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Beyond the Official Bios

George W. Bush's Anti-Environmental Advisors: Beyond the Official Bios

September 2, 1999

This report was released in September, 1999


Beyond the Official Bios

An article in The National Journal ("A Few Hints of Green," August 7, 1999) introduced a group of people gathered to advise George W. Bush on crafting a "conservative environmental agenda." What most voters do not know is that the assembled group of policy advisors typically work for corporate front groups working for goals far outside the mainstream environmental perspective.

These corporate front groups support everything from "takings" legislation that would pay companies not to break environmental and public health laws and dismantling the Endangered Species Act, to denying the existence of global warming and the seriousness of air pollution. The group does not generally value the environment outside of conservative economic terms, and broadly opposes environmental protections that the American people consistently support in political polls.

A few individuals even have ties to the so-called "wise use" movement, an extreme movement whose 25 stated goals include "immediate wise development of the petroleum resources of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge" and "creation of National Mining System" under which "all public lands including wilderness and national parks shall be open to mineral and energy production under wise use technologies."(The Wise Use Agenda, edited by Alan Gottlieb, 1989).

Not exactly the kind of people Americans want potentially guiding the nation's environmental future.

Terry L. Anderson

Anderson is the Executive Director of the corporate front group the Political Economy Research Center (PERC) in Bozeman, MT. PERC bills itself as a "free market environmental think tank," meaning it opposes most environmental regulations in favor of "market solutions." PERC has received funding from Amoco, Arco, The Chemical Manufacturers Association, Conoco, Eli Lilly and Co., Pfizer, Coors, and the conservative foundations of the JM Foundation, the Scaife-run Carthage Foundation, Olin Foundation, Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, Sarah Scaife Foundation, and the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation. PERC is listed as a "networking participant" in the "wise-use" umbrella organization, Alliance for America.

Anderson has also been an adjunct scholar at the libertarian/conservative Koch-funded Cato Institute and a fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.

Gale Norton

Norton began her private legal career as a staffer at the anti-environmental Denver-based Mountain States Legal Foundation where she spent four years before being elected to two terms as Colorado's attorney general. Other Mountain States Legal Foundation alumni include Anne Gorsuch, Reagan's controversial EPA head who was forced to resign amidst scandal, Roger and Nancie Marzulla of the Defenders of Property Rights (another extreme property rights legal foundation), Wayne Hage, a founder of the "Sagebrush Rebellion" who is now engaged to the controversial Rep. Helen Chenoweth (R-ID), and Clint Bolick and William "Chip" Mellor who founded Washington, DC's far-right Institute for Justice.

The Mountain States Legal Foundation (MSLF)was founded in 1977 with initial funding provided by well-known supporter of far-right and anti-environmental causes, beer baron Joseph Coors. The organization’s first president was James Watt, President Ronald Reagan's notorious Secretary of the Interior. MSLF claimed to have received donations from over 175 corporations in its first year. MSLF also receives significant funding from many corporate and right-wing foundations, including the Coors-run Castle Rock.

Among other issues, MSLF promotes "takings" legislation. MSLF has been extremely active in the so-called "wise use" movement and has aggressively litigated against environmental protections. In addition to courtroom activities, MSLF was a sponsor of the first "wise use" conference in Reno, Nevada in 1988. The conference was organized by hard-core anti-environmental leaders Ron Arnold and Alan Gottlieb of the Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise and funded by companies such as Boise Cascade, DuPont, and Louisiana Pacific. Conferees authored the 25 point agenda cited in the opening paragraphs.

Norton has also been a member of many other extreme "property rights" groups. She was a member of the Legal Advisory Council for Defenders of Property Rights and co-chaired an environmental forum at the National Policy Forum which is headed by Republican Party Chair Haley Barbour. She was a member of the Farm Credit Bank Property Rights Task Force, the ad hoc group that was formed in 1994 with the purpose of launching the Farm Credit Property Rights Foundation.

Lynn Scarlett

Scarlett is the Executive Director of the Reason Public Policy Institute, a project of the Reason Foundation. The Reason Public Policy Insitute also favors "free market" solutions to environmental problems. Reason downplays the risks from global warming and opposes tighter standards for particulate air pollution.

David H. Koch of Koch Industries, a massive oil company, sits on the board of the Reason Foundation and is also a funder. Koch Industries is currently under two unrelated investigations by the EPA for environmental violations in Minnesota and the southwest, and has paid millions in environmental fines for other violations of the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts. The Reason Institute, like the Pacific Research Institute, is a member of the Heritage Foundation's State Policy Network.

Scarlett was a senior fellow at the Foundation for Research on Economics and the Environment (FREE), the Montana-based organization that was exposed last year by The Washington Post for holding anti-environmental junkets for federal judges at a Montana dude ranch. FREE is bankrolled by polluting interests that fund litigation before the federal bench.

The Reason Foundation has received funding from the Farm Bureau, Amoco, Arco, Chevron, Coors, David H. Koch Foundation, Eli Lilly, Exxon, Ford Motors, Olin Foundation, Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, Mobil, Pfizer, Philip Morris, Sarah Scaife Foundation, Texaco, Unocal, and Xerox.

Christopher C. DeMuth

DeMuth is the president of the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research (AEI). A fellow of AEI, Charles Murray, wrote the controversial book, The Bell Curve, which suggests a correlation between race and intelligence.

AEI’s directors and trustees represent Dow Chemical, Procter and Gamble, American Cynamid, FORBES, Coca Cola, Texaco, New England Electrical Systems, Eli Lilly and GTE. AEI has been funded by Procter and Gamble, Amoco Foundation, ARCO Foundation, Chevron, Union Carbide, Scaife Family Foundation, John M. Olin Foundation, Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, the Coors-run Castle Rock Foundation and the Sarah Scaife Foundation.

Steven Hayward

Hayward is a senior fellow at the Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy in San Francisco. The Pacific Research Institute, a libertarian free-market think tank, is a member of the State Policy Network, an association of state think tanks organized by the ultra-conservative Heritage Foundation. Pacific Research Institute has received funding from most of the large conservative foundations: Sarah Scaife Foundation, the David H. Koch Foundation, the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, and the John M. Olin Foundation.

The Pacific Research Institute recently published Environmental Gore, A Constructive Response to Earth in the Balance. Contributing authors include John Baden of FREE, global warming deniers Robert Balling, Hugh Ellseasser, and Richard Lindzen, Lynn Scarlett of Reason, and Mountain States Legal Foundation alumna Nancie Marzulla, now of Defenders of Property Rights.


Contact: Brendan DeMelle, Analyst, Environmental Working Group, 202-667-6982.

Funding and affiliation research comes from EWG's database system designed to track the anti-environmental movement collected over a period of years. Please contact us if you have specific questions.