Jon Entine

Position: 
Writer at Ethical Corporation and Forbes Magazines

Columnist at Ethical Corporation and Forbes Magazines

Senior Fellow at the Institute for Food and Agricultural Literacy at the University of California-Davis World Food Center

Founder of Genetic Expert News Service (GENeS)

Visiting Fellow at American Enterprise Institute since 2002

Unpaid research fellow at George Mason University Center for Health and Risk Communication, 2011-2014

Evidence: 

Jon Entine has written, edited and published a massive catalogue of work fiercely defending the agrochemical industry. Monsanto was among the clients of Entine’s former PR firm, ESG Media Metrics. Beyond biotechnology, Entine also defends the fossil fuel, nuclear and broader chemical industry in his writing, and is a fervent critic of labeling products for their impact on forests, chemical toxicity, the presence of GMOs, and/or their connection to controversial social issues. Entine’s work often focuses on perceived ambiguities in scientific research. He has also been known to attack researchers and prominent figures whose work present challenges to the interests he represents. He even accused the Columbia School of Journalism of “smearing” Exxon after an investigation revealed that Exxon knew about climate change decades before NASA. To carry out his aggressively pro-industry public relations and nonprofit work, Entine has partnered with various universities, conservative think tanks and industry front groups while obscuring those ties and making use of dark money contributions.

Strangers to Each Other: GMU, GLP, STATS and SAS

STATS, or the Statistical Assessment Service, was founded in the early 1990s. From 2004 to 2014, it operated as a sister-organization of George Mason University’s Center for Media and Public Affairs. STATS bills itself as a non-partisan, non-profit “resource on the use and abuse of science and statistics in the media.” They assist journalists with statistical analysis, without declaring the source of their funding or their industry ties. Within STATS, Entine founded and ran the independently-functioning Genetic Literacy Project.

By 2015, everything had changed and previous ties were cut, and in some cases publicly denied. The GLP’s website now explains that they have never had any association with George Mason University, a top-recipient of Koch’s educational giving, and that STATS had dissolved. Neither the STATS website nor the website for George Mason’s CMPA currently indicate that STATS has dissolved at any point. However, stats.org states that the Statistical Assessment Service operates as a part of Sense About Science USA, which names George Mason University’s Math department as a partner, but makes no mention of the Center of Media and Public Affairs under whose umbrella STATS operated for a decade. Sense About Science USA is a 1 year old entity that partners with Cornell’s pro-GMO Alliance for Science.

The Hidden Story of the Genetic Literacy Project

GLP, STATS and Entine all share a long and demonstrable history with GMU. STATS first became an affiliate of GMU in 2004. GMU professor Dr. S. Robert Lichter is the President and Founder of both CMPA and STATS. Past tax filings indicate that George Mason’s Center for Media and Public Affairs assumed the cost of STATS employee salaries for at least some portion of the 10 year affiliation the two entities shared, as well as a $200,000 loan in 2012. Entine was an unpaid researcher for GMU from 2011-2014, while he was also under the employ of STATS, receiving just shy of a half million dollars during those four years.

Entine’s role and title at STATS were enigmatic. Before being quietly appointed as a director in 2014, he was listed as a Senior Research Fellow. He arrived at a time when STATS was struggling to maintain its status as a public charity with the IRS. In four short years, he founded the Genetic Literacy Project as a new organization under the STATS umbrella, quickly rose from researcher to director; then went on to dissolve STATS operations at GMU, re-launch GLP as an ostensibly unaffiliated project now nestled under a new 501(c)3 funded by STATS donors, and subsequently obscure the various ties between GLP, STATS, and George Mason University. Somehow during this time, STATS reorganized under its current Cornell affiliations with the new Sense About Science USA, where Entine’s STATS colleague Trevor Butterworth is a now director.

Despite GMU’s explicit financial sponsorship of CMPA, and the hundreds of thousands of dollars in loans from CMPA to STATS taken out during Entine’s time there, and despite his concurrent research fellowships at both STATS and GMU, Entine’s Genetic Literacy Project website has removed all mention of STATS and asserts that the GLP has always remained unaffiliated with the Koch-funded George Mason University.

