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Key findings:

  • $1 Million in corporate funding: The FOIA response from the Smithsonian reveals that more than half (over $1 million) of Willie Soon’s total funding since 2001 has come from the oil and electric utility industry (coal). Since 2002, every new grant he has received has been from either oil or coal interests.
  • Polar bear junk science funding revealed: While Dr. Soon revealed in a 2007 non-peer reviewed Ecological Complexity article on polar bears and Arctic ice that his research was funded by ExxonMobil, the American Petroleum Institute and the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation, neither the corporate funders or Dr. Soon have ever acknowledged the extent, dollar figures or timing of those grants.
  • More Koch Funding: The FOIA response from Smithsonian uncovered an additional grant in 2010 from the Charles G. Koch Foundation of $65,000.
  • Southern Company dirty coal funding: The Smithsonian documents also revealed two previously unknown grants totaling $230,000 from the Southern Company, one of the largest coal burning electric utilities in the United States and in world.
  • Additional corporate funders: Other papers written by Dr. Soon and reviewed by Greenpeace researchers show that the American Petroleum Institute has been funding Dr. Soon since the mid-1990s, a period when he also acknowledged funding from Mobil, Texaco and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) a research and lobby shop funded by the electric utilities.
  • Attack on IPCC report: Correspondence uncovered in our investigation reveals Dr. Soon coordinating a plan in 2003 to undermine the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Assessment Report (AR4) Working Group 1 report–years before the report was released in 2007.
CASE STUDY: Dr. Willie Soon, a Career Fueled by Big Oil and Coal | Greenpeace USA

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