Submitted by Diane Farsetta on
"Patrick J. Michaels, one of the global warming skeptics most often interviewed by news media, withdrew as an expert in a high-profile Vermont court case rather than disclose his funding sources," reports the Society of Environmental Journalists. Michaels is a University of Virginia professor and Cato Institute fellow who edits the "World Climate Report," a web publication "heavily funded by coal and electric utility industries with a large financial stake in preventing regulation of greenhouse emissions." In the Vermont case, automakers challenged the state's right to regulate greenhouse gases, and hired Michaels as an expert witness. Michaels told the court that he was dependent on income from his firm, New Hope Environmental Services, and that some of his clients require their funding to be confidential. When auto industry lawyers told Michaels that his financial information might be made public, due to the environmental group Greenpeace's request for disclosure, Michaels withdrew as a witness in the case. In court filings, Michaels blamed 2006 news reports naming the Colorado-based coal-burning utility Intermountain Rural Electric Association (IREA) as one of his clients with the loss of funding from IREA and another utility, Tri-State Generation & Transmission Association.