2 Coalition's summary of the white paper, they “summarized the scientific case that additional CO2 will be a net benefit for the world.” [17], [18]

“[W]e are persuaded that the net effects of increasing CO2 will be very good for the world, and especially for its human population,” the description reads. [17]

The paper's full conclusion read as follows: [18]

“Empirical data on global warming and carbon dioxide lead to an optimistic outlook for the Earth and its inhabitants. People everywhere can look forward to a greener, lusher, slightly warmer planet. More food can be grown while using less land to do so. Longer growing seasons are likely, and insecurity about hunger will decline. 

“Hundreds of millions of desperately poor people stand on the cusp of benefitting from the same advances in prosperity that affluent nations have already achieved. Moral and economic justifications intersect to argue that the available, reliable, and inexpensive sources of energy be used to foster development and modernized on across the globe. Yes, there will be mild climate change, and it will benefit the world.” [18]

December, 2015

In an undercover investigation by Greenpeace, the CO2 Coalition's Will Happer described how he uses the CO2 Coalition to secretively funnel money paid for research on behalf of fossil fuel interests. [5]

When undercover Greenpeace reporters approached Happer to write a report promoting carbon dioxide for a fictional oil company in the Middle East, Happer told reporters that he would be willing to do the research for $250 per hour. He asked that the funds be paid to the CO2 Coalition, instead of him directly. [5]

When asked to ensure that the commissioning of the report could not be traced back to the Middle East oil and gas company, Professor Happer contacted fellow CO2 Coalition board member, Bill O’Keefe, explaining: “I am trying get [sic] another mysterious client to donate funds to the CO2 Coalition instead of compensating me for my writing something for them.” [5]

To further conceal the funds, O'Keefe recommended channeling them through DonorsTrust, a group that has been described as the “Dark Money ATM” of the conservative movement in the U.S. [19]

October 19, 2015

The CO2 Coalition released a white paper titled “Carbon Dioxide Benefits the World: See for Yourself” (PDF) where they summarize the views of their fledgling organization. According to the Coalition, “Claims that '97 percent of scientists' agree that a climate catastrophe is looming because of the emission of CO2 should be greeted with skepticism. ” [20], [21]

“As CO2 levels continue to rise, the Earth will grow greener and agricultural yields will continue to increase, with additional contributions from better varieties, improved cropping practices, more efficient use of fertilizer, and other factors,” the paper predicts. [20]

Breitbart News interviewed the paper's author, William Happer, who provided an explanation for the lack of footnotes: [22]

“Carbon Dioxide Benefits the World: See for Yourself is meant to be a conversation-starter. Happer and Nichols stressed that they wanted to take a non-confrontational approach with copious footnotes and supporting sources, inviting readers to perform their own research and gain a fuller understanding of CO2 and its benefits.” [22]

September 3, 2015

Patrick Moore, listing himself as a director of the CO2 Coalition in his signature, wrote an article in the opinion pages of Wall Street Journal  titled “Obama’s Half-Baked Alaska” where he suggested that there is no need to be worried about glacial ice receding because it has happened in the past. [23]

“All of this happened long before human emissions of greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide, could have had any impact,” Moore writes. “There is no reason to believe that those factors have suddenly disappeared and now humans are the all-powerful shapers of global climate destiny. Yet this entirely unproven hypothesis of catastrophe is compelling to those who would control our beliefs.” [23]

He continued, stating that “carbon dioxide is essential for all life on Earth, that plants could use a lot more of it, and that the real threat is a cooling of the climate, not the slight warming that has occurred over the past 300 years.” [23]

According to SkepticalScience, the argument that Arctic icemelt is a natural cycle is a climate myth, just as is the idea that CO2 is “plant food.” [24], [25]

July 28, 2015

The CO2 Coalition's first blog post, titled “Clean Power Plant Regulation: Check the Facts,” criticized stricter power plant regulations put forth by President Obama to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. [26]

The Coalition disputeed the EPA's claims that the tighter regulations would offer health benefits, including a reduction in premature deaths and the incidence of asthma attacks. [26]

According to the Coalition statement, “there has been growing evidence that the increase in CO2 has resulted in a greening of planet.  This is clearly shown in satellite photos.  Higher levels of atmospheric CO2 stimulate plant and crop growth and allow them to use water more efficiently.  Today’s level of 400 ppm is not unusually high in geologic history where it is estimated to have been as high as 7500 ppm.” [26]

They concluded, “A realistic and hardheaded look at the facts leads to the conclusion that the Clean Power Plant rule will do nothing to affect the climate but will impose large and unnecessary costs on the economy and consumers.” [26]

The above statements reiterate a number of common arguments put forward by climate change skeptics, all of which have been listed and described in detail at SkepticalScience.com. Those arguments include that “CO2 is not a pollutant,” that “CO2 is Plant food,” and that “CO2 was higher in the past.” [27], [25], [28]

