American Tradition Institute’s Fight Against ‘Environmental Junk Science’

May 9, 2012 | By
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ATI is one of several groups ramping up an offensive to turn the American public against President Obama’s energy policy

ATI is involved in several campaigns against renewable energy standards in the US. Photograph: Design Pics Inc / Rex Features

American Tradition Institute is a relative newcomer to the network of ultra-conservative thinktank and activist groups with a core mission of discrediting climate science and dismantling environmental regulations – including those intended to avoid catastrophic climate change.

But it has grabbed headlines over the last two years by filing law suits demanding access to the entire document and email record of prominent climate scientists, including Michael Mann, James Hansen, and Katharine Hayhoe.

The thinktank claims it is looking for evidence of fraud. But the rash of law suits have been condemned by the main academic teaching body and scientific organisations as an assault on academic freedom. They also accuse ATI of deliberating filing nuisance suits to disrupt important academic research.

Until now, its campaign against wind power has been relegated to the sidelines. But that has been a core mission. The thinktank was first registered, though under a different name, in Colorado in 2008 by a Republican operative who later pleaded guilty to fraudulently obtaining federal government grants to develop alternative fuels.

It claimed a mission of fighting “radical environmental junk science”. But it has been preoccupied with fighting economic measures. It filed a law suit in Colorado last year to overturn a law requiring state power companies to get 30% of the electricity from renewables by 2020. It is also involved in campaigns against renewable standards in Delaware, Minnesota, Montana, New Mexico, and Ohio.

Read the whole story: theguardian

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