Peter Ferrara

Peter J. Ferrara


  • J.D., Havard Law School (1979). [1]
  • B.A., Harvard College (1976). [1]


Peter Ferrara is a senior fellow for entitlement and budget policy at the Heartland Institute, and senior fellow at the Social Security Institute. Ferrera was formerly the general counsel of the American Civil Rights Union and also a former member of the Policy Board for the Carleson Center for Public Policy[13] [14]

Ferrara heads the Social Security Project of the Free Enterprise Fund, which supports the Bush administration's effort to privatize Social Security. [2]

He served in the White House Office of Policy Development under President Reagan, and as Associate Deputy Attorney General of the United States under President George H.W. Bush. [3]

Stance on Climate Change

“Any speaker, any authority, any journalist or bureaucrat asserting the catastrophic danger of supposed man-caused global warming needs to be asked for their response to Climate Change Reconsidered. If they have none, then they are not qualified to address the subject.” [4]

Key Quotes

October 9, 2017

Following EPA administrator Scott Pruitt's announcement that the Trump administration would be scrapping the Clean Power Plan, Ferrara issued the following statement via the Heartland Institute: [17]

The move to end the Clean Power Plan is part of President Donald Trump’s pro-growth deregulation effort, which has already helped to cause the stock market to set numerous all-time records and grow the economy at a rate that’s 50 percent faster than at any time under President Barack Obama. This is exactly what the voters wanted when they voted in November.”

May 18, 2014

Following the release of the U.S.' National Climate Assessment report, Peter Ferrara publishes an opinion piece in Forbes[18]

“How could the scientists involved in the National Climate Assessment, and the U.N.’s IPCC reports, get the basic global warming/climate change science so wrong, as discussed above? During the Soviet Communist era in Russia, under Stalin in the 1930s, the government promoted a peasant, non-scientist named Trofim Lysenko to be the Director of the Soviet Lenin All-Union Academy of Agricultural Sciences. Lysenko virulently rejected the rising Mendelian genetics of the time, holding that acquired characteristics of plants, and maybe of animals and even humans, during their lives could be inherited. This fit the reigning Marxist doctrine of the time that human character and traits were malleable, and that the Soviet government was in the process of creating the selfless, modern, new Soviet man, perfectly suited to life under Communism.”

“Those who promote the politically correct theory are favored with billions from government grants and neo-Marxist environmentalist largesse, and official recognition and award. Faked and tampered data and evidence has arisen in favor of the politically correct theory. Is not man-caused, catastrophic global warming now the only theory allowed to be taught in the West?

Those in positions of scientific authority in the West who have collaborated with this new Lysenkoism because they felt they must be politically correct, and/or because of the money, publicity, and recognition to be gained, have disgraced themselves and the integrity of their institutions, organizations and publications.

But there is a more virulent strain at the root of Western Lysenkoism today. Scientists, like Holdren and Michael Mann, can be leftist ideologues as well, posing to manipulate and mislead for the good of the cause. Bottom line: green is the new red. That is why Obama at root is so committed to it.”

March 1, 2012

“While I am not a scientist, and write primarily on economics, tax policy and budget issues, I have been fascinated over the years by Heartland’s work on climate change.” [4]

Key Deeds

October 9, 2017

Following EPA administrator Scott Pruitt's announcement that the Trump administration would be scrapping the Clean Power Plan, Ferrara issued the following statement via the Heartland Institute: [19]

July 7 - 9, 2014

Peter Ferrara was a speaker at the Heartland Institute’s Ninth International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC9) in Las Vegas, Nevada. [20]

DeSmogBlog has done in-depth research on the other speakers and sponsors from Heartland's ICCC9, which can be found here.

June 9, 2014

Peter Ferrara publishes an opinion piece in Forbes titled, “President Obama's Plan To “De-develop” America Shifts Into High Gear.” Within it, he suggests that decision-makers in government and business review the “double peer reviewed” Climate Change Reconsidered II, published by the Heartland Institute, and also attend the Ninth International Conference on Climate Change at Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas July 7-9:

