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.
IER, founded in 1989, maintains a focus on “energy analysis and free-market energy and environmental policy” with reports and analysis criticising plans to lower emissions and attacking renewable energy. 
IER's founder and CEO is Robert L. Bradley Jr., former Director of Policy Analysis at Enron. Bradley worked for over 16 years at Enron, also working as the speechwriter for Kenneth L. Lay, and wrote “Renewable Energy: Not Cheap, Not 'Green'” (Cato Institute, 1997) where he voices his opposition of green energy. Bradley has worked with a range of free market think-tanks including the Cato Institute, Competitive Enterprise Institute, Institute of Economic Affairs in London, Center for Energy Economics, and the Institute for Humane Studies (IHS) at George Mason University. 
The Institute for Energy Research supported and promoted both the “Spanish” and “Danish” studies critical of jobs in green energy, both of which have been debunked.  According to the IER, efforts to reduce emissions to curb global warming would accomplish little at too great a cost.  IER has promoted studies by The American Council for Capital Formation (ACCF), the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), and the Heritage Foundation on the supposed costs of climate policy .
Documents obtained by the Republic Report revealed that Charles Koch was directly involved with the IER at its formation through the IER's predecessor organization, The Institute for Humane Studies of Texas.  According to the Institute's articles of incorporation filed in 1984, Koch was a member of the group's board of directors. 
The Republic Report reports that the Institute for Humane Studies of Texas briefly lost its charter in 1989 for failure to pay the Texas state franchise tax. Four years later, incorporation documents reveal, the group rebranded as the Institute for Energy Research, or IER. 
Huffington Post describes how the IER became known for its role in advocating against tax subsidies on renewable energy, as well as the Environmental Protection Agency's proposed limits on greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. The Institute for Energy Research (IER) has been criticized for its acceptance of funding from Koch family foundations, and the group's president, Thomas Pyle, is a former lobbyist for Koch industries. 
The American Energy Alliance
The American Energy Alliance (AEA) is the “advocacy arm” of the Institute for Energy Research, and describes itself as a “not-for-profit organization that engages in grassroots public policy advocacy and debate concerning energy and environmental policies.” 
Stance on Climate Change
“That human activity has increased the atmospheric concentration of CO2, a gas known to 'force' climate or increase temperatures while the Earth has warmed about 0.6 Degrees Celsius over the last one hundred years is generally accepted. How the climate works and the relationship of different variables remains to be determined.” 
“Any discussion of climate change must keep in mind that the Earth's climate is an extremely complex system. Even though significant advances in data collection and analysis have occurred over the past 30 years, much uncertainty remains.” 
“Climate changes naturally all the time, partly in predictable cycles, and partly in unpredictable shorter rhythms and rapid episodic shifts, some of the causes of which remain unknown. We are fortunate that our modern societies have developed during the last 10,000 years of benignly warm, interglacial climate. But for more than 90% of the last two million years, the climate has been colder, and generally much colder than today.” 
“A troubling aspect of the discussion of the discussion of Global Warming is the idea that our level of scientific understanding is perfect; or that we have little left to learn. As the previous discussion has shown, this is incorrect and many scientists disagree with the idea that the causes and consequences of warming are perfectly understood.” 
According to the IER website, the group is “funded entirely by tax deductible contributions from individuals, foundations and corporations. No financial support is sought for or accepted from government sources” 
IER has received funding from fossil fuel interests and several conservative funding sources, including Donors Trust. The Conservative Transparency Database breaks down the Institute for Energy Research's funding as follows. Note that not all funding data has been confirmed by DeSmogBlog. 
