Steve Milloy claimed in a Washington Times op-ed that air pollution from power plants is “not causing air-quality or public-health problems” and that EPA's clean air regulations “will bring no health or environmental benefits.” However, health experts disagree with Milloy, who previously downplayed the dangers of secondhand smoke while taking money from the tobacco industry.
Wash. Times Op-Ed Falsely Claims Pollutants “Are Not Causing Air-Quality Or Public-Health Problems”
Wash. Times: “Current Emissions Are Not Causing Air-Quality Or Public-Health Problems Anywhere In America.” From a July 5 op-ed in The Washington Times by Steve Milloy:
The next month is a good time for Congressional Republicans to move beyond empty gestures to solve the job-killing and economy-slowing problem that is the Obama Environmental Protection Agency.
Since January, the EPA has been implementing its greenhouse-gas regulations and has advanced an entire suite of regulations intended to make it painfully expensive for utilities to continue burning coal for electricity generation.
Known as the "EPA train wreck," the regulations will force utilities to further reduce emissions of conventional pollutants such as sulfur dioxide, nitrous oxides and mercury even though the current emissions are not causing air-quality or public-health problems anywhere in America. [Washington Times, 7/5/11]
In Fact, Problems From These Pollutants Are Well Documented
Study: Fine Particle Pollution From Coal Plants Continues To Cause Serious Health Problems. From an analysis conducted by research firm Abt Associates for the Clean Air Task Force on fine particle pollution, which the EPA's recently finalized cross-state air pollution rule limits:
[F]ine particle pollution from existing coal plants is expected to cause nearly 13,200 deaths in 2010. Additional impacts include an estimated 9,700 hospitalizations and more than 20,000 heart attacks per year. The total monetized value of these adverse health impacts adds up to more than $100 billion per year. This burden is not distributed evenly across the population. Adverse impacts are especially severe for the elderly, children, and those with respiratory disease. In addition, the poor, minority groups, and people who live in areas downwind of multiple power plants are likely to be disproportionately exposed to the health risks and costs of fine particle pollution.
Unfortunately, persistently elevated levels of fine particle pollution are common across wide swaths of the country, particularly in the eastern United States. Fine particle pollution itself consists of a complex mixture of harmful pollutants including elements as diverse as soot, acid droplets, and metals. Most of these pollutants originate from combustion sources such as power plants, diesel trucks, buses, and cars. East of the Mississippi, sulfates are a dominant ingredient of fine particle pollution. Sulfates are formed in the atmosphere from sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions, which also contribute-- along with emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx)--to the formation of airborne acidic particles. In 2008, power plants accounted for 66% of the national SO2 inventory with the vast majority of this contribution (more than 98%) coming from coal-fired power plants. Sulfur emissions from coal-fired power plants thus emerge as the chief driver of adverse health impacts from industrial sources of air pollution across much of the country. [Clean Air Task Force, September 2010]
Health Experts: “Wealth Of Peer-Reviewed Research” Establishes “Clear Link Between Air Pollution And A Range Of Serious Adverse Human Health Effects.” The American Lung Association, American Thoracic Society, American Public Health Association, Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, American Academy of Pediatrics, and Physicians for Social Responsibility wrote to Rep. Joe Barton in support of the EPA's proposed air toxics rule:
As doctors and on behalf of the organizations we represent, we write today to provide you with information regarding the wealth of peer-reviewed research that establishes a clear link between air pollution and a range of serious adverse human health effects.
The health impacts of short-term exposure (over hours to days) of particulate matter were found to include: death from respiratory and cardiovascular causes, including strokes; increased risk of cardiovascular harm, including acute myocardial infarction (heart attacks) and congestive heart failure, especially among the elderly and in people with cardiovascular disease; inflammation of lung tissue in young, healthy adults; increased hospitalization for cardiovascular disease, including strokes; hospitalization for asthma among children; and aggravated asthma attacks in children.
Exposure to year-round particle pollution has also been found to cause premature death and cardiovascular harm, especially greater risk of death from cardiovascular disease. Particulate matter is considered likely to increase the risk of hospitalization for asthma attacks in children; stunt lung function growth in children and teenagers; damage the small airways of the lungs; increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes in older women; increased risk of dying from lung cancer; and. Evidence links long-term exposures to adverse reproductive and developmental outcomes such as low birth weight and infant mortality.