Private Interest, Public Veneer

STATS has always been notoriously vague about their finances, with the exception of a statement by Jon Entine that STATS received money from the “Searle and Templeton” foundations. The conservative Searle Freedom Trust, founded by the heir to a pharmaceutical fortune, has given nearly $800,000 to STATS since 2001, with the vast majority coming between 2011 to 2014. The sudden leap in giving coincides with a shift in STATS funding that immediately preceded the organization’s so-called dissolution.

Tax documents reveal a protracted struggle within STATS to maintain the appearance of having broad public support throughout their relationship with GMU, when in fact their funding was not coming from public sources. Their new parent organization, Sense About Science USA, states on their website that they are “being established” by funding from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, but aspire to gain more public support.

From 2005 to 2007, STATS repeatedly failed the IRS public support test because they were then funded almost exclusively by the private Sarah Scaife Foundation. STATS was subsequently reclassified in 2008 as a private foundation rather than a public charity, which both required them to pay excise taxes and also made apparent that their funding was coming from a very small group of very wealthy people—in this case the Scaife family, which has bankrolled many conservative causes over the years and was an early financial backer of the Heritage Foundation.

Starting in 2010, STATS attempted to respond to this issue of public/private classification by securing more donations in smaller amounts from new or lapsed donors -- namely the Randolph Foundation, the Castle Rock Foundation, the Winkler Family Foundation, Searle Freedom Trust, and the John Templeton Foundation. The last three are currently listed on GLP’s website as donors. STATS also received money during this period from the Koch-connected Donors Trust, a 501(c)4 whose Board Chairman, Kimberly Dennis, is coincidentally also the President and CEO of Searle Freedom Trust. Donors Trust is a well-known vessel for dark money contributions, as even the IRS is reportedly unable to link those who give to Donors Trust with the actual recipients of their donations. Under Dennis’s leadership, the Searle and Donors Trusts sent a collective $290,000 to STATS in 2010. The strategy of expanding the donor base worked, and STATS narrowly regained their public charity status. More importantly, the conservative Searle Freedom Trust found in Entine a strong ally in an area of particular interest to them: education. Interestingly, the current funders of STATS, the Laura and John Palmer Foundation, is heavily invested in education as well, including an espoused dedication to K-12 education -- specifically, nurturing the charter school takeover of public education.

Thus, the 2011 arrival of Jon Entine brought the entire drama of defining and re-structuring STATS to a sudden resolution. Contributions made to STATS from 2011 until it dissolved in 2014 appear to have originated from three key donors (Searle Freedom Trust, Winkler Family Foundation and John Templeton Foundation), and the donations were earmarked for the GLP, who lists those donors as current sponsors on its website. Several of those donations specifically indicated that they were for the “Genetic Literacy and Coercive Paternalism Projects”. One year after the dissolution of STATS, the Science Literacy Project was incorporated in its own right. The Science Literacy Project today funds GLP, which in turn funds GENeS. [http://www.corporatecrimereporter.com/news/200/gary-ruskin-and-jon-entin... Little is known of the Coercive Paternalism Project, the nature of its relationship to Jon Entine and the GLP, or whether it may continue under any other umbrella today.

 

To summarize, Entine’s 501(c)3 Genetic Literacy Project, according to its website, is a part of the Science Literacy Project; and despite absorbing much of STATS funding in the final years of its affiliation with George Mason University, maintains that it never had any affiliation with GMU whatsoever; and additionally that STATS has dissolved, a strange claim considering that STATS clearly continues to operate today with many of the same directors, the same website, and the same name.

The Genetic Literacy Project

Entine overwhelmingly produces and promotes work that is favorable to chemical and agribusiness interests. His Genetic Literacy Project is instrumental to this end, promoting many key pro-GMO messengers and regularly attacking GMO critics.

There are many examples, but perhaps most telling were a series of papers published by GLP which were later found by US Right to Know to have been commissioned by Monsanto. The professors presented themselves as independent actors, and the work was published by the Genetic Literacy Project. In an interview with Bloomberg, Entine stated that he worked with the professors to edit their papers and “I had total control over the final product..”  