See attached spreadsheet for details on Institute for Energy Research funding by year (.xlsx).
|Marshall Heritage Foundation||$1,550,000|
|American Energy Alliance||$300,000|
|Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation||$235,000|
|Searle Freedom Trust||$200,000|
|American Petroleum Institute||$160,000|
|Chase Foundation of Virginia||$120,940|
|Castle Rock Foundation||$50,000|
|The Randolph Foundation||$50,000|
|The Challenge Foundation||$35,000|
|The Gordon and Mary Cain Foundation||$31,100|
|Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation||$30,628|
|Dunn's Foundation for the Advancement of Right Thinking||$5,000|
In 2013, Greenpeace's Polluterwatch project found IER and AEA have received funding from Koch for a $3.6 million anti-Obama gas price advertising campaign. AEA itself has received funding from both ExxonMobil and Koch Industries. 
*Original tax forms prior to 1997 are no longer available for verification. If you include a single donation in 1991, the grand total jumps to $375,123 in Koch funding from 1991 to 2015. 
|Year||Charles Koch Foundation||Charles Koch Institute||Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation||Grand Total|
Alpha Natural Resources
The Institute for Energy Resources was one of the companies named in the bankruptcy documents of major coal company Alpha Natural Resources. 
Board of Directors
|Jim Clarkson||Y||Y||Y||President, Resource Supply Management|
|Preston Marshall||Y||Y||Y||President, MarOpCo|
|Richard Stroup||Y||Y||Senior Visiting Professor of Economics, North Carolina State University|
|Robert L. Bradley, Jr.||Y||Founder and Chairman, Institute for Energy Research|
|Robert L. Testwuide III||Y||Y||Vice President, Wealth Management Advisor, Merrill Lynch|
|Steven F. Hayward||Y||Y||Y||Visiting Professor at Pepperdine University’s School of Public Policy and the author of the “Almanac of Environmental Trends” (Pacific Research Institute, 2011)|
|Trent Sebits||Y||Chairman of the Board, Pickrell Drilling Company|
|Wayne Gable||Y||Y||Y||President, Gable Consulting|
Staff & Leadership
|Alexandra Newell||Y||Y||Office Manager|
|Benjamin Cole||Y||Director, Communications.|
|Brian J. Kennedy||Y||Senior Vice President, Public Affairs|
|Chris Warren||Y||Y||Y||Director, Communications|
|Daniel Kish||Y||Y||Y||Senior Vice President, Policy|
|Daniel R. Simmons||Y||Y||Y||Vice President for Policy. Also a task force director for the American Legislative Exchange Council.|
|Daniel Smith||Y||Y||Manager, Digital Media and Communications|
|Dustin DeBerry||Y||Y||Director, Donor Relations|
|Genevieve Thornton||Y||Director, Marketing.|
|Hank Butler||Y||Policy Associate.|
|Johnny Russell||Y||Director, Digital Media.|
|Kris Daniel||Y||Y||Director, Development|
|Lisa Wallace||Y||Y||Y||Senior Vice President, Operations and Development|
|Mary J. Hutzler||Y||Distinguished Senior Fellow|
|Mike Morrison||Y||Y||Y||Director, Digital Media|
|Robert J. Michaels||Y||Y||Senior Fellow|
|Robert L. Bradley, Jr.||Y||Y||Y||CEO and Founder|
|Robin Millican||Y||Director, Federal Affairs.|
|Thomas J. Pyle||Y||Y||Y||President. Also director of federal affairs for Koch Industries.|
|William Alfred Koetzle||Y||Senior Vice President of Public Policy|
|Charles Drevna||Y||Distinguished Senior Fellow ****(Former Oil Industry Lobbyist) |
|Robert P Murphy||Y||Senior Economist|
|Mary J Hutzler||Y||Distinguished Senior Fellow|
|Alex Fitzsimmons||Y||Manager of Policy and Public Affairs|
- Mary J. Hutzler — Distinguished Senior Fellow.
- Robert P. Murphy — Economist “specializing in climate change.”
- Andrew P. Morriss — Senior Fellow.
- Robert J. Michaels — Senior Fellow.
- Roger Donway — Senior Research Fellow.
- David W. Hutzelman — Fellow; Director of Special Projects.
