WASHINGTON D.C. — In response to an error-filled report released today by the Sierra Club, entitled “Clean Energy Under Siege,” the Institute for Energy Research released the following statement and brief fact check that raises serious questions about the quality of scholarship and careful research that went into the report.
“Sloppy ‘scholarship,’ half-truths, and outright fabrications fill the Sierra Club’s report. The donors who support the Sierra Club deserve better, and the careless way this report was written, proofed, and published lays bare the nakedly partisan agenda behind the Sierra Club. The Institute for Energy Research does not run from our solid reputation as an aggressive organization that promotes free market solutions to global environmental and energy policy questions, and we are willing to engage these issues with the Sierra Club any day, any time. But honest conversation requires a commitment to truth. The Sierra Club’s latest report falls far short of that standard,” said IER President Thomas Pyle.
SIERRA CLUB CLAIM: “[Advocacy] organizations like the Manhattan Institute or The Institute for Energy Research prefer to portray themselves as ‘not-for-profit organizations’ who have earned a ‘solid reputation for [their] scholarly approach to energy analysis’ when their true intent is to hide the vested economic interests that fund their operations and predetermine their conclusions.” (p9)
FACT CHECK: Founded in 1989 from a predecessor organization, IER is a public foundation under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and is funded entirely by tax deductible contributions from individuals, foundations and corporations. No financial support is sought for or accepted from government sources.
SIERRA CLUB CLAIM: “Groups like . . . The American Energy Institute have all accepted money from corporations like Koch Industries and Exxon Mobil and are waging aggressive public relations campaigns in support of those companies’ financial and competitive interests.” (p9)
FACT CHECK: There is no evidence from the website of the California-based American Energy Institute, which specializes in research about energy efficient technologies, that the organization has received any funding from the donors alleged in the Sierra Club’s ‘report.’
SIERRA CLUB CLAIM: “A review of material from a list of allegedly pro-free market organizations — including . . . the Institute for Energy Research, their partner organization American Energy Institute, and the American Tradition Institute — shows that they simultaneously defend subsidies for oil and gas while attacking incentives for renewables.” (p9)
FACT CHECK: The Institute for Energy Research has never partnered with the California-based American Energy Institute. No current or former employees of IER — nor members of its advisory or governing boards — are connected with the American Energy Institute. No joint studies, collaborative research, or analysis have been done by IER or the American Energy Institute. In fact, a simple online search of IER’s publications reveals “no result” when searching for the words ‘American Energy Institute.’
(Screenshot taken at 11:40am, Thursday, August 2, 2012)