US Right to Know uncovered documents demonstrating that Entine and other academics worked closely with industry to promote GMOs and launch counter-attacks on biotechnology critis. Several journalists were identified, and they shared ties with Jon Entine.  

Another theme in Entine’s recent writing has been the labeling of products for environmental and social impacts. He is critical of all such efforts, and suggests to his readers an index of eco-labels as a public resource. That database, Select Eco-Label Manager, was developed by chemical company BASF. 

Biotechnology Boot Camp

Entine launched a Biotechnology Boot Camp in 2014, with the help of Academics Review –  an allegedly objective network of researchers founded by Bruce Chassy and known to be backed by Monsanto.

Brooke Borel, of Popular Science, writes about why she refused a $2,000 honorarium she was offered in return for attending the 2014 Boot Camp. She perceived the money as a conflict of interest, as it was partially provided by BIO, a biotech industry group. She also discloses travel money she accepted, the ethical dilemma that posed for her, and leaves other journalists with a warning that they must follow due diligence if there is a possibility of such a conflict. 

Others were more enthusiastic about Entine’s Boot Camps. Mark Lynas, political director at the Cornell Alliance for Science, spoke at Entine’s 2015 boot camp at UC Davis. CAS was founded in 2014 with the express intention to “de-polarize the GMO debate” and seeded with a large donation from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, a client of Entine’s now-defunct PR firm. The Genetic Literacy Project works in a variety of ways with individuals linked to CAS. For instance, GLP has published a number of articles by Joni Kamiya, a CAS fellow and the daughter of a Hawaian GMO papaya farmer. Kamiya also writes for GMO Answers, an industry-funded PR website

The Cornell Alliance for Science is also involved with Sense About Science – a GMO communications project which shares key similarities with the Biotechnology Literacy Project and has since taken over the operation of STATS. Trevor Butterworth, who is a director of SAS, was an editor at STATS alongside Entine. On the subject of dubious scientific research, Butterworth attempted to counter some prominent claims that industry was influencing research, and explained that bias is necessary for bringing research into focus as “we consume information just like any other product.” 

UCDavis and the Genetic Expert News Service (GENeS)

Entine is, once again, working as an unpaid research fellow at a prominent university--this time at University of California - Davis. In 2015, Entine launched GENeS,  a non-profit dedicated to connecting researchers with journalists. GENeS is funded by GLP and both fall within the Science Literacy Project. From their website: “GENeS is affiliated with the UC Davis Institute for Food and Agricultural Literacy (IFAL),   an outreach initiative on food and agricultural issues under the umbrella of the UC Davis World Food Center. During its first year of operation, GENeS also received University of California funding via IFAL.”

Corporate Crime Reporter states that as of April 2016, UC Davis has not yet complied with a FOIA request from early 2015 demanding information about Entine’s correspondence with interested parties such as BASF, Monsanto, DOW, the Grocery Manufacturer’s Association, and others. 

Syngenta: Secretly Ghostwriting for Think Tanks

A 2010 email exchange between Josh Gilder of the White House Writers Group and Syngenta’s principal scientific adviser, Mike Bushell, shows Bushell agreeing to ghost write a chapter on atrazine for an upcoming American Enterprise Institute book on pesticides. The following year, AEI published Crop Chemophobia, edited by Jon Entine. The only mention of atrazine in the book is in a chapter with Entine’s name on it. That chapter focuses on the benefits of atrazine as part of a scathing critique of government regulation and use of the precautionary principle.

The AEI publication was only one half of Syngenta’s strategy. A year prior, the American Council on Science and Health  began working on a similar project for Syngenta. They commissioned AEI scholar Jon Entine to write a controversial monograph on chemicals and the public health. ACSH is a self-described consumer education consortium which does not disclose its corporate ties, but a series of 2009 emails obtained by SourceWatch show ACSH officials thanking the global agrochemical giant for “general operating support Syngenta has been so generously providing over the years...the lifeblood of a small non-profit like ours”. The emails detail how Gilbert Ross , then the Medical and Executive Director of ACSH, worked with Syngenta to coordinate a public information campaign on pesticide exposure and human health. The project included a literature review which would discuss Syngenta’s herbicide atrazine among other facets of what Ross called “recent and ongoing ‘controversy’”, and discussed various formats for distributing the information, including making it available for free on their website. For the pesticide project, ACSH requested $100,000 in addition to the regular funding Syngenta was providing.

