Alex Epstein

Alex Epstein


  • B.A., Philosophy, Duke University (2002). [1], [2]


Alex Epstein is the director of the Center for Industrial Progress (CIP), a for-profit think tank he founded in 2011. Its mission is to “inspire Americans to embrace industrial progress as a cultural ideal.” Epstein is also a blogger at Master Resource, a “Free Market Energy Blog,” and a past fellow of the Ayn Rand Institute, an organization that has received funding from the Koch Foundations amounting to $100,000 between 2005 and 2011. [3]

“As the Founder and the Director of the Center for Industrial Progress, I make it my job to educate the public about the incredibly positive role energy and industry, particularly the oil industry, play in their lives,” Epstein wrote at CIP. [4]

Alex Epstein has written articles in this area in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Investor’s Business Daily, The Objective Standard and numerous other publications largely on the subjects of energy and industrial policy. Epstein also hosts a monthly podcast titled “Power Hour” that features “leading energy thinkers” including climate change deniers like Richard Lindzen and Steve Milloy.

He previously maintained a website, (now redirects to the Center for Industrial Progress), where he advertised his range of consulting services “from PR consulting to editorial consulting,” in which he reframes the debate to fit the view that aggressive industrial progress will always benefit the environment. [48]

Epstein regularly appears in conservative talk radio and television programs to promote the idea that industrial development is the best way to improve the environment. He has made appearances on FOX, PJTV, and Thom Hartmann. He also publishes his opinion in a wide variety of publications including The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Investor’s Business Daily, and Fox News.

He is also listed as a former adjunct scholar at the Koch-funded Cato Institute. [95]

Corporate Speaking & Consulting

Alex Epstein also makes speaking rounds in colleges and communities including Stanford, Duke, Rice, and UCLA. He also offers corporate speaking and consulting services for the energy industry to combat “formidable attacks by so-called environmentalists that can put a halt to your projects and sabotage your bottom line.” [49], [50][5]

According to his website, “CIP [Center for Industrial Progress] is unmatched in its ability to successfully out-message ‘environmentalists’ and turn their supporters into your supporters.” [5]

In a September 11, 2018 piece at the CIP website, Epstein disclosed “proudly” that one of his industry clients was Tyler White, president of the Kentucky Coal Association. [77]

“In praising this piece I must disclose, proudly, that the author is one of my clients. As is the allied website, ‘The Coal Truth,’ that has a more in-depth expose of “100% renewable,” Epstein wrote.

According to WHOIS records, was registered by Aaron Bond who appears to work for Alliance Coal, and the administrator is listed as Health Lovell.  Lovell is Vice President for Public Affairs at Alliance Coal, and also spoke at the Heartland Institute‘s America First Energy Conference in 2017. Lovell has praised the pro-coal stance of the Trump Administration. [78], [79], [80], [81]

Stance on Climate Change

May 22, 2019

An article published by The Oregonian notes that “Epstein’s views put him in the position of denying scientific findings about the forces reshaping a planet now regularly experiencing its warmest years on record.” Taking offense to this statement, Alex Epstein made the following response in the Center for Industrial Progress newsletter: [85], [86]

“I am actually an outspoken global warming affirmer. The real point of contention is not whether there is some global warming and whether human beings have some climate impact, but a) whether warming is a problem and b) whether fossil fuel energy should be restricted.

“When catastrophists label me and others ‘climate deniers,’ they aren’t trying to accurately characterize our views–they’re trying eliminate opposition to their political policies.”

April 2016

“If we look at what has been scientifically demonstrated vs. what has been speculated, the climate impact of CO2 is real — but mild and manageable.”

[…] while fossil-fuel use has only a mild warming impact, it has an enormous protecting impact. Nature doesn’t give us a stable, safe climate that we make dangerous. It gives us an ever-changing, dangerous climate that we need to make safe. And the driver behind sturdy buildings, affordable heating and air-conditioning, drought relief and everything else that keeps us safe from climate is cheap, plentiful, reliable energy, overwhelmingly from fossil fuels.” [54]

March 2016

In an interview on The Aaron Harbor show during IHS CERA Week, Epstein responded to a number of questions on his views about climate change. [83]

Aaron Harber:  “Do you agree with the vast majority of climate scientists that climate change is happening?” [1:11]

Alex Epstein: “Loaded question. I agree that mild climate change, but not catastrophic climate change, is happening.”

Harber: “All right. What are the implications of climate change, in your opinion?” [1:22]

Epstein: “The main implication is we have to protect ourselves from the inherently dangerous and volatile climate using lots of energy and lots of industry.”

Harber: “Can mankind affect climate change, do you think? What kind of impact…” [1:32]

Epstein: “Theoretically, yes. In practice, very mildly.”

Harber: “So you don’t think that a significant portion of climate change that’s occurring is due to mankind, is anthropogenic?”  [1:39]

Epstein: “Well, the overall is not that much. So you could have a significant portion of not very much, and it wouldn’t be that much.”

Harber: “So, when you say ‘not very much’, give me a sense of what, what you mean.” [1:51]

Epstein: “Well, you have one, you know one-point four degrees in 150 years, and a little over half of that is since major CO2 emissions began. So you have a small amount of natural warming and a slightly less small amount of possibly man-made influenced warming.”

Harber: “All right. Som the goal to prevent us from warming two more degrees, do you think  that that’s an easy goal to reach? Or is that goal, does that goal even make sense?” [2:07]

Epstein: “The whole premise is based on climate-related, climate predication models that can’t predict climate. So I reject that as a goal. … so in two degrees is probably better off anyway. But there’s no evidence that we’re getting there.”

Harber: “So two degrees would be a good thing?” [2:29]

Epstein: “I don’t think, technologically, we know how to get there if we wanted to. Two degrees celsius.”

Harber: “In terms of prevention?” [2:34]

Epstein: “No. We couldn’t warm the Earth that much.”

Harber: “So you don’t think we’re headed to two degrees on our current path?” [2:39]

Epstein: “No. It’s all climate prediction models that can’t predict climate. Anyone can make stuff up. Most predictions are wrong, including these have been wrong for 35 years. There’s nor Eason to assume there’s anything different.”


“[B]urning fossil fuels has improved the lives of millions in the developed world by helping solve their biggest environmental challenges, purified their water and air, made their cities and homes more sanitary and kept them safe from potential catastrophic climate change.” [52]


Writing at Forbes, Epstein compared mainstream climate change science to Scientology: [63]

“[T]oday’s vaunted “climate science consensus”—that it’s been scientifically proven that we need to dismantle the fossil fuel industry, the economic engine of the world—is more Scientology than science,” he wrote. [63]


“In my opinion, the time for debate is certainly not over because the vast majority of us don’t even know what the debate is about — let alone what has been proven and what hasn’t, let alone what action implications all of this has.” [6]

Key Quotes

September 16, 2020

“You know, one thing I’ve been saying lately is I think it’s just really important that people associate the California blackouts with green energy and the California wildfires with green forestry,” Epstein said in an interview with Patrick Moore on Power Hour. [97]

July 22, 2020

The following quotes are from an episode of Power Hour where Malcolm Roberts interviewed Epstein: [96]

Alex Epstein: [00:37:10] We’re all taught that climate is bad and getting worse. And yet climate from a human perspective is safer than ever by far. So anyone I have a line that I like to use, which is I don’t trust anyone to predict the future, who can’t predict the present. So if somebody says climate is going to be a disaster in the future and they think climate is a disaster today, they are ignorant or worse. And I think they are worse. [00:37:35]

