Chris Horner

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Learn more from the Center for Media and Democracy's research on climate change.

Attorney Christopher C. Horner is a senior fellow at the climate contrarian Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), a think tank that's received more than $2 million in funding from ExxonMobil since 1998, among other corporate funders. [1]

Horner is also director of litigation at the contrarian American Tradition Institute’s Environmental Law Center,[2] although according to the ATI's 2010 IRS Form 990, this position is unpaid.[5] (A 2011 IRS Form 990 filing has not yet been located for ATI's sister 501(c)(4), American Tradition Partnership.[3])


According to his CEI bio, Horner received his law degree from Washington University in St. Louis.

Ties to the Coal Industry

Horner was to be featured as a speaker at the 2015 Coal and Investment Leadership Forum, an invitation-only retreat that brings together coal industry executives, Republican donors, and other "stakeholders," according to an invitation obtained by the Center for Media and Democracy and reported on by The Guardian. The invitation listed Horner as "Attorney at Law for Competitive Enterprise Institute and American Tradition Institute."[4]

Others named in the 2015 invitation included likely presidential candidate Jeb Bush, Tennessee Valley Authority president Bill Johns, and "the owners and chief executives of coalmining and energy companies" including Alliance Resource Partners, Alpha Natural Resources, Consol Energy, Drummond Company, Arch Coal, and United Coal Company.[4] According to The Guardian,

The invitations to the three-day forum promise access to influential figures – including a potential future occupant of the White House – in a relaxed setting, with time for cocktails, golf lessons, and fishing. The $7,500 fee does not include lodging.
"Once again, significant time will also be available for golf, fly fishing, one-on-one meetings and small VIP discussion groups, which is the hallmark of this conference," the invitation reads.[4]

Climate expertise unclear

It is unclear what expertise Mr. Horner has acquired that makes him more qualified to assess climate science than 97% of actively publishing climate scientists.

CEI duties

Horner is a practicing attorney, and at CEI "oversees petitions and litigation on topics including data access and quality laws, the Freedom of Information Act, and government science and agency statutory compliance, and other legal matters involving environment and energy issues, international environmental treaties, and climate policy." [5] His CEI duties also include being counsel to the Cooler Heads Coalition, a global warming skeptics group. He "works on a legal and policy level with numerous think tanks and policy organizations throughout the world," according to his profile on the CEI site. [6] Horner is a speaker at the Heartland Institute's Sixth International Conference on Climate Change [7]


On global warming

Horner is a speaker at the International Conference on Climate Change (2009) organized by the Heartland Institute think tank. [8]

Horner has authored two books, through Regnery Publishing: "Red Hot Lies: How Global Warming Alarmists Use Threats, Fraud and Deception to Keep You Misinformed" (2008) and "The Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming and Environmentalism" (2007). [6]

Horner has accused NASA's chief climate scientist, James Hansen, of "doctor[ing] temperature data on two occasions in 2001 and once in 2007 in attempts to show an impending climate catastrophe." Horner told Fox News that Hansen has "clearly abused his platform provided to him by the taxpayer, principally by the way he's been exposed of manipulating and revising data with the strange coincidence of him always found on the side of exaggerating the warming." [9]

The inside flap of Horner's book "The Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming and Environmentalism" states that "for decades, environmentalism has been the Left's best excuse for increasing government control over our actions in ways both large and small. It's for Mother Earth! It's for the children! It's for the whales! But until now, the doomsday-scenario environmental scares they've trumped up haven't been large enough to justify the lifestyle restrictions they want to impose. With global warming, however, greenhouse gasbags can argue that auto emissions in Ohio threaten people in Paris, and that only 'global governance' (Jacques Chirac's words) can tackle such problems." [6]

On September 13, 2007, Horner commented on the rapid loss of Arctic sea ice, on Fox News 13. Horner questioned the claim that the opening of the Northwest Passage was new, because the NASA data was based only on the satellite record available since 1972, and noted that Raould Amundsen crossed it in 1905. In fact, Amundsen, the first person in history to cross the passage, picked his way through the ice in a small Norwegian Arctic fishing boat. His route closely hugged the Canadian coast. In contrast sea ice loss is most obvious on the other side of the Arctic Ocean. Since 1979 an area of ice comprising almost half of the Arctic between Siberia and Greenland became open water. [10]

Despite making frequent contributions to Fox News with his expert opinion, neither of his profile pages on the Heartland Institute website nor the Competitive Enterprise Institute website list any scientific qualifications whatsoever[11][12].


"[The planet Pluto, which is warming up despite moving away from the sun], is a reminder that no matter where you are climate happens... There will be inevitably and likely imminent claims [by environmentalists] that mankind is also causing Plutonian global warming." [7]

Articles and resources

Related SourceWatch articles


  1. "Factsheet: Competitive Enterprise Institute,", accessed March 2009.
  2. "[1]"
  3. ahaynes, 2011-11-08
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Suzanne Goldenberg, "Jeb Bush cozies up to coal industry barons at closed-door meeting," The Guardian, May 29, 2015.
  5. "Personnel details: Chris Horner," Heartland Institute website, accessed March 2009.
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Christopher C. Horner," Competitive Enterprise Institute website, accessed March 2009.
  7. "[2]"
  8. "Speakers," Heartland Institute website, accessed January 2009.
  9. "Fox News: NASA's Chief Climate Scientist Stirs Controversy with Call for Civil Disobedience]," States News Service, February 26, 2009.
  10. "Chris Horner Debates Arctic Ice & Global Warming," CEI channel on, September 13, 2007.
  11. "[3]"
  12. "[4]"

External resources

External articles

Articles and Presentations by Horner