Craig Rucker

Craig Rucker

Credentials

  • M.P.A., SUNY Albany. [1]

Background

Craig Rucker is the co-founder and executive director of the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT), which was founded in 1985 to “promote a positive voice on environment and development issues.” [1] , [2] 

Rucker's strong belief in the “power of the market combined with the applications of safe technologies,” to “offer humanity practical solutions to many of the world's pressing concerns,” resulted in “a number of leading scientists, academics, and policy leaders” joining Rucker in his CFACT efforts, according to CFACT's “About” page. [2] Those who joined Rucker's CFACT include co-founder David Rothbard, as well as Director of Communications, Marc Morano, and Senior Policy Advisor, Paul Driessen. [1] 

The Committee For a Constructive Tomorrow has received funding from ExxonMobil, Chevron, as well as hundreds of thousands of dollars from foundations associated with Richard Mellon Scaife. In 2011, Craig Rucker received $103,895 from CFACT for his role as executive director, according to 2011 IRS Forms (PDF). [9]

Rucker has decades of experience providing “expertise to a wide range of government, academic, media, and industry forums,” with his written work appearing in media outlets including The Wall Street JournalCNNUSA Today, and the BBC. While at CFACT, Rucker has held the “primary responsibility for helping build CFACT's Collegians program on more than 40 campuses across the country,” and has both attended and brought teams of student delegates to UN conferences in Kyoto, Copenhagen, Cancun, Montreal, and more. [1]

Stance on Climate Change

CFACT is committed to educating the public and exposing global warming for what it truly is — a massive redistribution scheme. This scheme is not designed to strengthen the U.S. economy, but to throttle it down.” [4]

Key Quotes

2015

On the UN climate agreement reached in 2015: [23]

“This agreement will not meaningfully alter the temperature of the Earth, even under the U.N.’s own computer models.
“The bad news is that it plants the seeds of a new UN climate regime that left unchecked will swell into a bureaucratic behemoth.”

2014

CFACT students ventured outside the air conditioned comfort of the conference center yesterday and took to the Cancun streets spelling out, “stop energy poverty now!” and voicing their opposition to a climate treaty loud and clear. It is easy for us to envision the harm a global warming treaty would do to the United States and its allies, but do give thought to the devastating trap it will create for the those who have never had electricity.” [10]
“Renewable energy schemes can no longer be justified by claims that we are rapidly running out of fossil fuels that are causing dangerous man-made global warming. Hydraulic fracturing has obliterated the depletion myth, while climate change fears are belied by a 16-year hiatus from planetary warming, historic lows in hurricane and tornado activity, and the abject failure of CO2-focused climate computer models.” [14]

2013

“President Obama’s alternative strategy of using the EPA and other agencies to wage a backdoor war on carbon energy through misdirection and pretext, robs the people and their elected representatives, who would not support these restrictions voluntarily, of their constitutional prerogatives. Green movement radicals have always been at their core, fundamentally anti-democratic.

“Observational science just isn’t there for global warming extremism. The UK’s Met Office data shows no warming for the past 16 years. NOAA’s data shows any warming there may have been, has been confined to only three quarters of a degree. How much (if any) of that little bit of warming is due to your over the top car driving, air traveling, warm single family home lifestyle is more than debatable.

“What should Washington due about warming? Harken to Hippocrates and 'first, do no harm.' From CFACT’s considered perspective, Washington should find the courage to do nothing.” [15]

Key Deeds

September 13, 2018

Crag Rucker dressed up as Al Gore and led a CFACT march against the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco. [41]

“I (Craig Rucker), as Al Gore, stepped to the fore and said, 'I ride around the world in personal jets and limo’s, everyone else should take public transportation.'  'Save the Earth stop global warming' the climate zombies replied,” Rucker wrote at CFACT[41]

Rucker and the CFACT group repeated a number of myths around global warming, claiming “Climate models have never been right, but that doesn’t matter. […] Sea levels have risen at the same rate for centuries.  Polar bears are increasing.  Who cares?” [41]

August 7, 2018

Rucker spoke at the Heartland Institute's “America First Energy Conference” (AFEC 2018) in New Orleans, Louisiana. [38]

The purpose of this event is to promote and expand energy freedom in the United States, as outlined in President Donald Trump’s bold America First Energy Plan, a proposal first released during the 2016 presidential campaign. The president’s plan marks a decisive change in direction from the Obama administration’s 'war on fossil fuels' and focus on the theory of catastrophic man-caused climate change,” the conference description reads[39]

Rucker spoke on a panel titled “Battling Russia and America's Big Green Machine.”  [40]

April 24, 2018

Rucker posed with Will Happer and Marc Morano for a photo at the Environmental Protection Agency's headquarters the afternoon Scott Pruitt unveiled a “secret science” initiative that would prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from using any studies that do not make the raw data public. [34]

A range of Pruitt's conservative allies attended the event at EPA headquarters, however press was not invited. Among those present was Lamar Smith, who tried to create a similar rule through legislation, but it failed to pass. Senator Mike Rounds, who authored a similar bill in the Senate, also attended. Emails released under a Freedom of Information Act request revealed Lamar Smith's staff coordinated with Pruitt on the rule, E&E News reported. [35]

Critics have noted that the rule would prevent the EPA from using all available data, with examples including data from patients that needs to be kept private and data subject to industry confidentiality.