[00:37:48] Because if you have a human perspective on climate livability, you have to admit it’s gotten much better. But if you think that it’s wrong for human beings to have any impact on the climate. And if we have any impact, that means it’s a bad climate, then you think the climate is worse. And that’s the only explanation of climate that the climate catastrophe movement thinking today’s climate is bad because they think it’s bad because they think we’ve changed it some. And so it’s really a religion. It’s really a religion that says that to be good is to not change nature.  [00:38:18]

[00:38:19] That’s their standard. That’s their goal is unchanged nature. And my goal is human flourishing. I want humans to live to their highest potential. So if we make the Earth amazing with machine power and it leads to a little warming, which, by the way, is generally desirable for people, and by the way, it also leads to greening of plants.  [00:38:35]

[00:38:36] If we change the Earth in that way, along with all the positive ways that our machines change the Earth using fossil fuels, I think that’s a better earth because I care about humans. But if you think it’s bad for human beings to change anything, you’re gonna think it’s what we’ve done is bad. Even though a billion people can live better lives than ever, that’s the only explanation of our whole establishment. Acting like climate is bad and the world is bad is they are antihuman.  [00:39:02]

[00:39:19] But once you know the facts about the world, you have to know that there’s something antihuman about the people who are telling you that it’s bad and getting worse. [00:39:27]

[00:50:07]  If you recognize there is no optimal state of the planet, the planet is naturally dynamic. It’s naturally dangerous. It’s naturally deficient. It’s a very imperfect planet. It’s got a lot of potential. But that potential needs to be actualized.  [00:50:21]

[00:53:46] Property rights are just so unappreciated in terms of how they enable individuals to coexist in harmony with one another and to have a proper pro human relationship to nature.  [00:53:58]

[00:54:13] But we unfortunately have almost and I mean this technically like a fascist system when it comes to the relationship to nature, where basically a government like the EPA or some other entity can just say, you know what, the muskrat on your property. We think that’s important. So you’ve got to leave or you can’t do what you want. And and there’s this real tyranny that happens. I think it’s an anti human view. I think if you care about the muskrat, you go be productive and figure out a way to predict that muskrat yourself, because otherwise people don’t care about the muskrat.  [00:54:46]

[00:55:05] And if you just talk to business people in the U.S. about how they say the Endangered Species Act persecutes them, it is unbelievable. Or we had this, um, it was like some waters act in the US that the president, Donald Trump, did a good job of repealing or delimiting. And it was just like if you had a puddle on your property, basically some eco fascist could say, yeah, you know what? That’s a really important puddle. I guess you can’t use it. And that’s that’s not how America became a beautiful place. You know, it became a beautiful place, I think, where there’s more property rights.  [00:55:38]

[00:55:46] I think that if we had property rights, we could have a true enjoyment of nature that was actually pro human.  [00:55:53]

[00:59:52] I think what’s going on in terms of the climate catastrophism, I don’t think it’s actually really a disagreement about science or certainly any fact.  I think it’s a very deep antihuman orientation.  [01:00:05]

[01:00:05] And it’s this idea I keep coming back to the view that changing nature is bad or human impact is is bad. Because if you look at the situation and you think about let’s say you learn two facts about CO2 that at least in that. So it’s a it’s a plant growing gas and it’s a fertilizing gas. You know that. And let’s say in isolation at least it’s a warming gas, at least I. I certainly believe that. So it’s a warming gass. So it has those two attributes. So you might think, let’s say fossil fuels, instead of adding CO2 to the atmosphere, they subtracted CO2 from the atmosphere. So if you just knew, OK, it’s a fertilizing gas and a warming gas and you heard fossil fuels as a side effect or a byproduct, they’re sucking CO2 out of the atmosphere.  [01:00:49]

[01:00:50] What would be your reaction? I think you’d be pretty afraid.  [01:00:54]

[01:02:18] Leaving aside anything you knew about the details of climate science, if it was taking CO2 out of the atmosphere, you would be worried.

[01:02:25] But then if you’re oh, it’s just from these basic facts, it’s adding CO2 to the atmosphere. You’d think, oh, well, that’s probably gonna be pretty good for the plants. And we use a lot of plants because we either eat them directly or the animals we eat eat plants. So that’s going to increase our agricultural productivity. And it’s also going to just increase the amount of biomass around the world which is going to mean that all species have more stuff to feed on.  [01:02:46]

[01:03:00] So what’s really interesting is that people, before they even hear about the different views on climate science, their expectation is that the world is going to get worse if we add CO2. Why is that? It’s not because of the nature of CO2. It’s because of the religious dogma that impacting nature is bad. It’s impacting nature is viewed as immoral. It’s just wrong for us to impact things and it’s viewed as inevitably self-destructive. [01:03:26]

[01:03:59] So it warms place in the coldest places in the world that we want to be more warm. And it warms more at night when we want it to be more warm and it warms more in the winter. So if you learn that the world is becoming a more tropical place, you would think that’s a desirable thing. Most people will like that. The only thing you could possibly be concerned about is is there some way that the warmth is so much or that there’s some trajectory of CO2 that so much that it’s just going to become way warmer than our tropical ancestors had? But then if you look at the nature of it, the effect I mean, if you just look at the history of the planet, CO2 levels used to be fifteen times higher than they are today in Fahrenheit, which I use.

Temperatures twenty five degrees warmer. And life was incredibly productive at those times, the planet didn’t burn up. So if you know that we have no way, even if we wanted to. Of even getting one third of the way to what CO2 levels used to. Like we have no way of doing that. And then you think so? How could it be that they CO2 could warm things that much? And then you look at how CO2 works in isolation.

You see, it’s what’s called a logarithmic has a logarithmic effect, which is you can think of it as a decelerating effect, which basically means each new molecule of CO2 adds less warmth than the last one. So you keep adding. So somebody uses the analogy of like, you know, you paint a barn and you’re painting it red. And like the first coat of paint is like, you know, you make it. It’s like a little red and then you can make it redder. But after a while, it stops.

It doesn’t become much redder because it’s already pretty red. And that’s basically how CO2 works. It’s like every new coat of it or every new amount of it. It warms some, but it warms less than the last. How could a decel… a warming gas with a decelerating affect that has been 15 times higher in the future and life has thrived at twenty five degrees warmer temperature? How could that possibly be a catastrophe for a species that is by far the most adaptable in history?

