Cascade Policy Institute

Cascade Policy Institute (CPI)

 Background

The Cascade Policy Institute (CPI), also known as the Cascade Policy Center, was founded in 1991 as a “nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy research and educational organization” based in Oregon. Its mission to “develop and promote public policy alternatives that foster individual liberty, personal responsibility and economic opportunity.”

According to their website, “Cascade promotes property rights, incentives, markets and decentralized decision-making.” It releases policy reports, quarterly newsletters, commentaries, and weekly news reviews. The Institute also hosts regular conference programs, lectures and “educational programs for students” including a Summer Internship Program for undergraduate and graduate students. [1]

John A. Charles Jr. has been the president of the Cascade Policy Institute since 2005. John Charles once described Oregon's Climate Trust, which had imposed regulations on carbon dioxide emissions, as a “extortion scheme,” and other carbon-reduction strategies as “coercive taxation income redistribution schemes.” [2]

Stance on Climate Change

“Climate change is one of the hottest topics, literally, in state and national public policy. Alarmism over human-induced climate change is one of many examples of the extreme environmental movement. Because astonishing news sells, media coverage on climate change is focused entirely on exaggerated claims of future catastrophe caused by carbon dioxide emitted from human activities. Unfortunately, misleading media reporting is making it difficult for citizens to discern fact from fiction.”
 
[…] The truth is that the science of climate change is far from settled and there exists no consensus on the causes, effects, or future of climate change. [3]

 Funding

The Cascade Policy Institute presents the following statement on its funding sources:

“Cascade Policy Institute is supported by the generous, voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses and foundations. Cascade does not solicit or accept any government funding. Cascade is a 501(c)(3)(h) nonprofit educational organization. Contributions are fully tax-deductible to the extent provided by state and federal law.” [1]

The following is based on data the Conservative Transparency project has gathered from publicly-available 990 forms from 1995 to 2013 (view attached .xls spreadsheet for details on funding by year):  [4]

Donor Total
Donors Capital Fund $1,283,600
Jaquelin Hume Foundation $380,000
The Roe Foundation $350,000
The Challenge Foundation $219,368
State Policy Network $184,822
Castle Rock Foundation $170,000
Cato Institute $146,500
JM Foundation $130,000
Ruth & Lovett Peters Foundation $125,000
Chase Foundation of Virginia $104,500
Searle Freedom Trust $30,000
The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation $25,000
DonorsTrust $7,500
Friedman Foundation For Educational Choice $1,000
Grand Total $3,157,290

The Cascade Policy Institute's single largest contributor is the Donors Capital Fund (DCF), a group that Mother Jones magazine has described as the “dark money ATM of the conservative movement,” along with its sister organization DonorsTrust. Donors Capital Fund creates “donor-advised funds” for conservative donors, allowing them to anonymously donate large amounts of funds to specific projects or groups without revealing their identities. [5]

Key People

Board of Directors

As of November, 2015, the following directors were listed on the Cascade Policy Institute's website: [6]
  • Michael L. Barton — Cascade research associate since 2002.
  • William B. Conerly — Chairman of the board. Senior fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis.
  • Lawrence “Larry” W. Dennis, Sr.
  • Gilion C. Dumas
  • Jon Egge
  • David Gore — Co-founder of Cascade Policy Institute.
  • William Udy — Board member and finance director of Cascade Policy Institute since it was founded in 1991.

 Staff

As of November, 2015, the following staff members were listed on the Cascade Policy Institute's website: [7]

  • Steve Buckstein — Senior Policy Analyst. Co-Founder, CPI. Past president (until 2004).
  • John A. Charles, Jr. — President and CEO
  • Kathryn Hickok — Director, Children’s Scholarship Fund-Portland, Publications Director, and Development Coordinator.
  • Tina Pisenti — Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

Academic Advisors

As of November, 2015, the following academic advisors were listed on the Cascade Policy Institute's website: [8]

  • Michael L. Barton
  • Matthew Michael Bliziotes
  • Chana B. Cox
  • Gordon J. Fulks
  • James L. Huffman
  • Richard Meinhard
  • Gerard C. S. Mildner
  • Randall J. Pozdena
  • Anthony M. Rufolo
  • Fred Thompson
  • Zenon X. Zygmont

