The Institute for Energy Research (IER) is a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit organization that conducts research and analysis on the functions, operations, and government regulation of global energy markets.[1] IER maintains that the free market provides the most "efficient and effective solutions" to "global energy and environmental challenges".[1]

Institute for Energy Research
FounderRobert L. Bradley Jr.
Founded atHouston, Texas
TypeNonprofit public policy research
Richard L. Stroup, Steven F. Hayward


The IER is the successor organization to the Institute for Humane Studies of Texas, an advocacy group established in 1984 by billionaire businessman and political donor Charles Koch.[2] After failing to pay the Texas state franchise tax, IHST lost its charter in 1989, and was later rebranded as the Institute for Energy Research, or IER, under the presidency of Robert L. Bradley Jr., the former director of public policy analysis for Enron.[2] IER began by distributing quarterly reports to a small but growing list of donors in the early 1990s and eventually expanded its publishing capabilities to include highly publicized studies. It was not until 2001 when Bradley secured funding to make IER a full-time organization. In 2007, IER was moved to Washington, D.C. where it transformed itself into an energy think tank producing research and analysis on global energy markets.[3]

In 2009, an article in Mother Jones magazine said IER was among the most prominent organizations questioning the existence and extent of anthropogenic climate change.[4]


The Institute's CEO and founder, Robert L. Bradley Jr., is a visiting fellow at the Institute of Economic Affairs in London, a research fellow at the Center for Energy Economics at the University of Texas at Austin, and an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute as well as the Competitive Enterprise Institute.[5][6] He has written seven books, including Capitalism at Work and Edison to Enron.[7]


IER is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization and is funded by tax deductible contributions from individuals, foundations and corporations.[1][8] IER has received funding from the Brown Foundation (started by founders of a construction and energy company), the Searle Freedom Trust and the Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation.[9][10] They have also previously received funding from ExxonMobil,[11] the American Petroleum Institute,[12] the Center to Protect Patient Rights,[12] and Peabody Energy.[13] IER says that it has not sought for or accepted financial support from the government.[1]

IER has been described as a front group for the fossil fuel industry, since it has accepted financial donations from firms in that sector.[13][12][4]

American Energy AllianceEdit

The Institute for Energy Research has a political arm, the American Energy Alliance (AEA). According to its website, the AEA engages in "grassroots public policy advocacy and debate" regarding energy and environmental policies.[14]

In 2009, AEA ran television advertisements in opposition to the American Clean Energy and Security Act, also known as the Waxman-Markey Bill, that proposed an emissions trading plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to address climate change.[4]

In 2013, AEA provided an online petition to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry regarding the U.S. federal government administration's approval of the Keystone XL pipeline extension. AEA supports approval of the pipeline.[15]

The AEA opposes a Wind Production Tax Credit.[16]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d "About Us". Institute for Energy Research. Retrieved 4 December 2015.
  2. ^ a b Fang, Lee (29 August 2014). "Charles Koch Personally Founded Group Protecting Oil Industry Hand-Outs, Documents Reveal". Republic Report. Essential Information. Retrieved 4 July 2018.
  3. ^ "Conservative Spotlight: Institute for Energy Research". Human Events.
  4. ^ a b c Harkinson, Josh (December 4, 2009). "The Dirty Dozen of Climate Change Denial". Mother Jones. Retrieved September 30, 2015.
  5. ^ "Robert L. Bradley, Jr., Author at IER". IER.
  6. ^ Cato Institute: Robert L. Bradley, Jr.
  7. ^ Institute for Energy: Staff. Archived 2013-05-07 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^
  9. ^ Evans, Will (September 22, 2008). "New Group Tied To Oil Industry Runs Ads Promoting Drilling, Attacking Democrat". National Public Radio. Retrieved March 18, 2015.
  10. ^ Vogel, Kenneth (March 29, 2012). "Kochs linked to anti-Obama gas ads". Politico. Retrieved 4 December 2015.
  11. ^ Erman, Michael (23 May 2008). "Exxon again cuts funds for climate change skeptics". Reuters.
  12. ^ a b c Negin, Elliott (July 19, 2013). "Koch-Funded Climate Contrarians Make Mischief on Capitol Hill". Huffington Post. Retrieved 7 October 2016.
  13. ^ a b Goldenberg, Suzanne; Bengtsson, Helena (June 13, 2016). "Biggest US coal company funded dozens of groups questioning climate change". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 June 2016.
  14. ^ "About". American Energy Alliance.
  15. ^ "American Energy Alliance Homepage". The American Energy Alliance. Retrieved 12 April 2013.
  16. ^ Restuccia, Andrew (13 November 2012). "Fans, foes at war over wind tax credit extension".

External linksEdit