Because billions of people have machine power that they can thrive in any climate. How could that possibly be a catastrophe? The only way you can think that is if you do not recognize how good human beings make the planet. The planet is naturally dynamic, deficient, dangerous and deficient, and that human productivity using machine power makes it it better. You can only believe this if you have this dogma that the planet is perfect, that any change to it is immoral and disastrous. But that’s a religion that is not science at all. And it is the most irrational, I’m not… any religion…But that is the most irrational religion I have ever heard of. [01:06:43]

[01:10:05] Yes. So I just want to sort of situate my own position here. So, I mean, my my main position is that the climate catastrophe movement is a religious and unscientific movement. But what I just want to emphasize that the morality of using fossil fuels, of using more and more fossil fuels going forward, does not depend on them having zero impact on climate. I think it’s very hard to know, certainly if you’re a layman, what’s going on. Because there’s so much distortion and there’s so much of an assumption that, of course, CO2 must have a big impact. After all, it’s on we’re putting an unnatural amount. But even if we are causing significant warming, particularly because, you know, it’s a decelerating function, that is no reason at all to stop using fossil fuels and empowering human rights. So I just want to. Sometimes people get into the climate issue and they act like the case for fossil fuels depends on zero or little impact of fossil fuels on climate.  [01:11:00]

[01:11:01] And it it does not because we can use the fossil fuels to make any climate safer as long as we we’re free to use fossil fuels and get machine power. And if we’re not free, then any climate, including the supposedly perfect natural climate, is dangerous and unlivable. [01:11:17]

[01:14:43] my view is certainly that the utility of knowing that CO2 levels used to be a lot higher. It has a lot of utility because it it would be different if we had never we were at a threshold of CO2 that had never been exceeded, versus if you know. Oh, it’s been 15 times higher than it was today. And there are other variables that are different. But clearly, it is not something where the planet burns up. The oceans. Nothing like nothing like that happens in general. Life flourishes. The only thing. So the only thing I think you could be legitimately concerned about, but it has to be a pretty small concern in the scheme of things is will warming cause sea level rise that will be inconveniently fast? And I don’t think there’s evidence that it is at all. But you could at least hypothetically be concerned about that with warming. [01:15:31]

[01:17:42] If they actually cared about protecting people from floods, they would be all for using more fossil fuels so that you could actually produce flood protection like levees and dams.  [01:17:51]

[01:27:11] Michael Shellenberger, one of my favorite energy commentators, the author of the new book Apocalypse Never, which is a very valuable book, like he has a good article, says, If solar and wind are so cheap, basically, why is electricity so expensive? [01:27:23]

[01:28:30] The idea when people talk about a hundred percent renewable, mostly solar and wind, even for electricity, and they talk about it for all energy, that is a policy that is equal parts ignorant and genocidal. And so that means you, Joe Biden, like you talking about that is like you are basically saying, I want to kill a whole bunch of Americans. [01:28:51]

[01:31:40] So we if we want to live, we want billions of people to live and to be empowered with machine power. Then we need more fossil fuels, not less. That’s the moral case for fossil fuels. And fortunately, I’m not. Fortunately, the CO2 is probably a net benefit, but it’s certainly nothing resembling a catastrophe. So that’s that’s even better. [01:32:02]

[01:57:21] There’s this idea that if calling the green movement the watermelon movement because it’s green on the outside and red on the inside, red as in communistic. And there’s a lot of truth to that. But if you think about it, the whole idea that we’re destroying the planet is the ultimate pretext for restricting freedom because it basically says anything we do productively is bad.  [01:57:43]

[01:57:44] And so the government gets to control us. And to the people who hate achievement or productivity, that checks a box for them because it it it says it’s basically anti-doing anything. And for the people who want control. Wow. What could be a greater thing to control than human impact and for that matter, what could be a greater thing to control than the byproduct of basically, every machine in the world, CO2. Like that is the ultimate control. So it’s it’s it’s very important.  [01:58:13]

[01:58:13] It’s an anti freedom movement. And when we say we’re pro fossil fuels, we’re we’re really pro is the freedom to use fossil fuels.  [01:58:21]

[01:58:58] So fundamentally, it’s about freedom. And fossil fuels are a product of freedom. And we only want to use them as long as they’re the best choice under freedom.  [01:59:06]

August 26, 2019

Upon learning of the death of David Koch, Epstein told the Wall Street Journal[88]

When we hear that David Koch was a profit-seeking oil refiner we should feel not contempt and blame but admiration and gratitude.”

April 3, 2019

On his Power Hour with Alex Epstein podcast, Epstein attacked Sen. Bernie Sanders for tweeting that he would ban fracking nationwide if elected president. Epstein said: [84]

“…These freeloaders like Bernie Sanders… There’s a chance that this guy is only alive, or he is alive I should say, because of fracking. That’s the kind of thing that has extended a lot of people’s lives.”

April 6, 2018

Alex Epstein praised Scott Pruit on Twitter, voicing support during a time that the EPA Administrator was facing a range of criticism and controversies:

December 2017

“You shouldn’t be afraid of running out of oil. You should only be afraid of running out of freedom,” Epstein said at a 2017 Turning Point USA event[71]

November 30, 2017

The following are some notable quotes from Epstein’s presentation at the “At the Crossroads IV: Energy & Climate Policy Summit” co-hosted by The Heritage Foundation and Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF). [69]

The price of electricity on a grid always goes up when you add solar and wind. People have a bunch of ENRON-accounting-type devices to make it seem cheap, but that is actually I think fraud and should be prosecuted, but I’m not a lawyer.” [69]

The basic relationship that’s not understood is that nature doesn’t give us a clean environment. Nature doesn’t give us a clean environment that we make dirty. It gives us a dirty environment that we need to make clean. So actually, the energy we get from using a lot more fossil fuels helps us purify water, helps us move water, helps us in general clean our environment.” […] It’s actually industrial progress at its core improves the human environment. So, in the human centered view of the world, we can’t just leave nature alone. We’re actively improving it.” [69]

This idea of catastrophic pollution justifying a mass sacrifice of energy is invalid. So that should be dismissed.” [69]

If we liberate fossil fuel use instead of restricting it is compatible with a safe climate, a clean environment, and continuous progress.” [69]

My general view is that [..] the studies […] of these issues that are claiming millions of deaths due to coal plants, let alone gas, I don’t think those are valid.” [69]

“And not like the polar bears are disappearing, it’s not like the polar bears can’t survive if it’s two degrees warmer, whatever people are saying. So they have to move from one piece of ice to another or something. But you think about this priority, and the same thing with the caribou in Alaska.”[69]

October 2016

“[W]e have to reject the false alternative of ‘climate change believer’ or ‘climate change denier’ and become ‘climate thinkers’ — people who think carefully about the magnitude of man-made warming and compare it with the unique benefits of fossil fuels.

Candidates who are climate thinkers will conclude that man-made warming is mild and manageable, not runaway and catastrophic. And thus they will conclude that fossil fuels should be liberated, not restricted.” [55]

March 2016

Speaking with regards to climate change, in an interview on The Aaron Harbor, Epstein declared: [83]

“The burden of proof is on the catastrophists, and they have not met it, fortunately. They should be happy they have not, because their jobs depend on there being a catastrophe.” [3:59]

Talking about risks associated with pollution, and its effect on public health, Epstein said:

“Mercury levels are completely overblown, because natural mercury levels are so much higher than anything that can come from a coal plant. But, certainly theoretically, you could have amounts that were dangerous.” [12:10]


”[… ]Rockefeller and Standard Oil had profoundly changed the world for the better by providing something that enabled every other industry to excel like never before: cheap, plentiful illumination. And I realized that this kind of person and this kind of industry are so important to everything else in life—so important to every other productive endeavor—that they must be liberated from any ties that bind them.” [53]


This is not an institution that has supported capitalism. It’s wrong and misleading for people to say this pope has deviated from this pro-capitalism path. But this pope is probably the worse.” [35]

“[Pope Francis is] just looking at the negatives. The slant of his focus is not human well-being, it’s this idea of untouched nature.” [35]

“Everything that the pope is saying on the climate issue is very much lockstep with the establishment view that fossil fuel use has no unique positives and only catastrophic negatives. From that view if you had a climate catastrophe it would affect the poor,” he added.” [35]