“For decision-makers in government and business who need to be sure and make responsible decisions, the full truth of the issue is completely and thoroughly discussed in the thousands of pages of Climate Change Reconsidered II, authored by dozens of serious, top scientists serving on the Nongovernmental International Panel of Climate Change (NIPCC), and published this year in ultimately 3 volumes of thousands of pages each by the Heartland Institute. These volumes are “double peer reviewed,” in that they discuss thousands of peer reviewed articles published in scientific journals, and are themselves peer reviewed. Last year, the Cato Institute published a thorough, comprehensive refutation of the publicly released draft of the National Climate Assessment, The Missing Science from the Draft National Assessment on Climate Change, by Patrick J. Michaels, et. al. You can learn more by attending the Ninth International Conference on Climate Change, to be held at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas, July 7-9, with more than 1,000 scientists from around the world (where I will be speaking).” [Peter Ferrara, “President Obama's Plan To “De-develop” America Shifts Into High Gear,” Forbes, June 9, 2014. Archived June 23, 2014.]

May 18, 2014

Peter Ferrara publishes an opinion piece in Forbes titled, “President Obama's Global Warming Calculated Deception Means Democrats Have Abandoned Working People,” in response to the release of the National Climate Assessment report.

Ferrara claims that his opinion piece “is a well-informed, well-reasoned understanding of the National Climate Assessment report, which is an exercise in political science, not climate science. What you will not see in the report are the basic truths below regarding climate science, over which reasonable people cannot differ![18]

Referencing the National Climate Assessment's usage of the term “carbon pollution” to describe CO2, Ferrara goes on to say, “Plants need CO2 to grow and conduct photosynthesis, which is the natural process that creates food for animals and fish at the bottom of the food chain. Indeed, the increased atmospheric concentration of CO2 as the industrial revolution has flourished worldwide has increased agricultural output and production over the last 20 years by well over $1 trillion. As a result, the only documented effects of increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere so far have been positive.” [18]

May 21 - 23, 2012

Ferrera was a speaker at the Heartland Institute's Seventh (and last) International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC7).

DeSmogBlog researched the co-sponsors behind Heartland's ICCC7 and found that they had collectively received over $67 million from ExxonMobil, the Koch Brothers and the conservative Scaife family foundations.


Ferrera Admitted that he took money from lobbyist Jack Abramoff to write Op-Ed pieces boosting the lobbyist's clients.

“I do that all the time,” Ferrara says. “I've done that in the past, and I'll do it in the future.”

Ferrara said “he doesn't see a conflict of interest in taking undisclosed money to write Op-Ed pieces because his columns never violated his ideological principles.” [5]



According to a press release announcing his appointment at the Heartland Institute, Ferrara has written studies and reports for the Cato Institute, The Heritage Foundation, National Center for Policy Analysis, Family Research Council, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and a wide range of other institutions and publications. [7]

He has also written in The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, Forbes, The American Spectator, National Review, Human Events, The Weekly Standard, Policy Review, and elsewhere.


  • Peter J. Ferrara. For Social Security, the Crisis Continues, Heritage Foundation, 1985.
  • America’s Ticking Bankruptcy Bomb (2011).
  • Stop the Raid: Social Security, the Biggest Rip Off in History (2008).
  • Common Cents, Common Dreams: A Layman’s Guide to Social Security Privatization (1999).
  • A New Deal for Social Security (1998).
  • Free the Mail: Ending the Postal Monopoly (1990).
  • Religion and the Constitution: A Reinterpretation (1983).
  • Social Security: The Inherent Contradiction (1980).

Sourcewatch lists some of Ferrara's publications:

  • Peter J Ferrara, “The Choctaw revolution: Lessons for Federal Indian policy”, Americans for Tax Reform Foundation, January 1998, ISBN 0966583418

  • John C. Goodman , Peter J. Ferrara , “The Clinton Health Plan”, National Center for Policy Analysis, May 1994, ISBN 1568080182

  • Peter J. Ferrara, “Common Cents, Common Dreams: A Layman's Guide to Social Security Privatization”, National Book Network, September, 1999, ISBN 1882577760

  • George Bittlingmayer , Allan C. Carlson , Peter J. Ferrara , Vaclav Klays , Nancie G. Marzulla , Patrick Minford , Virginia Postrel , Fred L. Smith, Jr., Samuel R. Staley , Walter E. Williams, “Competition or Compulsion?: The Market Economy Versus the New Social Engineering”, Hillsdale College Press, September 2001, ISBN 0916308588

  • Peter J. Ferrara, “Conservatives Back Bush Idea for Social Security,” Human Events, January 23, 2004.