Speakers' Bureau

As of November, 2015, the Cascade Policy Institute listed the following people on its “Speakers' Bureau,” which is available for “educational lectures, seminars, and conferences.” [9]
  • Steve Buckstein — Senior Policy Analyst
  • John A. Charles, Jr. — President and CEO
  • Chana B. Cox  — Academic Advisor to Cascade Policy Institute
  • Gordon J. Fulks — Academic Advisor to Cascade Policy Institute (Expertise in “Scientific scares and scams, especially Anthropogenic Global Warming”)
  • Kathryn Hickok — Director, Children’s Scholarship Fund-Portland
  • Gerard C.S. Mildner — Academic Advisor to Cascade Policy Institute
  • Anthony M. Rufolo — Academic Advisor to Cascade Policy Institute
  • Fred Thompson — Academic Advisor to Cascade Policy Institute

 Actions

Koch Fellowship Program (Ongoing)

The Cascade Policy Institute offers a summer internship program through the “Charles G. Koch Summer Fellow Program,” and administered by the Institute for Humane Studies and the State Policy Network. [10]

Carbon Cartel Education Project (Ongoing)

The Cascade Policy Institute is hosting a “Carbon Cartel Education Project” that operates on the premise that “One of the greatest threats to freedom and economic prosperity in America today is climate change legislation.” [11]

The goal of the Carbon Cartel Education Project is “to raise awareness of the costs and implications of policies based on global warming alarmism by conducting a multi-faceted campaign to peel away grassroots political support for carbon restrictions, while simultaneously promoting market-based policies that preserve individual liberty, economic opportunity, and environmental quality.”

The project's director is Todd Wynn [11]

September 14, 2014

An a New York Post article, climate change skeptics Tom Harris and Bob Carter quotes the Cascade Policy Institute's Gordon Fulks (not mentioning his connection to CPI) as saying ”CO2 is said to be responsible for global warming that is not occurring, for accelerated sea-level rise that is not occurring, for net glacial and sea ice melt that is not occurring … and for increasing extreme weather that is not occurring.” [12]

December 19, 2013

The Cascade Policy Institute's Todd Myers published a piece on CPI's website titled, “How the Environmental Left Became the New Climate Deniers.” [13]

The left has abandoned the IPCC, after years of touting the agency’s unshakable standard of excellence. What changed were not the IPCC’s standards but its conclusions. New science has sparked the left’s new denial.“ [13]

June 30 - July 1, 2011

The Cascade Policy Institute was a co-sponsor for the Heartland Institute's Sixth International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC6). [14]

DeSmogBlog found that 17 of the 43 sponsors of the Heartland Institute's Sixth International Conference on Climate Change, including the Heartland Institute itself, had collectively received over $46 million from either Scaife Foundations, Koch Foundations, or ExxonMobil. [15]

July 30, 2010

The Cascade Policy Institute co-hosted a Milton Friedman Tribute Dinner with the Koch-funded front group Americans for Prosperity. [16]

June 8, 2010

The Cascade Policy Institute released a report titled “Think Twice Why Wind Power Mandates Are Wrong for the Northwest” by Todd Wynn and Eric Lowe. According to the CPI description, the report “highlights the problem with the legislature picking winners and losers in the energy market.” [17]

May, 2010

The Cascade Policy Institute was a co-sponsor for the Heartland Institute's Fourth International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC4). [18]

DeSmogBlog found that 19 of the 65 sponsors had received a total of over $40 million in funding since 1985 from ExxonMobil, Koch Industries, and Scaife family foundations. [19]

April 16, 2010

Todd Wynn, Vice President of the Cascade Policy Institute, spoke at a 2010 Tea Party Rally in Salem on the subject of Cap and Trade (video below). 

Tea Party Cap and Trade from Cascade Policy on Vimeo.

