Americans for Tax Reform (ATR)
Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) is a nonprofit 501(c)(4) “taxpayer advocacy group” founded in 1985 by Grover Norquist at the request of Ronald Reagan. According to their website, “Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) opposes all tax increases as a matter of principle.” 
Grover Norquist, President and Founder of ATR, has been called ”one of the Republican Party's most influential policy strategists,” by the New York Times and one of the “Gang of Five” in Nina Easton's 2000 book by the same name that describes the history of the leaders of the modern conservative movement. 
Americans for Tax Reform has closed ties to the Republican Party, and historically served as a gathering place for conservative political organizing, with regular meetings that included Republican congressional leaders, right-leaning think tanks, conservative advocacy groups and K Street lobbyists. They continue their national “Wednesday Meeting” in the states that brings together “a broad cross section of the center-right community- taxpayer groups, social conservative groups, business groups, legislators, etc., to promote limited government ideals.” , 
Americans for Tax Reform is known for its “Taxpayer Protection Pledge,” which asks candidates for federal and state office to commit themselves in writing to oppose all tax increases. The pledge comes in versions for the national and for the state level. According to Americans for tax Reform, “Since its rollout with the endorsement of President Reagan in 1986, the pledge has become practically required for Republicans seeking office, and is a necessity for Democrats running in Republican districts.” 
Americans for Tax Reform is a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the Cooler Heads Coalition (CHC), and has been known to ally itself with the tobacco industry, having received funding from R.J. Reynolds, Phillip Morris (now Atria), and the Tobacco Institute. 
ATR runs a number of projects. The Property Rights Alliance describes itself as an “Affiliate” of ATR, and opposes estate tax, environmental protection, and licensing restrictions. The “Alliance for Worker Freedom,” which opposes unions, describes itself as a “special project of Americans for Tax Reform.” , 
Stance on Climate Change
“Americans for Tax Reform opposes a carbon tax and will work tirelessly to ensure one does not become law.” 
“Increased carbon emissions caused a 'greenhouse effect' which changed the climate and caused the earth to warm. The increases in carbon eventually changed the climate again and the earth is now cooling. The carbon has continued to increase and the planet has warmed (slightly) and cooled (slightly) …” 
“The actions of these do-gooder greenies have led to the deaths of millions of people in developing countries do to malaria outbreaks that could have been prevented with the use of DDT. The current proposals to limit CO2 emissions will have equally devastating effects to not only Americans but to the rest of the world as well.” 
Both Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) and the related Americans for Tax Reform Foundation have received significant funding from corporations, right-wing organizations, and conservative foundations.
ATR as Donor
|Recipient||Americans for Tax Reform||Americans for Tax Reform Foundation||Grand Total|
|Independent Women's Voice||$260,000||$260,000|
|Citizens for Limited Taxation||$52,200||$52,200|
|New Hampshire Advantage Coalition||$25,000||$25,000|
|Texas Public Policy Foundation||$25,000||$25,000|
|Texans for Fiscal Responsibility||$25,000||$25,000|
|Alliance for America's Future||$25,000||$25,000|
|Utah Taxpayers Association||$25,000||$25,000|
|American Conservative Union Foundation||$14,500||$14,500|
|Beacon Hill Institute||$8,000||$8,000|
|CA Term Limits||$5,000||$5,000|
|Nebraskans Against Amendment 3||$5,000||$5,000|
ATR as Recipient
|Donor||Americans for Tax Reform||ATR Foundation||Grand Total|
|Center to Protect Patient Rights||$4,539,000||$4,539,000|
|Free Enterprise America||$813,000||$813,000|
|The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation||$747,500||$747,500|