  • Allan C. Carlson, Peter Ferrara, David Hartman, John Mueller, Joe Wilson, Mrs. Charmaine C. Yoest, “Family Tax Equity”, Family Research Council, July 10, 2003.

  • Peter J. Ferrara, Free the Mail: Ending the Postal Monopoly, editor (1989)

  • Peter J. Ferrara, “Issues '94: The Candidate's Briefing Book”, Alliance Book Corporation, December 1994, ISBN 9995949733

  • Peter J. Ferrara, “More Than a Theory: Medical Savings Accounts at Work,” Cato Institute, Policy Analysis no. 220,March 14, 1995.

  • Peter J. Ferrara, A New Deal for Social Security, coauthor (1998)

  • Peter J. Ferrara, “The Next Steps for Medicare Reform”, Cato Institute, Policy Analysis no. 305 , April 29, 1998.

  • Peter J. Ferrara, Michael Tanner, “A New Deal for Social Security”, Cato Institute, September 1998, ISBN 1882577620

  • Peter J.Ferrara, “Parker v. District of Columbia amicus curiae brief”, Americn Civil Rights Union, June 16, 2006.

  • Peter J. Ferrara, “A Plan for Privatizing Social Security,” Cato Institute, Social Security Paper no. 8,April 30, 1997.

  • Peter J. Ferrara, “Religion & the Constitution: A Reinterpretation”, Rowman & Littlefield, January 1983, ISBN 0942522060

  • Peter J. Ferrara, “Social Security: The Inherent Contradiction”, National Book Network, June 1980, ISBN 0932790240

  • Peter J. Ferrara, Social Security: Prospects for Real Reform, editor (1985)

  • Peter J. Ferrara, “Social Security Reform: The Family Plan”, Heritage Foundation, December 1982, ISBN 9993853666


  1. Appointments, January 21, 1984,” Ronald Reagon Presidential Library. Archived March 21, 2005.

  2. Jeffrey H. Birnbaum. “Private-Account Concept Grew From Obscure Roots,” The Washington Post, February 22, 2005.

  3. Peter Ferrara,” Profile at Forbes.

  4. Peter Ferrara. “Fakegate: The Obnoxious Fabrication of Global Warming,” (Op-Ed), Forbes, March 1, 2012.

  5. Eamon Javers. “Op-Eds for Sale,” Businessweek, December 16, 2005. Archived May 5, 2012, with WebCite.

  6. Heartland Experts: Peter Ferrara,” The Heartland Institute. Accessed May 5, 2012.

  7. Peter Ferrara Named Senior Fellow by The Heartland Institute,” PRWeb, April 27, 2011.

  8. Peter J. Ferrara,” Profile at the Cato Institute. Accessed May 5, 2012.

  9. “Pension Liberation for Texas” (PDF),

  10. Peter Ferrara. “The Tax-Cut Critics,” National Review, May 20, 2003.

  11. CHAPTER PRESIDENT'S WELCOME,” Virginai Club for Growth. Archived October 8, 2003.

  12. Peter Ferrara,” Profile at Accessed May 5, 2012.

  13. Leadership and Staff,” The American Civil Rights Union. Archived June 17, 2013. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmogBlog.

  14. Policy Board, Leadership & Staff,” The Carleson Center for Public Policy, Archived January 9, 2012. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmogBlog.

    , U.S. Social Security Administration, September 6, 2001.

  16. BOARD OF SCHOLARS,” Virginia Institute for Public Policy. Archived February 18, 2007.

  17. PRESS RELEASE: HEARTLAND INSTITUTE EXPERTS REACT TO EPA SCRAPPING THE CLEAN POWER PLAN,” The Heartland Institute, October 9, 2017. Archived October 10, 2017. URL:

  18. Peter Ferrara, “President Obama's Global Warming Calculated Deception Means Democrats Have Abandoned Working People,” Forbes, May 18, 2014. Archived June 11, 2014.

  19. PRESS RELEASE: HEARTLAND INSTITUTE EXPERTS REACT TO EPA SCRAPPING THE CLEAN POWER PLAN,” The Heartland Institute, October 9, 2017. Archived October 10, 2017. URL:

  20. Return of Climate Denial-a-Palooza: Heartland Institute Hitches Anti-Science Wagon to Vegas FreedomFest,” DeSmogBlog, July 7, 2014. Archived July 14, 2014.

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