Institute for Energy Research (IER) & American Energy Alliance (AEA)

Koch Industries Climate Denial Front Group

$275,628 from Koch foundations, 1997-2014

The Institute for Energy Research was founded by Charles Koch and CEO Robert Bradley, a former Enron executive, in Texas under its former name, the Institute for Humane Studies of Texas.

Thomas Pyle, a former Koch and oil-industry lobbyist, is the President of IER and the American Energy Alliance, the 501c4 counterpart to IER. Pyle is directing Donald Trump’s Energy Department transition team, after Trump cited an IER study in a promise to expand federal oil and gas leasing.

Politico reports that Koch was among donors to $3.6 million advertising campaign, run by AEA in the run up to the 2012 U.S. presidential election, blaming President Barack Obama for high gas prices.

According to ProPublica, AEA received $2,339,960 from organizations in the Koch network. This included almost $1.5 million from Freedom Partners, a 501c6 business league directed by many of the most prominent members of the Koch brothers’ inner-political circle (Richard Fink, Marc Short, Wayne Gable, and Kevin Gentry) with anonymous funding sources from attendees of “Koch World” meetings.

ProPublica visual: Koch network dark money to AEAAmerican Energy Alliance 2012 dark money funding, Freedom Partners, Koch network

IER promotes discredited research: IER supported and promoted the “Spanish” and “Danish” studies critical of clean energy jobs, both of which have been debunked. As of 2015, IER staff were using the “Spanish” and “Danish” studies to lobby state legislators, in support of efforts to end state laws requiring increased generation of clean energy, or “renewable portfolio standards.” One such effort succeeded in freezing Ohio’s clean energy law.

IER argued that efforts to curb global warming would accomplish little at too great a cost, promotes ACCF/NAM and Heritage Foundation studies that exaggerate the costs of climate policy, and discourages U.S. leadership on the international stage.

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