In 2011, ACSH published a monograph by Jon Entine titled “Scared to Death: How Chemophobia Threatens Public Health”, available for free on their website. The piece enumerates and responds to various factors that Entine cites as the source of consumer distrust of the chemical industry. While no emphasis is placed on any particular compound or product, atrazine is specifically mentioned twice in the 21 page booklet as an example of a common chemical thrown into ambiguous controversy as a result of public confusion and/or misconception.
 

Books

  • Taboo: Why Black Athletes Dominate Sports and Why We’re Afraid to Talk About It, 2000
  • Pension Fund Politics: The Dangers of Socially Responsible Investing, 2005
  • Scared to Death: How Chemophobia Threatens Public Health, 2011
  • Let Them Eat Precaution: How Politics is Undermining the Genetic Revolution, 2006
  • Abraham's Children: Race, Identity and the DNA of the Chosen People, 2008
  • No Crime But Prejudice: Fischer Homes, the Immigration Fiasco, and Extrajudicial Prosecution, 2009
  • Crop Chemophobia: Will Precaution Kill the Green Revolution? 2011

 

 

Quotes: 

“I ended up working with the professors to edit their pieces and I had total control over the final product. There is nothing to disclose.”

-Jon Entine [http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-10-02/how-monsanto-mobilized-academics-to-pen-articles-supporting-gmos]

“This obsession with chemicals is unhealthy.”

“When Pamela Davis was pregnant with her daughter Meaghan, she started to worry about contamination from lead paint in her Hoboken, New Jersey home. … You can drive yourself absolutely crazy trying to keep your baby healthy.”

-Jon Entine, Scared to Death: How Chemophobia Threatens Public Health

“...some of yesterday’s most vilified companies have quietly moved to the forefront of corporate responsibility. Despite their regular appearances on ‘dishonorable’ lists, controversial multinationals such as Monsanto, DuPont, or Gillette offer fair wages and benefits...”

-Jon Entine, Corporate Ethics and Accountability [http://corpgo.fatcow.com/forums/commentary/entine1.html]

 
Known Associates: 
Feature in slider: 
Industry: 

Protect Colorado

Image Caption: 

Protect Colorado

Address: 

2318 Curtis St 

Denver Co, 80205

2014 IRS Form 990

 

Protecting Colorado’s Environment, Economy and Energy Security, known as Protect Colorado, is a 501(c)(4) group created by PR firm Pac/West Communications on behalf of the oil and gas industry. The group is an issue committee, originally formed to fight ballot measures aimed at regulating the oil and gas industry.

Evidence: 

CRED and Protect Colorado have been caught violating elections rules by not disclosing required information in Loveland.

Protect Colorado has a budget of at least $24 million specifically for opposing oil and gas regulatory ballots in 2016.

Protect Colorado outspent community groups trying to pass oil and gas reforms by the largest margin of any ballot race in the U.S. 24:1

Protect Colorado gave $1,000,000 to the Raise the Bar initiative, a ballot measure that would change Colorado's consituttion making it harder to participate in the ballot process. 

Protect Colorado routinely downplays and ignores the science on fracking. 

Known Associates: 

The Fracking Industry's Attack on Colorado Democracy Revealed

  • Posted on: 4 August 2016
  • By: JesseColeman

Pencil hired by KAren Crummy of Cred

Ever wonder what it’s like to be a pawn in the oil and gas industry’s political ambitions? This pencil, hired by oil and gas front group Protect Colorado, summed it up:

"It feels like shit to fucking wear this thing, but it’s 25 bucks an hour."

