By Ben Geman - 08/15/12 07:53 PM EDT
A climate skeptic group that drew widespread criticism — and lost some corporate funding — by comparing belief in global warming to the Unabomber’s views is trying to regain momentum in its battle against carbon controls.
The conservative Chicago-based think tank is gathering signatures on a petition to Congress calling on lawmakers to “rein in” the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
“[T]he only way a new president or a new Congress will undo the terrible damage being inflicted by the EPA after the election is if we make it a major issue NOW, BEFORE THE ELECTION, so that after the election even those who support the EPA’s reckless regulations will understand it is political suicide to support them,” the petition states.
Heartland caused a big stir in May when it launched a billboard campaign showing a photo of Ted Kaczynski, known as the Unabomber, with the words “I still believe in Global Warming, do you?”
Kaczynski killed three people and injured 23 during a two-decade letter-bombing campaign prior to being arrested in 1996.
Heartland group was also planning to run similar signs featuring Charles Manson and Fidel Castro. But it abandoned the campaign after just one day amid criticism from supporters and foes alike.
Some companies, such as State Farm Insurance, decided to discontinue funding Heartland, a multi-issue, free-market think tank that works on healthcare policy, education, the environment and other issues.
The petition says that “it is now clear that the global warming alarmists are wrong” and claims EPA is seeking “unprecedented powers to regulate American society.”
Heartland disputes the view held by the overwhelming majority of scientists that the planet is warming and human activities — including burning fossil fuels — are playing a major role.
A very small minority of scientists call data and research on warming trends and the human contribution inaccurate or inconclusive.
Legislation to nullify EPA’s power to regulate greenhouse gas emissions has passed the GOP-controlled House repeatedly but has not advanced in the Senate. Mitt Romney, the presumptive GOP White House nominee, wants to strip EPA’s authority too.
This post was updated at 6:49 p.m.