|Walton Family Foundation||$658,500||$658,500|
|American Petroleum Institute||$525,000||$525,000|
|John M. Olin Foundation||$525,000||$525,000|
|The Randolph Foundation||$419,250||$20,000||$439,250|
|Sarah Scaife Foundation||$375,000||$375,000|
|The Carthage Foundation||$325,000||$325,000|
|Donors Capital Fund||$250,000||$250,000|
|Searle Freedom Trust||$243,000||$243,000|
|John William Pope Foundation||$175,000||$175,000|
|Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation||$60,000||$50,000||$110,000|
|Lovett and Ruth Peters Foundation||$100,000||$100,000|
|William H. Donner Foundation||$45,000||$45,000|
|William E. Simon Foundation||$35,000||$35,000|
|The Roe Foundation||$30,000||$30,000|
|American Natural Gas Alliance||$25,000||$25,000|
|Americans for Limited Government||$20,000||$20,000|
|The Vernon K. Krieble Foundation||$17,000||$17,000|
|Ruth & Lovett Peters Foundation||$10,000||$5,000||$15,000|
|Robert and Marie Hansen Foundation||$7,500||$7,500|
|Americans for Limited Government Foundation||$5,000||$5,000|
|The Shelby Cullom Davis Foundation||$3,000||$3,000|
|Dunn's Foundation for the Advancement of Right Thinking||$2,500||$2,500|
ATR 990 Forms
ATR Foundation 990 Forms
Americans for Tax Reform
- Grover G. Norquist — President
- Peter Balkin — Vice President
- Steve Masty — Secretary
- Karen Kerrigan — Secretary
- Christopher Butler — Chief of Staff
- Patrick Gleason — State Affairs Director
Americans for Tax Reform Foundation
- Grover G Norquist — President
- Steve Masty — Secretary
- Peter Balkin — Vice-President
- William Roesing — Director
- Mark Klugmann — Director
- Karen Kerrigan — Director
- Chip Faulkner — Director
- Chuck Muth — Director
- Paul Smith — Director
- Fred Marckini — Director
- Patrick Gleason — State Affairs Director
- Christopher Butler — Chief Of Staff
May 8, 2017
Americans for Tax Reform, represented by Grover G. Norquist, is listed on an open letter to President Donald J. Trump urging him “to withdraw fully from the Paris Climate Treaty and to stop all taxpayer funding of UN global warming programs.” 
DeSmog reported that the 40 groups represented in the letter, including the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), The Heartland Institute, and the Heritage Foundation, have received a combined total of millions of dollars from the Koch Brothers, ExxonMobil, and other industry groups. 
Analysis also showed that the groups accepted about $80 million through Donors Capital Fund and Donors Trust, two groups that have been confirmed is a key financial source for key U.S-based climate change denial groups. 
January 12, 2017
ATR's Grover Norquist was a signatory to a January 12, 2017 official letter of support (PDF) for Scott Pruitt, in which numerous groups, including The Heartland Institute, American Energy Alliance (AEA), and others, declared that the Senate should “swiftly approve his nomination” for Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Other signatories of the letter included: 
- Thomas Pyle, American Energy Alliance
- Michael Needham, Heritage Action for America
- Kent Lassman, Competitive Enterprise Institute
- Adam Brandon, FreedomWorks
- David McIntosh, Club for Growth
- Phil Kerpen, American Commitment
- Craig Richardson, Energy and Environment Action Team
- David Williams, Taxpayers Protection Alliance
- Harry Alford, National Black Chamber of Commerce
- Jim Martin, 60 Plus
- Andrew Langer, Institute for Liberty
- Heather Higgins, Independent Women’s Voice
- Independence Institute
- Richard Martin, Americans for Limited Government
- Coalition Opposed to Additional Spending and Taxes (COAST)
- Brett Healy, MacIver Institute
- Joseph Bast, Heartland Institute
- George Landrith, Frontiers of Freedom
- Randy Eminger, Energy Policy Network
- Paul Gessing, Rio Grande Foundation
- Mike Nasi, Balanced Energy for Texas
- Brent Mead, Montana Policy Institute
- Forest Thigpen, Mississippi Center for Public Policy
November 24, 2015
Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) sent a letter to members of Congress, urging them to push back the date that new tobacco products including electronic cigarettes must meet FDA standards, which ATR describes as “expensive and unnecessary.” 
