Institute for Energy Research
The Institute for Energy Research (IER), founded in 1989 from a predecessor non-profit organization registered by Charles G. Koch and Robert L. Bradley Jr., advocates positions on environmental issues including deregulation of utilities, climate change denial, and claims that conventional energy sources are virtually limitless.
IER has been established as a 501(c)(3) non-profit group. It is a "partner" organization of the American Energy Alliance, a 501c4 organization which states that it is the "grassroots arm" of IER. AEA states that, by "communicating IER’s decades of scholarly research to the grassroots, AEA will empower citizens with facts so that people who believe in freedom can reclaim the moral high ground in the national public policy debates in the energy and environmental arena." AEA states that its aim is to "create a climate that encourages the advancement of free market energy policies" and in particular ensure drilling for oil is allowed in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and in US coastal waters.
Charles Koch is the right-wing billionaire owner of Koch Industries. As one of the richest people in the world, he is a key funder of the right-wing infrastructure, including the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the State Policy Network (SPN). In SourceWatch, key articles on Charles Koch and his late brother David include: Koch Brothers, Americans for Prosperity, Stand Together Chamber of Commerce, Stand Together, Koch Family Foundations, Koch Universities, and I360.
Ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council
In August 2011, Dr. Robert Bradley, founder and CEO of the IER, spoke at the Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) annual meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana.
ALEC is a corporate bill mill. It is not just a lobby or a front group; it is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, corporations hand state legislators their wishlists to benefit their bottom line. Corporations fund almost all of ALEC's operations. They pay for a seat on ALEC task forces where corporate lobbyists and special interest reps vote with elected officials to approve “model” bills. Learn more at the Center for Media and Democracy's ALECexposed.org, and check out breaking news on our ExposedbyCMD.org site.
In 2009 IER run a campaign on "green jobs" attacking the expansion of renewables energies. IER commissioned three studies on renewable energies and green jobs in Denmark, Germany and Spain. These studies by different think tanks were than promoted by IER and other free market think tanks in the US but also used in Europe and Ontario, Canada. The study on Germany e.g. was translated into German and taken up by German media - without mentioning that the study was financed by IER with its close business links. The German institute that wrote the study (called Rheinisch-westfaelisches Institut fuer Wirtschaftsforschung, RWI) didn't acknowledge the funding from IER until they were challendged by investigative journalists.
A report by the Europan NGO Corporate Europe Observatory tried to get more information on the funding of the libertarian Instituto Juan de Mariana responsible for the Spanish study and the Danish think tank CEPOS doing the study on wind energy in Denmark. The report states: "In their reply to CEO, Instituto Juan de Mariana affirmed that it finances all its activities through the individual donation of his over 250 individual members and that they did not receive corporate funding with the exception of a small Spanish insurance company. When contacted again to check whether the Institute for Energy Research (IER) support for the above study was financial, the Institute stopped responding."
- Robert L. Bradley, President
- Nancy C. Bradley, Secretary / Treasurer
- Howard Gano, Jr., Director
- Jim Clarkson, Director
- Preston Marshall, Director
- Wayne Gable, Director
This is a 501(c)(03) public charity 
According to the ExxonMobils Corporate Giving Reports the IER received 307.000 US$ from the oil company or its foundation between 2003 and 2007. The institute also received 175.000 US$ from Koch Industries according to a Greenpeace report.
Institute for Energy Research
6524 San Felipe, PMB 287
Houston, Texas 77057-2611
Phone/Fax (713) 974-1918
Email: iertx AT swbell.net
Articles and Resources
- Alex Kotch, The Dirty Dozen: The Biggest Nonprofit Funders of Climate Denial, ExposedbyCMD, March 21, 2022.
- Lee Fang, "Charles Koch Personally Founded Group Protecting Oil Industry Hand-Outs, Documents Reveal", Republic Report, August 29, 2014.
- Kate Sheppard, "Charles Koch Linked To Creation Of Fossil Fuel-Defending Nonprofit: Report", Huffington Post, August 29, 2014.
- American Energy Alliance American Energy Alliance website, accesses October 2008.
- "Mission Statement", American Energy Alliance website, accessed October 2008.
- American Legislative Exchange Council, "Energy, Environment, and Agriculture 2011 Annual Meeting Task Force Meeting," speaker biographies and materials, August 4, 2011, on file with CMD
- Green Jobs Resources, IER website, accessed Dec 7 2010.
- For the promotion of the Spanish and Danish studies in the US and particularly Washington DC see Greenpeace, USA March 2010: Koch Industries: Secretly Funding the Climate Denial Machine, accessed Dec 7 2010
- Adam Scott, "Koch Brothers invade Ontario too" Environmental Defence, March 25, 2011.
- See the broadcast Die Luege vom teuren Oekostrom (The lie of expensive green electricity) by the German public broadcaster ARD, Oct 21 2010, accessed Dec 7 2010.
- Corporate Europe Observatory: Concealing their sources - who funds Europe’s climate change deniers?, Dec 2010, page 7, accessed Dec 7 2010
- ExxonSecret Factsheet: Institute for Energy Research, accessed Dec 7 2010.
- Greenpeace, USA March 2010: Koch Industries: Secretly Funding the Climate Denial Machine, accessed Dec 7 2010