Who is Tim Phillips?

Tim Phillips is the president of the non-profit organizations Americans for Prosperity (AFP) and Americans for Prosperity Foundation.

Prior to to AFP, Phillips co-founded Century Strategies, a political and corporate consulting firm. Phillips describes himself as "one of the nation's premier grassroots organizers."

Since Phillips took over as president of AFP in 2006, the organization has expanded exponentially, growing to over 34 state chapters and increasing its membership to 2.3 million.

Americans for Prosperity was started by oil billionaire David Koch, and is the third largest recipient of funding from the Koch Family Foundations. Only the Cato Institute and the George Mason University Foundation have received more money than AFP.

The organization is also connected to oil giant ExxonMobil. According to ExxonSecrets, between the years 1998-2001, Citizens for A Sound Economy and Citizens for a Sound Economy Foundation received $380,250 from ExxonMobil. In 2003, Citizens for a Sound Economy became Americans for Prosperity.

Energy and environment is one of the eight issues Americans For Prosperity focuses on.  AFP's message on climate change is clear:  human induced global warming is a fallacy.

In a 2010 interview on CNN, Phillips explained the organization's position: 

"The science is far from settled. For anyone, including Al Gore, to say otherwise is arrogance. There are enough scientists out there and doctors out there saying hey wait a minute, let's look at this thing more closely."

As Think Progress points out, practically every scientific institution on the planet asserts humans are propelling global climate change.

Nevertheless, AFP has campaigned hard against climate legislation and renewable energy.  In 2008, Phillips led AFP's Hot Air Tour -- a national campaign against "global warming alarmism." According to the website, the campaign's purpose was to tell the 'other side' of the story on climate change:

"Climate alarmists have bombarded citizens with apocalyptic scenarios and pressured them into environmental political correctness. It's time to tell the other side of the story. Americans for Prosperity is working hard to bring you the missing half of the global warming debate. What will the impacts of reactionary legislation be for you, your family and our economy?"

In 2009, Phillips and AFP lobbied hard against the Waxman-Markey bill, which would have established a national cap-and-trade scheme to regulate carbon emissions. The organization runs the website, No Climate Tax, which implores individuals to sign a petition asking the government not to accept cap-and-trade legislation.

In a 2011 interview with the National Journal, Phillips explained how his organization has been at the forefront of the rise of Republican candidates who question or deny global warming:

If you look at where the situation was three years ago and where it is today, there’s been a dramatic turnaround. Most of these candidates have figured out that the science has become political." We’ve made great headway. What it means for candidates on the Republican side is, if you … buy into green energy or you play footsie on this issue, you do so at your political peril. The vast majority of people who are involved in the [Republican] nominating process—the conventions and the primaries—are suspect of the science. And that’s our influence. Groups like Americans for Prosperity have done it.”

In 2010, AFP saw its budget expand to $40 million, almost six times what it was in 2007. Unsurprisingly, 2010 was an election year dominated by the Republican party. It saw the election of several candidates with ties to the Tea Party. AFP has been one of the Tea Party's strongest allies since its inception. The Tea Party staunchly opposes any government response to climate change.

AFP's most recent attack on the environment centered around eliminating the Wind Production Tax Credit (PTC), a critical subsidy for the wind energy sector.

During his time operating Century Strategies, Phillips worked extensively with Enron Corporation and Jack Abramoff, a lobbyist later convicted of fraud, tax evasion, and conspiracy to bribe public officials.

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"Greedy Lying Bastards" investigates the reason behind stalled efforts to tackle climate change despite consensus in the scientific community that it is not only a reality but also a growing problem placing us on the brink of disaster.