Robert Ferguson (Science and Public Policy Institute)

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{{#badges: AEX|Climate change|CoalSwarm}}Robert E. Ferguson, aka Bob Ferguson, is the President of the Science and Public Policy Institute (SPPI), an organization that promotes the views of global warming skeptics and was founded in mid-2007. However, his salary appears to come through the Idsos' Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change.

At Science and Public Policy Institute

See Science and Public Policy Institute, particularly the section "Who pays Bob Ferguson?"

Ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council

In August 2011, Ferguson spoke on "Benefit Analysis of CO2"[1] (previously known as "Warming Up to Climate Change: The Many Benefits of Increased Atmospheric CO2"[2]) at the Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force meeting at the 2011 American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) Annual Meeting.[3] 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.[3]

About ALEC
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, and check out breaking news on our site.

Work for Frontiers of Freedom (Center for Science and Public Policy)

Ferguson was previously the initial Executive Director of the Center for Science and Public Policy (CSSP), a project of the Frontiers of Freedom Institute (FOF).[4]

Related FoF Funding

From Exxon

This appears to be a duplicate of the "Exxon funding" section of the Frontiers of Freedom page, so should probably be moved/removed.

Related funding to Frontiers of Freedom from Exxon included:

$100,000 for the "Center for Sound Science and Public Policy" (sic)
$97,000 for "Global Climate Change Outreach Activities"
$35,000 for "Global Climate Change Science Projects"

In subsequent years Exxon continued its support for the project, including:

2003: $50,000 for "Project Support - Sound Science Center" [6]
2004: $70,000 for "Project Support- Science Center & Climate Change"[7] :2005: $140,000 but without a specific amount for CSPP identified;
2006: $90,000 for the "Science & Policy Center"[8]
2007: $90,000 for "energy literacy"[9]

FoF Form 990 on Ferguson

2004: FOF's 2004 annual return submitted to the Internal Revenue Service states that for his work for CSSP, Ferguson was paid $100,000 and also lists him as one of the directors of the think tank.[10].

2007: In FOF's 2007 annual return, Ferguson is listed as working 40 hours a week on CCSP duties and as director of the organization, but without being paid.[11]

Praise for climate skeptics

In a February 2007 interview with Michael Coulter for the Heartland Institute's publication Environment & Climate News, Ferguson stated that "there are quite a few environmental groups who bring scientists to the Hill, but CSPP is the only group that tries to bring in both sides." Ferguson stated that "misdirected global warming policies will likely create a monstrous misallocation of resources. We could give housing and clean water to the entire world, and eliminate all major diseases, for just a fifth of what proposals such as the Kyoto Protocol and the British Stern Report might end up costing." He went on to prise [sic -ed] the role of the global warming skeptics. "It is my experience which guides my firm support of the proposition that skeptics and those who have the courage to support them are actually helpful in getting the science right ... They do not, as some improperly suggest, 'obfuscate' the issue: They assist in clarifying it by challenging weaknesses in the 'consensus' argument, and they compel necessary corrections," he said. Michael Coulter's article made no mention of the role of Exxon in funding the CSPP.[12]



From a biographical note:[13]

  • undergraduate degree in history, Brigham Young University
  • master's degree in legislative affairs, George Washington University

Military experience

"Ferguson served active duty in the US Army from 1966-1970."[14]

Political experience

Ferguson "has 26 years of Capitol Hill experience, having worked in both the House and Senate...considerable policy experience in climate change science, mercury science, energy and mining, forests and resources, clean air and the environment"; more specifically:[14]

Speaking engagements

Ferguson is a speaker at the International Conference on Climate Change (2009) organized by the Heartland Institute think tank. [15]

Articles and resources

Related SourceWatch articles

External resources

External articles


  1. American Legislative Exchange Council, ALEC 2011 Annual Meeting Agenda, online meeting agenda, image archived August 3, 2011
  2. American Legislative Exchange Council, ALEC 2011 Annual Meeting Agenda, online meeting agenda, image archived July 22, 2011
  3. 3.0 3.1 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
  4. "New Study Released on the Safety of the Fish We Eat", Media Release, September 22, 2004.
  5. Exxon, "Public Information and Policy Research", Exxon website, 2002, page 3.(Pdf)
  6. Exxon, "Public Information and Policy Research", Exxon website, 2003, page 3.(Pdf)
  7. Exxon, "Public Information and Policy Research", Exxon website, 2004, page 4.(Pdf)
  8. Exxon, "Public Information and Policy Research", Exxon website, 2006, page 2.(Pdf)
  9. Exxon, "Public Information and Policy Research", Exxon website, 2006(??), page 2.(Pdf)
  10. Frontiers of Freedom Institute, 2004 IRS Return, Guidestar, page 17. (Pdf)
  11. Frontiers of Freedom Institute, 2007 IRS Return, Guidestar, page 19. (Pdf)
  12. Michael Coulter, "Presenting Science Without Bias: A profile of Robert Ferguson", Environment & Climate News, Heartland Institute, February 2007.
  13. Michael Coulter, "Presenting Science Without Bias: A profile of Robert Ferguson," The Heartland Institute's Environment & Climate News, February 2007.
  14. 14.0 14.1 "Personnel", Science and Public Policy Institute website, undated but accessed February 2009.
  15. "Speakers," Heartland Institute website, accessed January 2009.
  16. "Speakers Announced for Eastern Coal States Meeting", West Virginia Coal Association, October 27, 2007.
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