Appended to this letter is a short list of published studies that support these statements about mercury and particulate matter. We strongly urge you and your staff to read through the volumes of work that have been published over the decades on this topic. Once you do, we trust that you will agree that the EPA is on strong footing when it assesses and states the health benefits of measures to reduce air pollution. [Letter to Rep. Barton, 5/10/11]
American Academy of Pediatrics: Air Quality In Some Areas Of The U.S. “Has Actually Decreased.” From Dr. Jerome A. Paulson's June 15 testimony on behalf of the American Academy of Pediatrics in which he testified about the health impact of several of the pollutants the cross-state air pollution and air toxics rules will limit:
The Clean Air Act has made incredible improvements in the environment, in the health of infants and children, and in the quality of life for all Americans. However, the impacts of the Clean Air Act have not been universally felt. Air quality in some areas of the United States has improved, but in some areas it has actually decreased, and millions of Americans still live in areas where monitored air fails to meet EPA standards for at least one of six criteria pollutants. In addition, in the last 40 years, we have learned that serious health effects of air pollutants are experienced at levels much lower than previously considered “safe” levels of exposure, particularly for vulnerable populations such as infants, children, the elderly, and individuals with respiratory diseases.
There is overwhelming evidence linking air pollution with a variety of adverse health outcomes. The AAP believes it is necessary for Congress to strengthen the Clean Air Act and the EPA's ability and authority to set, implement, and enforce Clean Air Act regulations throughout the country. [Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, 6/15/11]
All 50 States Have Issued Fish Consumption Advisories Due To High Levels Of Mercury. From a December 2010 Greenwire report on mercury, emissions of which the air toxics rule will limit:
Toxic pollution limits have been set for many industries, but a generation after the last major change to the nation's air pollution laws, EPA still doesn't have standards for coal-fired power plants and other facilities that release most of the nation's mercury.
Meanwhile, the number of warnings about mercury in fish has multiplied. Fish-consumption advisories have been issued in all 50 states, aimed at recreational fishermen and people who rely on local catches as a staple of their diets. Seafood from the supermarket is also risky; the Food and Drug Administration has advised pregnant women to eat canned light tuna rather than pricier albacore, which contains, on average, about three times as much mercury.
Scientists know that coal-burning power plants, industrial boilers, cement kilns and other facilities produce much of the mercury in the environment. There's no question that eating mercury-tainted fish can cause brain damage and other health problems, especially in children.
In the United States, there are more consumption warnings for mercury than for all other contaminants combined. Experts aren't expecting new regulations to keep all mercury out of the water, but if the agency doesn't act, nothing will change, [Syracuse University's Charles] Driscoll said. [Greenwire, 12/8/10]
GAO: Coal Plants Are “Largest Unregulated Industrial Source Of Mercury.” From an October 2009 Government Accountability Office report on mercury emissions from coal plants, which the air toxics rule will limit:
The 491 U.S. coal-fired power plants are the largest unregulated industrial source of mercury emissions nationwide, annually emitting about 48 tons of mercury--a toxic element that poses health threats, including neurological disorders in children. [Government Accountability Office, October 2009]
Study: “A Significant Portion Of The [Mercury] Deposited In The Immediate Vicinity Of Coal Fired Utilities Can Be Directly Attributed To That Local Point Source.” In a 2009 study, Emily Mae White of the University of Michigan concluded that “a significant portion of the Hg deposited in the immediate vicinity of coal fired utilities can be directly attributed to that local point source” and “it has become evident that near-field impact of coal fired utility boilers on Hg deposition is significant and underestimated by the models that have been utilized in previous policy decision making.” [University of Michigan, 2009]
EPA: “It Is Estimated That More Than 300,000 Newborns Each Year May Have Increased Risk Of Learning Disabilities” From Mercury Exposure. From the EPA:
In U.S. EPA's Mercury Study Report to Congress (1997) EPA estimated that 7% of women of childbearing age would have blood mercury concentrations greater than those equivalent to the RfD [reference dose]. The estimate of 7% of women of childbearing age above the RfD was based on patterns of fish and shellfish consumption and methylmercury concentrations present in fish and shellfish. Blood mercury analyses in the 1999-2000 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (1999-2000 NHANES) for 16-to-49 year old women showed that approximately 8% of women in the survey had blood mercury concentrations greater than 5.8 ug/L ( which is a blood mercury level equivalent to the current RfD). Based on this prevalence for the overall U.S. population of women of reproductive age and the number of U.S. births each year, it is estimated that more than 300,000 newborns each year may have increased risk of learning disabilities associated with in utero exposure to methylmercury. More recent data from the CDC support this general finding. [Environmental Protection Agency, accessed 5/26/11]
EPA: Nitrogen Contributes To Eutrophication Of Estuaries. From the Regulatory Impact Analysis for the Proposed Federal Transport Rule (also known as the cross-state air pollution rule):
One of the main adverse ecological effects resulting from N deposition, particularly in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States, is the effect associated with nutrient enrichment in estuarine waters. A recent assessment of 141 estuaries nationwide by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) concluded that 19 estuaries (13%) suffered from moderately high of high levels of eutrophication due to excessive inputs of both N and phosphorus, and a majority of these estuaries are located in the coastal area from North Carolina to Massachusetts (NOAA, 2007). For estuaries in the Mid-Atlantic region, the contribution of atmospheric distribution to total N loads is estimated to range between 10% and 58% (Valigura et al., 2001).
