Institute for Energy Research

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The Institute for Energy Research (IER) was founded in 1989 from a predecessor 501(c)3 non-profit organization registered by Charles G. Koch and Robert L. Bradley Jr. IER claims to conduct "intensive research and analysis on the functions, operations, and government regulation of global energy markets," and argues that the free market provides "the most efficient and effective solutions to today's global energy and environmental challenges."[1]

IER acts as a front group for the fossil fuel industry, receiving significant funding from ExxonMobil, the American Petroleum Institute, Peabody Energy, and various Koch charitable foundations. In return, IER advocates against fossil fuel industry regulation and policies reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

American Energy Alliance (AEA), a 501(c)4 non-profit organization, is the "advocacy arm" of IER.

IER was a member of the now inactive Sustainable Development Network.

News and Controversies

Funding from Peabody Energy

When the world's largest private-sector coal company, Peabody Energy, filed for bankruptcy in 2016, its filings revealed that the company had been funding climate denial across an expansive network of trade associations, lobby groups, and industry front groups. The IER was one such group, receiving $50,000 from Peabody Energy between 2014 and 2015. This funding is especially notable given the IER's work to prevent extensions of the federal government production tax credit and investment tax credit for wind and solar energy.[2][3]

Promotion of "Anti-Green Studies"

In 2009, IER supported and disseminated the "Spanish study," whose findings allegedly showed that Spain's policy commitments to renewable energy development had cost jobs. Promotion of the study traveled throughout the Koch network, elevated by the Heritage Foundation and Americans for Prosperity, despite the fact that conclusions and methodology of the study were repeatedly proven unsupportable. Several months later, a similar study known as the "Danish study" was disseminated across the Koch network, despite its factual errors and misrepresented conclusions. Nevertheless, IER promoted the study among its members and Hill staff. IER also organized a three-day tour in September 2009 to bring the report's co-author and the CEO of the think-tank who prepared the study to Washington D.C. in order to explain the findings to a "wider American audience."[4]

A third study published by a German think tank in October 2009 claimed to demonstrate that the country's solar industry had significantly raised the price of energy and had necessitated substantial government subsidies in order to sustain it.[5] IER promoted this study as well, referring to it as "Washington lawmakers' third favorite example of a failed 'green' energy experiment they'd life to see replicated here in the U.S."[6] However, an interview with the German researchers revealed that IER had financed the study, which was not originally disclosed in the report.[7] IER failed to disclose their own involvement in the study as well.


American Energy Alliance

American Energy Alliance (AEA), a 501(c)4 non-profit organization founded in 2008, is the "advocacy arm" of IER. According to AEA's website, it "engages in grassroots public policy advocacy and debate concerning energy and environmental policies."[8]

MasterResource Blog

IER runs MasterResource, a "free-market energy blog." MasterResource claims that more than two hundred authors have contributed since its founding in 2008.[9] Contributors include Sherri Lange, the CEO of North American Platform Against Wind Power, and Lisa Linowes, the founder and executive director of WindAction Group.[10] John Droz, an anti-wind-power activist and founder of Alliance for Wise Energy Decisions, is a "principal" at the blog.[11]

Ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council

In August 2011, Robert L. Bradley Jr., 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.[12]

About ALEC
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, and check out breaking news on our site.

Ties to the Koch Network

Between 1997 and 2022, the Charles Koch Foundation, Charles Koch Institute, and Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation contributed over $700,000 to IER. Thomas J. Pyle, president of both IER and AEA, formerly worked at Koch Industries as the Director of Federal Affairs.[13] In addition, IER founder and CEO Robert L. Bradley Jr. was an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute, an organization founded and funded by the Koch network.[14]

Koch Wiki

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.

Core Financials


  • Total Revenue: $2,304,882
  • Total Expenses: $1,994,614
  • Net Assets: $2,106,462


  • Total Revenue: $1,199,458
  • Total Expenses: $1,386,681
  • Net Assets: $1,796,348


  • Total Revenue: $1,225,508
  • Total Expenses: $1,452,948
  • Net Assets: $2,157,271


  • Total Revenue: $1,713,823
  • Total Expenses: $1,530,687
  • Net Assets: $2,211,311


  • Total Revenue: $1,624,133
  • Total Expenses: $1,629,291
  • Net Assets: $2,028,175


The IER is not required to disclose its funders but major foundation supporters can be found through their IRS filings. Here are some known contributors:

