Mercatus Center

Koch Industries Climate Denial Front Group

$9,285,500 from Koch foundations, 1997-2012

The Mercatus Center is a conservative think-tank at George Mason University, in which Charles Koch sits on the Board of Directors. The Mercatus Center was previously known as the Center for the Study of Free Market Processes and was founded—with an initial grant from Charles Koch—by Richard Fink, now a Koch Industries executive vice president. Fink is also president of the Charles G. Koch and Claude R. Lambe foundations, which fund both the Mercatus Center (see table below).

The Mercatus Center is a member of the State Policy Network.

Climate Denier Deeds:


  • In a public comment to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on vehicle emissions, the Mercatus Center suggested that global warming would be, “beneficial, occurring at night, in the winter, and at the poles. If a slight warming does occur, historical evidence suggests it is likely to be beneficial, stimulating plant growth and making humans better off.”
  • 14 of 23 government regulations targeted by the George W. Bush White House weresuggested by Mercatus, including rollbacks of Environmental Protection Agency pollution regulations. Mercatus and the Bush White House were known for swapping staff. In 2007, Susan Dudley left Mercatus to join the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) as part of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), which is charged with reviewing draft regulations. A Public Citizen/OMB Watch report notes that Dudley had previously worked as an “OIRA desk officer specializing in environmental regulations in the late 1980s” before her time at Mercatus and the Bush White House.



  • U.S. Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA)—a climate science denier who is a recipient of Koch funding and whose staffers are connected to Mercatus and Koch Industries—has recently become Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Mercatus made regulation rollback suggestions to Issa, just as they did with the George W. Bush Administration (see above). In a Jan 2011 letter thanking Issa for requesting the Center’s input, Mercatus details recent Report Cards which include extremely poor scoring on the EPA’s Renewable Fuels Program.

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