In its 1996 Environmental Briefing Book for Congressional Candidates the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) argued that “the likeliest global climate change is the creation of a milder, greener, more prosperous world.” It used Gallop Polls and a Greenpeace report to support its claim that “there is no scientific consensus to support the proposition that human activity will produce an apocalyptic warming of the Earth’s atmosphere” [emphasis added]. As noted before the questioning of the most extreme predictions serves to cast doubt on the scientific consensus about more moderate consequences.
In the 1999 edition it argued that “the Kyoto Protocol is a costly, unworkable, and inappropriate policy to suppress energy use around the world” and that the US Senate should reject it. It argued that the “scientific case for an international climate treaty has collapsed”and anyway, “No one should worry about a modest warming, should it occur” as it is likely to result in beneficial impacts.
One of CEI’s publications, The True State of the Planet, was partially funded by the Olin Foundation, created by Olin Chemical. In it Robert Balling claims that:
(the) scientific evidence argues against the existence of a greenhouse crisis, against the notion that realistic policies could achieve any meaningful climatic impact, and against the claim that we must act now if we are to reduce the greenhouse threat.
Like the Heritage Foundation, the CEI no longer argues that global warming is a hoax but focuses on the costs of proposed measures to combat it:
Alarm over the prospect of Earth’s warming is not warranted by the agreed science or economics of the issue. Global warming is happening, and humans are responsible for at least some of it. Yet this fact does not mean that global warming will cause enough damage to Earth and to humanity to require drastic cuts in energy use, a policy that would have damaging consequences of its own.
Nevertheless the CEI's Senior Fellow Christopher C. Horner's 2008 book was entitled Red Hot Lies: How Global Warming Alarmists Use Threats, Fraud, and Deception to Keep You Misinformed. Horner, who is a lawyer, and counsel for the Cooler Heads Coaltion, certainly gets much media attention despite the claims in his book about media alarmism on the global warming issue.
Mr. Horner has provided legal, policy and political commentary several hundred times each on both television and radio, in the United States, Europe, Canada, and Australia, including scores of visits each on the Fox News Channel, Court TV, MSNBC with repeat visits on The News Hour with Jim Lehrer, BBC, CNN, CNN International, ITN, CBC, Bloomberg and Reuters Television. Mr. Horner has also been a guest on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. He has guest hosted television commentary programs and makes weekly appearances on and regularly guest hosts nationally and regionally syndicated radio shows in America.
He has been a frequent contributor in the Washington Times, National Review Online and TechCentralStation.com opinion pages, is a guest columnist for United Press International and OpinionEditorials.com, and has regularly contributed to the Brussels legislative news magazine EU Reporter . Horner also regularly writes for Energy Tribune and Spain's Actualidad Economica.
In 1997, the CEI attempted to undermine public support for the Kyoto Protocol by paying for one minute radio advertisements reminding them of the 1970s energy crisis.
In 2006 the CEI ran television advertisements that claim, for example, that the glaciers are growing, not melting. The advertisements end with the line: 'Carbon dioxide. They call it pollution. We call it life.'
The claims in the advertisement on glaciers have been disputed by the deputy editor at Science magazine, Brooks Hansen: 'The text of the CEI ad misrepresents the conclusions of the two cited Science papers and our current state of knowledge by selective referencing.' Also a scientist whose work was cited in the advertisement claimed his work was selectively used to mislead the public.
In a leaked memo that year, the general manager of the Intermountain Rural Electric Association (IREA) in Colorado, a cooperative owning coal-fired power stations, stated the CEI ads had been financed by General Motors and the Ford Motor Company.
In 2009 CEI demanded that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 'stop its plans to regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act'. It referred to the proposed regulations as 'Economy-Killing Energy Regulations'.
The CEI has a budget an income of around $4 million much of which has come from wealth foundations such as the Koch foundations and corporations including the American Petroleum Institute, Cigna Corporation, Dow Chemical, EBCO Corp, General Motors, and IBM. Between 1998 and 2005 it received over $2 million from ExxonMobil.
CEI is an active member of the Cooler Heads Coalition. The Cooler Heads coalition was founded by the corporate front group Consumer Alert. It was initially chaired by former CEI director Marlo Lewis and directed by another CEI director, Myron Ebell. Cooler Heads distributes a bi-weekly newsletter, published by CEI. Its object is clear: “The Cooler Heads Coalition focuses on the consumer impact of global warming policies that would drastically restrict energy use and raise costs for consumers.”
William Yeatman, energy policy analyst for the CEI, argues on the Cooler Heads website that "Global warming in the 21 st century is likely to be modest, and the net impacts may well be beneficial in some places. Even in the worst case, humanity will be much better off in 2100 than it is today."
Cooler Heads website, http://www.globalwarming.org/ is labelled 'a Project of the Competitive Enterprise Institute. Members of Cooler Heads have included the American Highway Users Alliance, Frontiers of Freedom, George C. Marshall Institute, Heritage Foundation, Small Business Survival Committee and The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition.