Myron Ebell

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Learn more from the Center for Media and Democracy's research on climate change.

Myron Ebell is a climate change denier who was named as a member of President-elect Donald Trump"s transition team for the Environmental Protection Agency in November 2016.[1]

Myron directs the Global Warming and International Environmental Policy project at the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) and the Cooler Heads Coalition, which was formed on May 6, 1997, "to dispel the myths of global warming by exposing flawed economic, scientific and risk analysis." CEI has received millions from fossil fuel companies to fund its work. Ebell formerly worked at the Frontiers of Freedom, on issues including "property rights, the Endangered Species Act, federal-lands policies, and global warming," and as a legislative assistant to Representative John Shadegg. He's also worked for the American Land Rights Association and National Taxpayers Union. [2] Both CEI and Frontiers of Freedom have received funding from ExxonMobil. [3] [4]

"Though he likes to bash scientists for working outside their degreed fields, Ebell, it turns out, isn't a scientist at all," a Vanity Fair article on Ebell stated. "He majored in philosophy at the University of California in San Diego, then studied political theory at the London School of Economics and history at Cambridge." Ebell retorted, "Every interview I do, when I'm asked about scientific issues, I say I'm not a climate scientist. I'm just giving you the informed layman's perspective." [5]

Ebell Is a Prominent Climate Change Denier

Ebell Educates State Attorney Generals About Climate Denial: In 2016, the Center for Media and Democracy, publisher of Sourcewatch, obtained audio from an private, undisclosed meeting[6] with the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) where Ebell spewed climate denial to Republican AG's and urged them to continue pushing back against the climate fraud investigations. "Well the first thing they try to do is try to change reality. They try to change the facts. So they reinterpret the data so the United States climate temperature data, as reinterpreted by the federal government, they make the 1930’s and 40’s much cooler and that makes it look like there’s been a significant warming but in fact there has not," Ebell told the group of Republican AG's and lobbyists according to a transcript of the audio[7] published by CMD. "So I want to thank Attorney General Strange for writing and getting the signers on that letter, I’m not going to go through everyone who signed it but we are very grateful and I think it had a big impact and I will talk about that later on where we go from here."

Ebell's group CEI has been named in ExxonMobil investigation for deceiving the public and misleading its shareholders about the risks of climate change: After the Virgin Islands Attorney General Claude Walker issued CEI with a subpoena in April 2016 as part of the ExxonMobil investigation, CEI ran a full page ad[8] signed by several right-wing think tanks in the New York Times complaining that the groups were being attacked in state investigations into Exxon's campaign of climate denial. And since then, CEI has spoken out[7] at numerous conferences and in opinion editorials[9] pushing back at the investigations. CEI told Townhall that they were determined that Walker “faces sanctions” for the subpoena. “This was an abuse of process, plain and simple, and we’re determined to see that Walker faces sanctions for an action whose illegality he refuses to recognize,” CEI stated.[10]

Ebell's Group CEI has received millions in fossil fuel funding: In 2013, the Washington Post revealed[11] Murray Energy, Marathon Petroleum, Devon Energy, Phillips 66, American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity and the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers sponsored an annual dinner benefiting CEI. Other CEI fossil fuel funding,[12] according to DeSmogBlog, includes ExxonMobil ($2,100,000), Massey Energy, three Koch-controlled foundations and the American Petroleum Institute. CEI’s senior fellow Christopher Horner is also funded directly[13] from the coal industry and serves as regulatory counsel for Alpha Natural Resources.

Cooler Heads sponsored premier of climate denial documentary: In 2015, Cooler Heads co-sponsored a premier for the film "Climate Hustle," a global warming denial film featuring Marc Morano.

History on global warming and air pollution

Ebell is a speaker at the International Conference on Climate Change (2009) organized by the Heartland Institute think tank. [14]

In September 2003, Greenpeace obtained evidence in the form of a [http://www.greenpeace.org/international/news/investigation-of-exxon-front-g memo] to Philip A. Cooney dated March 2002, outlining their strategy for dealing with the problems caused by scientifically-based "Climate Action Report 2002", which the US government had submitted to the UN. The crucial paragraph of this memo reads:

"As I said, we made the decision this morning to do as much as we could to deflect criticism by blaming the EPA for freelancing. It seems to me that the folks at the EPA are the obvious fall guys, and we would only hope that the fall guy (or gal) should be as high up as possible. I have done several interviews and have stressed that the president needs to get everyone rowing in the same direction. Perhaps tomorrow we will call for (Christine Todd Whitman) to be fired. I know that that doesn't sound like much help, but it seems to me that our only leverage to push you in the right direction is to drive a wedge between the President and those in the Administration who think they are serving the president's best interests by publishing this rubbish."

