Dem wants disclosure of funding behind climate testimony

The top Democrat on the House Natural Resources Committee is pressing university heads to disclose documents that would reveal the extent to which faculty received compensation from industry when researching climate change. 

Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) released letters on Tuesday that were sent to seven different university presidents requesting information pertaining to specific professors that testified before Congress on climate change.

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Grijalva notes that each professor questioned how much humans are contributing to climate change.

The letters ask for documents that reveal "sources of external funding," such a consulting fees and promotional considerations that professors receive. 

Grijalva also requests "all drafts" of testimony prepared by each professor.

The inquiries come after a New York Times report revealed Harvard professor Willie Soon received more than $1.2 million from the Koch Foundation — which is run by billionaire conservative donors Charles and David Koch — for his climate research. 

"If true, these many not be isolated incidents," Grijalva said in the letters.

"I am hopeful that disclosure of a few key pieces of information will establish the impartiality of climate research and policy recommendations published in your institution's name and greatly assist me and my colleagues in making better law."

Grijalva is not alone.

After the Times report surfaced, Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) requested oil and coal companies reveal whether they have funded research questioning the causes of climate change. 

Grijalva requested documents from the Pepperdine University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Delaware, the University of Alabama, the Georgia Institute of Technology, Arizona State University and the University of Colorado.