 “Administrator Pruitt is very clearly trying to exclude and ignore longstanding pollution and medical science that is peer-reviewed, embraced by the National Academy of Sciences among others, and also based on health data that people were promised would be kept confidential,” John Walke, the clean air director of the Natural Resources Defense Council, told the Washington Examiner. [34]

April 23, 2018

The Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, represented by Craig Rucker, was among 22 groups signed on to an open letter asking President Trump to ignore recent criticism of EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. [36]

In a speech to the U.S. Senate, a group of Democratic senators identified the organizations as front groups for the Koch Brothers and other wealthy donors, nicknamed the “Web of Deceit.” The senators outlined how, in addition to funding from the Koch network, many of the groups use untraceable “dark money” funneled through groups like Donors Capital Fund and Donors Trust to influence legislation, particularly with regards to climate and pollution.

Senator Whitehouse outlined it as “a web of deceit conceived and bankrolled by the Koch brothers and other self-interested billionaires to advocate for very selfish and unpatriotic policies.” Whitehouse added: “This web of deceit has infiltrated and populated the Trump administration, and it is swamping the interests of everyday Americans. [37]

The full list of pro-Pruitt signatories and their respective organizations is as follows:

April 3, 2018

Craig Rucker co-wrote an Op-Ed with David Rothbard in the Reno Gazette Journal where they criticized electric cars and renewable energy. The Op-Ed was published on April 3, 2018, the same day Rothbard passed away. [33]

“There may be hidden costs in the pursuit of 'clean energy,' and they may affect consumers more than expected,” the Rucker and Rothbard wrote in the opinion piece, pointing the finger at California’s Zero Emissions Vehicle (ZEV) mandate. [33]

“Realistically, the ZEV mandate means cash-strapped consumers in heartland America will be paying more to buy a conventional car,” they wrote. “If ZEV mandates increase, more Americans could be compelled to purchase electric cars — or face escalating auto prices. That could mean even middle class Americans struggling to afford a car. But that might well be the grand intention of those pushing so hard for electric cars — to simply price conventional automobiles out of reach for everyday Americans.” [33]

July 2017

Craig Rucker promoted the Australian premier of Climate Hustle with Marc Morano through a CFACT mailer. Rucker and CFACT president and founder David Rothbard are set to accompany Morano on the trip. [30]

Rucker said: “CFACT has a lot of fans and followers in Australia who have long wanted us to make a trip. We were beckoned to come and are excited to premiere our film Climate Hustle.” [32]

Event dates were also listed on Joanne Nova's blog: [31]

July 12- Melbourne, Australia
Village Roadshow Theatrette- State Library of Victoria
Doors open at 5:30 PM, film to start at 6:00 PM
Reception and Q/A session to follow

July 15- Brisbane, Australia
Sponsored by the Australian Institute for Progress
New Farm Cinema
Doors open at 4:30 PM

July 18- Sydney, Australia
Club Five Dock
Doors open at 7:00 PM

Before the film's Australian debut, Climate scientist Professor Will Steffen reviewed portions of the film for DeSmog. [32]

Steffen is an emeritus professor at Australian National University and a member of the not-for-profit Climate Council. He said: “This is just the usual rubbish from the usual suspects - a re-hash of misleading and downright incorrect arguments that denialists have trotted out for a long time.” [32]

Reviewing a section that downplays the role of carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas in the atmosphere, Steffen noted it “misrepresents how the carbon cycle works” by ignoring how oceans and land absorb CO2 – a very basic and well-known mechanism in the carbon cycle. [32]

Steffen added, “What the film didn't say is that both oxygen and nitrogen, which comprise about 99 per cent of the atmospheric gases, are transparent to UV, visible and heat radiation. They don't play a role in the energy balance at the Earth's surface.” [32]

Dr. Andrew King, a climate scientist at Monash University in Melbourne, also had an opportunity to look at the film. He described the section on carbon dioxide's role as “muddled.” [32]

 “Whilst there are certainly other potential drivers of changes in the climate we know that over the last century we have greatly increased the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere and, through detection and attribution analyses, we know that the rising levels of atmospheric CO2 and other greenhouse gases have driven the rise in global temperature,” King said. “Changes in other potential drivers, like solar activity, simply can't explain the 1C rise in global temperature we have observed.” [32]