Industry: 

Mark Truax

Image Caption: 

Mark Truax

Position: 
Director

Senior Director of Political Affairs, Pac/West Communications: 2016-present

Director of Operations and Coalitions, Coloradans for Responsible Energy Development (CRED): 2013-present

Senior Account Manager, Pac/West Communications: August 2013-January 2016

Western Issues Specialist, National Association of Conservation Districts: 2011-2013

Government Affairs Associate, Pac/West Communications: 2009-2011

Evidence: 

In 2015, Mark Truax gave a presentation to the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC) about Pac/West Communication's strategies to oppose oil and gas regulations. In that presentation, Truax explained how CRED made “a preemptive strike in Fort Collins (Colorado),” which involved “making sure that the right city council members got elected to the city council to stop a potential fracking ban.”

Truax runs the front groups CRED and Protect Colorado. These groups, which are funded by the oil and gas industry, aim to prevent regulation of the fracking industry, and counter criticism.

 The firm that runs Protect Colorado and CRED, PAC/WEST, met with COGCC head Matt Lepore to discuss their pro-fracking campaign. 

Quotes: 

The following quotes are From a transcript of Mark Truax speaking at the IOGCC meeting in Oklahoma City in 2015. Full transcript released by the Boulder Weekly.

CRED worked on city council elections to assure pro-fracking leadership (including flipping  Denver council)

“Even more of a preemptive strike in Fort Collins, looking at electing a “pro” city council, and making sure that the right city council members got elected to the city council to stop a potential fracking ban. And finally in Denver, this was kind of a one two punch. In February we had some op-eds and editorials go out, John Fielder who does beautiful Colorado landscape photography I’m sure many of you have seen it. He did an anti-fracking rally on the steps of the city council. We countered that and took the wind out of their sails in about a total of seven days. Including two meetings with the editorial board at the Denver Post, and a subsequent editorial saying this is ludicrous. We then also elected a pro city council, a pro-energy city council 7-6 on the conservative count, my count is like 9-4 in our favor for Denver City Council. To try and push something through there, which the opposition was trying to do, is now very difficult. So we have been very very (inaudible). And We’ve been able to keep municipal ballots and municipal ballot measures off in every city and county across Colorado in 2014.”

Truax's group CRED has a massive (3.9 million) database of voters 

“We have scored 3.9 million Colorado voters in our databases, on their opinion of fracking. Everything we do then gets fed back in to this database. So that we can use it at a later time. We’ve knocked on 1.7 million doors, we’ve done 9 statewide surveys, we have done extensive phone research, and mail research, all of that information if I ever have contact it’s fed back in to that file.”

Mark Truax supportive of Raise the Bar initative that attempts to re-write state ballot measure process to stop anti-fracking measures:

Have you had any discussion about changing the actual ballot process itself?

“Yes, we are in the process of evaluating that right now, including working with the greater business community because there also a movement afoot in the greater business community, a number of long time Colorado leaders who are increasing the number of signatures required. Right now we are 5% of the Secretary of State, it takes 94,000 signatures to get on the ballot in Colorado, and there is no requirement for it to be diverse according to geography, so I can go camp in downtown Denver and get 94,000 signatures and be done. There is no proportion requirement by Congressional district or by county. So looking and seeing how all those (inaudible)”

Mark Truax explains how they “inoculated” against questions about their funding

 Just a followup to that, Have you have had to deal with the opposition saying you are funded by oil and gas? (Question from audience)

“We took that head on, on day one. Our press release said this organization is funded by Anadarko and Noble and why wouldn’t two companies in Colorado with thousands of employees each want to make sure that Coloradans know what they are doing? And with ten of billions of dollars of capital expenditure going to be happening in Colorado, we want to make sure we educate Coloradans. So we able to inoculate that attack very very quickly.”

Coordinated with COGCC head Matt Lepore: (Matt Lepore is a government official and the top oil and gas regulator in the state of Colorado)

“This is why we have to spend time, and Mr. Lapore and I have had this conversation multiple times, how do we change these numbers? And flip the number heard up into the favorables. So we have people that know and have a favorable opinion of the COGCC. How do we really drive this home? We have now spent, now that we’ve built the level of understanding with fracking, and our fracking techniques and tools and processes, now we need to talk about regulations. Everything we’ve done, since about February of this year, has really has home that regulations (inaudible). We’ve highlighted that engineers in our tv and radio ads. Hey I’m an engineer, this is what I do. Let me tell you about my job, let me tell you what I spend 40 hours a week at Andarko or Noble or SM Energy doing. We absolutely have to drive that point home. And I share this with you to make sure that you all as regulators in this room and folks that work with regulatory industries, and agencies, drive this point home man. Talk about this. Make sure we are able to combat this. Without this, this is where we are going to have the biggest issues.”

