Already under fire for his organization’s denial of climate change, Heartland Institute Joe Bast renewed his allegiance to his tobacco sponsors, Altria and Reynolds American International. “The public health community’s campaign to demonize smokers and all forms of tobacco is based on junk science,” Bast writes. His new attacks are raising the pressure on health industry companies such as Pfizer to join the exodus from the Heartland Institute.
The Smarter Safer Coalition, an effort to reform the National Flood Insurance Program by top insurers, environmental organizations including American Rivers, the Sierra Club, National Wildlife Federation, Environmental Defense Fund, Defenders of Wildlife, Ceres, and the Nature Conservancy, alongside conservative groups such as the Competitive Enterprise Institute, American Conservative Union, and Americans for Tax Reform
The Green Scissors Campaign, an initiative to reduce anti-environmental government spending with Friends of the Earth and Taxpayers for Common Sense.
According to leaked documents, Lehrer brought about $700,000 a year into the Heartland Institute for his Center on Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate, including the majority of Heartland’s corporate funding. The insurers who announced their departure from Heartland include the Association of Bermuda Insurers and Reinsurers, XL Group, Renaissance Re, Allied World Assurance, and State Farm Insurance.
Corporate sponsors of the Heartland Institute who have resisted calls to end their financial support include Microsoft, Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline, Comcast, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Heartland’s seventh climate-denier conference will take place in Chicago in two weeks.