March, 2009

The Cascade Policy Institute was a co-sponsor for the Heartland Institute's Second International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC2). [20]

DeSmogBlog researched the funding behind Heartland's Second International Conference on Climate Change and found that sponsor organizations had received over $47 million in funding from energy companies and right-wing foundations.  [21]

2009

The Cascade Policy Institute funded and developed the video “Climate Chains.” They describe the video as “22-minute documentary that exposes extreme environmentalism and the misguided pursuit of cap-and-trade legislation. Climate Chains not only explains the dangers of this legislation but offers an alternative to top-down regulation in the form of free market environmentalism.” [22]

Climate Chains supposes that “One of the greatest threats to freedom and prosperity in America is climate change legislation.”
 
The Cascade Policy Institute is listed as the contact for the project, and Todd Wynn of CPI is listed as the “Director and Producer.” [23]

Experts” appearing in the video included: [24]

March, 2008

The Cascade Policy Institute was a co-sponsor for the Heartland Institute's First International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC1) in New York. [25]

Related Organizations

  • Cascade Policy Center — Another name for the Cascade Policy Institute.

 Resources

  1. About,” Cascade Policy Institute. Archived November 4, 2015. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6cnXUX8AK

  2. John A Charles ICCC1,” YouTube Video. Uploaded by User “HeartlandTube,” July 17, 2013. 

  3. Climate Change,” Cascade Policy Institute. Archived November 5, 2015. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6cnfnhkzH

  4. Cascade Policy Institute,” Consevative Transparency. Accessed November 4, 2015.

  5. Exposed: The Dark-Money ATM of the Conservative Movement,” Mother Jones, February 5, 2013. Archived July 23, 2015.

  6. Board of Directors,” Cascade Policy Institute. Archived November 5, 2015. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6cnhLxgpo

  7. Staff,” Cascade Policy Institute. Archived November 5, 2015. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6cnhS8Pwd

  8. Academic Advisors,” Cascade Policy Institute. Archived November 5, 2015. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6cniRyWKB

  9. Speakers’ Bureau,” Cascade Policy Institute. Archived November 5, 2015. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6cnjIgfYh

  10. Internships,” Cascade Policy Institute. Archived November 5, 2015. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6cnjqr8gn 

  11. Carbon Cartel Education Project,” Cascade Policy Institute. Archived November 5, 2015. http://www.webcitation.org/6cnju8e1Z

  12. Tom Harris and Bob Carter. “Leo vs. science: vanishing evidence for climate change,” New York Post, September 14, 2014. Archived November 5, 2015. WebCite  URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6cop8nvq9

  13. Todd Myers. How the Environmental Left Became the New Climate Deniers,” Cascade Policy Institute, December 19, 2013. Archived October 21, 2015. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6comIu8gb

  14. Sixth International Conference on Climate Change Conference Program (PDF), the Heartland Institute. Archived July 25, 2015.

  15. Brendan DeMelle. “Denial-a-Palooza 6: Heartland's Sixth International Conference on Climate Change, Courtesy of Koch, Scaife & Exxon,” DeSmogBlog, June 30, 2011.

  16. Milton Friedman Tribute Dinner with Cascade Policy Institute July 30,” Americans For Prosperity Oregon. Archived Novembe 1, 2010.

  17. Todd Wynn. “Cascade Report: Think Twice Why Wind Power Mandates Are Wrong for the Northwest,” Cascade Policy Institute, June 8, 2010. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6cooGyGVx

  18. 4th International Conference on Climate Change Conference Program (PDF), The Heartland Institute.

  19. Brendan DeMelle. “Denial-a-palooza Round 4: 'International Conference on Climate Change' Groups Funded by Exxon, Koch Industries,” DeSmogBlog, May 13, 2010.

  20. Co-Sponsors,” The 2009 International Conference on Climate Change. Archived April 28, 2011.

  21. Heartland Institute's 2009 Climate Conference in New York: funding history of the sponsors,” DeSmogBlog. 

  22. About Climate Chains,” Archived October 20, 2009.

  23. Contact,” Climate Chains. Archived Oct 20, 2009.

  24. About the Experts,” Climate Chains. Archived October 21, 2009.

  25. Sponsorships,” The 2008 International Conference on climate Change. Archived June 10, 2011.

Other Resources