This is an excerpt of a 2010 CNN interview with Cato Institute’s Director of Center for the Study of Science, Patrick Michaels. The interview reflects his admission that roughly 40% of his research funding came from the oil industry.
Zakaria: Let me ask you what people wonder about you, about advocates like you. you know, they say—
Michaels: I’m advocating for efficiency.
Zakaria: Right. But people say that you’re advocating also for the current petroleum based industry to stand back, to stay as it is, and that a lot of your research is funded by these industries.
Michaels: Oh no, no no. First of all, what I’m saying is —
Zakaria: Is your research funded by these industries?
Michaels: Not largely. The fact of the matter is —
Zakaria: Can I ask you what percentage of your work is funded by the petroleum industry?
Michaels: I don’t know. 40%? I don’t know.
Following this disclosure and its coverage on news outlets, representatives of the Cato Institute – founded by Charles Koch – distanced themselves from the oil money Michaels receives:
“We are proud to have Pat Michaels and his research associated with the Cato Institute. However, Pat works for Cato on a contract basis, not as a full-time employee. Funding that Pat receives for work done outside the Cato Institute does not come through our organization. Kindly note that we receive less than 1% of all operating income from private corporations.”