The Heartland Institute

Background

The Heartland Institute is a free market think tank at the forefront of denying manmade climate change. Joseph Bast was the director and CEO of the institute from it’s inception in 1984 until 2017. It has deep ties to the Koch brothers and a network of other right-wing, climate-denying think tanks.

In the 1990s, the Heartland Institute worked with the tobacco company Philip Morris to question the science linking second-hand smoke to health risks, and lobbied against government public health reforms. Now, in addition to denying the health risks of smoking for big tobacco, Heartland is lining its pockets with fossil fuel funding and denying manmade climate change.

For more history and documentation of Heartland’s denial throughout the decades see the Heartland Institute timeline.

The Heartland Institute does not disclose its donors and thanks to dark money organizations like DonorsTrust and Donors Capital Fund, it is nearly impossible to track all grants to the Institute.

What we do know:

  • From 1997-2006, the Heartland Institute received at least $686,500 from ExxonMobil- $140,000 of which were specifically earmarked for climate change programs in disclosure reports by the corporation.
  • Heartland has received over 21 million dollars from Donors Trust and Donors Capital Funds.  Both organizations are conservative nonprofits that advertise the ability to anonymously give by moving grant money through them.
  • The Koch brothers have donated at least $60,000 to the Heartland Institute

Exxon Funding

2000 Exxon Climate Change Grants

2004 Exxon Climate Change Grants

For more details on Heartland funding please contact us directly.

Cooler Heads Coalition

Heartland has been a member of Cooler Heads Coalition (CHC), the longest running association of climate change denying organizations, since 1999. An investigation by CIC as shown that from 1997-2015 the combined grants from ExxonMobil to CHC members top 11 million dollars. Since its inception, the CHC has used a variety of tactics to distort public opinion on climate change and influence decision making in Washington. For decades, the coalition has authored bias reports, held briefings on Capitol Hill, and released weekly newsletters attacking “climate change alarmists”. Originally founded by Consumer Alert, the CHC and its website is now funded by the Competitive Enterprise Institute. Myron Ebell, former head of Trump’s EPA transition team and CEI’s director of the Center for Energy and Environment, is the chair of the CHC.

Heartland Updates

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