Eutrophication in estuaries is associated with a range of adverse ecological effects. The conceptual framework developed by NOAA emphasizes four main types of eutrophication effects--low dissolved oxygen (DO), harmful algal blooms (HABs), loss of submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV), and low water clarity. Low DO disrupts aquatic habitats, causing stress to fish and shellfish, which, in the short-term, can lead to episodic fish kills and, in the long-term, can damage overall growth in fish and shellfish populations. Low DO also degrades the aesthetic qualities of surface water. In addition to often being toxic to fish and shellfish, and leading to fish kills and aesthetic impairments of estuaries, HABs can, in some instances, also be harmful to human health. [EPA, June 2010]
Wash. Times Claims Pollution Controls Will Provide “No Health Or Environmental Benefits”
Wash. Times: Clean Air Regulations “Will Bring No Health Or Environmental Benefits.” From a July 5 op-ed in The Washington Times by Steve Milloy:
These rules are so oppressive that they've even frayed the alliance between radical environmentalists and labor. The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers forecasts that 50,000 of its members and another 200,000 workers down the supply line will lose their jobs within three years.
That's quite a toll for regulations that will bring no health or environmental benefits. [Washington Times, 7/5/11]
EPA Estimates Significant Health And Environment Benefits From Clean Air Rules, Health Organizations Agree
EPA: Air Toxics Rule Will Prevent Up To 17,000 Premature Deaths, 510 Lost IQ Points. From the EPA's regulatory impact analysis of a proposed rule to reduce emissions of mercury and other hazardous air pollutants from coal- and oil-fired power plants:
Our analyses suggest this rule would yield benefits in 2016 of $59 to $140 billion (based on a 3 percent discount rate) and $53 to $130 billion (based on a 7 percent discount rate). This estimate reflects the economic value of a range of avoided health outcomes, including 510 fewer mercury-related IQ points lost as well as a variety of avoided PM2.5-related impacts, including 6,800 to 17,000 premature deaths, 11,000 nonfatal heart attacks, 5,300 hospitalizations for respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, 850,000 lost work days and 5.1 million days when adults restrict normal activities because of respiratory symptoms exacerbated by PM2.5. [EPA, March 2011]
EPA: Cross-State Air Pollution Rule Will Prevent Up To 34,000 Premature Deaths Annually. From the EPA's information on the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, which “requires 27 states to ... reduce power plant emissions that contribute to ozone and/or fine particle pollution in other states.” From EPA:
The Cross-State Air Pollution Rule will help avoid tens of thousands of premature deaths and illnesses, achieving billions of dollars in public health benefits. By 2014, the required emissions reductions will annually avoid:
-13,000 to 34,000 premature deaths
-15,000 nonfatal heart attacks
-19,000 hospital and emergency room visits
-1.8 million lost work days or school absences
-400,000 aggravated asthma attacks [EPA, 7/6/11]
EPA notes that “The emission reductions expected from EPA's recently-proposed Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) are not included in the estimated emission reductions from the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule; once those standards are implemented, SO2 emissions from the power sector are likely to be reduced even further."