“I am proud to work with the fossil fuel industry. I think it has historically done a horrible job of educating the public and I think my ideas will help it make a better case for freedom.” [30]

“[The Center for Industrial Progress’] model allows us to keep conflicts of interest to an absolute minimum as we do our research and writing. As for our relationship with the fossil fuel industry, it’s the same as everyone else–they pay for our ideas, we never accept money to voice theirs.” [30]


The story of oil at its core is one of human aspirations, human challenges, and human triumphs. It’s a story of the aspiration to produce the best energy in the world—particularly the best portable energy to power the mobile machines that allow us to grow enough food to feed seven billion people, to whisk us away on amazing vacations, to have cars that allow us to work and play where we choose. Not to mention, the energy that improves our environment: by things like building water purification systems, sewer systems, and climate resistant buildings. Your story is a story of the challenge of figuring out how to produce this caliber of energy, which nature doesn’t automatically give us.” [25]

The most important thing to having a healthy environment to live in is development. Which, ironically, is considered bad for the environment. This is exactly why undeveloped countries have the worst environments. It’s not some coincidence; it’s exactly because they are undeveloped. They breathe smoky air from wood fires because they lack centralized power plants—built by oil. They drink naturally contaminated water because they lack irrigation and water purification plants. They live with filth because they lack industrial scale sanitation. They are vulnerable to climate because they lack sturdy climate controlled homes. And they don’t get to enjoy nature very much for that matter, which is supposedly what you get when you take away industry because they lack modern transportation—no one’s going to the Grand Canyon with a five mile travel radius.” [25]


“The difference between a healthy environment and an unhealthy environment can be summed up in one word, and it’s not ‘CO2‘ or ‘climate’ or ‘temperature.’ It’s ‘development.’ […] Whether you’re drinking clean drinking water, listening to a thunderstorm with pleasure instead of fear, or going to the Grand Canyon, you should be thanking Big Coal, Big Oil, and Big Gas.” [8]

“One point I like to stress is that we should think of coal, oil, natural gas, and nuclear, as clean energy.” [9]

“The natural environment is not particularly hospitable to human life … the key to having a good environment is improving it through work… . Energy is fundamentally an environmental improver and if we classify it that way it makes sense out of a lot of these controversies… . It’s our obligation and our right to make [our environment] as good for human beings as possible. With that view, it’s very easy for people to understand precisely the reason it’s good to alter it — because it doesn’t naturally come the way we need it to be.” [10]


“…so much of what has gone right in American industrial history is that this country used to have a philosophy that embraced the transformation of nature through energy and industry—that is, embraced industrial progress. The more I read and talked to experts in the field, the more I saw an opportunity to use my knowledge of philosophy, and in particular Ayn Rand’s philosophy, to change the way people think about energy, industry, and environment.” [7]


“…Americans are not ‘addicted’ to oil. ‘Addiction’ implies an intense desire for something harmful. But we do not desire oil irrationally; we consume it because it is a wonderful, life-sustaining product.” [12]


“Our lives depend on recognizing that human cloning, like all forms of ‘playing God,’ is a moral, life-promoting endeavor.” [13]


“To attribute rights to animals is to ignore the purpose and justification of rights—to protect the interests of man.” [11]

Key Actions

August 29, 2021

Epstein was a panelist for an event at the Ayn Rand Institute’s Objectivist Conference (OCON) titled “Creating a New Generation of Energy Champions.” [109]

“The attack on energy is fundamentally philosophical in nature, rooted in an anti-human philosophy that regards human impact on nature—an essential of human flourishing—as immoral and inevitably self-destructive,” the event description read.

August 27, 2021

Epstein discussed “why Net Zero will be a disaster for humanity” in an interview with Spiked. Discussing the recent IPCC report, Epstein commented: [108]

“I have a very negative view of the IPCC and its reports. I have an even more negative view of how they are used for political purposes.

“The reports make a very basic error. They try to evaluate the world’s use of fossil fuels, but they focus only on the negative side effects.

“There’s almost no focus on any positive climate-related impacts. There are some very significant benefits of warming that are never discussed. Increased CO2 in the atmosphere is good for fertilisation, for instance.

We also know for a fact that the use of fossil fuels allows us to overcome all kinds of climate dangers, whether natural or man-made. I call this ‘climate mastery’.”

June 30, 2021

Epstein testified at a House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations hearing on the “Toxic Coal Ash: Adverse Health Effects from the Puerto Rico Plant and Options for Plant Closure.” [107]

The hearing was set to address the power plant in Guayama, Puerto Rico owned by the AES Corporation—which itself did not take part in the hearing. AES had been transporting coal ash to new sites in Georgia and Florida. In June 2021, a tanker carrying this ash capsized and spilled thousands of tons off the Jacksonville coast. [104], [105]

In his prepared testimony, Epstein suggested, “the one thing that will most help the people of Puerto Rico lift themselves out of crushing poverty is the thing many of you believe should be eliminated: low-cost, reliable, fossil fuel energy.” [106]

He went on to argue against renewable energy alternatives: [106]

“While we are told that solar and wind can provide low-cost, reliable energy, nothing could be further from the truth. Because solar and wind are unreliable, they don’t replace reliable power plants — they add to the cost of reliable power plants,” Epstein claimed. “The only way for Puerto Rico to get low-cost, reliable electricity anytime soon is using low-cost, reliable fossil fuel energy sources like natural gas and coal–along with some massive regulatory reforms I discuss in my written testimony, such as scrapping the Jones Act.”

On climate change, Epstein claimed, citing himself, “the benefits of fossil fuels far, far outweigh any negative impacts.” [106]

“CO2 emissions from fossil fuels do impact climate. Climate change is real. But “climate crisis” is
a fiction that comes from wildly exaggerating fossil fuels’ negative climate-related impacts and
ignoring fossil fuels’ massive positive climate-related impacts,” Epstein said in his written testimony.

He advocated for increasing fossil fuel use: [106]

“The fossil fuel industry makes the world a far better place to live—and is needed by billions
more. We don’t have a moral obligation to shrink this industry, we have an obligation to liberate
and expand it. And that includes liberating fossil fuels in Puerto Rico.”

Video of the full testimony below:

June 10, 2021

Epstein tweeted a thread criticising Environmental and Social Governance (ESG) divestment as “a short-range, financially ruinous, and deeply immoral movement that perpetuates poverty in the poorest places and threatens the security of the free world.” [103]

In the thread, Epstein asserted ESG constituted “an enormous threat to the free world […] depriving free countries and poor countries of low-cost, reliable energy” and claimed, “it furthers Communist China’s ambitions to become the world’s superpower using low-cost, reliable fossil fuels.”

