Since its founding 35 years ago, the defining characteristics and mission of the Institute for Energy Research have remained constant: that free markets, the rule of law, and property rights result in freedom, opportunity, and human betterment.
The belief in the power of individuals guides our work. Yes, our focus is on shaping energy policy, but in reality, it has always been about advancing individual freedom for wide social benefits.
IER elucidates the history and operation of free energy markets relative to those structured by government intervention. Upon this record, IER favors public policies advancing energy entrepreneurship and choice, while critiquing and opposing regulatory programs such as differential taxation, price controls, import restrictions, usage edicts, and public grants.
Energy markets today are heavily politicized without the best interests of producers, consumers, and taxpayers in mind. That needs to change, in order to reduce energy prices, improve energy reliability, and shrink government spending and associated debt. Energy choices should involve voluntary exchange between consenting adults, with the rule of law discouraging and rectifying instances of force and fraud. Neutral government would be confined to its core responsibility of protecting individual rights.
Terms that describe IER’s positions are free market, classical liberal, or libertarian. This think tank is beholden to no particular energy, industry, or company. In this context, IER can be characterized as pro-consumer, pro-entrepreneur, and pro-taxpayer.
At the IER website, the following description of the institute is provided.
The Institute for Energy Research (IER) is a not-for-profit organization that conducts intensive research and analysis on the functions, operations, and government regulation of global energy markets. IER maintains that freely functioning energy markets provide the most efficient and effective solutions to today’s global energy and environmental challenges and, as such, are critical to the well-being of individuals and society.
A Principled Organization
IER has earned a solid reputation for its scholarly approach to energy analysis and free-market energy and environmental policy. IER’s perspective is predicated on:
Free Markets: History shows that private-property rights, market exchange, and the rule of law have resulted in affordable energy, improved living standards, and a cleaner environment.
Objective Science: Public policy, particularly in the environmental area, should be based on objective science, not emotional or improbable scenarios that invite wealth-reducing government activism, which often impairs society’s resilience in the face of change.
Efficient Outcomes: The welfare of energy consumers, energy producers, and taxpayers can and should be considered together.
Impartial, Unbiased Analysis: Government policies should be predictable, simple, and technology-neutral. This approach will spur capital formation in the energy industry and promote technological innovation.
Public-Policy Tradeoffs: Policies that attempt to correct “market failure” in energy markets must be tempered with the reality of “government failure.” It is inappropriate to compare idealized government actions with real-world market outcomes. Government policies are implemented by politicians and bureaucracies, not by unbiased and informed experts.
Issues: The Biden Administration’s whole of government approach to energy and climate has put politics over consumers and taxpayers. Duplicating the grid and the transportation network with inferior energies and products is not only wasteful. It creates government dependency and political paralysis going into the future.