Environment

NRDC Blasts Heritage Foundation Over Exxon Mobil Funding

| by NRDC

Here's our rule of thumb when it comes to America's emerging green economy.

If David Kreutzer, the senior policy analyst in energy economics and climate change at the Heritage Foundation says it's bad, it's got to be a good thing.

If you scour the Web this week, you find Kreutzer and only a tiny handful of others touting the now totally discredited "findings" of a Spanish "study" that purports to expose the pernicious nature of green jobs.

Earlier this week, Kreutzer's employer, the Heritage Foundation, was back out there again flogging the dead horse of the Spanish report to "bust the myths of green jobs."

The Heritage Foundation event got no meaningful media attention of any kind. However, it did provoke an immediate backlash against the Foundation, which has received funding from the likes of Exxon Mobil and Chevron Texaco.

Our good friends at the Wonk Room noted:

"In a new letter, an official from the region powering Spain's renewable industry calls 'completely untrue' a study critical of green jobs in his country being promoted today by the Heritage Foundation. The study, from the libertarian think tank Fundacion Juan de Mariana, argued that 'for every green job created [in Spain], 2.2 jobs are lost.' ... However, José María Roig Aldasoro, the Regional Minister of Innovation, Enterprise and Employment for the Government of Navarre responds that green investment 'has created wealth, employment and technological development' in Spain:

"An article was published recently which has placed a doubt in renewable energy's ability to create employment; it states that it destroys employment , and therefore, is a factor in the social impoverishment of a country. As I will demonstrate,this statement is completely untrue. In Navarre, the development of renewable energies, and above all wind energy, has created wealth, employment and technological development, and I can assert that this can be achieved in any other region or country."

Equally devastating to Kreutzer & Co. was this piercing analysis from Climate Progress of the Heritage Foundation event:

The Entire Heritage Foundation Panel Received Money From ExxonMobil

The Panel: 'Join Dr. Calzada, along with Institute for Energy Research (IER) economist Robert Murphy, York College (Pa.) professor Tom Bogart, and Heritage energy analyst Ben Lieberman, to explore the lessons of Spain, and examine some of the fundamental flaws in the green jobs-as-an-economic-salve line of argument.' [Heritage Foundation, accessed 5/4/09]

Dr. Gabriel Calzada, Professor, King Juan Carlos University, Madrid, Spain: The lead writer for Wall Street Journal's Environmental Capital blog wrote: 'And just where did that study come from? Professor Gabriel Calzada is the founder and president of the Fundacion Juan de Mariana, a libertarian think tank founded in 2005. He's also a fellow of the Center for New Europe, a Brussels-based libertarian think tank that in recent years apparently accepted funding from Exxon Mobil.' [Wall Street Journal, 3/30/09; emphasis added]

Robert Murphy, Economist, Institute for Energy Research [IER]: Almost 10% of the Institute for Energy Research's 2007 budget was provided by ExxonMobil. [ExxonMobil 2007 Worldwide Giving Report, accessed 5/4/09; IER 2008 Year in Review; 5/4/09] [It's worth adding that the President of IER is one Robert Bradley 'who previously served as Director of Public Policy Analysis at Enron, where he was a speechwriter for CEO Kenneth Lay,' who was convicted on fraud and conspiracy charges on May 25, 2006.]

William T. 'Tom' Bogart, Professor of Economics, York (Pa.) College: Bogart's recent article Green Jobs Myths 'was produced with support from the Institute for Energy Research,' who as noted above receives significant funding from ExxonMobil. [Center for American Progress Action Fund, 3/25/09]

Ben Lieberman, Host, Senior Policy Analyst, Energy and Environment, Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies, the Heritage Foundation: Heritage receives significant financial support from Exxon. In the organization's 2008 annual report Exxon is listed as a Premier Associate signifying a contribution of at least $50,000. [Heritage Foundation Annual Report 2008]

And above all, it is worth bearing in mind that ExxonMobil and the flacks they fund have been part of the dirty energy cheerleading team that has been busy trying to keep us stuck with dirty 19th century technologies. Its time we barrel over them and move ahead with new safe, clean energy that will create jobs and make America a global leader for 21st century.