Atlas Economic Research Foundation

Revealed: How the Tobacco and Fossil Fuel Industries Fund Disinformation Campaigns Around the World

Read time: 11 mins
fossil fuels and tobacco funding

Fossil fuel companies have a long history of adopting public relations strategies straight from the tobacco industry's playbook. But a new analysis shows the two industries’ relationship goes much deeper — right down to funding the same organisations to do their dirty work.

MIT Associate Professor David Hsu analyzed organisations in DeSmog’s disinformation database and the Guardian’s tobacco database and found 35 thinktanks based in the US, UK, Australia, and New Zealand that promote both the tobacco and fossil fuel industries’ interests.

Matthew and Sarah Elliott: How a UK Power Couple Links US Libertarians and Fossil Fuel Lobbyists to Brexit

Read time: 27 mins
The Elliotts network map

If you have detected a distinctly American flavour to the rampant lobbying in Westminster corridors over a Brexit deal, there is a good reason why.

A close look at the transatlantic connections of the London-based groups pushing for the most deregulated form of Brexit reveals strong ties to major US libertarian influencers. These include fossil fuel magnates the Koch brothers — known for funding climate science denial around the world — and the man who bankrolled Donald Trump’s campaign, Robert Mercer.

At the heart of this network lies a little-known power couple, Matthew and Sarah Elliott. Together, the husband and wife team connect senior members of the Leave campaign and groups pushing a libertarian free-market ideology from offices in Westminster’s Tufton Street to major US libertarian lobbyists and funders.

Collectively, the network aims to use Brexit as an opportunity to slash regulations in the UK, paving the way for a wide-ranging US-UK free-trade deal that could have disastrous consequences for the environment.

Mont Pelerin Society A Window Into Ideological Heart Of Kochtopus Climate Denial

Read time: 6 mins

It’s known as the Kochtopus – the extensive network of think tanks, institutes, university departments, political funding arms and “grassroots” activist groups funded by oil billionaires Charles and David Koch.

The multi-tentacled network has pumped tens of millions of dollars into groups that deny the risks of human-caused climate change.

But if it is Koch cash that helps fuel these groups, then what is it that fuels the Koch brothers themselves beyond the obvious financial interest?

As DeSmogBlog has revealed, Charles Koch is a long-standing member of the Mont Pelerin Society (MPS) – a global group of industrialists, academics and economists who share the “neoliberal” ideology of limiting government control.

If the Koch network has many groups dangling from its tentacles, then Charles Koch’s membership with the Mont Pelerin Society provides a window into the ideological heart of the Kochtopus.

DeSmogBlog today publishes the global membership directory of the Mont Pelerin Society as it was in 2010, with all personal contact details redacted.

Institute of Economic Affairs

Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA)

Background

Read time: 29 mins

Art Pope

James Arthur “Art” Pope

Credentials

  • J.D., Duke University School of Law (1981).
  • B.A., Political Science, University of North Carolina (1978).

Source: [1]

Background

Art Pope is the president and vice-chairman of the board of directors for Variety Wholesalers Inc. and president and chairman of the John William Pope Foundation.

Read time: 5 mins

U.S. Republican Koch oil billionaires help fund the Fraser Institute. Why the Fraser Institute?

Read time: 10 mins

Authored by Jenny Uechi, originally published at Vancouver Observer. Re-posted with permisison. 

U.S. libertarian oil billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch have poured at least half a million dollars into The Fraser Institute over the last few years. In case you haven't been following their trail, here's a bit about them: 

If the Koch brothers didn't exist, the left would have to invent them. They're the plutocrats from central casting – oil-and-gas billionaires ready to buy any congressman, fund any lie, fight any law, bust any union, despoil any landscape, or shirk any (tax) burden to push their free-market religion and pump up their profits. 

– Rolling Stone Magazine

The Koch brothers are the funders of the Americans for Prosperity group that just launched a $6.1 million television ad targeting President Barack Obama in eight states. Based in Witchita, Kansas, they own the second largest privately held company in America. Their father, Fred Koch, was a member of the radical right-wing John Birch Society.  

According to The New Yorker, “The Kochs operate oil refineries in Alaska, Texas, and Minnesota, and control some four thousand miles of pipeline. Koch Industries owns Brawny paper towels, Dixie cups, Georgia-Pacific lumber, Stainmaster carpet, and Lycra, among other products. Forbes ranks it as the second-largest private company in the country, after Cargill, and its consistent profitability has made David and Charles Koch—who, years ago, bought out two other brothers—among the richest men in America. Their combined fortune of thirty-five billion dollars is exceeded only by those of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett.”  

Atlas Network

Atlas Network (Atlas Economic Research Foundation)

Background

The Atlas Network is a Washington, DC-based non-profit organization that describes itself as working to support a growing network of more than 450 “free market” organizations in more than 90 countries promoting free market ideas.

Many of the member think tanks of the Atlas Network have supported climate science denial and have campaigned against legislation to limit greenhouse gas emissions.

Read time: 24 mins

Paul Driessen

Paul Driessen

Credentials 

  • BA in geology and field ecology from Lawrence University. [1]
  • JD from the University of Denver College of Law. [1]
  • Accreditation in Public Relations from the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). [1]

Background

Read time: 37 mins

ExxonMobil Gave $1.5M to Climate Denier Groups Last Year, Breaking Its Pledge To Stop Funding Denial Machine

Read time: 3 mins

ExxonMobil gave $1.5 million to climate deniers and industry front groups known for working to create doubt about global warming, attacking the integrity of climate scientists, and protecting the status quo for polluters, according to a front-page story in the Times of London today. 

Contrary to its stated commitment to stop funding climate denier groups, the Exxon funding spigot remained as open as the BP gusher, continuing to pollute the media landscape with oil-soaked misinformation designed to cripple international action on climate change.

Greenpeace’s ExxonSecrets project has documented the nearly $25 million spent by ExxonMobil since 1998 to fund climate denier groups.

Exxon-funded groups used their latest infusion of oil money to create a media frenzy over the “Climategate” non-scandal and other efforts to derail progress towards an international agreement to fight climate change at the COP-15 talks in Copenhagen last winter.

Atlas Sings Fred's Song: A Duet in Duplicity

Read time: 1 min

Environmentalists who oppose global warming also oppose any kind of realistic alternative, according to the Atlas Foundation for Economic Research. The foundation's thinking becomes clearer when one sees who their hero is! Atlas declared on their website that: “For those who believe public policy should be based on sound science, Dr. Singer offers a wealth of information, credibility and encouragement.” Even though S. Fred lied about the $10,000 he received from ExxonMobil in 1998 – the same year that Atlas got another $65,000 from the oil giant.

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