Shortly before Pyle's appointment, he had sent a memo (see full .pdf) —obtained and published by the Center for Media and Democracy—to a private email list. Pyle's email, featuring both the Institute for Energy Research and American Energy Alliance logos in the banner, outlined “The Trump Administration's Energy Plan,” and included 14 policy proposals such as: , , 
- Withdrawing from the 2015 Paris Climate agreement;
- Increasing federal oil and natural gas leasing;
- Lifting the coal lease moratorium;
- Eliminating the Clean Power Plan;
- Expediting approvals of LNG export terminals;
- Moving forward with pipeline projects including the Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipeline;
- Rolling back federal fuel economy standards;
- Ending the use of the social cost of carbon in agency rulemaking; and
- Reconsidering the “endangerment finding” that found greenhouse gases to be a threat to public health and welfare.
June 13, 2016
Prominent individuals appearing in the documents include climate deniers Willie Soon, Richard Lindzen, Roy Spencer and Richard Berman. The long list of organizations also includes groups such as Americans for Prosperity, American Legislative Exchange Council, CFACT, Institute for Energy Research, State Policy Network, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and dozens more. 
“These groups collectively are the heart and soul of climate denial,” said Kert Davies, founder of the Climate Investigation Center, who has spent 20 years tracking funding for climate denial. “It’s the broadest list I have seen of one company funding so many nodes in the denial machine.”
The company’s filings reveal funding for a range of organisations which have fought Barack Obama’s plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions, and denied the very existence of climate change. […]
Among Peabody’s beneficiaries, the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change has insisted – wrongly – that carbon emissions are not a threat but “the elixir of life” while the American Legislative Exchange Council is trying to overturn Environmental Protection Agency rules cutting emissions from power plants. Meanwhile, Americans for Prosperity campaigns against carbon pricing. The Oklahoma chapter was on the list. […]
“The breadth of the groups with financial ties to Peabody is extraordinary. Thinktanks, litigation groups, climate scientists, political organisations, dozens of organisations blocking action on climate all receiving funding from the coal industry,” said Nick Surgey, director of research for the Center for Media and Democracy.
“We expected to see some denial money, but it looks like Peabody is the treasury for a very substantial part of the climate denial movement.”
Notable organizations listed in the initial documents include:
- 60 Plus Association
- The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity
- American Energy Alliance
- Alliance For Energy And Economic Growth
- American Energy Alliance
- American Legislative Exchange Council
- Americans For Prosperity Oklahoma
- Atlas Economic Research Foundation
- Berman And Company, Inc
- Consumer Energy Alliance
- Center For Clean Air Policy
- Center for Energy and Economic Development
- Center For The Study Of Carbon Dioxide And Global Change
- Coalition for Responsible Regulation
- Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow
- Council on State Taxation
- DCI Group AZ, LLC
- Ducks Unlimited
- Energy & Environment Legal Institute
- Edison Electric Institute
- Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity
- Free Market Environmental Law Clinic
- Frontiers Of Freedom Institute
- George C. Marshall Institute
- Hill Knowlton Strategies
- Hill Knowlton, Inc
- Hudson Institute
- Hunton & Williams
- Independence Institute
- Institute For Energy Research
- Institute for Liberty
- National Association of Manufacturers
- National Black Chamber of Commerce
- National Conference of State Legislatures
- National Mining Association
- National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners
- National Rural Electric Cooperative Association
- NextGen Energy Council
- PACE (May refer to Partnership for Affordable Clean Energy)
- Science & Public Policy Institute
- Sidley Austin LLP
- State Policy Network
- Texas Conservative Coalition Research Institute
- Texas Public Policy Foundation
- U.S. Chamber of Commerce
- Western Business Roundtable
Notable individuals named in the initial documents include the following:
December 13, 2015
Writing as a guest blogger on Watts Up With That, CFACT's executive director Craig Rucker denounced the latest UN climate change agreement: 
“This agreement will not meaningfully alter the temperature of the Earth, even under the U.N.’s own computer models.
“The bad news is that it plants the seeds of a new UN climate regime that left unchecked will swell into a bureaucratic behemoth.”
