Science and Public Policy Institute
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The Science and Public Policy Institute (SPPI) is a global warming skeptics website and blog now run by the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, which employs SPPI President Robert Ferguson; the SPPI website has drawn heavily on papers written by Christopher Monckton.
SPPI is not a separate 501(c)(3) nonprofit.
- 1 Ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council
- 2 Mission
- 3 Questions
- 4 Background
- 5 Funding
- 6 Personnel
- 7 Other SourceWatch Resources
- 8 References
Ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council
In August 2011, Institute President Robert Ferguson spoke on "Benefit Analysis of CO2" (previously known as "Warming Up to Climate Change: The Many Benefits of Increased Atmospheric CO2") at the Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force meeting at the 2011 American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) Annual Meeting. He was accompanied by Craig Idso of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change and MEP Roger Helmer, a Member of the European Parliament for the East Midlands of Great Britain who represents the Conservative Party and has used his position on the European Parliament to fight increased regulation of member states through the European Union.
ALEC is a corporate bill mill. It is not just a lobby or a front group; it is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, corporations hand state legislators their wishlists to benefit their bottom line. Corporations fund almost all of ALEC's operations. They pay for a seat on ALEC task forces where corporate lobbyists and special interest reps vote with elected officials to approve “model” bills. Learn more at the Center for Media and Democracy's ALECexposed.org, and check out breaking news on our PRWatch.org site.
SPPI describes itself as "a nonprofit institute of research and education dedicated to sound public policy based on sound science." It also proclaims that it is "free from affiliation to any corporation or political party, we support the advancement of sensible public policies for energy and the environment rooted in rational science and economics. Only through science and factual information, separating reality from rhetoric, can legislators develop beneficial policies without unintended consequences that might threaten the life, liberty, and prosperity of the citizenry."
SPPI's legal status? (not an IRS nonprofit)
Although in March 2011 SPPI's webpages described it as "a nonprofit institute of research and education dedicated to sound public policy...", in early 2011 Ferguson said SPPI had not been granted nonprofit status from the IRS, 3+ years after it was formed.
(An entry in Virginia's Corporation Records  for "Science and Public Policy Institute, The" (#0673507-0) shows SPPI's directors as Robert E. Ferguson, and two attorneys. But this was reportedly a shell corporation, with no income and no expenditures.)
Ferguson employed by CO2Science
The 2009 Form 990 for the Idsos' Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change reports the Center paid Ferguson a base salary of $247,500 plus a $60,000 bonus.
Connections to FoF's Center for Science and Public Policy
Prior to founding SPPI in approximately mid-2007, SPPI's Ferguson was the Executive Director of the Center for Science and Public Policy (CSPP), a project of the corporate-funded Frontiers of Freedom Institute. SPPI's blog is run by a web designer who has also reported helping at Frontiers of Freedom.
- March 2005-May 2007, Ferguson edits CSPP weekly bulletin
- June 2007, First known SPPI press release issued, supporting the statements made by the then NASA Administrator Michael Griffin questioning global warming. Heartland Institute's Harriette Johnson was listed as media contact.
- July 2007, SPPI begins publishing SPPI eWire, identical in content style to CSPP's Climate Weekly, Climate and Environment Weekly and Climate and Environment Review.
On SPPI name confusion with Carlo's SPPI
Ferguson founded and named this group approximately eight years after George L. Carlo had founded the identically-named, pro-public-health Science and Public Policy Institute, to work on issues such as electro-magnetic radiation and health issues.
Ferguson states he was oblivious to the existence of Carlo's group, and that it was only after registering his organization in Virginia that he discovered Carlo's group existed, but by then his group had created the website and printed their stationery.
On its website SPPI does not detail the sources of its funding or outline its approach to disclosure.
For past funding (of CSPP) by Exxon, see the "Exxon funding" section of the Frontiers of Freedom page.
On SPPI's "Personnel" page, the following names appear::
- Robert Ferguson, SPPI President
- Lord Christopher Monckton (UK)
- William Kininmonth, (Australia)
- Bob Carter (Australia)
- Craig Idso of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change
- David Legates
- Joseph D'Aleo
These additional names were reportedly present in Feb. 2009:
Science and Public Policy Institute
209 Pennsylvania Ave. SE Suite 299
Washington, D.C. 20003
5501 Merchants View Square,# 209
Haymarket, VA 20169
Other SourceWatch Resources
- Science and Public Policy Institute (disambiguation)
- Robert E. Ferguson
- Center for Science and Public Policy
- Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change
- Heartland Institute
- Frontiers of Freedom Institute
- Global warming skeptics
- American Legislative Exchange Council, ALEC 2011 Annual Meeting Agenda, online meeting agenda, image archived August 3, 2011
- American Legislative Exchange Council, ALEC 2011 Annual Meeting Agenda, online meeting agenda, image archived July 22, 2011
- American Legislative Exchange Council, "Energy, Environment, and Agriculture 2011 Annual Meeting Task Force Meeting," speaker biographies and materials, August 4, 2011, on file with CMD
- "Our Mission", Science and Public Policy Institute website, accessed February 2009.
- Bob Ferguson, pers. comm., 2011-03-31 - although it apparently had an EIN,62-1694476, and Guidestar.org said: "This organization's exempt status was automatically revoked by the IRS for failure to file a Form 990, 990-EZ, 990-N, or 990-PF for 3 consecutive years. Further investigation and due diligence is warranted."
- Gair, pers. comm., 2011-03-31
- Sire Studios; Jan. 2012
- Science and Public Policy Institute, "Contact", Science and Public Policy Institute website, accessed February 2009.
- Center for Science and Public Policy, "Contact Us", Center for Science and Public Policy website, accessed February 2009.
- Center for Science and Public Policy, "Climate and Environment Weekly Archives", Center for Science and Public Policy website, accessed February 2009.
- Frontiers of Freedom, "Climate & Environment Review May 10, 2007", Frontiers of Freedom website, accessed February 2009.
- Robert Ferguson, "Scientists Rally Around NASA Chief After Global Warming Comments", Media Release, June 1, 2007.
- Science and Public Policy Institute, "SPPI eWire 7/12/2007", Science and Public Policy Institute website, July 12, 2007.
- Bob Ferguson, interview with Bob Burton, March 2009.
- Personnel. SPPI. Retrieved on 2011-03-31.