WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) issued a letter today to the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), demanding answers from AEI about news accounts that it offered $10,000 to scientists to dispute a report on climate change issued by the United Nations, the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and John Kerry (D-MA) joined Sanders in signing the letter.
According to the Guardian (London, UK), which first reported the story, "Scientists and economists have been offered $10,000 each by a lobby group funded by one of the world's largest oil companies to undermine a major climate change report due to be published today. Letters sent by the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), an ExxonMobil-funded thinktank [sic] with close links to the Bush administration, offered the payments for articles that emphasise [sic] the shortcomings of a report from the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)." Link
Sanders said, "It's outrageous that a right-wing think tank with ties to Big Oil and the Bush Administration is trying to twist scientific findings for their political purposes on the pressing issue of climate change. The IPCC report confirms the urgency of the problem and adds to the scientific consensus that global warming is happening now and is human-caused. Is there no limit to the lengths that some corporate-funded groups will go to protect their donors' short-term profits? Is the fate of the entire planet not important enough for them to put the common interest above their narrow self-interest? The truth is that this scandalous behavior on the part of AEI is just the latest example of how big money interests distort and undermine honest debate on the important issues facing our country in so many areas."
To view the letter click here.