Property and Environment Research Center (PERC)
The Property and Environment Research Center (PERC), formerly the Political Economy Research Center, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that promotes Free Market Environmentalism (FME), which it describes as “an approach to environmental problems that focuses on improving environmental quality using property rights and markets.” 
PERC was founded over 30 years ago in Bozeman, Montana, where it began as a think tank where “scholars documented how government regulation and bureaucracy often led to environmental degradation.” The organization's latest development is the “PERC University” campus where “scholars, journalists, policy makers, and environmental practitioners can come together to share knowledge, refine their work, and engage in robust discussion” about free market environmentalism. 
Terry Anderson, former president of the PERC, was a previous member of George W. Bush's presidential campaign environmental advisory staff, as was former PERC fellow Gale Norton. In 1998, Kathryn Ratte of PERC, addressed the Petroleum Association of America on how to get their message into public schools. She said that “politically correct environmentalism invaded U.S. public classrooms years ago, and is helping to hold the door shut on your message.” 
PERC has received significant funding from Koch Foundations and related organizations, as well as from the fossil fuel industry and Donors Trust, a group that has been called the “dark-money ATM” of the conservative movement by Mother Jones. 
Stance on Climate Change
Former PERC President and Executive Director Terry Anderson has published a number of Op-Eds and articles putting forward his views on climate change. For example:
“Neanderthals survived many periods of abrupt climate change […] If they survived and adapted to abrupt climate change, surely modern man ought to be able to adapt to long-term changes, provided government climate policies don’t stifle human progress and economic growth.” 
“Of course, there is other evidence for global warming, but none of it proves that the recent warming is unprecedented. Indeed, quite the reverse: surface temperatures, sea levels, tree lines, glacier retreats, summer sea ice extent in the Arctic, early spring flowers, bird migration, droughts, floods, storms—they all show change that is no different in speed or magnitude from other periods, like 1910–1940, at least as far as can be measured. There may be something unprecedented going on in temperature, but the only piece of empirical evidence that actually says so—yes, the only one—is the hockey stick. […] And the hockey stick is wrong.” 
The PERC website states that “We rely entirely on contributions from foundations, corporations, and private individuals. Currently, 90 percent of our funding comes from foundations, 8 percent from individuals and miscellaneous sources, and 2 percent from corporations.” 
The following data has been compiled by the Conservative Transparency project, based on public filings from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Note that not all funding data has been verified by DeSmogBlog for accuracy. PERC currently runs as a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization with EIN 81-0393444.
See the attached spreadsheet for additional information on the Property and Environment Research Center's funding by year (.xlsx).
Greenpeace reports that PERC also received at least $368,144 from Koch Foundations between 1997 and 2015. The following is based on values archived at Conservative Transparency, combined data collected from public tax forms: 
|Year||Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation||Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation||Grand Total|
*Original tax forms prior to 1997 are no longer available for verification.
- Thomas E. Beach — Chairman of the board. Board member, Reason Foundation.
- Loren Bough — Private Investor
- Thomas J. Bray, The Detroit News (retired) — Member of the board of the Earhart Foundation. Author of Soaring High: New Strategies for Environmental Giving, published by the Philanthropy Roundtable in 2005.
- Henry N. Butler, George Mason University Law & Economics Center, School of Law — Executive Director of the George Mason University Law & Economics Center. Member of the Advisory Board of the Atlantic Legal Foundation.
- Robert C. Clement, Accenture (retired)
- Tyler Dann, Harlem Valley Investing Co., Inc. — Co-trustee of the Helen I. Graham Charitable Foundation. Former director of The Factory Point Bancorp.
- Kimberly O. Dennis, Searle Freedom Trust — President of the Searle Freedom Trust. She is also chairman of the board of Donors Trust, vice chairman of the board of Donors Capital Fund, a trustee of the Earhart Foundation, a trustee of the Rupe Foundation, and a member of the board of visitors of George Mason University. Her previous positions include: director of the National Research Initiative, a program of the American Enterprise Institute, executive director of the Philanthropy Roundtable, and program officer for the John M. Olin Foundation.