May 3, 2016
“This should come as no surprise to anyone paying attention. President Obama kept his promise to bankrupt coal plants, and his administration has impeded domestic natural gas, oil, and coal production at every turn,” Dan Simmons, vice president for policy of the IER, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “Research shows these plant closures will harm all of us by increasing electricity costs and making it more difficult to keep energy intensive businesses in the United States. The Obama administration has never been serious about economic growth, and that won’t change as long as the president continues to shut down affordable, reliable energy production.” 
April 26, 2016
The Institute for Energy Research (IER) released a report titled “Exploring the Dangers of the Keep it in the Ground Campaign” detailing “some of the pitfalls and threats posed by the environmentalist 'keep it in the ground' campaigns,” reports the Daily Caller News Foundation. 
“Cutting off access to the very resources that power our economy will not only raise energy costs, but also the costs of everyday products that make modern life possible for American families,” states the report.
September 1, 2015
Institute for Energy Research President Thomas Pyle issued a statement criticizing Michigan's Governor Richard Dale Snyder for his plan to implement EPA carbon regulations: 
“The Snyder administration’s decision to wave the white flag and implement EPA’s carbon regulation is bad news for Michigan families. The governor claims this approach ‘retains control’ for Michigan, yet the opposite is true. Implementing this regulation, when serious legal challenges persist, effectively hands over the keys to Michigan’s energy future to unelected bureaucrats in Washington. Once Gov. Snyder signs away Michigan’s control over its energy future to Obama’s EPA, there is no turning back.
“Obama and EPA want states to think their only choices are to submit a state plan or have a federal plan imposed on them. Gov. Snyder has apparently fallen for this false choice. The real choice is between shielding Michigan from this harmful carbon regulation or helping President Obama carry it across the finish line as the sun sets on his presidency.
“Obama’s carbon regulation is a national energy tax that will burden Michiganders, especially the poor, with higher energy prices and fewer jobs, yet will have no impact on climate change. Michigan voters made clear their stance on higher energy taxes when they overwhelmingly rejected Governor Snyder’s gas tax proposal earlier this year. The governor should listen to the citizens in his state and join the ranks of several of his fellow governors by rejecting the Obama administration’s carbon regulation.”
August 17, 2015
IER President Thomas Pyle issued a statement on the approval of Shell's permit to explore for oil in the Arctic Ocean: 
“The approval of this permit is a huge victory for the American people. After fulfilling all of the requirements and investing $7 billion, Shell is finally able to begin the process of exploring these areas for vast oil resources that could make America stronger. But this is about more than finding oil. This is about investing in America’s future. The resources that lie in the Arctic will boost our energy security and ensure that American families have access to affordable energy for generations and generations to come. Americans of good will wish them luck in their search.”
August 13, 2015
The Institute for Energy Research released a report titled “The Poor and Sick Suffer Under Obama's Carbon Rule” that claims that the EPA's clean power plan would “cause thousands of premature deaths in the United States.” 
“The EPA relies on faulty data to make exaggerated claims about the benefits of a rule that will cost Americans hundreds of billions of dollars and plunge millions of families into poverty,” the report states.
August 6, 2015
IER President Thomas Pyle published an article in Medium responding to a previous post by EPA Chief Gina McCarthy “with his own six reasons as to why states and the American people should be wary of entrusting EPA with their energy futures.” 
Pyle contends in his article that the EPA's power plan, which he entitles a “carbon agenda” will have “no impact on climate change,” will “[hurt] Americans' health,” “relies on threats and bribes,” and “was written by the environmental lobby,” among other criticisms. 
August 3, 2015
IER President Thomas Pyle issued the following statement criticizing President Obama's Clean Power Plan: 
“The final version of President Obama’s ‘Clean Power Plan’ is somehow more harmful than the proposed rule. It forces states to make even steeper cuts, it guts natural gas in favor of costly renewables, and it still has no effect on climate change. While the EPA touts these adjustments to the rule as a sign of ‘flexibility’, it’s really an admission that Obama needs states to do his dirty work. But state leaders shouldn’t give in to the administration’s bribery schemes. Regardless of these cosmetic changes to the rule, the fundamental flaws remain.