Currently, the FDA will require that products to hit the market since February 2007 undergo a Pre-Market Tobacco Applications (PMTA) Process. ATR's argues that as these products are being used for smoking cessation, they should not be subject to this process given that they “stand to save millions of lives and billions of tax dollars.”
However, other sources have questioned the safety of e-cigarettes. That includes the the American Lung Association, which has said it is “concerned about the potential health consequences of e-cigarettes” because there are currently no safety checks on what can go into e-cigarettes, and they are entirely unregulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 
November 2, 2015
Grover Norquist, on behalf of Americans for Tax Reform, sent a letter to members of Congress urging them to lift the crude oil export ban. ATR has also previously supported H.R. 702, sponsored by Representative Joe Barton of Texas, which would effectively lift the ban. 
“Considering the widespread economic benefits lifting the export ban would have on the U.S. economy, as well as the growing bipartisan support, there has never been a better time for Congress to act,” Norquist writes. 
January 16, 2015
May 21 - 23, 2012
June 30 - July 1, 2011
Americans for Tax Reform was a Co-Sponsor (PDF) of the Heartland Institute's Sixth International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC6). 
October 1, 2010
Together, the Heartland Institute, Americans for Tax Reform, the Property Rights Alliance, and the Institute of Public Affairs sponsored the Heartland Institute's Fifth International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC5) in Sydney, Australia. 
May 16-18, 2010
ATR opposed the Renewable Portfolio Standard in the American Clean Energy and Security Act, also known as the Waxman-Markey plan which called for measures to reduce CO2 emissions. 
March 8-10, 2009
November 10, 2009
Grover Norquist represented Americans for Tax Reform when he testified on “Climate Change Legislation: Considerations for Future Jobs.”
According to Norquist, “The Cap and Trade legislation this Committee is considering is being sold as an attempt to control the climate; however there is no conclusive proof that it will have any effect. There is, however, considerable evidence that this legislation will have a disastrous economic effect on the country.” As proof he cites information provided by the Institute for Energy Research (IER), an organization that has received significant funding from the oil industry.
Norquist strongly opposes tax increases on the oil industry, stating that “Raising taxes on oil companies by increasing the amortization period of geological and geophysical (G&G) expenditures makes U.S. oil and natural gas exploration projects less competitive globally […]”
With reference to green jobs, Norquist argues that “not only are these jobs costly, they are also unsustainable.” 
Americans for Tax Reform released a “cost of Government Day” 2008 Report (PDF) that criticizes increases in government spending and regulation. In a section critical of the EPA, ATR describes regulation costs as “threatening to explode due to costly and unnecessary global warming regulation.” 
According to ATR, cap and trade and other regulatory measures to combat global warming should not be implemented because “there is still no scientific consensus on the nature, origins, or there has been no warming for at least 10 years, and extent of the global climate change we may be experiencing. Indeed, some point to studies showing even the U.N. has recently projected there will be no warming for at least another 10 years as well. In fact, the global temperature data has shown a slight cooling trend over the last 5 years which may well continue.”
To support this last statement, ATR cites an Fox News story written by climate change skeptic Steve Milloy.
March 2 - 4, 2008
October 12, 2006
ATR was one of five conservative nonprofit organizations that “appear to have perpetrated a fraud” on taxpayers by selling their influence to lobbyist Jack Abramoff, according to Senate investigators.
According to the report, and the summary article in The Washington Post, ATR “probably violated their tax-exempt status 'by laundering payments and then disbursing funds at Mr. Abramoff's direction; taking payments in exchange for writing newspaper columns or press releases that put Mr. Abramoff's clients in a favorable light; introducing Mr. Abramoff's clients to government officials in exchange for payment; and agreeing to act as a front organization for congressional trips paid for by Mr. Abramoff's clients.'” 
June 7, 2002
ATR President Grover Norquist signed a letter to President Bush, asking him to withdraw the “Climate Action Report 2002” and demand that it be rewritten based on “sound science”. The letter also recommends that Bush “dismiss or re-assign all administration employees who are not pursuing your agenda, just as you have done in several similar instances.” 
