Clean Power heartland institute supports proposition 23

Published on October 31st, 2010 | by Tina Casey


Proposition 23 Battle Gets Smokin’ Hot as Tobacco Lobbyist Jumps Into the Fray

October 31st, 2010 by  

heartland institute supports proposition 23The Heartland Institute, which has made its name by fighting anti-smoking laws, has just rolled out a campaign in support of California’s Proposition 23.  Prop 23 is a ballot measure designed to nullify AB 32, California’s new law regulating greenhouse gas emissions, so it’s no surprise that out-of-state oil companies are investing heavily to campaign for it. So, why is a tobacco industry lobbying organization putting its muscle behind Prop 23?

Heartland and The Oil Industry

For those of you familiar with Heartland, there is a pretty strong logic to its affinity for Proposition 23: the organization has a solid history of promoting the denial of climate change science. In past years it received a good deal of funding from Exxon, but recently Exxon has tried to put some distance between them, by ceasing to fund the organization. However, it’s not clear that all the ties have been severed. According to, in 2007 Heartland launched a website with the aim of shooting down the scientific consensus on global warming, which includes links to other think tanks that have received funding from Exxon (in a related note, last February the New York Times reported that Exxon is still funding similar climate-denying efforts in the U.K.)

Heartland and Proposition 23

I’m not interested in promoting Heartland’s websites so feel free to look them up for yourself. The new campaign features a press release that positions Prop 23 as a ballot measure that will protect jobs and “quality of life.”  In contrast, a long (very long) list of California companies, community groups and trade organizations are opposing Prop 23, along with the green jobs coalition Appollo Alliance.

Image: Cigarette by SuperFantastic on

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About the Author

specializes in military and corporate sustainability, advanced technology, emerging materials, biofuels, and water and wastewater issues. Tina’s articles are reposted frequently on Reuters, Scientific American, and many other sites. Views expressed are her own. Follow her on Twitter @TinaMCasey and Google+.

  • Earl Richards

    Tell the Dallas/Houston oil crowd, “Don’t Mess with California.”

    • Tina Casey

      Jim23: I deleted your comment. There is no need to snipe at other commenters on this site.

    • Tina Casey

      The Giants just sent that message tonight, so let’s see what the voters have to say about it tomorrow.

  • Earl Richards

    PROP 26 is just as destructive as PROP 23. Prop 26 is a treacherous, Big Oil rip-off, which “passes the buck” from oil corporation, clean-up fees to the public’s taxes, which will pay the oil recycling fees, the materials hazards and other fees. If you do not understand the ambiguities and the intrigues behind Prop 26, then, vote no. Power to the people. BP, Shell and Exxon Mobil are silent partners in Prop 26.

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