Epstein also claimed:

  • ESG had become the: “cultishly-embraced top priority of financial regulators, markets, and institutions around the world.”
  • “Any serious concern about CO2 emissions means embracing the only proven, reliable, globally scalable source of non-carbon energy: nuclear. But most ESG does not embrace nuclear.”
  • “Fossil fuels are the only way to provide most of that energy for the foreseeable future.” He added: “Any problems associated with CO2 pale in comparison to problems of energy deprivation.
  • “Fossil fuels are indispensable. Only fossil fuels provide low-cost, reliable, versatile, global-scale energy.”
  • “CO2 emissions have contributed to the warming of the last 170 years, but that warming has been minor and masterable.”
  • “Fossil fuels have made the climate far safer by powering a highly resilient civilization.”
  • “The most egregious immorality of the ESG movement, led by Larry Fink’s Blackrock, is its effort to destroy vital fossil fuel projects in poor places that desperately need them. This effort is guaranteed to perpetuate poverty.”
  • “ESG defunding fossil fuel projects in the poorest parts of the world will mean: more babies die for lack of incubators and other medical equipment, more deaths from lack of water treatment plants and modern sanitation, more deaths from lack of heating and air-conditioning.”
  • “The ESG divestment movement should be publicly shamed as a virtue-signaling, financially idiotic, and most importantly immoral movement that perpetuates poverty and threatens freedom. All legal pressures to adopt it should be eliminated.”

April 1, 2021

NBC News reported that Epstein’s talking points surrounding power blackouts in Texas following February storms had been circulated and amplified by Texas officials. [100]

The talking points suggested events in Texas were evidence that wind and solar power are “often useless when you need them most.” [100]

As fact checkers have noted, the fact that Texas runs a stand-alone electricity grid was one of the key reasons millions were left without power. Gas wells and pipelines also do not go under the same winterization as some other more northern states, which contributed to them being offline during freezing weather. [101]

The Texas Tribune reported that ERCOT, who operates Texas’s grid, said that thermal sources, such as coal, gas and nuclear, lost nearly twice as much power due to the cold than renewable energy sources, which contributed to just 13% of the power outages. [102]

Dan Woodfin, a senior director at ERCOT, had given a statement during a call with reporters: [102]

“It appears that a lot of the generation that has gone offline today has been primarily due to issues on the natural gas system.”

According to emails obtained by the watchdog group Documented and provided to NBC News, Epstein’s talking points were sent to Luis Saenz, Gov. Greg Abbott chief of staff. [100]

“Here’s the bottom line: The root cause of the TX blackouts is a national and state policy that has prioritized the adoption of unreliable wind/solar energy over reliable energy,” Epstein wrote to Saenz.

Saenz’s emails also show he was invited to a Zoom briefing with Epstein, however he did not confirm if he attended the briefing or passed along Epstein’s notes. [100]

Epstein tweeted a number of his top talking points on the same day he sent them to Abbott’s office. Wayne Christian, a member of the Railroad Commission, retweeted Epstein’s post. Christian confirmed he was a member of Epstein’s “Energy Talking Points” service. [100]

March 31, 2021

Epstein had Marc Morano as a guest on an episode of Power Hour where he discussed the Green New Deal and tactics to “successfully opposing it.” [99]

Morano commented of Epstein:

“[W]hat is lacking [in the energy conversation] is more of Alex Epstein, Morano said. “We need to simplify all of this down to the level where the politician and the talk radio audience listener to the someone in the crowd can understand. And I don’t think anyone in America is doing it better than you are in terms of these energy talking points, because it is the most needed thing and they were simple […]. If people don’t understand something viscerally, they’re just not going to push it or fight against it. They’re going to feel intimidated. […] Unless the public can understand the concept simply, easily, and explain it in a sentence or two, you’ve lost the issue.

September 24, 2020

Appearing in Marc Morano’s 2020 film Climate Hustle 2: Rise of the Climate Monarchy, produced by the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT), Epstein was asked by Morano, “Is solar now bigger than oil and gas and coal?” to which he responded: [98]

I mean, solar I think is still below one percent, and it’s unreliable, and it’s very subsidized. When you see the subsidies disappear, even now with the alleged cheap prices, the solar panels disappear.”

October 21, 2019

Epstein debated Robert F. Kennedy Jr. on climate change and fossil fuels at an event sponsored by the Free to Be Coalition at the University of Colorado. [94]

Posters for the event included the question: “Should the world radically restrict fossil fuel use to prevent climate change?” [94]

Epstein advocated for the continued or even increased use of fossil fuels for global energy generation:

If we want more people in the world to have a long, healthy opportunity-filled lives,” Epstein said, “we need to continue our massive use of fossil fuels. And we actually need to expand as a world.” [94]

Addressing the question of restricting fossil fuel use, he said:

I think it’s just totally clear that the freedom to use fossil fuels is essential and that taking away that freedom is really, energy genocide.” [94]

Kennedy, for his part, argued free market capitalism, as opposed to “corporate crony capitalism,” was needed to facilitate the transition to cleaner energy sources. [94]

He cited the International Monetary Fund’s calculation that global fossil fuel subsidies amounted to over $5 trillion dollars, however noted this did not account for environmental remediation costs: [94]

If you want to bring a product to market, you pay all the costs of getting it there, including the costs of cleaning up your mess, which was a lesson we were all supposed to learn in kindergarten. […] You’re dumping your waste into the public commons, you ought to pay something for it. And something that will incentivize better behavior. That’s how a market works.” [94]

July 29, 2019

Epstein anchored a PragerU video titled “What’s the Deal with the Green New Deal,” in which he downplayed the future impacts of anthropogenic climate change and dismissed calls for government action. [87]

He also claimed that fossil fuels made the world a safer place:

Fossil fuel energy has not taken a naturally safe climate and made it unnaturally dangerous. It’s taken our naturally dangerous climate and made it unnaturally safe. Fossil fuels are not an existential threat, they are an existential resource, because they increase something much more important than the level of CO2 in the atmosphere: the level of human empowerment.” [87]

September 11, 2018

Writing at CIP, Epstein promotes a piece written by Tyler White, who as the President of the Kentucky Coal Association that criticized the tech industry, specifically Apple, for claiming to be powered by 100% renewables. [77]

“In praising this piece I must disclose, proudly, that the author is one of my clients. As is the allied website, ‘The Coal Truth,’ that has a more in-depth expose of “100% renewable,” Epstein wrote.

“The goal of my consulting work is to create principled, persuasive messaging for other organizations that support pro-freedom, pro-flourishing policies. I only help with projects that I believe are advancing human flourishing through human freedom.”

According to WHOIS records, was registered by Aaron Bond who appears to work for Alliance Coal, and the administrator is listed as Health Lovell.  Lovell is Vice President for Public Affairs at Alliance Coal, and also spoke at the Heartland Institute‘s America First Energy Conference in 2017. Lovell has praised the pro-coal stance of the Trump Administration. [78], [79], [80], [81]

August 19, 2018

Epstein spoke at TOS-Con 2018 in Richmond, VA on “The Human Flourishing Project.” According to description for Epstein’s talk, “The mission of Epstein’s new endeavor, The Human Flourishing Project, is to develop such a system and to work with experts to apply it in their respective spheres. In this talk, Epstein will unveil the essentials of the system. ‘If I am successful,’ he says, ‘you will leave with an immediately enhanced ability to acquire, organize, and apply the knowledge you need to flourish’.” [76]

View video below, via The Objective Standard on Facebook: [82]

August 7, 2018

Epstein spoke at the Heartland Institute‘s “America First Energy Conference” (AFEC 2018) in New Orleans, Louisiana. [73]

The purpose of this event is to promote and expand energy freedom in the United States, as outlined in President Donald Trump’s bold America First Energy Plan, a proposal first released during the 2016 presidential campaign. The president’s plan marks a decisive change in direction from the Obama administration’s ‘war on fossil fuels’ and focus on the theory of catastrophic man-caused climate change,” the conference description reads[74]

Epstein gave a keynote presentation on August 7. [75]

March 22, 2018

Epstein spoke on “The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels” at the Wagner Noel Performing Arts Center for a membership luncheon of the Permian Basin Petroleum Association, Midland Reporter-Telegram reported. [72]

“The industry has a bunch of different channels of communication to use. But they also need to tell their story so that both the positives and concerns are objectively addressed,” Epstein said at the event.

