The fossil fuel-funded Americans for Prosperity wrote a coalition letter on November 3, 2015 to Congress signed by 21 organizations calling for the elimination of the oil export ban and advocating against tax credits for solar or wind energy production.

As we have highlighted in past research, elected officials and the public should make note that while these groups claim to be “free market” think tanks and non-profits, in reality, they are operating as front groups for the Koch Brothers and other fossil fuel interests with a financial interest in eliminating the crude oil export ban and stoping the growth of renewable energy like wind and solar.

The Energy and Policy Institute examined the list of signatories and found the following:

  • 19 of the 21 organizations signing the letter have either received funding from fossil fuel interests like the Koch brothers or ExxonMobil or have ties to the Koch political network.
  • 18 of the 21 organizations have known financial ties to fossil fuel interests.
  • 15 of the 21 organizations are directly tied to or serve essential roles in the Koch political network.
Organization State Fossil Fuel Funding? Koch Network? Description
60 Plus Association DC  Yes  Yes Funding from Center to Protect Patient Rights, a Koch funding passthrough; also funded by Freedom Partners, the Koch Brothers’ secret bank; also received funding from Koch-network’s TC4 Trust
American Commitment DC  Yes  Yes Koch-funded group, almost entirely funded by Koch passthroughs Freedom Partners, Center to Protect Patient Rights
American Energy Alliance DC  Yes  Yes Funded by ExxonMobil, Koch Brothers and Freedom Partners; President is former Koch lobbyist
Americans for Prosperity DC  Yes  Yes Founded and funded by Koch Brothers
Americans for Tax Reform DC Yes Yes Funded by American Petroleum Institute and Koch Brothers; member of State Policy Network
Competitive Enterprise Institute DC  Yes Yes Funding from ExxonMobil and Koch Brothers; Member of State Policy Network
Energy Makes America Great, Inc. DC Yes  Yes Funded by New Mexico Oil and Gas Association; part of Citizens’ Alliance for Responsible Energy
Freedom Works DC  Yes Yes Funded by DonorsTrust; Break up of Citizens for Sound Economy (funded by the Koch Brothers) created FreedomWorks and Americans for Prosperity (funded by the Koch Brothers)
Less Government DC Front group managed by consultant Seyton Motley; no website exists at lessgovernment.org, the organization’s listed web URL
R Street Institute DC Yes Connected to Koch political network, was part of Heartland Institute
Taxpayers Protection Alliance DC Yes Connections to Koch-funded Americans for Job Security and Alliance for America’s Future
Tea Party Nation DC  Yes For profit company founded by Judson Phillips, organized first Tea Party convention
Frontiers of Freedom VA Yes Yes Funding from Koch Brothers and ExxonMobil; funded by tobacco industry
American Encore AZ  Yes Yes Koch-funded pass-through involved in attacks on solar in Arizona; funneled money from utility Arizona Public Service to front groups.
National Taxpayers Union DC  Yes Yes Koch and Tobacco funding; part of the State Policy Network
National Black Chamber of Commerce  DC  Yes Yes Fossil fuel funding, Koch funding
Institute for Liberty  Yes Connected to Koch political network
Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce VA Yes Yes Koch-funded, served as “de facto bank” in the Koch political network
Center for Individual Freedom VA Tobacco industry funding
Americans for Competitive Enterprise DC Yes Yes Founded by three staff members of Competitive Enterprise Institute, which has received fossil fuel funding
American Council for Capital Formation  DC  Yes  Koch-funded

 

 

 

Posted by Gabe Elsner

Gabe Elsner is the founder and executive director of the Energy & Policy Institute. He is a thought leader on defending policies from attacks by incumbent energy interests and his work has been featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, Bloomberg, The Daily Mail, The Australian, The Guardian, Los Angeles Times, MSNBC, and National Public Radio. The Energy & Policy Institute’s work has protected dozens of public policies that support the growth of the clean-tech industry.

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