In March 2001, the nonprofit Clean Air Trust named Ebell its "clean air villain of the month," citing his "ferocious lobbying charge to persuade President Bush to reverse his campaign pledge to control electric utility emissions of carbon dioxide."

Biography

According to his biographical note on the the CEI website, "Prior to coming to CEI, Mr. Ebell was policy director at Frontiers of Freedom, a public policy advocacy organization founded by former Senator Malcolm Wallop. While at Frontiers of Freedom, he worked on a range of environmental and constitutional issues, including property rights, the Endangered Species Act, federal lands policies, and global warming." [1]

Frontiers of Freedom, spreads disinformation on climate change, and received funding from the fossil fuel industry, including ExxonMobil.[15]

"He previously served as senior legislative assistant to Rep. John Shadegg, and before that as Washington representative of the American Land Rights Association. .... Mr. Ebell holds a BA from Colorado College and an MSc from the London School of Economics. He did graduate work at the University of California at San Diego and at Peterhouse, Cambridge University," his biographical note states. [2]

Quotations

"Higher fuel efficiency standards costs lives... in 1993 alone higher [Car Efficiency Standards] cost 1300 to 2600 lives. Multiply that by 20 years and you've got a lot of people who've died because of fuel efficiency standards... because consumers have not had the choice to buy safer cars that they want." [3]

"[A]s previous studies have concluded, the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets are probably thickening rather than melting." [4]

"The US consumes about 25% of the energy in the world, and we produce between 25 and 30% of the wealth created in the world, so, in fact, the answer for the world is not to assume that by cutting back on American production and productivity, that you're going to get richer, the answer is the emulate the institutions and the policies that the United States has persued to become as wealthy and as productive as we are." [5]

"We develop policies and then we try to find funding, some policies we find some funding other policies we find very little"[6]

Contact information

Email: mebell AT cei.org

Articles and resources

Related SourceWatch articles

References

  1. "Meet Myron Ebell, the Climate Contrarian Leading Trump’s EPA Transition," PBS, accessed November 2016.
  2. "Myron Ebell," Competitive Enterprise Institute website, accessed March 2009.
  3. "Factsheet: Competitive Enterprise Institute," ExxonSecrets.org, accessed March 2009.
  4. "Factsheet: Frontiers of Freedom," ExxonSecrets.org, accessed March 2009.
  5. Michael Shnayerson, "A Convenient Untruth: For the obligatory 'opposing view' on climate change, the media often turn to Myron Ebell, policy analyst, sound-bite artist, and oil-industry mouthpiece. While mainstream experts see global warming as a major crisis, the hotter it gets, the better Ebell likes it," Vanity Fair, May 2007.
  6. "GOP Attorneys General Held Private Meetings with Fossil Fuel Lobbyists on Exxon Investigation," ExposedByCMD, accessed November 2016.
  7. 7.0 7.1 "Transcript of RAGA Session on ExxonMobil Investigations," ExposedByCMD, accessed November 2016.
  8. "Competitive Enterprise Institute NYT Ad Signatories Got $10 Million from Exxon," Climate Investigations Center, accessed November 2016.
  9. "Punishing Climate-Change Skeptics," The Wall Street Journal, accessed November 2016.
  10. "New York’s Schneiderman Will Not Be Outsleazed In His Campaign to Get ExxonMobil," Townhall, accessed November 2016.
  11. "Anatomy of a Washington dinner: Who funds the Competitive Enterprise Institute?," Washington Post, accessed November 2016.
  12. "Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI)," DeSmogBlog, accessed November 2016.
  13. "Lawyer Tormenting Scientists Revealed Working For Coal Company," PRWatch, accessed November 2016.
  14. "Speakers," Heartland Institute website, accessed January 2009.
  15. "FACTSHEET: Frontiers of Freedom Institute and Foundation, FoF," Exxonsecrets.org, accessed November 2016.

External resources

External articles

  • "With the Queen in Germany worrying about climate change, will we see any change in George Bush's attitude over the next four years?", Radio 4, BBC, November 4, 2004. (The relevant section on how Bush's climate change policy is not going to change, and all the climate scientists have it wrong starts at 3:44).
  • Joel Achenbach, "The Tempest: As evidence mounts that humans are causing dangerous changes in Earth's climate, a handful of skeptics are providing some serious blowback", The Washington Post Magazine, May 28, 2006.
  • Michael Shnayerson, "A Convenient Untruth: For the obligatory 'opposing view' on climate change, the media often turn to Myron Ebell, policy analyst, sound-bite artist, and oil-industry mouthpiece. While mainstream experts see global warming as a major crisis, the hotter it gets, the better Ebell likes it," Vanity Fair, May 2007.