Heartland Institute says its mission “is to help build social movements in support of ideas that empower people. Such ideas include parental choice in education, market-based approaches to environmental protection, privatization of public services, and deregulation in areas where property rights and markets do a better job than government bureaucracies”. 
Unlike many right-wing think tanks Heartland publishes a list of all recent foundation and corporate funders. The following is not a full list that can be found on their website.
The list of foundations funding Heartland in 2003 included:
|BP Amoco Foundation Inc.||The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation|
|Charlotte and Walter Kohler Charitable Trust||ExxonMobil Foundation|
|Federalist Society||Fundamental Change in Education|
|General Motors Foundation||The Heritage Foundation|
- Joseph L. Bast -President and CEO. Bast is co-author of “EcoSanity – A Common Sense Guide to Environmentalism”, which argues the following on key environmental issues:
Global Warming: “global warming is not an environmental crisis.” CFCs: “If ever the environmental movement abandons common sense, it did so in its campaign against CFCS .. the ban on CFC may represent the movement’s most embarrassing moment” .
Acid Rain: “Once again, billions of dollars are wasted battling a problem that doesn’t exist”
Deforestation: “Current rates of deforestation are not likely to destroy more than a barely perceptible fraction of the Earth’s remaining rainforests”.
Nuclear power: “An honest evaluation of nuclear power shows it to be a safe and clean source of energy”.
Pesticides: “ The fact that pesticides have not been shown to cause any human injury signals that toxic chemicals as a class pose little threat to human health”
- Diane Carol Bast - Vice President - Internal Affairs
Board of Directors
Includes executives from Exxon Philip Morris and General Motors
- Herbert J. Walberg - Chairman - University of Illinois - Chicago
- Joseph L. Bast - President and CEO - The Heartland Institute
- Walter F. Buchholtz - ExxonMobil Corporation
- Robert Buford - Planned Realty Group
- Paul Fisher - Piper, Marbury, Rudnick & Wolfe
- James Fitzgerald - BankNote Capital LLC
- Dan Hales - Peterson & Ross – In 1997 he was named recipient of the first annual John Jay Award by the Chicago Lawyers Chapter of The Federalist Society. He was chairman of Illinois Lawyers for Reagan and Bush in 1980.
- William Higginson - Chicago Equity Fund Inc.
- James L. Johnston - Amoco Corporation (retired)
- Roy E. Marden – Manager of Industry Affairs at Philip Morris Companies in New York City. He is also on the Business Advisory Board of the Reason Foundation.
- David H. Padden - Padden & Co.
- Frank Resnik - Medline Inc. (retired)
- Leslie Rose - Fidelity Bank
- Lee Tooman - Golden Rule Insurance Company
- Lee H. Walker - New Coalition for Economic & Social Change
- Thomas Walton - General Motors
- Wendell Cox - (sprawl and urban transit) – Has spent three years as the Director of Public Policy of the American Legislative Exchange Council – See ALEC.
- Jim Johnston - (energy and regulation) – ex- Senior Economist at Amoco
- Jay Lehr - (science and environment) Dr. Lehr is the author of more than 400 magazine and journal articles and 12 books. He is editor of Rational Readings on Environmental Concerns, “one of the most comprehensive counter-science books ever compiled”. It denigrates environmentalists as “extremists” “apocalyptics” “alarmists” “zealots”, “chemophobes”, “fundamentally elitist”, “professional scaremongers” and “potential mass murderers”. In the book it says that acid rain is advantageous, pollution is no problem, dioxin does not cause problems global warming is good for you, nuclear power is safe and even radiation is good for you with the quote “exposure to the fallout from Chenobyl will actually prove to be a net health benefit”
- Merrill Matthews Jr., Ph.D -. (health care) - He is a visiting scholar with the Institute for Policy Innovation and policy director of the American Conservative Network, a project of the American Conservative Union, Health policy advisor to the American Legislative Exchange Council
- Conrad Meier - (health care) Undertaken studies the American Legislative Exchange Council
- Thomas Roeser - (politics)
Education, Environment, Health Care and Smoker's Lounge –“The evidence on second-hand smoke has been repeatedly shown to be too weak to survive scientific and legal scrutiny. It’s junk science,” says Heartland.