ALA: Air Toxics Rule “Will Protect Americans Against Life-Threatening Air Pollution.” From a letter to the EPA from the American Lung Association:
When final, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Mercury and Air Toxics Rule--required by the Clean Air Act--will protect Americans against life-threatening air pollution such as mercury, arsenic and other toxics linked to cancer, heart disease, neurological damage, birth defects, asthma attacks and even premature death. [American Lung Association, 5/18/11]
APHA: Cross-State Air Pollution Rule Is “Long Overdue Step To Protect The Health Of Americans.” From the American Public Health Association:
Intended to reduce exposure to harmful levels of ozone and air pollution, EPA's transport rule would place stricter limits on sulfur, nitrogen and toxic emissions that travel across state lines and jeopardize the health of millions of people, particularly seniors, children and those with chronic lung and cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes. According to EPA, today's air quality improvement ruling could save between 14,000 and 36,000 lives every year from averted heart attacks, strokes and respiratory illnesses. Regulations would be enforced at coal-fired power plants in 28 states and the District of Columbia.
“Too many Americans suffer from life-threatening ozone and air pollution emitted by coal-burning power plants,” said Georges C. Benjamin, MD, FACP, FACEP (E), executive director of APHA. “Today's ruling is an important and long overdue step to protect the health of Americans and clean up our environment. It's a huge win-win. We praise EPA for its continued efforts to help create stronger, healthier and more productive communities for ourselves and our families.” [APHA, 7/7/11]
NWF: Strong Limits On Mercury Pollution Will Reduce “Contamination In Local Waters And Wildlife.” From the National Wildlife Federation's information on the threat of mercury pollution to wildlife:
Mercury is one of the most harmful pollutants that fish and wildlife face today. High levels of mercury threaten wildlife's ability to reproduce, hunt, and avoid predators.
Coal burning power plants are the nation's largest source of mercury emissions, leading to widespread contamination of local environments.
Toxic mercury released from smokestacks across the country accumulates in our rivers, lakes, and forests where wildlife are exposed by consuming contaminated prey. Fish, and the birds and mammals that eat them, are some of the most affected species.
The good news is that studies have shown that once mercury pollution is cleaned up, levels of contamination in local waters and wildlife are reduced in a matter of years. We can protect wildlife from mercury exposure, we just need strong limits on mercury pollution.
Fortunately, new limits on mercury and other air toxins from coal burning power plants that are 20 years in the making have finally been proposed. Right now, we have the chance to ensure the Environmental Protection Agency moves forward with the strong new pollution limits. [National Wildlife Federation, accessed 7/7/11]
Environment America: Cross-State Air Pollution Rule Rule Limits Pollution That “Creates Acid Rain As Well As Haze” And Decreases Visibility. From Environment America:
For years, air pollution from power plants has triggered thousands of premature deaths and emergency room visits across the country, as well as millions of missed workdays and missed school days. In addition, air pollution from power plants creates acid rain as well as haze that blankets many national parks and forests, decreasing visibility and threatening the health of nearby communities.
The rule announced today, known as the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, will require reductions in emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx, which are a key ingredient in smog pollution) and sulfur dioxide (SO2, which is a key ingredient in soot pollution) from power plants in 27 states. Power plants are one of the largest sources of NOx emissions, releasing 1.9 million tons of the pollutant into the nation's air in 2009, according to the recent Environment America report, “Dirty Energy's Assault on our Health: Ozone Pollution”. EPA estimates that by 2014, this new rule and other state and federal actions will cut power plant SO2 emissions by 73 percent from 2005 levels and cut NOx power plant emissions by 54 percent. [Environment America, 7/7/11]
Adirondack Park Advocacy Group: Cross-State Air Pollution Rule Is “Essentially Enough To End Chronic Acidification Of Lakes And Ponds In Adirondacks.” The New York Times reported:
John F. Sheehan of the Adirondack Council, a nonprofit advocacy group, said that the finalization of the new air quality rule would help Adirondack Park in upstate New York, the nation's largest park outside Alaska, recover from exposure to decades of dangerous pollution produced far from its borders.