“So 2014 victories, I encourage you to also take a look at this, this is Protect Colorado, which is kinda the political arm we work with, the political entity, CRED stays strictly educational.”

“On the CRED side that’s a 50/50 joint venture between Noble and Anadarko. And I will tell you that their investment in the last 2 years has been north of 8 figures. They have invested considerable resources.

On the Protect Colorado side, there has also been considerable investment, not as much as the CRED side. Seeing as we didn’t have a ballot initiative and legally that is the sole purpose of that organization, to advocate for and against certain ballot measures. And we have supporters from 100 dollars to larger contributions from ¼ of a million dollars to a million dollars. And Protect Colorado – Whiting, PVC, Pioneer CalFrack, Phase Water Exploration, Black Hills, Bill Bearant, about 15 total operators have a seat at the table and have contributed.

“So CRED, again started by Noble and Anadarko, we are a 501c(6), very similar to a trade association, I’ve learned more about 501c tax law than I care to know about, and we are here, we are not designed to be based on election cycles. A lot of these types of efforts, Wednesday after election day, go into the office, clean out your desk, turn off the lights, make sure the office is tidy and go home. We are a continual multi year education effort. And we started CRED and started our research on August 1st, we actually launched on September 5th 2013.” 

Coloradans for Responsible Energy Development

Image Caption: 

CRED Coloradans for Responsible Energy Development

Address: 

1099 18th St STE 100 

Denver, CO 80202

 

Coloradans for Responsible Energy Development (CRED) is a 501c(6) charitable organization created by the oil and gas industry in response to the threat of ballot initiatives regulating the oil and gas drilling and fracking. CRED is registered as an educational organization and is not technically allowed to advocate for or against legislation or individual politicians.

Evidence: 

CRED is fully funded by the Oil and Gas Industry, with the largest investments coming from Anadarko and Noble Energy. PDC Energy, Pioneer Natural Resources Inc., SM Energy and Whiting Petroleum Corp have all given doantions as well.

The principle officer of CRED, Chris Castilian, is employed by Anadarko Petroleum as the Director of Engagement and Strategy. Anadarko has the 3rd largest fracking operation in Colorado's Niobara shale, 350,000 acres as of 2015.

Colorado Public Radio fact checked CRED, finding CRED mis-represented the impacts of fracking on Colorado.

CRED TV ads were found to be false by Center for Western Priorities

CRED and Protect Colorado have been caught violating elections rules by not disclosing required information in Loveland.

One of CRED's two original board of directors is Ted Brown, senior vice president of Noble Energy, executive committee, Colorado Oil and Gas Association (COGA), board and formoer Colorado vise president of Western Energy Alliance (WEA).

Protec Colorado has a budget of at least $24 million specifically for opposing oil and gas regulatory ballots in 2016.

 

Known Associates: 

Karen Crummy

Status: 
"if you are really having a problem with certain reporter, go do some oppo research on them"
Image Caption: 

Karen Crummy

Position: 
Communications Director, CRED

Communications Director, Protect Colorado, 2014-present

Strategic Communications Advisor, CRED 2014-present

Denver Post, 2002-2014

Evidence: 

Karen Crummy is the chief spokesperson for Coloradans for Responsible Energy Development (CRED), a front group created by Anadarko and other oil and gas corporations to defeat ballot initiatives that would regulate fracking in Colorado. She also serves as spokesperson for Protecting Colorado's Environment, Economy, and Energy Industry, (Protect Colorado). Protect Colorado is the "politcal" arm for CRED, and works directly on ballot and politcal issues in Colorado. Both CRED and Protect Colorado are run by PAC/West Communications, a PR agency that specializes in creating front groups to help the oil and gas industry avoid regulations.

