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[Phys-l] A divine voice of authority

Subject: A divine voice of authority
Date: Sun, 17 Oct 2010 13:26:39 -0500

Glenn Beck Brings ExxonMobil-Linked Religious Front Group to Tell
Christians Not to Believe in Climate Change by: Lee Fang | ThinkProgress
| Report

In June, ThinkProgress published an exclusive investigation into the
Cornwall Alliance — a corporate front designed to deceive evangelicals
into doubting the science underpinning climate change. Today, Fox News
hate-talker Glenn Beck brought on a representative from the group to
tout Cornwall’s new DVD, “Resisting the Green Dragon,” which claims
the climate change movement is a “false religion,” and a nefarious
conspiracy to empower eugenicists and create a “global government.”
The DVD, which Cornwall is distributing to evangelical churches around
the country, seems to be designed perfectly for Beck’s world view, and
unsurprisingly, the Cornwall guest and Beck exchanged bizarre
conspiracy theories.

The Cornwall Alliance appears to be a creation of a group called
theJames Partnership, a nonprofit run by Chris Rogers and Peter Stein,
according to documents filed with the Virginia State Corporation
Commission. Rogers, who heads a media and public relations firm
calledCDR Communications, collaborates with longtime oil front group
operative David Rothbard, the founder and President of the Committee
for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) and Jacques Villarreal, a lower
level staffer at CFACT, for his James Partnership group. In the past,
Rogers’ firm has worked for the Bush administration and for the
secretiveconservative planning group, the Council for National Policy.

According to public records, the following entities are all registered
to the same address, 9302-C Old Keene Mill Road Burke, VA 22015, an
office park in suburban Virginia:

– Rogers’ consulting firm, CDR Communications
– Rogers’ nonprofit hub, the James Partnership
– The Cornwall Alliance
– The new “Resisting the Green Dragon” website

In late 2005, evangelical leaders like Rick Warren joined a drive to
back a major initiative to fight global warming, saying “millions of
people could die in this century because of climate change, most of
them our poorest global neighbors.” To counter this historic shift in
the evangelical community, a group called the “Interfaith Stewardship
Alliance” (ISA) was launched to oppose action on carbon emissions and
to deny the existence of climate change. One of the men guiding this
group was Paul Driessen, a consultant for ExxonMobil, the mining
industry, and forCFACT.

For “streamlining” reasons, ISA relaunched as the Cornwall Alliance
in 2006. With the new name came a redesigned website, highly
producedweb videos, and an organized network of churches to distribute
climate change denying propaganda to hundreds of pastors around the
country. The branding for the Cornwall Alliance is derived from the
“Cornwall Declaration,” a 1999 document pushing back against the
creation-care movement in the evangelical community. The Declaration
“stressed a free-market environmental stewardship and emphasized that
individuals and private organizations should be trusted to care for
their own property without government intervention.” CFACT President
Rothbard has been hailed as the “driving force” behind the Cornwall
Declaration public relations effort.

CFACT is a gimmicky right-wing organization that does everything it
can to try to discredit the science underpinning climate change. For
instance, staffers from the group traveled to the Copenhagen
conference on climate change to stage silly press conferences with
Rush Limbaugh’s former producer and stunts aimed at mocking

But who is the “driving force” behind CFACT? According to
disclosures,CFACT is funded by at least $542,000 from ExxonMobil,
$60,500 from Chevron, and $1,280,000 from Scaife family foundations,
which are rooted in wealth from Gulf Oil and steel interests.

CFACT and the Cornwall Alliance, according to disclosures filed with
the Washington State Secretary of State’s office, share a common
fundraising firm, ClearWord Communications Group. ClearWord has helped
raisemillions of dollars not only for CFACT and Cornwall, but also for
infamous polluter front groups like FreedomWorks, the Institute for
Energy Research, and the Competitive Enterprise Institute. Last year,
Cornwall produced a video with former Sen. George Allen (R-VA)
attacking clean energy legislation as part of a campaign by
theExxonMobil-funded “American Energy Freedom Center.”

In a call to the Cornwall Alliance’s media office, spokesman Quena
Gonzalez said Cornwall has no relationship to CFACT and said CFACT
President Rothbard has no official capacity with his group. Gonzalez
said that in “several years of working” at Cornwall, he had never
heard any questions about working with CFACT, and instructed
ThinkProgress to contact Calvin Beisner, the national representative
for Cornwall. Beisner is a board member of CFACT.

Rothbard had a central role in sparking the founding of Cornwall and
is currently a partner with Chris Rogers, the man who runs Cornwall
and CDR Communications. Nevertheless, under his capacity as CFACT
President, Rothbard’s anti-Greenpeace publicity stunts are reported
regularly on the Cornwall blog as breaking news, without any
acknowledgement of Rothbard’s relationship with Cornwall.

Gonzalez also said he had never heard of CDR Communications. But
according to his own LinkedIn profile, Gonzalez works for CDR
Communications as the “Director for Religion and the Environment” at
the firm. ThinkProgress contacted Chris Rogers on Monday, who
contradicted Gonzalez and said his firm CDR Communications provides
“support” for Cornwall but did not clarify.

It appears that Cornwall attempts to carefully hide its backers. Not
only did Gonzalez refuse to provide much information, but Cornwall’s
website is registered with a special service to hide the identity of
the person or group who purchased the domain address.