““It’s amazing how little the conversation (about fossil fuels) cares about those people,” Epstein stated. “How often has the New York Times covered energy poverty? [72]

Without addressing the impacts that a changing climate could have on the world’s poor, Epstein declared that reducing emissions would hit poor people the hardest: [72]

It’s amazing how little the conversation (about fossil fuels) cares about those people,” Epstein stated. “How often has the New York Times covered energy poverty?

Who cares about those 3 billion people? We just don’t want to raise the earth’s temperature one degree.”

According to Epstein, we need to “Get rid of unchanged nature as the standard.” According to Epstein, his goal is to reframe the conversation:  [72]

There’s nothing special about me but I’m very clear about the right standard and I’m very clear on how the debate impacts human flourishing. My goal is not just to reframe the conversation but to get converts enthusiastic.” [72]

December 2017

Epstein was a speaker at the Student Action Summit (SAS), hosted by Turning Point USA. In his speech, Epstein declares that “We’re not concerned about climate change, per se” and that “The question is not how much we are changing the climate, that’s not the fundamental question. That’s the ‘Earth framework’ that says thou shalt not change the Earth. I don’t believe that at all.” [71]

Event sponsors included:

*Sponsor listed as of November 2017, but removed as of January 2018. [70], [71]

**Sponsor added January 2018[71]

November 30, 2017

Epstein spoke at the “At the Crossroads IV: Energy & Climate Policy Summit” co-hosted by The Heritage Foundation and Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF). During his speech, Epstein focused on the “framework” of the debate, and consistently emphasized what he describes as “human flourishing.” [69]

He portrays environmentalists and those seeking to reduce CO2 emissions as anti-human:

“This kind of anti-human Earth-centered thinking, where bias and sloppiness are OK as long as you’re ‘for the Earth,’ this thinking is not relegated to some dumb people or even a few smart people. This thinking is universal in our culture. It is to the point it is the framework by which we think about energy issues. Is this Earth-centered, which really means anti-human perspective.” [69]

Epstein notes that “If we can get people to agree to the right framework, then and only then can they really process the facts well.” [69]

 “I’ve spent a lot of time working with individuals and companies, trying to teach them how to reframe discussions and trying to get this all to a science.”

As much as I love fossil fuels, and as much as I love freedom, the key ‘f’ word of today is framework,” he concluded.

According to Epstein, reducing fossil fuel use and replacing them with renewables is a “terrifying” prospect. He also offers some advice on terminology, suggesting “They shouldn’t be called renewables, in part because they exclude hydro, I think they should be called unreliables. So I would encourage the good people in this audience to start using that terminology.” [69]

Going further, he describes policies favoring solar and wind “a murderous policy if it’s taken seriously” and claims that “we are completely ignoring the unthinkable costs of these radical restrictions on fossil fuels.” [69]

“There’s no justification for ignoring the benefits, and the unique benefits of fossil fuels,” Epstein told the audience. [69]

He also said we will never run out out fossil fuels because “Human ingenuity has an unlimited potential capacity to create new energy resources. […] There is no shortage of potential oil and gas and what human ingenuity has proven is we can get that. But we also don’t have to worry long term because we’ll figure out more ingenious things.” [69]

On the climate issue, Epstein said it is our duty to change the environment: “Nature doesn’t give us a clean environment that we make dirty. It gives us a dirty environment that we need to make clean,” Epstein said. “Energy is the key to mastering climate, which is what we should be aspiring to do.” [69]

He goes on to repeat the often-used argument that there have been higher CO2 levels in the past, even though he admits that “this doesn’t prove anything per se”: [69]

“You know, in the history of the planet there’s been way more CO2 and way higher temperatures. That’s just another indicator that doesn’t seem like catastrophe is looming,” Epstein said, later adding that “The idea that it’s becoming unbearably hot is not empirically true.” — See SkepticalScience Myths #1.  [69]

According to Epstein, “the dominant models that are cited significantly overpredict the warming.” — See SkepticalScience Myth #6. [69]


Alex Epstein was hosted by Americans for Prosperity on a speaking tour at a number of AfP chapters across America on the “Moral Case for Fossil Fuels – Insight to Action.” According to the event descriptions, the presentations were developed by AfP’s Grassroots Leadership Academy. Venues and listed dates include the following:

The Alaska event description reads: [66]

“In this presentation, we consider the reasons for the left’s alarmist statements on energy production, and we examine Epstein’s key arguments and explain how a turn away from fossil fuel use would ultimately be disastrous to humanity — especially the poorest of the poor.”

April 23, 2017

Alex Epstein attempted to debunk the 97% consensus of climate scientists that climate change is real and man-made, comparing those who believe in the consensus to anti-vaccine activists. View his PragerU video below, reposted at Capitalism Magazine in April 2017. Epstein argues that the benefits of fossil fuels outweigh any risks to climate change. [64]

“Fossil fuel opponents don’t want you to know the precise magnitude of climate change,” Epstein claims. “Because if you did, you wouldn’t be scared of climate change, you would be scared of losing the benefits of fossil fuels.”

February, 2017

Epstein began advertising a new workshop titled “Energy Messaging 2017, Challenges and Opportunities” catering to the oil and gas industry. The description provided via an email to his message list notes that “In recent years the oil and gas industry has learned the hard way that effective messaging is not a luxury—it is a necessity, whether to maximize the chances of project approval or maximize the motivation of employees.”  [56]

The workshop offers “the lessons of opposition successes,” outlining such opposition as “DAPL and Keep it in the Ground” which “have been far more effective than industry expected.”  [56]

“We can anticipate many of the threats they will pose going forward—and be prepared to meet them with the most effective messaging,” the description notes.  [56]

The four-hour workshop offers to give participants “ample time to ask questions about their specific situations. Additionally, participants will be given Epstein’s Stakeholder Strategy System tools to draft custom strategies for their own companies.” [56]

Epstein also posted on Facebook that his workshop would help with project approval: [57]

October 19, 2016

Alex Epstein posted an “Opposing View” article in USA Today titled “Warming is mild and manageable” where he says that “’Climate change’ — more precisely, man-made warming — is a side effect of using fossil fuels for cheap, plentiful, reliable energy.” [55]

According to Epstein “To ask candidates to address climate change without addressing the unique benefits of fossil fuels is like asking the candidates to address vaccine side effects without addressing the unique benefits of vaccines.”