Americans for Tax Reform Contact & Location
As of June 2016, Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) listed the following contact information on its website: 
Americans for Tax Reform
722 12th ST NW
Washington DC 20005
- Property Rights Alliance
- Alliance for Worker Freedom
- Cost of Government Center
- Stop eTaxes
- Digital Liberty
- American Shareholders
- American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) — Member.
- Cooler Heads Coalition (CHC) — Member. 
- Americans for Tax Reform Foundation
“Americans for Tax Reform,” SourceWatch Profile.
Stephen Lacey. “Grover Norquist Abruptly Changes Position On Carbon Tax After Facing Criticism From Koch-Backed Group,” ThinkProgress, November 13, 2012. WebCite URL: http://www.webcitation.org/6cKmfhH7c
Todd Hollenbeck. ”Not Evil Just Wrong exposing the costs of Global Warming Hysteria,” Americans for Tax Reform, August 25, 2009. Archived October 16, 2015. WebCite URL: http://www.webcitation.org/6cKarNtTF
“Americans for Tax Reform” (seach), Conservative Transparency. Data retrieved June 30, 2016.
“Americans for Tax Reform (ATR): Koch Industries Climate Denial Front Group,” Greenpeace USA. Accessed June 30, 2016. Most recent data on file at DeSmogBlog.
“Form 990 Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax: Americans for Tax Reform” (PDF), retrieved from Conservative Transparency. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmogBlog.
“Form 990 Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax: Americans for Tax Reform Foundation” (PDF), retrieved from Conservative Transparency. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmogBlog.
“Seventh International Conference on Climate Change: Sponsored by the Heartland Institute” (PDF), the Heartland Institute. Archived August 15, 2015.
Michael Fisher. “A Closer Look at Heartland's ICCC7 Denial-a-Palooza Speakers and Sponsors,” DeSmogBlog, May 23, 2012.
Sixth International Conference on Climate Change Conference Program (PDF), the Heartland Institute. Archived July 25, 2015.
“ICCC - 5,” Climateconferences.heartland.org. Archived September 1, 2015.
4th International Conference on Climate Change Conference Program (PDF), The Heartland Institute.
“ATR Opposes the Renewable Electricity Standards in Waxman-Markey,” Americans for Tax Reform, June 25, 2009. Archived October 17, 2015. WebCite URL: http://www.webcitation.org/6cKl5UCoz
“Co-Sponsors,” The 2009 International Conference on Climate Change. Archived April 28, 2011.
“ATR Testimony for Senate Hearing on Climate Change Legislation: Considerations for Future Jobs,” Americans for Tax Reform, November 10, 2009. Archived October 17, 2015. WebCite URL: http://www.webcitation.org/6cKlB24jj
“Cost of Government Day 2008 Report” (PDF) Center for Fiscal Accountability and Americans for Tax Reform Foundation. Archived .pdf on file at DesmogBlog.
“Sponsorships,” the 2008 International Conference on Climate Change. Archived May 14, 2008.
Fred L. Smith, Jr. “Joint Letter To President Bush On The EPA's Climate Action Report,” Competitive Enterprise Institute, June 7, 2002. WebCite URL: http://www.webcitation.org/6cKla7bUL
“ATR Supports Change in Predicate Date for New Tobacco and Vapor Products,” Americans for Tax Reform, November 24, 2015. WebCite URL: http://www.webcitation.org/6dL3cfyPM
Edwin Portugal. “ATR Supports Amendments Lifting the Crude Oil Export Ban,” Americans for Tax Reform, November 2, 2015. Archived November 26, 2015. WebCite URL: http://www.webcitation.org/6dL49UYLp
“Dear Senators,” (PDF), Competitive Enterprise Institute, January 12, 2017. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.
“Dear Mr. President” (PDF), retrieved from Competitive Enterprise Institute. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.
Graham Readfearn. “Conservative Groups Pushing Trump To Exit Paris Climate Deal Have Taken Millions From Koch Brothers, Exxon,” DeSmog, May 10, 2017.
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“Deniers:Organisations:Americans for Tax Reform,” ExxonSecrets Wiki.
“Americans for Tax Reform,” Right Wing Watch.