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.