“This is the biggest leap forward in our long history of dealing with this problem,” Mr. Sheehan said in a telephone interview. “This is a very deep cut on a very aggressive schedule and essentially enough to end chronic acidification of lakes and ponds in the Adirondacks.”
He said that it would allow the regeneration of spruce and fir forests in the six-million-acre park while improving the habitat of dozens of species, from the Bicknell's Thrush at high elevations to brook trout in streams.
“This sets the stage for biological recovery and the return of species that once inhabited those lands and waters,” he said. [New York Times, 7/7/11]
Milloy Was Hired By American Petroleum Institute To Downplay Global Warming. In a feature on fellow climate change skeptic Marc Morano, Esquire reported that in 1998, “the American Petroleum Institute hired a conservative PR expert named Steve Milloy to develop a 'Global Climate Science Communications Action Plan.' They had to tell a better story and tell it fast. They had to change the narrative. Milloy ran a Web site called Junk Science, joined in time by Climate Audit and Ice Cap and a thousand others, all hammering the same message -- ignore global warming.” [Esquire, 3/30/10]
Milloy's Groups Have Been Funded By ExxonMobil. Chris Mooney reported in a May 2005 Mother Jones article:
In its giving report, ExxonMobil says it supports public policy groups that are “dedicated to researching free market solutions to policy problems.” What the company doesn't say is that beyond merely challenging the Kyoto Protocol or the McCain-lieberman Climate Stewardship Act on economic grounds, many of these groups explicitly dispute the science of climate change. Generally eschewing peer-reviewed journals, these groups make their challenges in far less stringent arenas, such as the media and public forums.
Consider attacks by friends of ExxonMobil on the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA). A landmark international study that combined the work of some 300 scientists, the ACIA, released last November, had been four years in the making. Commissioned by the Arctic Council, an intergovernmental forum that includes the United States, the study warned that the Arctic is warming “at almost twice the rate as that of the rest of the world,” and that early impacts of climate change, such as melting sea ice and glaciers, are already apparent and “will drastically shrink marine habitat for polar bears, ice-inhabiting seals, and some seabirds, pushing some species toward extinction.” Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) was so troubled by the report that he called for a Senate hearing.
Industry defenders shelled the study, and, with a dearth of science to marshal to their side, used opinion pieces and press releases instead. “Polar Bear Scare on Thin Ice,” blared FoxNews.com columnist Steven Milloy, an adjunct scholar at the libertarian Cato Institute ($75,000 from ExxonMobil) who also publishes the website JunkScience.com. Two days later the conservative Washington Times published the same column. Neither outlet disclosed that Milloy, who debunks global warming concerns regularly, runs two organizations that receive money from ExxonMobil. Between 2000 and 2003, the company gave $40,000 to the Advancement of Sound Science Center, which is registered to Milloy's home address in Potomac, Maryland, according to IRS documents. ExxonMobil gave another $50,000 to the Free Enterprise Action Institute-also registered to Milloy's residence. Under the auspices of the intriguingly like-named Free Enterprise Education Institute, Milloy publishes CSRWatch.com, a site that attacks the corporate social responsibility movement. [Mother Jones, May 2005, accessed via Nexis]
Milloy Denied Health Risks Of Secondhand Smoke While Taking Money From Tobacco Industry. From a February 2006 report by Paul Thacker in The New Republic:
Milloy has been affiliated with FoxNews.com since July 2000. On March 9, 2001, he wrote a column for the website headlined “secondhand smokescreen.” The piece attacked a study by researcher Stephen Hecht, who found that women living with smokers had higher levels of chemicals associated with risk of lung cancer. “If spin were science, Hecht would win a Nobel Prize,” Milloy wrote. For good measure, he heaped scorn on a 1993 Environmental Protection Agency report that also linked health risks and secondhand smoke. Later that spring, he authored another smoking-related piece for FoxNews.com. In that one, he cast aside two decades of research on the dangers of exposure to secondhand smoke and concluded, “Secondhand smoke is annoying to many nonsmokers. That is the essence of the controversy and where the debate should lie--the rights of smokers to smoke in public places versus the rights of nonsmokers to be free of tobacco smoke.” You might chalk it up to Milloy's contrarian nature. Or to his libertarian tendencies. Except, all the while, he was on the payroll of big tobacco. According to Lisa Gonzalez, manager of external communications for Altria, the parent company of Philip Morris, Milloy was under contract there through the end of last year. “In 2000 and 2001, some of the work he did was to monitor studies, and then we would distribute this information within to our different companies,” Gonzalez said. Although she couldn't comment on fees paid to Milloy, a January 2001 Philip Morris budget report lists Milloy as a consultant and shows that he was budgeted for $92,500 in fees and expenses in both 2000 and 2001. Asked about Milloy's tobacco ties, Paul Schur, director of media relations for Fox News, said, “Fox News is unaware of Milloy's connection with Philip Morris. Any affiliation he had should have been disclosed.” Milloy could not be reached for comment.
