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Daily Green Roundup: May 22, 2012

23 May 2012  |   Melissa Yeo

Support for the Heartland Institute and its conference is falling rapidly following its controversial billboard campaign comparing climate change believers to Unabomber Ted Kaczynski. Heartland has lost at least $825,000 in expected funds for 2012, more than 35 percent of the funds it planned to raise from corporate donors. As a result, the organization has taken its first publicly acknowledged donations from the coal industry, relying on the main Illinois coal lobby for sponsorship of its conference this week. [Guardian]

Fox News attempted to pit climate change mitigation against national security this weekend, suggesting that defense funding is being channeled toward renewable energy investments. But data from the Congressional Research Service says investments in climate change programs make up only 0.0002% of total defense spending in the past four years. [Media Matters]

A fact sheet released by Oil Change International shows that the fossil fuel industry now receives about $1 trillion globally from government subsidies every year. [Oil Change International]

In an editorial for Grist, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has called for an end to “polluter welfare,” condemning “immoral” members of Congress who push for cuts to healthcare and sustainable energy incentives while fighting to preserve tax breaks and subsidies for Big Oil. [Grist]

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has been found granting preferential access to employees and PACs that made big donations to his campaign. The governor, recently named to LCV’s state Dirty Dozen, received contributions from employees or PACs at more than half of the 130-plus companies that appear in his official calendars. These employees and PACs have given Walker at least $1.5 million in the last three years. [Center for Public Integrity]

Jack Gerard, Idaho power broker and President of the American Petroleum Institute, could fill a top spot in a Mitt Romney administration. Romney’s campaign co-chairman described Gerard as an easy fit for a high-level job if Romney is elected. [Idaho Statesman]

According to a new poll from Yale University and George Mason University, 58 percent of Americans believe protecting the environment helps, not hurts, the environment. What’s more, 62 percent of the public favored environmental protection in conflicts between environmental and economic goals. [Yale Project on Climate Change Communication]

Bad news for big polluters: an EIA report finds coal use dropping 9 percent in the last year, with electricity generation from coal slated to drop another 14 percent this year. Wind energy had one of its best quarters ever, seeing a 53 percent increase in wind project installation from this time last year. [Grist]

A National Renewable Energy Laboratory study says that a kilowatt made by burning coal emits more than one hundred times the greenhouse gases made by a kilowatt-hour of electricity generated by wind power. All the renewable power sources studied did better than coal when it came to the emission of carbon dioxide. [Denver Post]

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