by Brad Johnson, campaign manager of Forecast the Facts
LKQ, an auto-parts company that had been a major contributor to the Heartland Institute, has decided to end their association with climate denial. According to calculations by Forecast the Facts, their decision means that the Heartland Institute has now lost over $1 million in expected corporate support for 2012 from 19 different corporations. According to leaked documents, Heartland expected LKQ to contribute $150,000 in 2012.
LKQ announced last week on its Facebook page that it decided to “immediately sever all ties to the group”:
LKQ has never engaged with The Heartland Institute on any issues related to climate change. In fact, LKQ Corporation is an inherently green company whose widespread, large-scale recycling efforts conserve energy and preserve valuable natural resources.
LKQ informed The Heartland Institute on May 8 of its decision to immediately sever all ties to the group. We believe that this is an appropriate step that serves our company and its shareholders.
LKQ’s Facebook announcement was overshadowed by the Heartland Institute’s climate-denial conference in Chicago, which garnered the public support of the Illinois Coal Association. As Climate Progress reported, the conference featured birther jokes and conspiracy theories, but not a single climate scientist.
Blue-chip corporations General Motors, PepsiCo, State Farm, and Eli Lilly have now responded to public outcry over Heartland’s outrageous behavior, which includes classroom climate denial, Unabomber billboards, and its embarrassing parody of a scientific conference. Corporations that continue to support the Heartland Institute include Pfizer, Comcast, and Microsoft. Greenpeace has begun a petition to challenge Nucor, a major steel company that directly funds Heartland’s climate-denial work, to drop its support.