May 11, 2015

According to publicly available tax records accessed at the Economic Research Institute, the CO2 Coalition,  EIN 473722575, registered with the IRS in May of 2015.[29]

The above WHOIS lookup for Co2Coalition.org listed that the domain was registered on May 11, 2015 and hosted on the IP Address  23.229.171.137. The registrant is Domains By Proxy — a service that conceals the identity of the actual registrant. [30]

March 25, 2015

According to a post from Patrick Moore's Twitter account (see below), the CO2 Coalition was behind an open letter to Museums of Science and Natural History that was promoted at the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change (CO2 Science)[31]

The Coalition's letter claimed that abandoning fossil fuels “would not help the environment but would likely harm it.” [31]

“The idea that the world can or should abandon fossil fuels is deeply wrong-headed, not just from a scientific perspective, but also from a humanitarian perspective,” The CO2 Coalition's letter responds. [31]

The letter responded to another recent public letter, titled “To the Museums of Science and Natural History,” which urged museums to cut their ties to the fossil fuel industry. [32]

Related Organizations

Contact & Address

According to publicly available tax records from the Economic Research Institute (ERI), the address for the CO2 Coalition is: [29]

CO2 Coalition Inc.
1601 N Kent St. STE 802
Alington,  VA  22209-2105
William F. O'Keefe was Chief Executive Officer (CEOof the George C. Marshall Institute, former Treasurer/Secretary of the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), and COO of the American Petroleum Institute (API). [33]
The above address for the CO2 Coalition is identical to that of the George C. Marshall Institute. The CO2 Coalition also registered with the Virginia SCC as a Corporation on May 6, 2015 with the ID 07899891. [34][35]

Resources

  1. About,” Co2 Coalition. Archived September 4, 2015. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/Xo0M9

  2. About,”CO2 Coalition. Archived February 15, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/OU6jy

  3. Gayathri Vaidyanathan. “ADVOCACY:Think tank that cast doubt on climate change science morphs into smaller one,” ClimateWire, December 10, 2015. Archived February 26, 2016. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/fTPko

  4. (Press Release). “CSIS Announces Marshall Program on Science and National Security,” George C. Marshall Institute, October 28, 2015. Archived February 26, 2016. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/H5fo1

  5. Lawrence Carter and Maeve McClenaghan. “Exposed: Academics-for-hire agree not to disclose fossil fuel funding,” EnergyDesk, December 8, 2015. Archived February 26, 2016. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/X1SDK

  6. CO2 Fundamentals,” CO2 Coalition. Archived February 15, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/WNNlH

  7. Norman Rogers. “Fighting Junk Science,” American Thinker, April 8, 2016. Archived April 13, 2016. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/vHM4k

  8. About,” Co2 Coalition. Archived April 14, 2016. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/prO0a

  9. Members of the CO2 Coalition,” CO2 Coalition. Archived February 15, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/KpXJk

  10. Rodney W. Nichols and Harrison H. Schmitt. “The Phony War Against CO2,” The Wall Street Journal, October 31, 2016. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/s1SbB

  11. Analysis of 'The Phony War Against CO2',” Climate Feedback. Archived November 4, 2016. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/yfbe4

  12. If you're at the State Policy Network's annual conference stop by and say hello!,” Facebook Post by CO2 Coalition, October 4, 2016. Archived February 16, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/9fQZY

  13. CO2 Coalition Ads,” YouTube playlist uploaded by user CO2 Coalition, October 20, 2016. Archived .mp4s on file at DeSmog.

  14. The Climate Surprise: Why CO2 is Good for the Earth,” CO2 Coalition, April 25, 2016. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmogBlog.

  15. Will Happer and Rod Nichols. “The Supreme Court sided with science against Obama,” New York Post, February 15, 2016. Archived April 13, 2016. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/1A5xQ

  16. Why Would the New York Post Plug Climate Denier Profiteers?EcoWatch, February 19, 2016. Archived April 13, 2016. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/J0j9G

  17. “A Primer on Carbon Dioxide and Climate” (PDF), CO2 Coalition, February 22, 2016. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

  18. “A Primer on Carbon Dioxide and Climate,” CO2 Coalition, February 22, 2016. Archived February 15, 2017. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/hrfmE

  19. Andy Kroll. “Exposed: The Dark-Money ATM of the Conservative Movement,” Mother Jones, February 5, 2013. Archived July 24, 2015. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/dP34U

  20. “Carbon Dioxide Benefits the World: See for Yourself” (PDF), Co2 Coalition, October 2015. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmogBlog.