Yet it's all in the public record. The University of California at San Francisco maintains a database of seven million tobacco industry documents made public as part of the 1998 settlement between tobacco companies and state attorneys general. According to those documents, Milloy's relationship to big tobacco goes back at least to March 1997, when he took over as executive director of The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition (TASSC), a front group established in 1993 by Philip Morris and PR firm APCO Associates “to expand and assist Philip Morris in its efforts with issues in targeted states.” (Fumento was on the organization's advisory board.) Under Milloy, TASSC sought to debunk a range of scientific theories that ran counter to the conservative viewpoint, from the dangers of breast implants to the need for stricter clean air standards. Philip Morris remained heavily invested in these efforts. A 1997 Philip Morris budget report includes a line item granting TASSC $200,000. As executive director, Milloy also reached out to other allies within the industry. For instance, in September 1997, he sent a letter to Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corporation soliciting $50,000: “The grant will be used to further TASSC's efforts to educate the public, media and policymakers on priorities in public health,” he wrote.
The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition is now defunct. But one of Milloy's nonprofits has the same acronym and a remarkably similar name: The Advancement of Sound Science Center. His Free Enterprise Action Institute also has tobacco links, with Thomas Borelli--a longtime Philip Morris executive--serving as its secretary. [The New Republic, 2/6/06, accessed via Nexis]
Milloy's JunkScience.com Targets CEOs Who Have Pushed For Government Action On Climate Change. Congressional Quarterly reported in October 2009:
During the G-20 summit of major industrialized countries last month in Pittsburgh, JunkScience.com protestors wore sandwich boards featuring a wanted poster of Klaus Kleinfeld, chief executive of aluminum company Alcoa Inc., calling him a “carbon villain” for participating in the U.S. Climate Action Partnership, a lobbying group set up by major companies to push for climate change legislation that would include a cap-and-trade system for reducing carbon emissions. The conservative activists contend that such a system would devastate the economy.
Junkscience.com has run advertisements on the Drudge Report Web site featuring similar wanted posters of other CEOs, including John Rowe of Exelon and Jim Rogers of Duke Energy Corp., whose companies are in the Climate Action Partnership. [Congressional Quarterly, 10/17/09, accessed via Nexis]
Milloy Founded Mutual Fund That Fought Against Corporate Responsibility Efforts. Daniel Gross reported in 2006 on Milloy's Free Enterprise Action Fund:
Since opening for business in March 2005, the fund has bought very small stakes in nearly 400 different companies and used these tiny holdings to take their fight to the business establishment. The fund has zinged the Business Roundtable for insufficient vigilance in “defending capitalism and free enterprise against efforts in Congress to confiscate business earnings and shareholder assets.” Last December, it challenged Microsoft to “reverse its recently announced plan to stop using PVC plastic as a packaging material.” (Here's Microsoft's announcement.) In March it told General Electric that while the fund is all for GE's "Ecomagination" initiative, the company shouldn't put itself on the record in favor of government regulations of emissions. In March, Milloy, Borelli, and a colleague made a spectacle at the annual meeting of Goldman Sachs. (They're angered that CEO Henry Paulson is a tree-hugger, and that Goldman had given land in Chile to a conservancy group.)
The 2005 annual report notes that the fund filed resolutions asking Johnson & Johnson, among others, to report on the impact “of the flat tax as discussed in 'Flat Tax Revolution: Using a Postcard to Abolish the IRS' by Steve Forbes.” It also initiated action on “an effort by the New York Times to investigate the adoption of children by Supreme Court Justice John Roberts.” Huh? Your guess is as good as mine. After agreeing to an interview with me, Milloy didn't return several messages. [Slate, 5/4/06]