On the eve of Donald Trump’s inauguration, a new website is being launched in Britain inspired by the rise of far right, climate science denying American sites the Drudge Report and Breitbart....
institute for energy research
The energy agenda of the incoming Trump administration just got a lot clearer. A memo sent by Thomas Pyle, president of the Koch-funded Institute for Energy Research (IER) and head of the Trump transition's energy team, laid out “The Trump Administration's Energy Plan.”
The memo, which was received and published by the Center for Media and Democracy, was sent by Pyle to a private email list just days before the Trump team announced that it would replace a Koch lobbyist with Pyle, a Koch-funded former lobbyist, to lead the Department of Energy transition team efforts.
Thomas Pyle, President of the Koch-funded Institute for Energy Research and its advocacy arm, the American Energy Alliance, has been tapped by President-elect Donald Trump to lead the transition team for the Department of Energy. E&E News reported last Monday that Pyle would replace Mike McKenna, who had to step down from the transition team because of the Trump team's crackdown on registered lobbyists.
McKenna, President of MWR Strategies, currently lobbies for a number of energy industry companies , including a contract with Koch Industries that dates back to 2008.
- Pyle holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Southern California. 
American Energy Alliance (AEA)
A lawyer who has used intimidating legal requests to try to gain access to the records and emails of climate scientists has a financial relationship with a major coal company, it has been revealed.
Christopher Horner, who works with two groups to pursue scientists and environmental regulators, is listed in the bankruptcy papers filed by lawyers on behalf of Alpha Natural Resources and its 150 subsidiary companies in the coal industry.
The Heartland Institute, a “free market think tank” and major promoter of fringe views that greenhouse gases are not a problem for the planet, is also named in the papers, as are other key groups.
Investigative journalist Lee Fang, of news website The Intercept founded by lawyer and journalist Glenn Greenwald, first reported the links in two stories.
Scientists who have been targeted by Horner said they are not surprised to hear a coal company has helped to finance the attacks against them.
Ohio is currently fighting this year's final battle in a nationally-coordinated attack on clean energy standard laws, implemented by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and other groups belonging to the secretive corporate front group umbrella known as the State Policy Network (SPN).
Institute for Energy Research (IER)
The Institute for Energy Research (IER) is a not-for-profit organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code that “conducts intensive research and analysis on the functions, operations, and government regulation of global energy markets,” according to its website.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) recently released a report detailing the many ways in which expanded oil exploration and drilling in federally protected areas would not yield an overall economic benefit for the United States. The CBO report says that the revenue generated by these operations would take too long to come to fruition, and that our current areas of drilling are where the real money is in this situation.
But the dirty energy industry will never go down without a fight, so they had their friends at the Institute for Energy Research (IER) fund a study that showed that the CBO was way off the mark with their estimates. IER has received funding from both Exxon and Koch Industries.
While the debate over the Keystone XL pipeline might have disappeared from the front pages in the last few weeks, the battle is still raging. And a grim jobs report for the month of May might just be the catalyst that Keystone proponents have been looking for to renew their push for the disastrous plan.
Ignoring the fact that, even though fewer jobs than predicted were added in May, we’ve now seen 26 consecutive months of job growth, Republican politicians have already jumped on the less-than-stellar report as an attempt to paint President Obama as a failure at creating jobs. With this attack, expect to see the dirty energy industry beating the drum for a quick approval of the Keystone XL pipeline.
In fact, those drum beats can already be heard coming from industry friendly think tanks. The Institute for Energy Research (IER) has created a page on their website strictly devoted to touting the many “benefits” of the Keystone XL pipeline. One of the main arguments in favor of the pipeline is the massive amount of American jobs that will be created by its construction, a claim that, even if true, would not be close to being worth destroying some of our nation’s largest and most important aquifers.
IER claims that the lack of approval for Keystone XL is costing America $70,000,000 every single day. They base this on the amount of oil that we’re buying from foreign countries, instead of “getting in from home” via the Keystone pipeline. First of all, the Keystone pipeline would bring oil to the U.S. from Canada, who is already our largest oil supplier. Secondly, adding the pipeline would not make a single cent’s worth of difference in our cost of energy in a positive way, and most analysts say that the pipeline would actually increase the cost of energy in the United States. But now that gas prices are easing up a bit in the U.S., the real push for Keystone will come from the “job creation” myth peddlers.