Heartland is the co-ordinator of the websites http://www.climatesearch.com and climatesearch.org. The websites, started in 1999, are aimed “at bringing together into a single, easily searched site the climate change research and commentary being produced by scores of public policy research groups and science organizations doing careful, credible work on this subject”. Under the section “partners”, the websites list the “individuals and organizations identified below have contributed publications to this database and are actively promoting Climate Search.org on their own Web sites”. The partners include:
- Allegheny Institute for Public Policy
- American Council on Science and Health
- American Legislative Exchange Council
- American Petroleum Institute
- Brookings Institution
- Cato Institute
- Center for Energy & Economic Development
- Center for the Study of American Business
- Chair of Free Enterprise http://www.engr.utexas.edu/cofe/
- Citizens for a Sound Economy
- Climate Change Debate
- Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow
- Competitive Enterprise Institute
- Cooler Heads Coalition
- George C. Marshall Institute
- Global Climate Coalition
- Greening Earth Society
- James Madison Institute
- Kiora - Web Site & Web Application Design
- Mercatus Center
- National Center for Policy Analysis
- National Center for Public Policy Research
- National Legal Center for the Public Interest
- National Mining Association
- New Hope Environmental Services
- Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy
- PERC (Political Economy Research Center)
- Public Interest Institute
- Reason Public Policy Institute
- Resources for the Future
- Science and Environmental Policy Project
- Western Fuels Association Inc.
It has long argued against Kyoto Protocols, scaremongering about the risks of Kyoto implementation and downplaying the risks of climate change. In 1996 it published a newspaper called “ Earth Day ‘96: A Free Guide to Saving the Planet,” which debunked issues such as climate change, ozone depletion, second hand tobacco smoke and dioxins. Authors in the booklet included Edward Porter and Sally Brain Gentille from the American Petroleum Institute; Dr. Sallie Baliunas from the George C. Marshall Institute (see below); and Dr. S. Fred Singer from SEPP (see below).
In March 1999, Heartland argued that US compliance with Kyoto would increase US farm production costs by up to 20 billion dollars a year and cut farm income by nearly a half. In September that year, Joseph Bast, the Institute’s president said: “I classify global warming as a nonproblem”.
The following year, Heartland and the CEI filed a lawsuit against the then President Clinton, alleging he illegally expanded the scope of, and spending on, a report by the U.S. Global Change Research Program on climate change for political reasons which would have assisted Vice President Gore's presidential campaign (see CEI). It also claimed that that compliance with Kyoto would mean consumers paying more than 55 percent more for electricity and 70 percent more for heating oil by 2010, with 2.4 million jobs being destroyed.
In 2003 it continued its scaremongering by claiming that if states in the US were to reduce carbon dioxide levels to 7 percent below their 1990 levels it “would carve a 28.6 percent hole in the average state's budget, making today's fiscal problems look small by comparison”.
In contrast, the study found that if left unaddressed, by 2060 global warming would have a small positive effect on the U.S. economy (mostly by lowering food costs, heating bills, and construction costs), and a small negative effect on the global community.
- FAQs, Heartland website
-  J. L . Bast; P. J. Hill & R. C. Rue (1994) Eco-Sanity – A Common Sense Guide to Environmentalism, Madison Books, p62; P73-74, p 81, p90, p110, p176
-  http://www.heartland.org/archives/bios/marden.htm; http://www.heartland.org/SpeakersBureauArticle.cfm?sbrId=19
-  http://www.reason.org/bab.html
-  A. Rowell (1996) Green Backlash – Global Subversion of the Environment Movement, Routledge, p 139-140; quotes all taken from Rational Readings on Environmental Concerns, ed Jay Lehr, Van Nostrand Reinhard, 1992.
-  http://www.heartland.org/Article.cfm?artId=10594
-  http://www.climatesearch.com/about.cfm
-  http://www.climatesearch.org/partners.cfm
-  D. Rubenstein (2000) “Six Environmental Groups Slapped by Coal Association - The Global Warming Debate Heats Up”, Corporate Legal Times, July, 2000, p69
-  http://www.ewg.org/pub/home/clear/view/viewpdf/cvv3n8.pdf
-  G. Aziakou (1999) Challenge, Agence France Presse, 2 March.
-  J. Steele (1999) “4 Inland Mayors Join Eco-Cause: The Leaders From Hemet, Rancho Cucamonga, San Bernardino And Palm Desert Sign A Letter Urging Heed To Global Warming”, Press-Enterprise, 28 September.
-  Greenwire (2000) “Lawmakers, Groups Sue Over National Assessment On Climate Change”, 5 October,
-  The Atlanta Journal and Constitution (2000) “Nobody's Trying To Kill Us; Nation Needs Honest Debate”, 5 October, p 20A
-  Business Wire (2003 “Heartland Institute Study Warns Global Warming Legislation Would Bust Maine's Budget”, 18 March
-  United Press International (2003) “Think tanks wrap-up II”, 27 March