“[W]e have to reject the false alternative of ‘climate change believer’ or ‘climate change denier’ and become ‘climate thinkers’ — people who think carefully about the magnitude of man-made warming and compare it with the unique benefits of fossil fuels,” Epstein adds. “Candidates who are climate thinkers will conclude that man-made warming is mild and manageable, not runaway and catastrophic. And thus they will conclude that fossil fuels should be liberated, not restricted.” [55]

July 2016

Alex Epstein criticized a letter to Congress from 31 science associations advocating policies to combat climate change, reports The Washington Times[45]

On June 28, 2016, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) issued the letter and a press release introducing the letter, describing it as a  partnership of 31 leading nonpartisan scientific societies “reaffirming the reality of human-caused climate change, noting that greenhouse gas emissions ‘must be substantially reduced’ to minimize negative impacts on the global economy, natural resources, and human health.” [46]

The letter (PDF) addresses Members of Congress, writing to remind “of the consensus scientific view of climate change.” [47]

This letter is not balanced, saying absolutely nothing about the unique ability of fossil fuels to provide affordable, reliable energy on a scale of billions,” said Epstein. “And it is not careful, failing to distinguish between the trivial fact that CO2 causes some warming with the unfounded speculation that CO2 causes catastrophic warming.” [45]

June 29, 2016

Following his naming in a subpoena for communications with ExxonMobil, Epstein made a “plea for help defending freedom of speech against climate fascists” claiming he was “being targeted by the government for my Moral Case for Fossil Fuels.” His speech was recorded at a “Genius Network” event hosted by Joe Polish and published on Facebook: [93]

“Now, I don’t have much relationship with people at ExxonMobil. It’s not like there’s something that would come out…there’s nothing that would come out that would embarrass me. But this is my information, right? I mean, this is my information. This is my ideas, and I have any damn right I wanted to tell anyone at ExxonMobil whatever I think, and we should have whatever privacy we have. And so I, I feel when I see something that I treat it like this attorney general, along with Al Gore, who’s the leader of this, it’s like they came into my house and held a gun to my head and said give me your information,” Epstein said.

“… So I wrote her [the attorney general’s] office and I just had a three word message: It was regarding, you know, your, your demand to seize my emails. I just wrote ‘fuck off fascist’ and I posted it on the internet. It was the most popular thing I ever posted.”

June 2016

Alex Epstein’s Center for Industrial Progress was listed among organizations named in a Massachusetts subpoena looking for communications between ExxonMobil and organizations denying climate change, reports The Washington Times. [43]

Epstein’s response, writes The Washington Times, was “Buzz off, fascist. […] Only he didn’t say ‘buzz.’” Epstein posted his response on Twitter (see screenshot below):

Organizations named in the Massachusetts subpoena included the following: [43]

This latest inquiry by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey is one in a series of investigations into what ExxonMobil knew about climate change and when, started by a coalition of attorneys general in the US. [44] 

June 2016

Epstein was featured on the Aaron Harber show for a multi-part debate entitled “The Moral Cases For and Against Fossil Fuels.” [92]

Appearing on the program were Chris Wright from Liberty Oilfield Services, Micah Walker Parkin of 350 Colorado, and professor of atmospheric science Scott Denning from Colorado State University.

On global warming, Epstein repeatedly questioned its extend and severity:

Alex Epstein: “Now on the negative side, if we talk about the climate issue, I want to point out how imprecise and unspecific the claims are about the magnitude. So it’s very important if you’re talking about let’s say, a temperature increase, is this a linear temperature increase?  Is it steady that way? Is it a logarithmic one, which means one that’s decelerating? Is it one that’s accelerating? Because that’s what we’d be really worried about. And then if somebody says that it’s accelerating, it says any of these things, what is their evidence, what actually demonstrated, and what is speculated?

“And what was interesting in the claims that Micah brought up, every single one of them, I document in the first chapter of the book, The Secret History of Fossil Fuels, every single one of those has been made by many of the same thinkers for 35 years, and has been completely the reverse of the truth.”

“So the claim is just there’s this dramatic warming, and you hear these predictions and oh, if we use this much coal. But the question is, what’s the track record of that claim and is it speculated or is it demonstrated? I’d say, it’s very much speculated. And the models that are used to make that claim are have been invalidated. They’ve been false over and over. So I don’t think it’s honest. And I don’t think it’s careful to act as if climate prediction models that can’t predict climate or making accurate predictions, so the responsibility to experts to acknowledge that.”

Aaron Harber: “Okay, so. And my role is, I’m the viewer. I’m someone who’s not as well informed as you four so I have lots of questions. And I’m trying to figure this out, like, what what’s really going on what’s happening? So one of your points, as I understand it, is, as the the parts per million of carbon in the atmosphere of carbon dioxide, for example, goes up. And we’re, at what, right now for four hours per million right now. So one of your arguments is, is it goes to five or six, it’s not necessarily having a 25%, or a 50% increase, you’re saying it’s kind of plateauing?”

Epstein: “I’m saying you have to look carefully at what the evidence is. Because there’s a question of what you can demonstrate in isolation, where, you know, if you shine light in a box like what can you figure out about the nature of this effect, and the point I’m making there is in isolation is a logarithmic decelerating effect. And this is something in any debate in any discussion I’ve had on this issue. The opponents of fossil fuels have never led with this point, or even mentioned it, I always have to bring it up. The implication that you get is Oh, it’s exponential, it’s accelerating. And that would be genuinely scary.”

Harber:  “Would it be scary even if it were linear?”

Epstein: “That’s arguable.”

Harber” You’re saying it’s not linear.”

Epstein: “That’s true. But…”

Scott Denning: “To be fair, that’s what we say too. I mean, we know this. We’ve known this for 120 years. Climate science has always known that this is a logarithmic effect and …”

Harber: “A decelerating logarithmic effect.”

Denning: “Yea, meaning that that every doubling of CO2 provides a linear increase in the amount of heat.”

Harber: “Okay. All right. So given that as a lay person, should I be less concerned then about the increase in cO2?”

Denning:  “No.”

Harber: “Why not?”

Denning: “Because the doubling of CO2 is easily in our reach by burning lots of carbon. As you add CO2 to the atmosphere, it absorbs more heat, we expect that to warm up the climate for exactly the same reason, we expect day to be warmer than night, for exactly the same reason we expect summer to be warmer than winter, for exactly the same reason we expect Fargo to be warmer than Phoenix. It’s not rocket science here. If you add heat to things, they change their temperatures.”


“The trouble with I think with Alex’s argument is that he would like to raise the standard of living for the entire planet seven and a half billion of us to a sort of American standard of living by burning carbon. And if we did that, we wouldn’t just double the co2 once, we would easily double the CO2 twice.”


“This is not a difficult thing to understand. It doesn’t depend on models. It’s not something that we’ve only discovered in the last 20 years, we’ve known this for 120 years. The rule of thumb, that each doubling adds a linear amount of warming has been known since 1896.

“So it’s not something that we discovered with computer models, this is something that you can measure in a laboratory.

“In his book, Alex doesn’t even dispute the idea that co2 absorbs heat and that it’s in fact measurable in the laboratory. So I think it’s not a surprise to climate scientists that there’s this. Every doubling produces a linear amount of heat. that’s a that’s a very well understood thing. It goes right into all of our predictions.”

Epstein later reiterates his claim that there is no evidnece of dramatic global warming, and Scott Denning responds:

Epstein: “So I mentioned with these dramatic claims of global warming, not any global warming, but disastrous, runaway global warming, we have a track record of failed claims of that. And that’s relevant to assessing the theory. And anyone claiming that theory today has to acknowledge the failed track record, be honest about it, and then explain why they still believe it.”

Harber: “Is that a fair statement Scott?”

Denning: (Emphasis added). “No. It’s just not a fair statement. I mean, well, so first of all, let’s look at the amount of CO2 increase that we’ve had, since the industrial revolution, about 40% more CO2 in the atmosphere. So there hasn’t been very much CO2 out of the atmosphere. And there hasn’t been much cold warning about one degree Celsius, as, as was mentioned here.

