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Letter From Heartland Institute President Joseph Bast to 11 Members of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works

March 10, 2015

On behalf of the Board of Directors of The Heartland Institute, my staff, our thousands of financial supporters, and the hundreds of climate scientists we work with, I express our heart-felt gratitude for your letter dated February 27.

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March 10, 2015

Sen. James Inhofe, Sen. John Barrasso, Sen. Mike Crapo, Sen. Jeff Sessions, Sen. Deb Fischer, Sen. Dan Sullivan, Sen. David Vitter, Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, Sen. John Boozman, Sen. Rodger F. Wicker, and Sen. Mike Rounds

United States Senate
Committee on Environment and Public Works
Washington, DC 20510-6175

Dear Senators,

Thank you!

On behalf of the Board of Directors of The Heartland Institute, my staff, our thousands of financial supporters, and the hundreds of climate scientists we work with, I express our heart-felt gratitude for your letter dated February 27.

In your letter you criticize a threatening letter sent to us (and apparently 99 other business and nonprofit organizations that participate in the debate over climate change) by Senators Markey, Boxer, and Whitehouse. You describe how policymakers must respect the scientific method and tolerate dissenting opinions and you end with these wonderful words:

The letter you received from our colleagues is a wholly inappropriate effort to challenge these well-accepted truths. We ask you to not be afraid of political repercussions or public attacks regardless of how you respond. Above all, we ask that you continue to support scientific inquiry and discovery, and protect academic freedom despite efforts to chill free speech.

I was emboldened by your letter to reply today to the three Senators, saying we do not intend to provide any more information than what is publicly available in our annual tax returns and on our websites. A copy of my letter is enclosed.

According to The New York Times, The Economist, and other sources, Heartland is the most prominent think tank in the world supporting critical research and commentary on the causes and consequences of climate change. We have hosted nine International Conferences on Climate Change attracting nearly 5,000 people including leading scientists, elected officials, and civic and business leaders from around the world. The next conference takes place in Washington DC on June 11-12; I hope you or members of your staff can attend.

We also publish, for the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), a series of science reports titled Climate Change Reconsidered. These massive volumes cite thousands of peer-reviewed articles pointing to some key findings:

■ There is no scientific consensus on the human role in climate change.

■ Future warming due to human greenhouse gases will likely be much less than IPCC forecasts.

■ Carbon dioxide has not caused weather to become more extreme, polar ice and sea ice to melt, or sea level rise to accelerate. These were all false alarms.

■ The likely benefits of man-made global warming exceed the likely costs.

Here is what this means for public policy:

■ There is no need to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and no point in attempting to do so.

■ It’s time to repeal unnecessary and expensive policies.

■ Future policies should aim at fostering economic growth to adapt to natural climate change.

In the coming months and years, I hope my staff can work with you and your staffs to fashion a pro-environment, pro-energy, and pro-freedom agenda that reflects the real science and economics of climate change. A short summary of our ideas along these lines is enclosed.

Finally and on a more personal note, before his death in 2011, Heartland’s founder Dave Padden often told me libertarian organizations must be “cleaner than Caesar’s wife,” since they are subject to a higher level of scrutiny than others. With this wise advice in mind, over the past 31 years I’ve tried to dot every “i” and cross every “t” to ensure we are in full compliance with the government rules that apply to us. 

Even our strongest critics know we are sincere and honest... in part because one of them, Peter Gleick, stole our confidential budget documents in 2012 and then shared them widely with his liberal allies. Gleick, by the way, confessed to this crime, yet the Department of Justice refuses to prosecute him. (You can read all about this at www.fakegate.org.)

Thank you again for coming to our defense. Please do not hesitate to contact me or Heartland’s government relations director, John Nothdurft, at 312/377-4000 or by email at jbast@heartland.org or jnothdurft@heartland.org, if we can be of any assistance to you.

Sincerely,

Joseph L. Bast
President
The Heartland Institute