Crummy was recorded advising oil and gas groups to intimdate journalists writing about fracking by doing "oppo research" and embarassing them on social media.

Crummy's front groups CRED and Protect Colorado have spent millions in support of "Raise the Bar," an attempt to limit the ability for community groups to bring forward ballot initiatives. 

Karen Crummy participated in a daily podcast by the Heartland Institute, a group that denies the science of climate change. In the podcast, Crummy claims that oil and gas drilling and fracking has never caused contamination of water sources.

Karen Crummy gave a presentation at the annual business meeting of the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC) on "Crisis Comms." IOGCC is an industry funded group that advocates against regualtions of the oil and gas industry and helps corporate lobbyists gain access to oil and gas regulators.

Crummy has denied fracking’s links to earthquakes, as well as groundwater contamination. Oil and gas drilling, fracking and waste disposal has been definitively linked to earthquakes and water contamination.

As a reporter Karen Crummy downplayed republican SuperPAC in reporting: “Crummy’s report has been widely ridiculed by political insiders in the days since it appeared, as it not only appears to leave out GOP “Super PAC” spending like American Crossroads, but inexplicably downplays any other type of spending–such as 501(c)4 and other types of organizations that engaged for the GOP in races all over the state.“

Karen Crummy’s reporting on Governor Bill Ritter called ”shameful deceit”

 

Quotes: 

In May of 2016, Karen Crummy gave a presentation on "Crisis Communications" at a meeting of the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC). The audience was a mix of state oil and gas regulators and industry lobbyists.

Crummy's advice on dealing with the press:

"I think a lot of times people still believe, don’t fight with people that buy ink by the barrel. Those days are over."

"And if you are really having a problem with certain reporter, go do some oppo research on them. Are they contributing to campaigns? Are they a member of a business or environmental group? Sometimes it’s just shocking. I did this a year and a half ago, someone at the Denver post put something on their Facebook page that showed their bias, and printed these things out and walked in to the editor’s office and said, seriously??  And they had to pull it down. That kind of stuff they do take very seriously."

"you know. I mean I wouldn’t go in necessarily starting out with a threat…but"
 
"Or tell a reporter you might want to go look at x. I can’t say anything but you might want to go look at that. And send them off to do that, which you know they would jump at the chance."

"And you can also try and get out information, if there’s a document, if there’s something that can substantiate what you want out, then leak it."

"This is something I do every day, trying to take gigantic studies and some of this complicated material and boiling it down to being this long. It’s tough but in this day in age, especially with the earthquakes explosions and spills."

Crummy's Advice on communicating with neighbors and press after an oil and gas disaster:

"If your neighbor calls and says “I want to know what’s going on” tell them you don’t know and you’re not sure."

"When all all hell breaks loose...get your official statement [ready], you know, “investigations on the way” when you don’t really have an answer"

"Almost make a game of it. If I had to describe this earthquake incident in six words, how would I do it."

Other Crummy quotes:
 

“It is political speech, it is advocating… Our job is to...really defeat these initiatives that we think are bad for the people of Colorado.”

"fear-mongering by environmentalists"

“What is the definition of clean air and water?”

"The fact there has been 4 studies done in the last 7 months from EPA, Yale, Ohio University, saying fracking is not hurting groundwater, it’s not contaminating anything

 

Industry: 

Bill Sydow

Status: 
"I'm not a skeptic I'm a denier"
Image Caption: 

Bill Sydow

Position: 
Director of Nebraska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission

Bill Sydow has worked for the Nebraska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission for 20 years.  He in the commercial oil industry for 18 years before, where his first job in the industry was designing hydraulic fracturing wells.

 

Evidence: 

Keystone XL Pipeline Ad Man


Bill Sydow was cited by a Nebraska Senator for inappropriate participation in Keystone XL pipeline ad funded by TranCanada. In the ad, Bill Sydow stands in front of an oil well and smiles into the camera. See the ad here

Climate Denial

Bill Sydow told regulators and oil industry lobbyists at the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Comission (IOGCC)that "I am not a skeptic I am a denier" of climate change.

