Front groups are as old as Big Oil. These are coalitions, committees, alliances and think tanks that are created by organizations that don’t disclose their support. They usually have misleading names, for example the Citizen’s Alliance for Responsible Energy (CARE), which is now defunct, and often consumers take them and their positions at face value, not understanding the group’s underlying goals or implications.
There are several common threads among the front groups that are supported by enemies of renewable energy (most often Big Oil) with the largest number of them publishing documents and supporting research that proves global warming doesn’t exist. This goal is achieved in many ways with the most prominent being the support of groups that promote “sound science”. Another popular strategy is to fund think tanks to write papers that outline policies that are beneficial to the energy industry (oil, coal, natural gas).
Many of our readers have contacted me asking how to determine if an organization is a “front group”. In response, I did some research and following are 10 groups to watch outlined in a free issues brief, “10 Big Oil Front Groups to Watch”. This list is by no means exhaustive but encompasses organizations that are currently very active in the public debate about energy and environment.
1. The Heartland Institute
2. Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI)
3. Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT)
4. American Enterprise Institute (AEI)
5. CATO Institute
6. Center for North American Energy Security (CNAES)
7. American Council on Science and Health (ACSH)
8. George C. Marshall Institute
9. Food Before Fuel
10. Cooler Heads Coalition
Click here to download a copy of “10 Big Oil Front Groups to Watch“.