  21. Carbon Dioxide Benefits the World: See for Yourself,” Co2Coalition.org. Archived April 13, 2016. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/z0UUJ

  22. Carbon Dioxide Is not our Enemy,” Breitbart, December 4, 2015. Archived April 13, 2016. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/aONnm

  23. Patrick Moore. “Obama’s Half-Baked Alaska,” Wall Street Journal, September 3, 2015.

  24. Human activity is driving retreat of Arctic sea ice,” SkepticalScience. Accessed February 16, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/7BV1k

  25. Plants cannot live on CO2 alone,” SkepticalScience. Accessed February 16, 2017. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/qnQdO

  26. Clean Power Plant Regulation: Check the Facts,CO2 Coalition, July 28, 2015. Archived September 6, 2015.  Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/MUSwH

  27. Is CO2 a pollutant?SkepticalScience. Accessed February 16, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/vu9Mh

  28. Do high levels of CO2 in the past contradict the warming effect of CO2?SkepticalScience. Accessed February 16, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/IjOYX

  29. CO2 COALITION INC,” Economic Research Institute. Archived February 14, 2017. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/PtaTa

  30. Whois Record for Co2Coalition.org,” DomainTools. Accessed February 4, 2017. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/DtJ17

  31. TO THE MUSEUMS OF SCIENCE AND NATURAL HISTORY” – AN OPEN RESPONSE,” CO2 Science, April 16, 2015. Archived September 9, 2015. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/KDxLu

  32. An Open Letter to Museums from Members of the Scientific Community,” The Natural History Museum, March 24, 2015. Archived September 9, 2015. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/pUNlf

  33. Board Members,” George C. Marshall Institute. Archived September 6, 2015. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/VqpSY

  34. About the George C. Marshall Institute,” George C. Marshall Institute. Archived September 6, 2015. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/hC2bT

  35. CO2 Coalition, Inc.” Commonwealth of Virginia State Corporation Commission. Archived September 6, 2015. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/NdBA3

  36. LIVE from Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) When Politics Meets Climate Forecasting with Tony Heller, Kathleen Hartnett White, and Craig Idso,” Facebook post by Energy & Environment Legal Institute, February 24, 2017. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.

  37. George C. Marshall Institute (disbanded – now the CO2 Coalition): Koch Industries Climate Denial Front Group,” Greenpeace USA. Archived March 13, 2017. Archive.is  URLhttps://archive.is/MTUjW

  38. “Dear Mr. President” (PDF), retrieved from Competitive Enterprise Institute. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

  39. Graham Readfearn. “Conservative Groups Pushing Trump To Exit Paris Climate Deal Have Taken Millions From Koch Brothers, Exxon,” DeSmog, May 10, 2017.

  40. Susanne Goldberg. “Conservative groups spend up to $1bn a year to fight action on climate change,” The Guardian, December 20, 2013. Archived May 12, 2017. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/TB2yy

  41. Pruitt’s Plan for Climate Change Debates: Ask Conservative Think Tanks,” The New York Times, May 8, 2018. Archived May 14, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.li/onsj5

  42. Here’s How Much Money The Mercer Family Donated To Climate Misinformation Groups In 2016,” BuzzFeed News, January 25, 2018. Archived August 24, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.fo/5NCcu

  43. Juliet Eilperin, Josh Dawsey, and Brady Dennis.”White House to set up panel to counter climate change consensus, officials say,” The Washington Post, February 24, 2019. Archived March 20, 2019. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/2CnwJ

  44. CO2 Coalition 2017 990” (PDF), retrieved from DocumentCloud. Contributed by Climate Investigations Center.

  45. What Rising CO2 Means for Global Food Security,” CO2Coalition.org, February 25, 2019. Archived April 30, 2019. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/DFSXC

  46. May 1 Event: What Rising CO2 Means for Global Food Security,” CO2Coalition.org, April 25, 2019. Archived April 30, 2019. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/apt99

  47. Scott Waldman. “Defenders of CO2 expand presence in Congress,” E&E News, May 2, 2019. Archived May 7, 2019. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

  48. Dear Senator Grassley, Senator Wyden, Representative Neal and Representative Brady:” May 9, 2019. Retrieved from The Daily Caller.

  49. Christ White. “CONSERVATIVES WARN LAWMAKERS: TESLA’S TAX CREDITSOVERWHELMINGLY BENEFIT THE RICH,”The Daily Caller, May 9, 2019. Archived May 9, 2019. Archive.fo URLhttps://archive.fo/qzvF3

  50. Press Release. “Former Greenpeace Leader Dr. Patrick Moore to Chair CO2 Coalition,” StreetInsider.com, May 6, 2019. Archived May 10, 2019. Archive.is URL: http://archive.is/vAb7s. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

  51. ABOUT,” CO2 Coalition. Archived August 5, 2019. Archive.fo URLhttps://archive.fo/1bV8s

  52. Global Warming Witch Hunt Continues With Caleb Rossiter,” Investors Business Daily, June 16, 2014. Archived January 29, 2019. Archive.is URLhttp://archive.is/IV3JY

Other Resources