New Front Group: “CO2 is Green”


The Washington Post has a piece today on the group behind new anti-climate-bill ads running around the country that are so absurd you might mistake them for parody.

The ads, which have so far targeted the districts of Sens. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.), argue that the billions of tons of carbon dioxide we’re spewing into the atmosphere are actually good for the planet.

“There is no scientific evidence that CO2 is a pollutant,” say the ads. “In fact higher CO2 levels than we have today would help the Earth’s ecosystems.”

 

The ads, reminiscent of the “Carbon dioxide: they call it pollution, we call it life” ads that the Competitive Enterprise Institute ran back in 2006, come from a new front group calling itself “CO2 Is Green.” Behind the group are H. Leighton Steward, an oil industry executive, and Corbin J. Robertson Jr., chief executive and leading shareholder of the Texas-based coal company Natural Resource Partners. Natural Resource Partners general counsel Wyatt L. Hogan is also on the group’s board.

They’ve devoted $1 million to the advocacy group, and have also applied for 501(c)(3) status for a “Plants Need CO2” group to work on “education.”

The Post article is good, but here are a few points they missed out on that tie this group to other efforts to thwart climate change legislation. First, Steward isn’t just any former oil executive, but also currently the honorary director of the American Petroleum Institute—the group behind the “Energy Citizen” rallies this summer.

And Natural Resource Partners is also a member of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE), the scandal-plagued coal front group currently under investigation for its role in the forged letters sent to members of Congress criticizing the House climate bill.

The group took out a half-page ad in the Post earlier this week. For some more of the greatest hits in climate skepticism, see the CO2 is Green website. Highlights:

Is CO2 a Pollutant? NO: Humans inhale and exhale CO2 with every breath. How could anyone expect you to believe it is a human health hazard?

Is Earth Warming? NO: The Inconvenient Truth: The World is now cooling, not warming.

What is the causing the cooling? If you guessed the sun. You are correct.

You can also check out their TV ad.

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  • Kate Sheppard was a staff reporter in Mother Jones' Washington bureau from 2009 to 2013. She is now a senior reporter and the energy and environment editor at The Huffington Post. She can be reached by email at kate (dot) sheppard (at) huffingtonpost (dot) com and you can follow her on Twitter @kate_sheppard.