- Deborah Donner, Business Consultant
- Carlos Fernández, The Nature Conservancy
- Martin Hostettler, Managing Partner, Cycad Inc. — Professional expertise in environmental engineering with focuses on gravel pits, quarries, and landfills.
- Fred E. Karlinsky, Greenberg Traurig PA
- Kristina Kendall, New Balloon Investments — Prior to 2013, Kendall was executive producer at Fox News and Fox Business for John Stossel.
- Dwight E. Lee, Gagnon Securities LLC — Trustee of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.
- Rankin Smith, Jr., Seminole Plantation — Managing Partner of the Seminole Plantation, a shooting preserve that was established in 1991.
- John F. Tomlin, Conservation Forestry Partners, LLC — Co-founder and a managing member of Conservation Forestry Partners, LLC.
- Brian Yablonski, Gulf Power Company — External affairs director for the Gulf Power Company, a subsidiary of the Southern Company.
- Reed Watson — Executive Director
- Monica Guenther — Senior Director for Program Management
- Wendy Purnell — Director of Outreach
- Shawn Regan — Director of Publications
- Suzi Berget White — Development Manager
- KayCee Pulasky — Accountant
- Colleen Lane — Conference Coordinator
- Renee Storm — Conference Coordinator
- Dianna Rienhart — Office Manager
- Jennifer Keney — Administration and Outreach Coordinator
- Sharie Rucker — Administrative Assistant
- Hannah Downey — Research Assistant
- Scott Wilson — Research and Outreach Assistant
- Terry Anderson, William A. Dunn Distinguished Senior Fellow — Former President and Executive Director of PERC as well as the John and Jean De Nault Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.
- Peter Hill, Senior Fellow
- Gary Libecap, Senior Fellow
- Randy Simmons, Senior Fellow
- Walter Thurman, Senior Fellow
- Roger Meiners, Senior Fellow
- Bobby McCormick, Senior Fellow
- Andrew Morriss, Senior Fellow
- Daniel Benjamin, Senior Fellow
- Jonathan Adler, Senior Fellow
- Jane Shaw, Senior Fellow Emeritus
- Bruce Yandle, Senior Fellow Emeritus — Mercatus Center Distinguished Adjunct Professor of Economics at George Mason University.
- Richard Stroup, Senior Fellow Emeritus
- Donald Leal, Senior Fellow Emeritus
- David Haddock, Senior Fellow Emeritus
- H. Spencer Banzhaf, Senior Research Fellow
- Kurt Schnier, Senior Research Fellow
- Dominic Parker, Senior Research Fellow
- Laura Huggins, Research Fellow — Alsop a research fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.
- Brandon Scarborough, Research Fellow
- Holly Fretwell, Research Fellow
- Michael 't Sas-Rolfes, Research Fellow
- Brian Yablonski, Adjunct Fellow
Past Board Members (2012)
- William A. Dunn — Board of directors of the Reason Foundation, the Foundation for Economic Education, the Prometheus Institute, and the Competitive Enterprise Institute.
- Steven F. Hayward — F.K Weyerhaeuser Fellow, American Enterprise Institute, and Senior Fellow, Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy.
- Frank-Paul A. King — Board of Directors of Republic Energy, Inc.
- Leigh H. Perkins
- Dino Falaschetti — Executive Director. Member, research advisory council to James Madison Institute.
February 22, 2017
During a lecture on environmental policy, an environmental activist confronted Terry Anderson, former President and Executive Director of PERC, regarding a study where he suggested that we shouldn’t expect a warming of 4 degrees Celsius for more than 500 years, noting that Anderson is an economist by training. 
According to the activist, Anderson’s reasoning was based on a regression analysis of temperature increases over the past century, projected out into the future: 
“The reason that climate scientists don’t do that, what must be the reason, is that they don’t think that that way of analyzing it produce step right result. And that’s the consensus of the experts. You seem to be suggesting that people should reject what the scientific community is doing, based on this little regression analysis that you offer in this article. Is that what you’re saying?” the activist asked. 
Anderson responded by suggesting a separation between models and data, implying that the latter is more valuable”: 
“The climate debate largely centres around, is largely focused on estimates by climate models that predict the 4 degrees Celsius. And those models are created by people who know more about climate than I do, but they are models. The regression referred to by this gentleman was a regression based on data. 