  • Adolph Coors Foundation: $100,000 (2015-2019)
  • American Energy Alliance: $425,000 (2019)
  • American Petroleum Institute: $100,000 (2009-2010)
  • Armstrong Foundation: $45,000 (2015-2020)
  • Carleton Speed Family Foundation: $17,500 (2017-2020)
  • Charles Koch Foundation: $382,881 (2012-2020)
  • Charles Koch Institute: $110,652 (2014-2019)
  • Chase Foundation of Virginia: $134,500 (2013-2022)
  • Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation: $235,000 (1997-2007)
  • DonorsTrust: $621,400 (2010-2020)
  • Edison Electric Institute: $35,000 (2016-2021)
  • ExxonMobil Corporate Giving: $175,000 (2004-2006)[20]
  • ExxonMobil Foundation: $132,000 (2003-2007)[20]
  • Greater Houston Community Foundation: $15,000 (2018-2020)
  • Henderson Foundation: $32,000 (2016-2021)
  • John William Pope Foundation: $90,000 (2020-2022)
  • Merrion Family Foundation: $40,000 (2012-2022)
  • National Philanthropic Trust: $200,000 (2020)
  • Randolph Foundation: $60,000 (2010-2016)
  • Sarah Scaife Foundation: $255,000 (2020-2022)
  • Searle Freedom Trust: $395,000 (2012-2021)
  • The Rothschild Art Foundation: $20,000 (2013)
  • The Rothschild Charitable Foundation: $20,000 (2012)
  • Vanguard Charitable Endowment Program: $24,500 (2020-2021)
  • William S & Ann Atherton Foundation: $27,000 (2014-2022)
  • Wilson Family Foundation: $10,000 (2012) $12,000 (2013) $22,000 (2012-2013)



As of April 2024:[1]

  • Robert L. Bradley Jr., CEO and Founder
  • Thomas J. Pyle, President
  • Daniel Kish, Vice President of Policy
  • Lisa Wallace, Senior Vice President of Operations and Development
  • Dustin DeBerry, Vice President of Development
  • Kenny Stein, Vice President of Policy
  • Angela Haubert, Manager of Donor Relations
  • Alexander Stevens, Manager of Policy and Communications
  • Garrett Kehr, Director of Digital Marketing
  • Smythe Anderson, Director of Government Relations and External Affairs
  • Terry Posey, Office Manager and Executive Assistant
  • Caleb Jasso, Policy and Digital Media Associate
  • Mary J. Hutzler, Distinguished Senior Fellow
  • Lisa Linowes, Advisory Council Member
  • Robert J. Michaels, Advisory Council Member
  • Hilary Sills, Advisory Council Member

Board of Directors

As of April 2024:[1]

  • Preston Marshall, Chair
  • Jim Clarkson
  • Wayne Gable
  • Steven F. Hayward
  • Trent Sebits

Former Board of Directors

Contact Information

Institute for Energy Research
1155 15th Street NW 525
Washington, DC 2005

Phone: (202) 621-2950
Facebook: The Institute for Energy Research
Twitter: @IERenergy
YouTube: @IERDC

EIN: 76-0149778

Articles and Resources

IRS 990 Filings







  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Institute for Energy Research, About, organizational website, accessed April 30, 2024.
  2. Matt Kasper, "Peabody Energy Funding Climate Change Denial and Anti-Renewable Campaigns", Energy and Policy Institute, July 11, 2016.
  3. Nick Surgey, "Peabody Coal Bankruptcy Reveals Climate Denial Network Funding", ExposedbyCMD, June 13, 2016.
  4. Greenpeace, "Koch Industries Secretly Funding the Climate Denial Machine, organizational report, March 2010.
  5. Institute for Energy Research, "Proceed at Your Own Peril: New Study Critical of German 'Green' Experience, organizational website, October 19, 2009.
  6. Institute for Energy Research, "Strike Three: First Spain, Then Denmark, and Now Germany...", organizational fact sheet, accessed November 8, 2009.
  7. Markus Schmidt and Michael Houben, "The Lie about Expensive Green Electricity: Why the Electricity Bill Is Really So High", WDR, October 21, 2010.
  8. American Energy Alliance, About, organizational website, accessed May 1, 2024.
  9. MasterResource, About, organizational website, accessed May 16, 2024.
  10. LinkedIn, Sherri Lange, accessed May 16, 2024.
  11. DeSmog, John Droz Jr., DeSmog, accessed May 16, 2024.
  12. 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
  13. LinkedIn, Thomas Pyle, LinkedIn profile, accessed May 1, 2024.
  14. Cato Institute, Robert Bradley, organizational website, accessed May 1, 2024.
  15. Institute for Energy Research, 2022 IRS form 990, organizational tax filing, September 22, 2023.
  16. Institute for Energy Research, 2021 IRS form 990, organizational tax filing, October 26, 2022.
  17. Institute for Energy Research, 2020 IRS form 990, organizational tax filing, October 5, 2021.
  18. Institute for Energy Research, 2019 IRS form 990, organizational tax filing, November 3, 2020.
  19. Institute for Energy Research, 2018 IRS form 990, organizational tax filing, November 5, 2019.
  20. 20.0 20.1 Exxon Secrets, Factsheet: Institute for Energy Research, IER, Exxon Secrets, accessed January 14, 2012.

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