The Heartland Institute is a free-market oriented public policy think tank based in Chicago. The institute was founded in 1984 by David H. Padden and Joseph L. Bast.
Heartland Institute claims to apply "cutting-edge research to state and local public policy issues." Additionally, Heartland bills itself as "the marketing arm of the free-market movement.
It campaigns on what it calls "junk science", "common-sense environmentalism" (i.e. anti-Kyoto, pro-GM), the privatization of public services, smokers' rights (anti-tobacco tax, denial of problems from passive smoking), the introduction of school vouchers, and the deregulation of health care insurance. It also provides an online resource for finding right-wing think tank policy documents called PolicyBot.
Although Heartland calls itself "a genuinely independent source of research and commentary," its has been a frequent ally of the tobacco industry can be documented by searching the industry's internal document archives.Roy E. Marden, a member of Heartland's board of directors, was until May 2003 the manager of industry affairs for the Philip Morris (PM) tobacco company, where his responsibilities included lobbying and "managing company responses to key public policy issues," which he accomplishes by "directing corporate involvement with industry, business, trade, and public policy organizations and determining philanthropic support thereto."
In a May 1991 document prepared for PM, Marden listed Heartland's "rapid response network" as a "potential spokesperson" among the "portfolio of organizations" that the company had cultivated to support its interests.
The Institute received over $150,000 from the Phillip Morris over three years from 1997 to 1999
he Heartland Institute created a website in the Spring of 2007, www.globalwarmingheartland.org, which asserts there is no scientific consensus on global warming and features a list of experts and a list of like-minded think tanks, many of whom have received funding from ExxonMobil and other polluters.
The Heartland Institute networks heavily with other conservative policy organizations, and is part of the State Policy Network, a member of the Cooler Heads Coalition (as of 4/04), and co-sponsored the 2001 Fly In for Freedom with the Wise Use umbrella group, Alliance for America. Heartland also co-sponsored a New York state Conference on Property Rights, hosted by the Property Rights Foundation of America. The Institute puts out several publications, including "Environment & Climate News" which frequently features anti-environmentalist and climate skeptic writing. They also published "Earth Day '96," a compilation of articles on environmental topics. The publication, distributed on college campuses, featured "Adventures in the Ozone Layer" by S. Fred Singer, and "the Cold Facts on Global Warming" by Sallie Baliunas. The articles denied the serious nature of ozone depletion and global warming.
Walter F. Buchholtz, an ExxonMobil executive, serves as Heartland's Government Relations Advisor, according to Heartland's 2005 IRS Form.
The Board of Directors for the Heartland Institute includes Thomas Walton, an executive of General Motors Corporation.
The Heartland Institute formerly sponsored and hosted www.climatesearch.org, a web page ostensibly dedicated to objective research on global warming, but at the same time presenting heavily biased research by organizations such as the American Petroleum Institute as an FAQ section.
In December 2006, the National Association of Tobacco Outlets (NATO) announced a multi-year partnership project with Heartland Institute to influence public opinion on tobacco issues. "The project is expected to be a multi-year effort beginning in 2007, and will include press releases, letters to editors and a campaign to win coverage in magazines and journals," according to NATO president Tom Briant in a press release.
"Warming is likely to be very modest relative to natural variation, benefits are likely to outweigh costs, and taking action now in the name of fighting “global warming” is unnecessary and would be very costly."
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