Nova also listed some  groups involved in organising the trip included the Galileo Movement (once managed by current One Nation Senator Malcolm Roberts), the Australian Environment Foundation, the Australian Tax Payers Alliance, and the Australian Institute for Progress. [31]

May 8, 2017

Rucker, representing CFACT, is a signatory to 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.” [27]

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. [28]

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 cliamate change denial groups. [29]

March 23, 2017

Craig Rucker was a moderator at the Heartland Institute's Twelfth International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC12). He was present at two panels on March 23, including a breakfast keynote featuring Walter Cunningham and a presentation by Jay Lehr, as well as Panel 2B. View videos below. [26]

Breakfast Keynote, Cunningham, and Lehr:

Panel 2B: Cost-Benefit Analysis:

December 12, 2016

Craig Rucker 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. [19]

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: [20], [21]

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'.” [22]

May 18, 2016

Craig Rucker was a signatory to a full page color advertisement in The New York Times titled “Abuse of Power” (PDF) sponsored by The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI).  The ad serves as an open letter from 43 signatories including organizations and individuals in response to  New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, U.S. Virgin Islands Attorney General Claude Walker, and the coalition of Attorneys General investigating groups denying man-made climate change[16][17]

Attempts to intimidate CEI and our allies and silence our policy research are unconstitutional,” said CEI president Kent Lassman. “The First Amendment protects us and everyone has a duty to respect it – even state attorneys general.  CEI will continue to fight for all Americans to support the causes in which they believe.” [16]

The Competitive Enterprise Institute received a subpoena from AG Walker on April 7, 2016. On April 20, CEI filed an objection to the subpoena calling it “offensive,” “un-American,” and “unlawful,” and are contending that AG Walker is “violating CEI’s First Amendment rights.”  [16]

The “freedom of speech” argument was echoed by ExxonMobil's legal team, as well as numerous other conservative groups including the Pacific Legal Foundation, and Heritage Foundation and the recently-formed Free Speech in Science Project, a group created by the same lawyers who defended the Competitive Enterprise Institute in the past. [18]

The CEI letter lists the following signatories:

July 7 - 9, 2014

Craig Rucker was a moderator at the Heartland Institute’s Ninth International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC9) in Las Vegas, Nevada. Rucker was part of Panel Nine's discussion, “Communicating Climate Change: The Blogosphere,” with Marc Morano, Tony Heller, and Russell Cook. [5] , [6]

View DeSmogBlog’s in-depth research on the other speakers and sponsors from Heartland's ICCC9.

November 19, 2013

Craig Rucker attended COP 19 in Warsaw, Poland with the Committee For a Constructive Tomorrow's Marc Morano and Walt Cunningham. Rucker stated that “one of the things [CFACT is] concerned about is that these climate policies do harm people,” and that decarbonization was having a “devastasting effect on poor people around the globe,” noting that CFACT “sleeps well at night” because their policies “help, not hurt people.” [11]

February 8, 2013

Craig Rucker is a guest on Alex Epstein's “Power Hour,” a podcast presented by his for-profit think tank, the Center for Industrial Progress. Rucker is interviewed by Epstein about his “eye-opening adventures at UN global warming events.” [13]

November 16, 2011

Craig Rucker attends COP17 in Durban, South Africa with the Committee For a Constructive Tomorrow's Marc Morano, as well as Lord Christopher Monckton, to “debunk climate propaganda and provide balanced perspective at [the] UN's COP17.” [8] In a CFACT press release, journalists who were seeking “to improve upon the annual one-sided climate conference propaganda fest,” were encouraged to speak with CFACT representatives, noting they would be “available for all media.” [8]

August 2, 2002

Rucker was signatory to an open letter by Myron Ebell and Fred L. Smith that congratulated President George W. Bush for not attending the World Summit on sustainable Development in Johannesburg: [24]

“We applaud your decision not to attend the summit in person. Although so-called environmental groups may in the next few weeks pressure you to attend, we believe there are good reasons not to give in to this pressure,” they wrote. [24]

“We also strongly support your opposition to signing new international environmental treaties or creating new international environmental organizations at the Johannesburg Summit,” the letter added. In our view, the worst possible outcome at Johannesburg would be taking any steps towards creating a World Environmental Organization, as the European Union has suggested.” [24]

March 16, 1989

Craig Rucker and David Rothbard approached the Chemical Manufacturers Association (CMA) requesting “corporate involvement and support” towards the Committee For a Constructive Tomorrow's efforts, according to CMA document's minutes. It was documented that Rucker and Rothbard established CFACT to “fight the Public Interest Research Groups.” [12]

Affiliations

Publications

According to a search for Craig Rucker on Google Scholar, he has not published any research on climate science in a peer-reviewed journal. [7]

Resources

  1. CFACT Staff,” Committee For a Constructive Tomorrow. Archived November 20, 2014.

  2. About,” Committee For a Constructive Tomorrow. Archived November 20, 2014.

  3. Committee For a Constructive Tomorrow,” SourceWatch.

  4. Craig Rucker. “CFACT’s new billboard exposes global warming — in their own words,” Committee For a Constructive Tomorrow. Archived November 20, 2014.

