James Taylor has no expertise in climate change science, or any science for that matter. He has a law degree and is paid to publish newsletters dismissing global warming and to repeat those lies on bombastic talk radio shows.
Since James Taylor takes a distinctly unscientific approach to climate change policy, it matters that coal companies like Murray Energy fund his work.
For decades the Heartland Institute has received funding from Murrary Energy and other fossil fuel interests like ExxonMobil and the billionaire Koch brothers for their work attacking environmental regulation. However, Heartland's primary climate-denial sugar daddy is a secretive Chicago billionaire named Barre Seid, who funneled money to Heartland through a Koch-connected piggybank named Donors Trust.
In 2013, Taylor flew from Chicago to testify before the legislatures of Kansas and Ohio to support a national attack renewable energy incentives, in coordination with other Koch-funded interests like the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), Americans For Prosperity, the Beacon Hill Institute and other front groups coordinated by the "State Policy Network."
Taylor is in kooky company at Heartland. His co-workers and affiliates include:
• “Science director” Jay Lehr, who defrauded American taxpayers $200,000 during contract work for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in the early 1980’s, resulting in a $25,000 fine and a six month sentencing in federal prison.
• President Joseph Bast (who defends tobacco marketing toward children and has a raspy voice “from years of smoking”) even alienates other veteran climate science deniers, like Ken Green of the American Enterprise Institute, for not being hardline enough in their denial of global warming or their willingness to consider a national carbon tax.
• Contractor Craig Idso, who has been pumping out junk science for years, promoting the false and simplistic claim that more atmospheric CO2 means good things for planet earth, period. This is a re-hashed argument from an old coal industry front group Idso's family helped orchestrate, called the “Greening Earth Society." The demonstrably false claims made by the Greening Earth Society are still used by denier front groups like the Competitive Enterprise Institute, who made this inane “CO2 is Life” advertisement. Heartland's James Taylor continues to promote this particularly ripe form of global warming denial.