Fracking Denial

“People have become fearful of hydraulic fracturing,” he said. “I feel it’s unfounded. It’s unwarranted.”

Sydow said the levels of contaminants in waste water from fracking were so low that a person’s body would be able to “handle” drinking it. He said he was not aware of any instances in which wastewater from fracking had contaminated drinking water.

Quotes: 

"[Oil] is the most benign of fluids transported in pipelines"

"I'm talking about climate change and global warming and I'm not a skeptic, I'm a denier. And so I'm talking to these two kids and they're like 'What are you talking about?' They have never heard another side to the issue.”

"Nebraska really brought that to a halt, due to environmental activists who scare people," Sydow said. "Unfortunately, a lot of people don't understand the properties of the earth at all."



 

Employer (no profile): 
Nebraska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission
Industry: 

Exxon's decades of advertising against climate change science

  • Posted on: 17 September 2015
  • By: Cindy Baxter

This week, Inside Climate News has published some new revelations about one of the world’s biggest oil companies: that scientists working for Exxon knew about climate change as early as 1977. 

Industry: 

Common Sense Policy Roundtable

Address: 

Common Sense Policy Roundtable

4950 S Yosemite Street F2 #314

Greenwood Village, CO 80111

The Common Sense Policy Roundtable is a non-profit created by Starboard Group and EIS Solutions to control and fund the research conducted by the University of Colorado Boulder.

Evidence: 

Ties to Fracking Industry
 
Lem Smith is a funder and board member for CSPR. He is also the Director for U.S. Government and Regulatory Affairs for Encana, one of the largest fracking corporations in Colorado. In CSPR pamphlets from 2011, Encana is listed as a “partner.” Smith is also on the board of Western Energy Alliance, an oil and gas front group known for its aggressive tactics. Smith is also chairman of the Colorado Petroleum Association. 
In addition to Encana, CSPR pamphlets list multiple other oil and gas companies as “partners.”
 
T. Scott Martin is chairman and CEO of EE3, an oil and gas company based in Colorado. He also sits on the board and funds CSPR.
 
Boardmembers like Lem Smith and T. Scott Martin are expected to contribute at least $150,000 to CSPR every year.
 
CSPR was created by the Starboard Group and staffed in part by EIS Solutions – two PR firms with close ties to the oil and gas industry, including the billionaire Koch brothers. Earlier this year, the two firms were revealed to be behind a web of front groups in Colorado that oppose regulations on fracking.
 
 

Ties to Koch brothers
 
As a political fundraiser, Kristin Strohm, CSPR's founder and chair, has successfully solicited major funding from the Koch brothers. While Strohm was the finance director for Mike Coffman’s congressional campaign, in which Coffman benefited from ads run by Americans for Prosperity, the Koch brother’s flagship political group. Through Strohm, Coffman also received the maximum possible donation allowed by law from David Koch
 
Starboard Group lists Americans for Prosperity Foundation as a former client. American for Prosperity is also a member of Vital for Colorado, a front group that shares an address with CSPR and counts Kristin Strohm in their leadership.
 
Starboard Group also works for the Western Energy Alliance.
 
With Strohm at the helm, CSPR works hand in glove with the Koch political apparatus. CSPR lists “finalizing plans for 2014” with Americans for Prosperity Foundation as a “Strategic Objective.”
 
EIS Solutions, where Kristin Strohm’s husband Josh Penry is Vice President, has staffed CSPR since its inception. Dustin Zvonek, a former EIS Solutions employee, served as the original media officer for CSPR. He is now the head of Americans for Prosperity Colorado. EIS has worked for the Colorado Oil and Gas Association (COGA), the top oil and gas lobbying organization in Colorado, and Vital for Colorado. EIS was caught faking signatures for a COGA petition in 2013.
 
Earl Wright, a member of CSPR’s board of directors, attended the secretive Koch brothers strategy meeting in Aspen in 2010. Former Board Member of CSPR Kaye Fote did as well. Earl Wright is president of the AGM Charitable Gift Foundation, which has significant oil and gas holdings and finds CSPR.
 
See this relational map of CU Boulder's ties to the fracking industry and the Koch brothers.

 

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