A new report from the Energy & Policy Institute warns many of America’s universities continue to be hooked on dirty energy funding, with Harvard University highlighted as one of the top offenders:
Universities and professors, funded by fossil fuel and utility special interests, are increasingly producing academic reports, supporting advocacy efforts, and amplifying positions that either recommend policies or provide credence to what the energy industry seeks to achieve in the legislative and regulatory arenas. […]
The Harvard Electricity Policy Group, run by former Ohio Public Utilities Commissioner Ashley Brown, has received funding from American Electric Power, Duke Energy, FirstEnergy, Southern Company, and other utility companies. Brown routinely criticizes the value of solar in public testimony, academic journals, and opinion pieces. In many cases, Brown and the publications fail to disclose that his organization receives funding from utility interests.
Here’s a link to the full report on the Harvard Electricity Policy Group. The Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics is also called out for hosting a leading fossil fuel-funded climate science denier:
Willie Soon, a researcher at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Massachusetts, was funded by the energy industry, including Southern Company, to deliver research denying the mainstream scientific consensus on climate change, claiming global warming is being driven by the sun.
Harvard has steadfastly refused to divest its massive endowment from fossil fuels even as coal and oil stocks have tanked in recent months. Universities that have committed to fully or partially divest include Stanford, Georgetown & Syracuse in the US, and Oxford in the UK, part of a $3.4 trillion movement worldwide.
At least one other local university cut its ties to dirty energy money last year:
Richard Berman, the notorious Washington insider, routed money to Suffolk University’s Beacon Hill Institute to publish reports criticizing the Environmental Protection Agency’s rules cutting carbon dioxide from power plants. Months after the funding was revealed, Suffolk University announced that it will cut ties with the Beacon Hill Institute, specifically because the institute could no longer raise money under university guidelines favoring transparency, which the university began to implement.