  5. Return of Climate Denial-a-Palooza: Heartland Institute Hitches Anti-Science Wagon to Vegas FreedomFest,” DeSmogBlog, July 7, 2014. Archived July 14, 2014.

  6. 9th International Conference on Climate Change Speakers,” Heartland Institute. Archived July 14, 2014.

  7. Craig Rucker,” Google Scholar.

  8. CFACT to debunk climate propaganda and provide balanced perspective at UN’s COP17 in Durban, South Africa,” Committee For a Constructive Tomorrow, November 16, 2011. Archived November 21, 2014.

  9. “2011 Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax (Form 990 - PDF): Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow,” retrieved from CFACT.org. Archived November 21, 2014.

  10. Craig Rucker. “A Cancun Christmas Carol,” Committee For a Constructive Tomorrow, December 3, 2010. Archived December 1, 2014.

  11. CFACT COP 19 in Warsaw Poland,” YouTube.com, November 19, 2013.

  12. Chemical Manufacturers Association Minutes,” Chemical Industry Archives, March 16, 1989.

  13. Power Hour: the UN Global Warming Saga with Craig Rucker,” Center for Industrial Progress, February 8, 2013. Archived December 1, 2014.

  14. Craig Rucker. “Not so bright lights,” Committee For a Constructive Tomorrow, August 14, 2013. Archived December 1, 2014.

  15. Craig Rucker. “Global warming? Washington should find the courage to do nothing,” Committee For a Constructive Tomorrow, February 2, 2013.

  16. CEI Runs “Abuse of Power” Ad In New York Times,” Competitive Enterprise Institute, May 18, 2016. Archived May 31, 2016.

  17. “Abuse of Power: All Americans have the right to support causes they believe in” (PDF), Competitive Enterprise Institute. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmogBlog.

  18. Steve Horn. “Exxon's Lawyer in Climate Science Probe Has History Helping Big Tobacco and NFL Defend Against Health Claims,” DeSmogBlog, May 10, 2016.

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

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

  21. 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.

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

  23. Michael Bastasch. “Skeptic Warns UN Treaty ‘Plants The Seeds’ Of New ‘Climate Regime’,” The Daily Caller, December 14, 2016. Archived March 10, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/myTis 

  24. An Open Letter To President Bush About The World Summit On Sustainable Development,“ Competitive Enterprise Institute, August 2, 2002. Archived November 5, 2002. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/mMFvn

  25. AUTHORS: Craig Rucker,Mackinac Centre for Public Policy. Archived March 10, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/DBnWf

  26. CRAIG RUCKER,” ClimateConference.heartland.org. Archived April 4, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/jjL1X

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

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

  29. 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

  30. Taking the Facts Down Under,” Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow. Retrieved from mailchimp. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.fo/IyM20

  31. Finally, see 'Climate Hustle' in Australia — Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney.” JoNova, June 27, 2017. Archived July 7, 2017. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/nvByX

  32. Graham Readfearn. “Notorious Climate Science Denier Marc Morano Flying to Australia With Misleading Climate Hustle Movie,” DeSmog, July 6, 2017.

  33. Is your neighbor's Tesla costing you money?: Rothbard, Rucker,” Reno Gazette Journal, April 3, 2018. Archived April 15, 2018.

  34. Josh Siegel. “Scott Pruitt announces new EPA rule to combat 'secret science',” Washington Examiner, April 24, 2018. Archived April 24, 2018. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.li/d7avT

  35. Pruitt to unveil 'secret science' effort today — sources,” E&E News, April 24, 2018. Archived April 24, 2018. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.li/6eQLq

  36. “Coalition letter to the President on Scott Pruitt,” (PDF) Heartland Institute, 2018. Archived .pdf on file with DeSmogBlog. 

  37. Senator Whitehouse. “Time to wake up: Web of Deceit” April 23, 2018. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.li/HzIsa

  38. Speakers,” America First Energy Conference 2018. Archived August 1, 2018. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/mwtga

  39. About,” America First Energy Conference 2018. Archived July 23, 2018. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.fo/E4Gnt

  40. CRAIG RUCKER,” America First Energy Conference 2018. Archived August 1, 2018. Archive URLhttps://archive.fo/4jyDA

  41. CFACT exposes 'climate zombies' at California conference,” CFACT, September 14, 2018. Archived September 17, 2018. Archive URL: https://archive.fo/A4JA5

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