‘Unbiased’ Advisory Group Exposed

Published July 1, 2007

The Center for Climate Strategies, an advisory organization that contracts with state governments to implement global warming strategies, is funded by and linked to some of the nation’s most alarmist environmental activist foundations, according to an April 30 article in the Carolina Journal.

The publication launched its investigation of the Center for Climate Strategies (CCS) after the organization began working with commissions set up to advise North Carolina legislators on the causes of global warming and the costs and benefits of greenhouse gas reduction strategies.

CCS sells itself as an unbiased and politically neutral source of ideas for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Ties to Climate Alarmists

It didn’t take long for the Journal to find alarmist links and funding sources for CCS. “The Center for Climate Strategies’ background is complex,” noted the Journal‘s Paul Chesser in an April 30 exposé. “It is a policy center of Enterprising Environmental Solutions, Inc. (EESI), a nonprofit organization.

“However, behind that nonprofit organization is yet another nonprofit organization: the Pennsylvania Environmental Council,” Chesser reports. “As for the global warming debate, the Pennsylvania Environmental Council squarely sides with the belief that human-industrial activity is the cause and carbon dioxide reduction is the remedy. Some others in the science community disagree and attribute the Earth’s temperature rise to natural trends.”

Rockefeller Funding

Perhaps because of this predisposition toward global warming alarmism, CCS receives significant funding from two notoriously left-wing policy foundations.

Since 2005 the Rockefeller Brothers Fund has donated more than a quarter-million dollars to CCS. The Capital Research Center, which examines funding sources of nonprofit organizations, noted in January 2005 that the Rockefeller Brothers Fund is characterized by “reflexive anti-capitalism.”

In his 2006 book, The Green Wave: Environmentalism and Its Consequences, Bonner Cohen, a senior fellow with the National Center for Public Policy Research, writes, “the Rockefeller Brothers fund has generously supported Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Sierra Club, Rainforest Action Network, and Environmental Media Service.”

Directly Funded State Contract

Undermining CCS claims of being unbiased on the topic, Rockefeller Brothers Fund money has been directly linked to the North Carolina contract.

The 2002 Clean Smokestacks Act requires the North Carolina Division of Air Quality (DAQ) to study carbon dioxide emissions. DAQ justified hiring an outside organization to help it comply by asserting it did not have the time, budget, or skills necessary for due-diligence compliance.

Rather than open the contract to competitive bidding, however, DAQ contracted with CCS because “A large additional portion of funding to support this process will come from an outside grantor [Rockefeller Brothers Fund] directly to (EESI) and would not be available without their efforts,” DAQ officials explained in the contract.

Biased Advice

“I have been part of the climate process that Center for Climate Strategies has run for North Carolina. I am on one of the working groups,” said Daren Bakst, legal and regulatory policy analyst for the John Locke Foundation. “There expressly will not be a discussion of the science in any advisory group that this firm runs–at least science was off-limits in the group here in North Carolina.”

CCS contracts with legislators or legislative-appointed committees in several other states. Bakst warns legislators to expect biased recommendations from CCS.

“This advisory group will recommend ‘classic’ policies like smart growth, increased budgets for mass transit at the expense of highways, increased gasoline taxes, taxes on electricity use, and extra taxes based on what kind of cars you buy. There are about 40 to 50 more options that are just as disturbing,” Bakst said.

James M. Taylor ([email protected]) is senior fellow for environment policy at The Heartland Institute and managing editor of Environment & Climate News.

For more information …

Paul Chesser,”Pa. Group Guides NC CO2 Panel,” Carolina Journal, April 30, 2007, http://carolinajournal.com/exclusives/display_exclusive.html?id=4040