Beck, Pethokoukis cited Marshall Institute's cap-and-trade study, ignored its ExxonMobil funding

››› ››› LAUREN AUERBACH

Glenn Beck and James Pethokoukis each cited a study by the George C. Marshall Institute to criticize the carbon cap-and-trade system described in President Obama's budget proposal. But neither Beck nor Pethokoukis noted that the Marshall Institute has received funding from ExxonMobil.

On the March 3 edition of his Fox News program, Glenn Beck cited a study recently released by the George C. Marshall Institute as evidence that the carbon cap-and-trade system described in President Obama's budget proposal "will likely limit nothing except corporate profits and economic growth." Similarly, in a March 3 U.S. News & World Report blog post, money and politics blogger James Pethokoukis wrote: "A study from the George C. Marshall Institute tries to quantify the costs of a cap-and-trade plan to reduce carbon emissions. They're not small, to say the least: And although this study uses 2008 as a baseline, the Obama plan would hit in 2012 and could come in combo with a hike in investment and incomes taxes for wealthier Americans and the creation of a special healthcare tax." But neither Beck nor Pethokoukis noted that the Marshall Institute has received funding from ExxonMobil.

Indeed, according to its Worldwide Contributions and Community Investments reports, ExxonMobil Corp. and its foundation, divisions, and affiliates have contributed more than $300,000 to the George C. Marshall Institute since 2005. Specifically:

  • In 2007, ExxonMobil reported that it contributed $50,000 for "Energy Literacy" and $65,000 for "General Operating Support."
  • In 2006, ExxonMobil reported that it contributed $85,000 for "General Support and Annual Dinner."
  • In 2005, ExxonMobil reported that it contributed $25,000 for "Awards Dinner and General Operating Support" and $90,000 for "General Operating Support." (The ExxonMobil Foundation's 2005 Form 990 lists what appears to be the latter donation as being specifically for "Climate Change.")

Additionally, the George C. Marshall Institute is a co-sponsor of the Heartland Institute's 2009 International Conference on Climate Change. According to the Heartland Institute's website, the conference -- titled "Global warming: Was it ever really a crisis?" -- will be "[t]he world's largest-ever gathering of global warming skeptics." As Media Matters for America has repeatedly noted, the Heartland Institute receives funding from the fossil fuels industry, including $115,000 from ExxonMobil in 2006, with $90,000 specifically designated for "General Operating Support -- Climate Change."

From the March 3 edition of Fox News' Glenn Beck:

BECK: And second, the idea of creating a perfect socialist society. Think about it like this: Everyday, Obama is out there talking about how bad the economy is; and don't get me wrong, it is really, really bad. Remember, they told us that if we don't give the government hundreds of billions of dollars right now the whole thing could collapse overnight -- quick, before the banks close.

But if that's true, let me ask you a question: Why all of a sudden is there so much money for, like, global warming? Why is that so high on the president's agenda? Why are they trying to shut down every coal plant? Have you checked the temperature lately? The new budget contains a cap-and-trade program that is supposed to limit carbon dioxide emissions. Oh, the trees will love it. But if it performs anywhere near as well as the one in Europe -- because that one's great -- it will likely limit nothing except corporate profits and economic growth.

The Marshall Institute looked at a dozen estimates from sources like, you know, MIT -- but what do they know -- and the EPA. They found that this program would result in a GDP loss from 0.3 percent up to 3 percent below business-as-usual projections in 2015. Now, I'm just trying to remember -- just, you know, like, yesterday -- wasn't everybody freaking out about how bad our last quarter was? Well, guess what? That was a loss of just 1.5 percent -- half of what this idiotic cap-and-trade program will cost us.

So, if we're worried about the economy, why is that there? Remember one thing: The problem is the solution. The answer to why we're talking about global warming is contained right there in the name -- global. Global warming fits perfectly with a global New Deal, because they're both focused on solving everyone's problems all at once -- controlling your life globally -- while ensuring that America takes on the majority of the world's burden.

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