The folks over at The Hill’s new environmental blog have a profile of the Institute for Energy Research, a conservative think tank with Houston ties that weighs in on just about anything and everything energy related.
As climate change was becoming the central issue in energy policy debates, following the Democratic takeover of Congress, IER underwent a makeover to try to become more relevant in political circles. Founded in Houston, the group was known for well-researched analyses that had little impact.
“I oftentimes saw their products. I’d say, ‘Damn, that looks good. Wish I had time to read it,’ ” says Daniel Kish, IER’s senior vice president for policy.
With a relatively modest budget of only a few million dollars, IER spokesman Patrick Creighton said, the group picks its battles.
For example, Kish and Pyle say they aren’t challenging the science behind global warming, though a new, often-updated Web site has a permanent tab that lists other causes as to why the issue has such prominence in political debate: the need for newspapers to sell advertisements; the inducements to academics of the $4.4 billion the government spends on climate research each year; the desire of politicians to solve crises.
But for the most part, IER and its advocacy arm, the American Energy Alliance, has made green jobs its principal target.
The article explains how IER went about challenging the green job claims through one particular presidential dog-and-pony show, and discusses IER sponsorship of the study by King Juan Carlos University in Spain released earlier this year that said that country’s efforts to create green jobs have come with a high cost (I didn’t realize – or at least forgot – they had funded that). The study has been challenged by many in the environmental community as seriously flawed.