Washington Times Provides Press Credentials to Right-Wing Lobbyist

Chris Horner is counsel at the right-wing Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), which has received more than $1.3 million in funding from oil giant ExxonMobil. Horner “is also part of the Cooler Heads Coalition, “a group set up ‘to dispel the myth of global warming.'”

But when Horner attended last week’s U.N. Climate Change conference, he appeared not as a lobbyist, but as a journalist.

Horner attended the State Department’s Dec. 7 briefing with press credentials from the right-wing Washington Times. ThinkProgress spoke with Andrew Buncombe of London’s Independent, who confirmed that Horner was at the press-only briefing without even a notebook in hand. In a Jeff Gannon-style presentation, Horner promoted the Bush administration position, suggesting the U.S. position be portrayed as leading a “new consensus.”

In fact, the United States position is neither new, nor does it resemble anything like a consensus. More than 150 countries, including nearly every industrialized nation except the United States and Australia, agreed “to engage in talks aimed at producing a new set of binding limits on greenhouse gas emissions that would take effect beginning in 2012.”

Horner is not a journalist. He has published just a single op-ed in the Washington Times since 2003, and has never written a hard news article for the paper, according to a database search.

But he is quite experienced at underhanded tactics. He drew up plans, funded by ExxonMobil, to destroy Europe’s support for the Kyoto treaty on climate change.” The plan hoped to emulate the White Houses’s “success” in stalling progress on climate change: “In the US an informal coalition has helped successfully to avert adoption of a Kyoto-style program. This model should be emulated, as appropriate, to guide similar efforts in Europe.”