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Heritage Foundation Registers as EU Lobbyists for Just One Month

EU flags

Washington DC-based think tank the Heritage Foundation briefly registered as lobbyists in Brussels, DeSmog UK has learned.

A little noticed entry to the EU Transparency Register on 18 April 2017 showed the climate science denying neoconservative think tank listed as an official EU registrant. However, one month later they were removed from the registry due to “data inconsistencies”.

According to EU rules, anyone who wishes to have a meeting with members of the EU Parliament or Commission must be listed on the EU Transparency Register including providing details about how much money the group spends on lobbying and number of lobbyists.

Former Koch Agents, Fossil Fuel Industry Hired Guns Now Staffing Trump's Federal Agencies

Obama and Trump officials meet in the White House

On March 8, ProPublica obtained “beachhead team” rosters with the names of hundreds of temporary staffers the Trump administration has installed in federal agencies, including the Department of Interior (DOI), Department of Energy (DOE), the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and others. 

A DeSmog investigation shows that this list of staffers, largely undisclosed before this week, includes former operatives allied with Koch Industries, oil and coal industry employees, a former employee of a prominent climate denial group, and an advocate for a pro-trophy hunting organization funded by oil and gas. The background and connections of these staffers may serve as a preview to potential priorities these agencies may take on related to energy, climate, and environment under Donald Trump.

Fossil Fuel-Funded Think Tank Lays out Anti-Clean Energy Plan for New Energy Secretary Rick Perry

Rick Perry pointing up

Last week Rick Perry, the former Republican governor of Texas, became the Secretary of Energy. As head of the Department of Energy (DOE), he is now responsible for guarding the U.S. nuclear arsenal, cleaning up nuclear waste, directing federal energy research and development, and advancing domestic energy production, from nuclear and renewables to, yes, oil, gas, and coal. 

On March 2, the day Perry was confirmed, right-wing think tank the Heritage Foundation published a document laying out its goals for Perry in his new post. Like the Heritage Foundation, Perry has received considerable funding from oil and gas interests, creating potential conflicts of interest as DOE chief and suggesting he might be inclined to take Heritage’s advice.

UK Climate Deniers Take Anti-Science Message to Trump Administration at CPAC 2017

Donald Trump addressing the CPAC conference

Two fringe British climate science deniers are heading to Maryland to see Donald Trump and his tea party pals this week, taking their Brexit-inflected anti-science agenda with them.

Trump’s golden elevator buddy and UKIP MEP, Nigel Farage, and far-right Breitbart London commentator, James Delingpole, are both due to appear at the American Conservative Union’s annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), starting today.

CPAC claims to be the “birthplace of modern conservatism”, and aims to “break through the resistance of Washington’s powerful elites” via four-days of talks and activist training. In recent years it has been seen as a breeding ground for Tea Party ideas and activism.

The conference will offer Farage and Delingpole an opportunity to network with other members of a US-UK climate science denial network linked to Brexit and Trump, previously mapped by DeSmog UK.

A New Special Relationship for America and Britain Emerges with Climate Science Deniers Linked to Trump and Brexit

US-UK Climate Science Denier Network

On Friday, 20 January, fossil fuel lobbyists and climate science deniers from both sides of the Atlantic will step out of the shadows and into the White House as Donald Trump is inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States.

DeSmog UK has mapped this new US-UK climate science denier network, held together in large part by conservative think tank the Heritage Foundation, to shed light on this growing group of influencers. 

Since November, the president-elect has been gathering his team together; the men that will form the top positions of influence and decision making within his government.

Rather than ‘draining the swamp’, Trump has chosen to surround himself with the same actors who have long been pushing climate misinformation and lobbying against environmental protection.

Front and centre are individuals linked to well known funders of climate science denial, the Kochs, the Mercers, and the Heritage Foundation. And as our new map shows, this isn’t limited to the United States.

How Donald Trump Kingmaker-Billionaires Robert and Rebekah Mercer Have Poured Millions Into Climate Science Denial

Headlines about Mercer family

When it comes to climate science denial, some names come easily and deservingly to mind.

There’s oil giant ExxonMobil — a company that contributed millions of dollars to organizations that told the public there was no risk from burning fossil fuels.

There are the oil billionaire Koch brothers — Charles and David — and their ideological zeal against government regulations that drove them to pour vast amounts into groups spreading doubt on the realities of human-caused global warming.

But a name that has not yet reached those heights of climate science denial infamy — but likely should — is the Mercer family.

GOP Congress, Trump Already Pushing Koch Industries' Bill to Hobble Regulatory Agencies

Kochtopus

One of the first orders of business for the freshly convened 115th Congress — now that it's no longer attempting to gut an independent ethics office  — is to pass a bill which could weaken the ability of federal regulatory agencies to do their jobs. 

That law, the REINS (Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny) Act of 2017, has long been a legislative priority for Koch Industries, Koch-funded advocacy groups such as Americans for Prosperity, and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Its latest iteration, H.R. 26*, has the backing of Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) and 159 co-sponsors (five Democrats and 154 Republicans) and has reached full debate on the House floor.***

REINS dictates that a “major rule shall not take effect unless the Congress enacts a joint resolution of approval” and won't become law if Congress does not pass that resolution by “70 session days or legislative days, as applicable.”

Heritage Foundation’s Climate and Energy Policy Summit: Science Deniers Emboldened by Trump’s Electoral Victory

This morning, while introducing the Heritage Foundation’s “premier energy-and-climate-policy event in America,” Becky Norton Dunlop offered a fleeting wisp of reasoned reality.

A growing economy and an improving environment go hand in hand,” Dunlop said. She wasn’t, however, referring to the near-exponential growth in renewable energy jobs that have helped lift the country from the worst recession in a generation and the worst financial crisis in 75 years, the conditions that loomed over the last presidential transition. Nor was she referring to the historic decoupling of Gross Domestic Product from greenhouse gas emissions, which has shown consistent economic growth over the past five years both in the United States and globally while emissions have stabilized and slightly reduced at both scales.

Rather, Dunlop, who is reportedly assisting President-elect Trump’s transition efforts, was referring to stripping public health and environmental oversight of fossil fuel companies and creating “an atmosphere of freedom.”

Revealed: Liam Fox’s Post-Brexit Trade Talks with US Business Lobby and Climate Denying Think Tank the Heritage Foundation

Liam Fox

During his first trip to the United States, less than two weeks after being appointed International Trade Secretary, Liam Fox took the opportunity to meet with the climate science denying neoconservative think tank, the Heritage Foundation.

The details of Fox’s post-Brexit three-day tour of America in July have only just been released to DeSmog UK under a freedom of information request.  They show Fox also met with White House representatives, pro-business lobby group the US Chamber of Commerce, and some of its corporate members.

The documents reveal a close relationship between Fox and the Heritage Foundation, as well as the desire for a bilateral trade deal between the two countries. They also suggest concerns over the current “political discourse” in the US could hinder the deal, however.

Climate Science Denying US Neocon Groups Promote ‘Simple’ and ‘Freer’ Trade with UK at Tory Party Conference

TPA, CEI, and Heritage Foundation Panel at Conservative Party Conference 2016

American climate science denying pressure groups the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) and the Heritage Foundation joined forces with British campaign group the Taxpayers’ Alliance (TPA) at the Conservative Party Conference this week.

At the fringe event on 3 October in Birmingham the groups discussed how the UK and the US could “move forward together” now that Britain had voted to exit the European Union.

They agreed that Brexit presented a new opportunity for a free trade deal between the UK and US to minimise “regulatory hurdles that you have to jump over in order to trade or offer services in the other country.”

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