Another ExxonMobil deceit: They are still funding climate science deniers despite public pledge

In its May 2008 Corporate Citizenship Report, ExxonMobil promised:

In 2008, we will discontinue contributions to several public policy research groups whose positions on climate change could divert attention from the important discussion on how the world will secure the energy required for economic growth in an environmentally responsible manner.


Okay, you’re not shocked.  Still, it is worth publicizing their deceipt, as the UK’s Guardian did:

ExxonMobil continuing to fund climate denial groups, records show

The world’s largest oil company is continuing to fund lobby groups that question the reality of global warming, despite a public pledge to cut support for such climate change denial, a new analysis shows.

Company records show that ExxonMobil handed over hundreds of thousands of pounds to such lobby groups in 2008. These include the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA) in Dallas, Texas, which received $75,000 (£45,500), and the Heritage Foundation in Washington DC, which received $50,000.

According to Bob Ward, policy and communications director at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, at the London School of Economics, both the NCPA and the Heritage Foundation have published “misleading and inaccurate information about climate change.”

…  Ward said: “ExxonMobil has been briefing journalists for three years that they were going to stop funding these groups. The reality is that they are still doing it. If the world’s largest oil company wants to fund climate change denial then it should be upfront about it, and not tell people it has stopped.

The oil giant’s full list of 2008 grantees is here.  They also gave money to such purveyors of misinformation on climate change policy as American Council for Capital Formation Center for Policy Research and American Council on Science and Health and Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies and Manhattan Institute for Policy Research and National Black Chamber of Commerce, which recently released this doozy:

NBCC Study Finds Waxman-Markey Reduces GDP by $350 Billion

But apparently that utter nonsense doesn’t qualify as diverting attention from the important discussion of how to deal with climate change.

And the above is just a partial list of the “public policy research groups whose positions on climate change could divert attention from the important discussion on how the world will secure the energy required for economic growth in an environmentally responsible manner” that ExxonMobil is still funding.  For the full list, just cross-reference the oil giant’s 2008 grantee list with the list of misinformers from ExxonSecrets.

Here are more details from the Guardian:

On its website, the NCPA says: “NCPA scholars believe that while the causes and consequences of the earth’s current warming trend is [sic] still unknown, the cost of actions to substantially reduce CO2 emissions would be quite high and result in economic decline, accelerated environmental destruction, and do little or nothing to prevent global warming regardless of its cause.”

The Heritage Foundation published a “web memo” in December that said: “Growing scientific evidence casts doubt on whether global warming constitutes a threat, including the fact that 2008 is about to go into the books as a cooler year than 2007”. Scientists, including those at the UK Met Office say that the apparent cooling is down to natural changes and does not alter the long-term warming trend.

And let’s not forget the Heritage Foundation pushes ‘completely untrue’ attack on clean-energy jobs with a panel bought and paid for by dirty energy.

If ExxonMobil wants to fund disinformation and anti-scientific deniers, no one can stop them.  But hopefully we can stop them from lying about it.

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14 Responses to Another ExxonMobil deceit: They are still funding climate science deniers despite public pledge

  1. paulm says:

    Come on everyone, boycott their gas stations – Esso, Mobil and ExxonMobil.

  2. Boycotting their gas stations is an ineffective tactic. We need much more revolutionary responses than that.

    That’s why I’m working here in Torrance California to drive the Exxon/Mobil refinery out of town and turn their 750 acre site into a large scale solar energy generating plant.

    Yesterday when I read the piece in the Guardian and discovered Exxon/Mobil’s further abuse of the public trust I cut the amount of time they have to get out of town from 10 years to 7.

    25 years ago I helped get the U.S. Navy out of Long Beach California when everyone said that would be impossible.

    By 2017 Exxon/Mobil will no longer be operating in Torrance, California.

  3. paulm says:

    Joe, I dont know if you have considered this for the blog – a live thread (BB) area where current on going topics remain open and the discussion threads keep going.

    So its more interactive than reactive (to each blog post). So you could have one for all the hot topics with a link section on the sidebar to get to it…

    [JR: Sidebar with latest comments is coming!!]

  4. David B. Benson says:


  5. David B. Benson says:

    But until then, comp0laim to the FTC about false advertising.

  6. David B. Benson says:


  7. Kevin says:

    Their commercials with an actor playing a scientist talking about lithium ion batteries make me sick. They are an oil company. They profit from exploiting the planet.

  8. James Thomson the second says:

    One of the most popular radio stations in London is LBC. An odious character called Nick Ferrari does the breakfast show and he is the original ultra right wind shock jock. Every so often he does the “global warming is tosh” routine and lines up callers to tell us all the usual lies – “one volcano emits more CO2 than we do” … “the climate is changing it always has” …etc, etc. The latest one was put out just this morning.

    How do we counter this? People like this have great influence on people’s views. Watch this and weep.

  9. Rick Covert says:

    You can’t boycott the oil companies effectively because they can always rely on many other people not honoring the boycott. Gasoline, after all, is an inelastic product. People need it to get to work.

    M;y next car will be electric if I have to convert an existing car or buy a new one but it will be electric.

  10. Deep Climate says:

    “Deceipt”? Anyway …

    Somewhere I have a list of Heartland conference sponsors that received funding from ExxonMobil. As I recall there were at three or four.

    Meanwhile cross referencing the ExxonSecrets list with grantees from 2008:

    American Conservative Union Foundation*, Alexandria, Virginia 20,000

    American Council for Capital Formation Center for Policy Research*,
    Washington, D.C. 15,000

    American Council on Science and Health*, New York, New York 15,000

    American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research*, Washington, Event Support 10,000 General Support 235,000

    American Spectator Foundation*, Arlington, Virginia 25,000

    Annapolis Center for Science-Based Public Policy Inc.*, Maryland 105,000

    Aspen Institute, Inc.*, Washington, D.C.
    General Support 10,000 Global Energy Forum 90,000

    Atlas Economic Research Foundation*, Arlington, Virginia
    Event Support 2,500 General Support 100,000

    About $600,000 – and that just the A’s.

    The only positive note is that CFACT, sponsors of the execrable ClimateDepot, are no longer on the list as of 2008.

  11. PurpleOzone says:

    Boycott doesn’t work!
    I’ve been boycotting Exxon Mobil for so many decades I forget why I started!
    It was then called Esso. Maybe it was for price fixing. When the Exxon Valdez disaster came along — and they fought paying for it for decades — I couldn’t boycott it twice at one time.
    But Exxon is still doing such a great business it can pay it’s CEO $400 million a year.

  12. PurpleOzone says:

    I’m curious about what the list of grants encompasses. Is it nonprofit activities or all funds?
    For instance, paying individuals to come speak to oil groups wouldn’t show up in a nonprofit list.
    Nor would buying an author’s book in bulk and distributing it to legislators.

  13. JoeB says:

    What action can I take right now to do something about it, Joe?

  14. Hey Skipper says:



    I don’t think any other language has spelling bees.

    [JR: Oops!]