Wall Street Journal Hides Industry Ties Of Op-Ed Writer Attacking Fossil Fuel Divestment Effort

The Wall Street Journal failed to disclose the fossil fuel ties of an op-ed writer who criticized an effort to encourage colleges to divest from fossil fuel-producing companies.

On Sunday, the Journal published an op-ed by Robert Bryce, which attacked environmental activists who are seeking to have colleges and universities shed their investments in fossil fuel producing companies. Bryce alluded to the supposed “absurdity of the activists' calls for a 'fossil free' future.” The diverstiture effort, Fossil Free, is a campaign managed by 350.org, an organization committed to “building a global grass roots movement to solve the climate crisis.”

But the Journal did not disclose that Bryce's organization, the Manhattan Institute, has received over $600,000 from Exxon Mobile since 1998, including $95,000 in 2011. The Manhattan Institute has also received funding from the David H. Koch Foundation and the Olin Foundation, foundations started by energy titans David Koch and John Olin.

The Journal has an ongoing problem with disclosing the affiliations of its op-ed contributors, including 12 advisers to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's campaign leading up to November's election and Karl Rove. This disclosure problem has permeated several issue areas, including a number of climate change-denying op-eds from Bryce.