We've previously noted that NewsBusters' Noel Sheppard has no interest in fact-checking conservatives as long as they're spouting conservatively correct anti-global warming talking points. In one of those posts that we cited, Sheppard also wrote this:
The Science and Public Policy Institute issued a report on the money involved in funding the global warming debate in August concluding, "Over the last two decades, US taxpayers have subsidized the American climate change industry to the tune of $79 billion."
By contrast, the same study found that the media bogeyman "Exxon Mobil gave a mere $23 million, spread over ten years, to climate sceptics."
That breakdown sounded familiar to us. Sure enough, Marc Morano was peddling a similar breakdown a couple years ago. As we detailed, it has no basis in reality, making an apples-and-oranges comparison by compiling everything tangentally related to climate change, such as development of alternative fuels, to donations made by a single company.
That seems to be the case with the "study" Sheppard promoted. Sheppard links to what appears to be an op-ed making the claim, but no supporting evidence is offered or even linked to.
A little more digging around the 'Net uncovers the original SPPI report, which states that the $79 billion lumps together all "science and technology research, administration, education campaigns, foreign aid, and tax breaks." As with Morano, there's no detailed breakdown of exactly what programs are being included in the SPPI's count. (The report states that "details and sources" are in "Appendix I," which is not attached to the PDF of the report, and we couldn't find it anywhere else on the SPPI website.)
SPPI also apes Morano and perpetuates the apples-and-oranges distortion by comparing the all-encompassing $79 billion only to the $23 million donated by Exxon Mobil. This ignores donations by other oil companies and funding of anti-global warming groups like SPPI.
In other words, this study is a joke -- which makes it perfect bait for people like Noel Sheppard.