Letters from the West

Minnick ad in Wall Street Journal asks why it denies climate change

An ad ran in Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal with the headline: “Exxon’s CEO says fossil fuels are raising temperatures and sea levels. Why won’t the Wall Street Journal?”

The ad references a speech of Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson before the Council on Foreign Relations in 2012 where he said sea levels will rise and crop patterns will change because of of “human-induced” climate change.

“If the CEO of the world’s largest company accepts the basic physics that humans are heating the climate with excess C02, why won’t the editorial board of this newspaper?” the ad said.

The ad is the work of a small group that includes former Idaho Democratic Rep. Walt Minnick. It's the first of 12 ads The Partnership for Responsible Growth plans to run in print and digital form, promoting a carbon tax. Its headline references the fact the Wall Street Journal's editorial page continues to deny that climate change and global warming are caused by the carbon dioxide placed in the atmosphere by the burning of fossil fuel.

The Washington Post reported Tuesday that the partnership paid $36,528 for the first ad.

We’re trying to reach out to a business audience in a medium that never tells them the science is basically settled and that this is a national-security and economic problem.

George Frampton in the Washington Post.

Minnick said a study paid for by the groups shows none of the paper’s 201 editorials on the topic since 1997 acknowledged that fossil fuels were a cause of climate change, and only 14 percent of 279 guest editorials published since 1995 reflected “mainstream climate science.”

Minnick has been working with George Frampton, a former assistant Interior secretary for fish, wildlife and parks and former president of the Wilderness Society. Minnick, a former Trus Joist CEO, served on The Wilderness Society's governing council for decades. The other partner is William Eacho, a former ambassador to Austria.

Rocky Barker: 208-377-6484, @RockyBarker