“And all I did, with a couple of friends, was take the data on what’s happened with temperatures and asked the question of ‘what do we know has been happening?’ And the answer is, we know it hasn’t been four degrees.” 
Anderson added, “It was simply a matter of me saying, these are the data, and those are the models. Now, I don’t pretend that the data are going to be correct all the way into the future. I didn’t say that in the article. I just said that if we take action based on the data, it’ll be a different kind of action than we take based on models. Now, with that said, I certainly never said ‘don’t worry, be happy, nothing will happen.” 
He went on to suggest there is no data to support mass species extinction: 
“I have said there are no data to suggest that we as human beings are in danger of disappearing from the planet. […] If you look at the models and the predictions of species extinction, for example, those predictions are based on models. You cannot find data to support the predictions of the model. v
“[T]here are no data to suggest we are having mass species extinction.” 
“I am agnostic about the climate scientists,” Anderson said. “I don’t dismiss it, I simply ask ‘what are the data?’ — the point I made before.” 
Facing further questions on how to limit carbon emissions, Anderson said that the only way he could foresee meeting goals et by the UN would be enforcement by a “global government”: 
“We don’t have a way to measure and monitor global carbon as it’s emitted by individual countries. […]
“The enforcement mechanism would have to be some global power taking action to tell those people they can’t emit carbon. Again, if we want to debate if we want a global government doing that, we can debate that at another time. I think that’s a dangerous step to make.” 
Anderson concludes, “I think adaptation. I think water markets that reflect the price and value of water will take us a long way to dealing with how climate affects water supplies in the places we live.” 
June 30, 2015
The Property and Environment Research Center (PERC), which has historically advocated for the privatization of America's national parks, wrote an article in the New York Times Op-Ed “Let's Fix Our National Parks, Not Add More” where the group opposes the creation of new national park spaces. 
“True conservation is taking care of the land and water you already have, not insatiably acquiring more and hoping it manages itself,” the Op-Ed reads.
ThinkProgress reports how the Op-Ed also calls for an end to “one of America’s best parks programs,” the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). Members of Congress have called to re-authorize and fund the LWCF, however, PERC and some Republicans in congress are advocating to divert funds to cover maintenance costs while simultaneously cutting the National Park Service's budget. 
The PERC's Director of Publications and Research Fellow Shawn Regan wrote a September 24, 2015 article in The Hill pushing for similar reforms to the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). 
April 11, 2015
Property and Environment Research Center (PERC) Senior Fellow Randy Simmons published an Op-Ed in Newsweek titled “What's the True Cost of Wind Power.” Simmons contends that wind power is a “heavy burden” for US taxpayers. 
Media Matters for a America criticized Newsweek for considering it “full disclosure” to simply note that Simmons has received grants from the U.S. government and a non-profit organization. In the initial publication, Newsweek had also initially failed to mention Simmons's connection to the fossil fuel industry given the Koch and ExxonMobil funding received by PERC. 
Newsweek later added an editor's note which reads “Editor's note: The author of this piece, Randy Simmons, is the Charles G. Koch professor of political economy at Utah State University. He's also a senior fellow at the Koch- and ExxonMobil-funded Property and Environment Research Center. These ties to the oil industry weren't originally disclosed in this piece.”
June 20, 2014
According to the event description, “Whether you believe or deny the apocalyptic predictions of the National Climate Assessment, it is unlikely that most of them will come to pass—not because of government-sponsored mitigation, but because of entrepreneurial adaptation.” 
PERC released a report titled “The Benefits of Climate Change” which concludes that “the lengthened growing seasons and added precipitation implied by the most widely cited global climate change models will modestly increase agricultural yields and thereby enhance the profitability of American agriculture.”
The authors conclude that “agricultural productivity in the United States is likely to rise slightly (about 4 percent) due to climate change, yielding modest positive economic benefits.” 
Kathryn Ratte of PERC spoke at the Annual Independent Petroleum Association of America's committee session to discuss “a more grassroots approach to telling the industry's story in the nation's public schools.” 
