Ayn Rand Institute (ARI)

Koch Industries Climate Denial Front Group

$191,000 from Koch foundations 2009-2015

Based in Irvine, California, the Ayn Rand Institute (ARI) is dedicated to laissez faire capitalism and the pursuit of self-interest as developed by Russian-American author Ayn Rand. ARI’s writers have referred to a climate science report published by the National Academy of Science (NAS) as “a lie.”
ARI featured the controversial “Oregon Petition,” created by the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine in cooperation with the George C. Marshall Institute, a notable recipient of Koch and Exxon money, to look like official NAS material. Some scientists signed the petition assuming it was indeed created by NAS, others signed with the backing of the oil industry, and some names were simply fictional characters lifted from the show M*A*S*H* and elsewhere.
ARI Senior Fellow Keith Lockitch spoke at the Heartland Institute’s 2009 International Conference on Climate Change, and authored a paper denouncing the viability of clean energy and simultaneously denying the scientific consensus of climate change. Despite mischaracterizing the science, Lockitch argued that “development under capitalism has actually made us safer from climate-related risks than ever before in human history.”

Former employee Alex Epstein (of ARI’s Center for Individual Rights) frequently publishes opinion pieces in outlets like Fox News, the American Thinker and the Daily Caller promoting fossil fuel use and attacking environmental safeguards. Examples include:

Epstein is a frequent collaborator with Collegians For A Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT Campus), a recipient of Koch funding and project of the Exxon-supported Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT). Since leaving ARI, Epstein consults for the “energy industry” through his for-profit think tank, promoting “The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels.”

More Information:

SourceWatch profile: Ayn Rand Institute

DeSmogBlog profile: Ayn Rand Institute

Conservative Transparency: Ayn Rand Institute funding


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