Making Money By Feeding Confusion Over Global Warming

Electric Utility Pays $100,000 To Global Warming Naysayer

July 27, 2006 — - Ever wonder why so many people still seem to be confused about global warming? The answer it seems, confusion means profit -- especially if you're in some parts of the energy business.

One Colorado electric cooperative openly admits it paid $100,000 to a university academic who prides himself on being a global warming skeptic. Scientists and consumer advocates say the co-op is trying to confuse its clients about the virtually total scientific consensus on the causes of global warming.

The energy co-op, Intermountain Rural Electric Association, is heavily invested in power plants that burn coal, one of the chief sources of greenhouse gasses that scientists agree is quickly pushing earth's average temperature to dangerous levels.

ABC News has obtained a copy of a nine-page document that IREA general manager Stanley Lewandowski Jr. addressed to the more than 900 fellow members of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. The document is a wide ranging condemnation of carbon taxes and mandatory caps on greenhouse gas emissions that Lewandowski writes would threaten to "erode most, if not all, the benefits of coal-fired generation."

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