A poll conducted by Wirthlin Worldwide and paid for by the American Petroleum Institute recommended a general message that emphasize “how petroleum improves the quality of life” and most importantly, “inoculate[s] against opposition messages.” To achieve inoculation, industry “needs to assuage the guilt of Americans concerned about global warming or the dangers of petrochemicals might feel about overusing petroleum products.”
Ratte stated that the problem is that “politically correct environmentalism invaded U.S. public classrooms years ago, and is helping to hold the door shut on your message.” Another problem she lists is that “children resonate with environmental topics.” She recommended tailoring industry materials to all subjects, including language arts to spread the message from all possible angles. In addition, she recommended that industry hold teacher workshops “in resorts or campuses in pleasant surroundings” to get educators to use their materials.
“If it has a corporate logo on it, it is propaganda… You need a foot in the door where somebody else is pushing he door open for you… The people best able to push open the door are non-profit education organizations that teachers already think of as being credible,” Ratte added. , 
Ratte has also authored curriculums and education materials for PERC designed to promote free market environmentalism in the classroom. For example, this group of lessons published in 2002 (PDF). 
PERC Contact & Location
As of June 2016, the Property and Environment Research Center listed the following contact information on its website: 
2048 Analysis Dr Ste A
Bozeman MT 59718
- State Policy Network — Member. 
- Cooler Heads Coalition (CHC) — Past Member. 
- Alliance for America — “Networking Participant” 
“Get 'Em While They're Young: Oil and Gas Industry to Target School Kids in Re-Focus of PR Campaign,” CLEAR View, March 2, 1999. Archived December 19, 2000. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmogBlog.
Claire Moser. “Koch-Backed Group Calls For No More National Parks,” ThinkProgress, July 3, 2015. Archived September 26, 2015. WebCite URL: http://www.webcitation.org/6bqNBLwBd
Andy Kroll. “Exposed: The Dark-Money ATM of the Conservative Movement,” Mother Jones, February 5, 2003. Archived July 24, 2015. WebCite URL: http://www.webcitation.org/6bqN5uSEI
Matt Ridley. “THE CASE AGAINST THE HOCKEY STICK,” PERC Report, Volume 28, No. 2 (Summer 2010). Archived September 26, 2015. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmogBlog.
“Property and Environment Research Center (PERC): Koch Industries Climate Denial Front Group,” GreenPeace USA. Archived March 13, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/6DwFG
“PERC BOARD,” Property and Environment Research Center. Archived November 1, 2012.
Staff Page, PERC. Archived November 1, 2012.
Claire Moser. “Koch-Backed Group Calls For No More National Parks,” ThinkProgress, July 3, 2015. Archived September 26, 2015. WebCite URL: http://www.webcitation.org/6bqNBLwBd
“Why the Land and Water Conservation Fund needs to be reformed,” The Hill, September 24, 2015. WebCite URL: http://www.webcitation.org/6bqV6HlBZ
Randy Simmons. “What's the True Cost of Wind Power?” Newsweek, April 11, 2015. WebCite URL: http://www.webcitation.org/6bswdmRY9
Andrew Seifter. “UPDATED: Newsweek Cloaks Koch-Funded Professor's Dirty Energy Agenda,” Media Matters for America, April 13, 2015. Archived September 28, 2015. WebCite URL: http://www.webcitation.org/6bswV6gbq
“Adapting to Climate Change,” Property and Environment Research Centre, June 24, 2014. Archived September 27, 2015.
Daniel Benjamin. “THE BENEFITS OF CLIMATE CHANGE,” PERC Report, Volume 25, No. 3 (Fall 2007). Archived September 26, 2015.
American Oil and Gas Reporter December, 1998.
Donald R. Wentworth and Kathryn Ratté. “FISH TALES,” PERC - The Center for Free Market Environmentalism, 2002. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmogBlog.
“Directory,” State Policy Network. Accessed September 18, 2015. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmogBlog.
“02/22/2017 Ostrom Lecture on Environmental Policy - Terry Anderson: Who Owns the Environment? Lessons from the Legacy of Elinor Ostrom,” Indiana University’s space at Kaltura video platform, February 22, 2017. Uploaded by User David Price. Archived video on file at DeSmog.