Global Warming Deniers handout

The Exxon Double-Cross
Exxon-Funded Global Warming Deniers Get Renewed Funding in 2006

Analysis of ExxonMobil’s 2006 World Giving Report reveals that ExxonMobil is still funneling millions to dozens of organizations that deny and distort the best available science on global warming, despite company statements to the contrary.
Since Exxpose Exxon launched its campaign in mid-2005, ExxonMobil has found itself in a firestorm of criticism. Respected scientists in the U.S. and in the U.K., and U.S. policy makers are urging the company to end its long-time disinformation campaign on global warming. In response, Exxon’s Vice President of Public Affairs and Chair of Exxon’s grantmaking foundation, Kenneth Cohen, began telling reporters in January 2007 that Exxon is no longer funding groups that deny the science of global warming.

Heartland Inst. funded $115K in 2006 by Exxon

The latest analysis released by Greenpeace USA in May 2007 found that while Exxon did stop funding a few groups in 2006, most notably the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), the company is still funding a majority of the groups that, like CEI, mislead the public about global warming. Groups like the Heartland Institute (at left) are marked with the Exxon double-cross. Heartland received $115k from Exxon in 2006, $90k of which was specifically for their work on climate change as revealed in Exxon’s 2006 IRS 990 form (not yet publicly released).

  • Exxon funneled $2.1 million to 41 groups in 2006 identified by Greenpeace as misleading the public on global warming science and/or policy. Exxon-funded denial groups listed on have now received nearly $23 million since 1998.

  • Exxon funneled $1.6 million to 21 groups identified by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) in a 2007 report as misleading the public on global warming science or received specific grants for climate work. Exxon-funded denial groups identified in a UCS 2007 report have received a total of $17.4 million since 1998.

  • Discrepancies between Exxon’s 2006 World Giving Report and its IRS 990 statements reveal that ExxonMobil attempted to cover up grants it specifically earmarked for climate outreach to 14 denier groups in 2005.

  • Several groups still funded in 2006 were named as key participants in the 1998 leaked industry memo that revealed a plan to manufacture uncertainty around the science of global warming. The strategy, identical to that of the tobacco industry and using some of the same players, declared, “Victory will be achieved when uncertainties in climate science become part of the conventional wisdom” for “average citizens” and “the media.” Those groups include:

Depending on the criteria used to select the Exxon-funded groups that mislead the public, the results are slightly different. Regardless, all interpretations lead to the same conclusion. ExxonMobil is still funding a network of groups that undermine public understanding of what is arguably the most well-researched and urgent issue of our time.

The influence of ExxonMobil’s disinformation campaign in blocking action on global warming over the past decade cannot be underestimated. Despite the international scientific consensus that fossil fuels are the primary contributors to global warming, a recent poll (January 2007) by the Pew Research Center shows that 53% of those that believe the earth is warming are still uncertain it is due to human activity.
Members of Congress are taking note of Exxon's underhanded tactics. The Chair of the U.S. House Investigations and Oversight Subcommittee on Science and Technology called on Exxon to, among other things, promptly release its 2007 funding of groups.

“’The support of climate skeptics, many of whom have no real grounding in climate science, appears to be an effort to distort public discussion about global warming,’” Rep. Brad Miller (D-NC) told Reuters in May 2007. “’So long as popular discussion could be about whether warming was occurring or not, so long as doubt was widespread, consensus for action could be postponed,'” he said. The Subcommittee’s letter echoes an earlier bipartisan letter to Exxon from U.S. Senators Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and John D. Rockefeller IV (D-WV), which called on the company to "come clean" on its funding of denier groups.

Though the battle’s not over, Exxpose Exxon has scored a victory! The close-knit network of Exxon-funded climate denier groups lost more than $1.4 million in 2006, or nearly 40 percent of their funding from ExxonMobil since the year before, by some accounts. However, without a clearly stated policy from ExxonMobil in regards to its funding of such groups, it is unknown whether the groups that lost funding will be funded again in the future or if they were permanently dropped as part of Exxon’s public relations makeover.
Press Release (May 17, 2007, Greenpeace USA)
Analysis of ExxonMobil’s 2006 World Giving Report (May 2007, Greenpeace USA)
Smoke, Mirrors & Hot Air: How ExxonMobil Uses Big Tobacco’s Tactics to Manufacture Uncertainty on Climate Change(Jan 2007, Union of Concerned Scientists)
2006 World Giving Report (Exxon Mobil Corp.)
2005 World Giving Report (Exxon Mobil Corp.)
IRS 990 Statement (Exxon Mobil Corp.)
1998 Industry Memo revealing plan to undermine the IPCC and global warming science.
U.S. House Investigations and Oversight Subcommittee Letter to Exxon (May 2007)
U.S. Senator's Rockefeller and Snowe Letter to Exxon (Oct 2006)
The Royal Society letter to Exxon and Exxon's Response (Sept 2006)
ExxonMobil Exxposed (July 2005, Exxpose Exxon)
Global Warming Denier [di-nahy-er] (a) A person or organization who denies the science and urgency of global warming, as concluded by the world’s foremost authority on global warming, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
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