First, this press release today from the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology and chair Lamar Smith . Some material obtained from George Mason University today via FOIA shed some light on the IGES/COLA organization and its founders and director.
For Immediate Release | October 1, 2015
Media Contacts: Zachary Kurz, Laura Crist
Smith: Taxpayer-Funded Climate Org Allegedly Seeks Criminal Penalties for Skeptics
Washington, D.C. – Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) today sent a letter to Dr. Jagadish Shukla, a professor of climate dynamics at George Mason University who founded the Institute of Global Environment and Society (IGES). IGES is a non-profit organization that has received millions of dollars in federal grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and NASA.
According to media reports, IGES is responsible for circulating a letter to the president and senior White House officials requesting a criminal investigation of organizations who question the risks of climate change. Specifically, the letter seeks a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) investigation that would allow the government to impose criminal penalties. The letter was posted to the IGES website and later removed and replaced with a note saying it had been “inadvertently posted.”
Chairman Smith: “IGES appears to be almost fully funded by taxpayer money while simultaneously participating in partisan political activity by requesting a RICO investigation of companies and organizations that disagree with the Obama administration on climate change. In fact, IGES has reportedly received $63 million from taxpayers since 2001, comprising over 98 percent of its total revenue during that time.”
In light of the non-profit’s decision to remove the controversial letter from its website, Smith directs IGES to preserve “all e-mail, electronic documents, and data created since January 1, 2009, that can be reasonably anticipated to be subject to a request for production by the Committee.”
The full letter can be found here.
h/t to Mike Bastasch for the PR from the House
Also today, I have been given some materials obtained by attorney Chris Horner of CEI, who made a request to The Virginia Governor’s Office for materials related to Shukla and IGES/COLA. Props to the Virginia Governor’s Office, as they responded very quickly to the request.
Of most interest is a document that answers the question I raised yesterday about what, if any, separation exists between the Shukla family enterprises IGES and COLA, especially since it was announced (in place of the disappeared letter) that IGES would be dissolved while COLA was getting NSF grants active through 2017. This is what replaced the disappeared letter to Obama:
The Schedule A attached to the 2012 through 2015 Statement of Economic Interests from COLA director James Kinter removes any doubt about any separation of IGES/COLA, and further, since the last dated Schedule A was of May 31st of this year, it suggests that “dissolution” of IGES really wasn’t in the cards at all:
Above, 2015 through 2012 (top to bottom) Schedule A’s from Kinter.
Source: FOIA obtained documents – PDF’s are linked below:
Note: shortly after publication this story was edited to correct the order of and some captions of the Kinter Schedule A screencaps