Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Kochs and the Tar Sands

Here's a list of sponsors for 2009 Heartland Institute Conference:

So I guess one question would be, does Heartland get money from the sponsors that originated with the Koch's?

This is also amusing:

"When Democratic staff for the Energy and Commerce Committee recently inquired about Koch Industries' connections to the proposed pipeline, however, the company's representatives told them the firm has "no financial interest" in the project."

That statement followed this paragraph:

"Publicly available information indicates that the company is involved in several aspects of Canadian tar sands development. Koch’s Pine Bend Refinery in Minnesota currently processes roughly 25% of the tar sands fuel imports to the United States. Koch owns Flint Hills Resources, LLP, in Calgary, Canada, which is “among Canada’s largest crude oil purchasers, shippers and exporters.” Flint Hills Resources also operates a crude oil terminal in Hardisty, Alberta, where the Keystone XL pipeline will begin. According to the Government of Alberta, Koch Industrieshas both proposed and producing tar sands projects in the province. The Oil Sands Developers Group also indicates that Koch is a tar sands project developer. Koch’s Corpus Christi refinery is positioned near the end of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline and would be a potential buyer for the tar sands crude shipped through the pipeline."

I wound up looking for this information following an exchange of comments at Professor Mandia's blog post regarding the line-up of speakers scheduled for the Heartland Institute's anti-climate science conference in Washington June 31 - July 1, which inspired me to register as a blogger.  Here are the comments so far:

Climate zombies are planning to crash the party. Anyone who wants to join in the fun please get in touch!

May 20, 2011 at 9:02 am

    • Are you one of those “Climate zombies,” Gail, eager to “crash the party”? You do realize that announcing plans to disrupt our conference on an open thread is probably not a good idea if subterfuge is your aim.
      But since you’ve been kind enough to say so publicly, how about sharing the names of the fellow “zombies” and “party crashers” you wish to put on our guest list? No use hiding now, eh?
      Jim Lakely
      Director of Communications
      The Heartland Institute

      May 23, 2011 at 8:06 pm
  1. ______________________________________________________________
    You must be using the term “party crashers” in a manner inconsistent with its historic use. Most people who “crash” an event are not there to simply enjoy it in peace. But, suit yourself.
    I’m aware you have registered as a blogger, and maybe we will meet. For what it might be worth to you, education is our aim, as well. If you attend and listen to the presentations, you might learn something.
    As for the blog posts you shared … you seem to be working under the fallacious assumption (as many on the left do) that Heartland is funded by the Koch Brothers. Alas, they have not contributed in years (though we’d be happy to enjoy their support). So the “zombies” and “crashers” might want to save some valuable paint, ink and cardboard signs by picking more relevant targets.

    May 23, 2011 at 8:49 pm
    • The point of the links was not that I think Koch and Heartland are in any way connected financially.
      They both however indulge in climate zombie promulgation – in other words, they repeat old denier canards that have been effectively killed repeatedly by expert scientists in the field, and yet they resurrect them from the dead.
      Someone who attempts and often gains entry to a party or club to which they were not invited, often using social engineering techniques. The party crasher usually tries to blend into the party so as not to be kicked out

      May 23, 2011 at 9:03 pm
    • Hey Jim,
      Alas, they [the Kochs] have not contributed in years (though we’d be happy to enjoy their support).
      Or do you mean the Kochs have not directly funded Heartland in years, as far as you know? :) :)
      (And while you’re here, are you still advocating that laptop manufacturers should control what users can or can’t do on their laptops?)
      * * *
      Gail Zawacki:
      Instead of (or in addition to) dressing up as climate zombies, you might also want to consider asking the ‘conference’ folks some pointed questions, especially in the presence of media churnalists such as Andrew Revkin — and I have a few ideas. I hope folks like Jim Lakely above will actually be eager to “educate” us when that happens. :)
      – frank
    • Heartland’s funding can be researched here:
      When the Kochs, ExxonMobil, and others distribute money and then that money is spread around to other groups, it is difficult to know how much an organization such as Heartland is receiving from fossil fuel-related stakeholders.
      The money trail does not indict Heartland as much as their own publications about climate change “science”. Stick to what is printed and what their people state publicly because those words make it clear that the Heartland Emperor has no clothes.

      May 24, 2011 at 8:10 am
      • Thank you Scott. I did also find this 2009 list of Heartland conference sponsors, many of whom receive direct contributions from Kochs, Exxon and Scaife, so it sort of begs the question of how much Heartland funding originates from fossil fuel sources.
        However, I am not interested primarily in that issue and in fact it was Mr. Jim Lakely who introduced the connection or lack thereof.
        My motivation in going to the conference has much more to do with the original topic of the post – which is the caliber and credentials of the invited speaker list.
        I’m not a scientist but I know enough to realize that us lay people should rely on the scientists for the facts. If 98% of all neurosurgeons and every medical school and research institution in the world told me I had a brain tumor that needed an emergency operation, I would not seek a chiropractor or homeopathic remedies instead. I would submit to whatever radical, painful, expensive and drastic treatment the trained oncologists recommend (unless I had a death wish).
        I’d like to know why members of the Heartland Institute think their response to the climate change equivalent of that scenario is appropriate.

        May 24, 2011 at 8:31 am
  2. Frank, any suggestions are welcome. This effort to venture into the Heartland territory is still shaping up as a work in progress, which I hope will ultimately be both enlightening and entertaining – in my own humble emulation of the best gonzo journalistic tradition exemplified by the original, late, great, Hunter S. Thompson:
    I will try to avoid classified substances, however.

    May 24, 2011 at 7:34 am


  1. Do you and Doc have a bet on this one? If I was a betting person, I would say Hillary could care less what any of us think since we don't butter her bread. She will push the pipeline through, as directed.

  2. It's all rather Quixotic now, isn't it?

  3. It really is. There is so much happening on so many fronts so rapidly, and when you include synergy in the mix, it's overwhelming.

    At this point, the little things we may do are likened to Wack-A-Mole. For every little thing we may knock down, or over, a million pop up to take its place.

    And then there is this from the realm of the unexplained.

    I'm not sure if you saw this, or not. It made its rounds via the Internet, and people tried to cast it off as fake, although their cases were weak.


    This same phenomenon has been occurring in our neck of the woods. My wife witnessed the exact same thing one night, this past Fall, on her way back from Belly Dance, and she's not interested in UFO crap, but this experience really rattled her and got her attention. We were at a party this weekend, and our Bosnian friends, the husband, at least, unsolicited mentioned he saw this same thing the night before the party. He, and his brother-in-law saw it, and a friend from work who called him about it. The friend from work even reported it to the police and they told him no one else has mentioned it.

    What's going on?

  4. Oh WELL then, take a look at my email inbox this morning!



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