“It’s important to remember that President Obama’s carbon regulation, the crown jewel of his climate legacy, has no impact on climate change. EPA’s own models show that their carbon rule will limit global temperature rise by a mere 0.018 degrees Celsius by 2100. That’s a bad deal for the American people. State leaders should protect their citizens from Obama’s costly carbon rule by refusing to submit a plan.”
June 30, 2015
November 21, 2014
“One of the central building blocks of the EPA’s power plant rule is increased use of wind and solar for electricity generation. But wind and solar are uncompetitive without massive taxpayer subsidies and mandated renewable portfolio standards. For wind, that takes the form of the production tax credit. […]
“Congress should reject any attempt by [Senate Majority Leader Harry] Reid to revive the wind production tax credit in the lame-duck session. It’s clearly a bad deal for Nevadans, enriching out-of-state billionaires at the expense of working families.”
“[E]ach of IER’s attempts to add a cost to wind energy fails due to a use of obsolete data or a critical misunderstanding of how the power grid operates. We are left with the clear conclusion of third-party data and independent assessments: Wind energy’s rapidly declining costs are keeping electricity costs low for consumers,” said Michael Goggin, senior director of AWEA. 
Shortly after the Senate's vote to block a repeal on the 4 billion a year in subsidies going to oil companies, the Institute for Energy Research compiled a report attempting to disprove the Administration's report on a point-by-point basis.
The American Energy Alliance, the political arm of IER, launched a $3.6 million ad campaign accusing President Barack Obama as being behind an increase in gas prices. The campaign was partially funded by foundations controlled by Charles and David Koch and criticizes Obama's decision on the Keystone KL pipeline. 
February 7, 2012
The IER released a study titled “Impact of EPA’s Regulatory Assault on Power Plants.” The Huffington Post listed this study as one of the most frequently used studies “used by pundits and special interests to attack the Clean Power Plan.” , 
Huffington Post debunks the study and as follows:
- The Institute for Energy Research concludes that more than 72 gigawatts (GW) of electricity generating capacity will come offline and because of the coal plants closing, consumers will be forced to pay for the “construction of higher-cost renewable generating technologies and/or natural gas units that will need massive infrastructure improvements to meet the higher demand.”
- Synapse Energy Economics, however, finds that when compared to a scenario where no renewable energy or efficiency policies are adopted in states (continuing coal plants online), a “clean energy future” saves households $35 per month. The clean energy future scenario Synapse uses is one that obtains a 58% emission reduction compared to the 30% in the proposed Clean Power Plan (now a 32% in the final version). 
Robert Bradley, founder and CEO of the IER, spoke at the Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) annual meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana. 
The Center for Media and Democracy describes ALEC as follows:
ALEC is a corporate bill mill. It is not just a lobby or a front group; it is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, corporations hand state legislators their wishlists to benefit their bottom line. Corporations fund almost all of ALEC's operations. They pay for a seat on ALEC task forces where corporate lobbyists and special interest reps vote with elected officials to approve “model” bills.
IER ran a campaign on “green jobs” criticizing the development of renewable energy resources. IER commissioned three studies on renewable energies and green jobs in Denmark, Germany and Spain.  An IER press release confirmed that it had commissioned the Danish study. 
April 2009: Patrick Michaels was an early commenter on the study, saying in April 2009 that he wasn't surprised by the findings and that the U.S. should expect similar results from stimulus funding on renewable energy. 
August 2009: American Energy Alliance (AEA), IER's advocacy arm, incorporated the report's findings into fact sheets that it disseminated during its “American Energy Express” bus tour in August 2009. 
September 2009: Americans for Prosperity's policy director Phil Kerpen repeated the study's findings in online comments.
According to SourceWatch, the studies were conducted by a number of separate think tanks and while promoted by IER in the US, they were also used in attempt to influence policy decisions in Europe and Ontario, Canada. 
