Energy plenty, affordability, and reliability for a high-energy world. What could be simpler or better—except for the fact that energy freedom is far too often politically incorrect. Enter the Institute for Energy Research, an all-energy, all-the-time, free-market think tank headquartered in Washington, DC.
IER, an educational nonprofit [501c(3)] organization, is intellectually grounded in the moral and economic case for energy freedom, defined as mutually advantageous exchange by consenting adults that is not influenced by government favor or penalty.
IER is a classical liberal organization, which supports the institutions of private property, voluntary exchange, and the rule of law against force or fraud. Sound money and non-punitive taxation are other precepts for an efficiently functioning, sustainable order.
IER can be described as pro-freedom, pro-consumer, pro-taxpayer, pro-limited government. IER opposes government ownership and is critical of government interference with prices, consumption, entry, exit, credit, financial reporting, or international trade.
“Our Principles” on IER’s website describes the application of classical liberalism in more detail.
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 emotion or improbable scenarios that invite wealth-reducing government activism, which often impairs society’s resilience to change.
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 academics.
Efficient Outcomes: The welfare of energy consumers, energy producers, and taxpayers can and should be considered together.
Impartial and Unbiased: Government policies should be predictable, simple, and technology- neutral. This approach will spur capital formation in the energy industry and promote technological innovation.
IER represents no company or industry but a time-honored intellectual tradition marked by such thinkers as John Locke, Adam Smith, Ludwig von Mises, F. A. Hayek, Ayn Rand, and Milton Friedman. We challenge our critics to an intellectual debate, free of ad hominem, on a variety of social issues relating to energy. A free and prosperous commonwealth deserves no less.