For example, the study on Germany was translated into German and referenced by the German media without mentioning that the study was financed by IER. The German institute that wrote the study (Rheinisch-westfaelisches Institut fuer Wirtschaftsforschung, or RWI) didn't acknowledge the funding from IER until they were challenged by investigative journalists. 
Institute for Energy Research Contact & Location
1155 15th St. NW, Suite 900
Washington, D.C. 20005
Phone (202) 621-2950
Fax (202) 741-9170
Chris Warren at [email protected]
- American Energy Alliance — “Partner.” 
- The Institute for Humane Studies of Texas — Predecessor to IER. , 
“About Us,” Institute for Energy Research. Archived August 28, 2015.
“About the AEA,” American Energy Alliance. Archived August 28, 2015.
“Pyle Consulting,” Lobbying Profile at OpenSecrets.org. Archived August 28, 2015.
“Staff: Thomas Pyle,” American Energy Alliance. Archived August 28, 2015.
“Influencing The Debate,” Institute for Energy Research. Archived August 28, 2015.
“Institute for Energy Research,” Conservative Transparency. Accessed May 21, 2016.
“Koch Industries Climate Denial Front Group: Institute for Energy Research (IER),” Greenpeace. Archived November 7, 2013.”
Graham Readfearn. “Scientists Not Surprised Climate Denialist Lawyer Christopher Horner Has Financial Ties to Alpha Coal Company,” DeSmogBlog, August 27, 2015.
Jennifer A. Dlouhy. “Former refining lobbyist joins Institute for Energy Research,” FuelFix, May 26, 2015. Archived August 30, 2015.
“Staff,” Institute for Energy Research. Archived April 30, 2013.
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“Scholars,” Institute for Energy Research. Archived April 30, 2013.
“The Poor and Sick Suffer Under Obama’s Carbon Rule,” Institute for Energy Research, August 13, 2015. Archived August 30, 2015.
“The Levelized Cost of Electricity from Existing Generation Resources” (PDF), Institute for Energy Research, June 2015. Archived August 30, 2015.
Thomas Pyle. “The Price Tag For Uprooting America’s Electric Grid,” The Wall Street Journal, August 9, 2015.
Michael Goggin. “Fact check: Fossil-funded think tank strikes out on cost of wind,” Into the Wind, October 15, 2013. Archived August 30, 2015.
Farron Cousins. “Institute for Energy Research Launches 'Save Oil Tax Breaks' Offensive,” DeSmogBlog, April 16, 2012.
Kenneth P. Vogel. “Kochs linked to $3.6M anti-Obama gas price ad campaign,” Politico, March 29, 2012. Archived August 29, 2015.
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Gave Elsner. “EPA Clean Power Plan Attacks Based on Flawed Reports,” Huffington Post, July 27, 2015. Archived August 30, 2015.
“Bill Savings in a Clean Energy Future: Clean Power Means Lower Bills for States” (PDF), Synapse Energy Economics, Inc.
Manuel Frondel, Nolan Ritter, and Prof. Colin Vance. “Economic impacts from the promotion of renewable energies: The German experience,” Institute for Energy Research. Archived August, 28, 2015.
“Koch Industries Secretly Funding the Climate Denial Machine” (PDF) GreenPeace, March, 2010. Archived May, 2010.
“Running of the Bull: U.S. ‘Green Jobs' Rhetoric Runs Smack Dab Into Hard Lessons From Spain,” Institute for Energy Research, March 31, 2009. Archived August 29, 2015.
Josiah Ryan. “Green Stimulus Money Costs More Jobs Than It Creates, Study Shows,” CNSNEWS.com, April 13, 2009. Archived October 3, 2009.
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(Press Release). “Obama’s Carbon Rule Still a Bad Deal for Americans,” Energy Townhall (AEA Publication), July 3, 2015. Archived May 21, 2016. WebCite URL:http://www.webcitation.org/6hg4e75H5
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