“Since 1896, when when people first figured out this whole logarithmic you know, four watts per square meter per doubling of CO2, we have estimated that it’s about three degrees of global warming for every doubling, but we’re no where near a doubling of CO2.

“The amount of warming that we’ve had, is quite consistent with the amount of CO2, but it’s not just CO2. What what I was trying to make the case for before is that when you add heat to things they warm up. So we’ve had lots of experience with heat being added, you know, for example, when volcanoes go off and it shapes the earth little bit, it cools off a little bit, and the amount that it cools off matches exactly what we expect, in terms of amount of heat and amount of cooling.

“If you look back much farther, there were ice ages, you know, long ago, since the last ice age, not not four watts, but about six and a half watts of extra heat. And it’s warmed up about five degrees Celsius.

“So, you know, Alex proposes not to, we had a 40% increase, he would like to see several hundred percent increase in the CO2 by providing fossil fuels to the whole seven and a half billion of us.

And that would add more heat in in the next hundred years, then all the heat that warmed us about in the last ice age six and a half watts to come out of the Ice Age, say, eight watts to achieve Alex’s vision. So we’re not talking about a small amount of heat, we’re talking about a huge amount of heat being added to the planet. This is not a matter of climate models. This is a matter of common sense when you add heat to things they warm up.”

Epstein later notes that the real worry is not running out of fossil fuels, but “running out of freedom”:

“Maybe we should question the premise behind that, that we’re really resource parasites, because in fact, what we are is we’re resource producers. Nature gives us very few usable resources. Like aluminum wasn’t a resource until we made it a resource. Oil wasn’t a resource. So we made a resource. Uranium wasn’t a resource so we made it a resource. So we’re resource creators, so we don’t have to worry about running out of any particular material and this goes to my own view, which is not ‘use fossil fuels, ‘it’s ‘be free to use fossil fuels,’ and everything else. But we do have to worry about running out of freedom, which is what the opponents of fossil fuel specify.”

He also repeats, vaguely, what appears to be a common myths about climate change not being an issue because it’s been warmer in the past, or CO2 levels were higher:

“I don’t care about CO2. Historically, you’ve had CO2 about twenty times what it is now. We’re at a fairly low point in history the Earth temperature wise.

“What I care about is how does this impact human beings? And one as we can look at the trend of what’s called climate related deaths, as these doomsday predictions that are now being repeated, have been made, what has happened to our safety from climate? And what you find is there’s been a dramatic increase in our safety from climate, the exact opposite of what was expected.”

Denning responded:

“Well, that’s what you get when you ask a philosopher to talk about technology and science. I mean, it’s interesting that Alex lumps a whole bunch of stuff that he doesn’t agree with, and then claims that that has something to do with climate science.

“I agree with Alex that technology and energy are wonderful things. I’m not against people. I’m a person. My kids are people. I like people. I think Alex has an interesting idea that we can sort of hermetically sealed ourselves off from, from climate from the world by using a lot of energy. I mean, sure, we could live on Mars, I suppose. But many of us would rather live here.”

April 21, 2016

Alex Epstein was featured on a PragerU video titled “Fossil Fuels: The Greenest Energy.” According to Epstein, “fossil fuels don’t take a naturally safe environment and make it dangerous; they empower us to take a naturally dangerous environment and make it cleaner and safer.” [40]

Video below:


What if I told you that someone had developed an energy source that could help us solve our biggest environmental challenges, purify our water and air, make our cities and homes more sanitary, and keep us safe from potential catastrophic climate change? What if I also told you that this energy source was cheap, plentiful, and reliable?

Well, there is such a source. You probably know it as fossil fuel. Oil. Natural gas. Coal.

But wait? Don’t fossil fuels pollute our environment and make our climate unlivable? That, of course, is what we’re told…and what our children are taught. But let’s look at the data. Here’s a graph you’ve probably never seen: the correlation between use of fossil fuels and access to clean water. More fossil fuel. More clean water. Am I saying the more we that we have used fossil fuel, the cleaner our water has become? Yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying.

In the developed world, we take clean water for granted. We turn on a tap and it’s there. But getting it there takes a massive amount of energy. Think of the man-made reservoirs, the purification plants, the network of pipes. In the undeveloped world, it’s a much different story. They lack the energy, so they lack clean water. More fossil fuel. More clean water.

The same is true of sanitation. By the use of cheap, plentiful, and reliable energy from fossil fuels, we have made our environment cleaner. Take a look at this graph. More fossil fuel. Better sanitation.

Okay, what about air quality? Here’s a graph of the air pollution trends in the United States over the last half century based on data from the Environmental Protection Agency. Note the dramatic downward trend in emissions, even though we use more fossil fuel than ever. How was this achieved? Above all, by using anti-pollution technology powered by…fossil fuel: oil, natural gas and coal.

But even without modern pollution control technology, fossil fuel makes our air cleaner. Indoor pollution—caused by burning a fire inside your house, cabin, hut or tent to cook and keep warm—was a deadly global problem until the late 19th century when cheap kerosene, a fossil fuel byproduct, became available in America and Europe. Indoor pollution is still a major issue in the developing world today. The best solution? Fossil fuel.

And now we come to the biggest fossil fuel concern of all—global warming. On this very sensitive topic we need to get our terms straight: There is a big difference between mild global warming and catastrophic global warming. We can all agree on that, right?  The issue isn’t: does burning fossil fuel have some warming impact? It does. The issue is: is the climate warming dangerously fast?

In 1986 NASA climate scientist James Hansen—one of the world’s most prominent critics of the use of fossil fuels—predicted that “if current trends are unchanged,” temperatures would rise 2 to 4 degrees in the first decade of the 2000s. But as you can see from this graph, since 2000 the trend line is essentially flat—little or no warming in the last 15 years. That’s probably why we hear much less talk about “global warming” and much more talk about “climate change.”

Has this “climate change” made our world more dangerous? The key statistic here, one that is, unfortunately, almost never mentioned, is “climate-related deaths,” that is, how many people die each year from a climate-related cause, including droughts, floods, storms, and extreme temperatures. In the last eighty years, as CO2 emissions have rapidly escalated, the annual rate of climate-related deaths worldwide has rapidly declined – by 98%.

The reason is that the energy from fossil fuel has allowed the developed world to build a durable civilization, one highly resilient to extreme heat, extreme cold, floods, storms, and so on. The developing world—where natural disasters can still wreak terrible havoc—would like the chance to do the same. But to do that they will need a lot more energy. The cheapest, fastest and easiest way to get that energy is from fossil fuels.

In sum, fossil fuels don’t take a naturally safe environment and make it dangerous; they empower us to take a naturally dangerous environment and make it cleaner and safer.

I’m Alex Epstein of the Center for Industrial Progress for Prager University.

According to their website, PragerU’s mission is to “spread what we call ‘Americanism’ through the power of the Internet. Our five-minute videos are conservative sound bites that clarify profoundly significant and uniquely American concepts for more than 100 million people each year.” They focus on “Judeo-Christian” values including “freedom of speech, a free press, free markets and a strong military to protect and project those values.” [41]

According to Conservative Transparency, PragerU has received $215,000 from the conservative Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation[42]

Alex Epstein’s other PragerU videos include:

April 13, 2016

Alex Epstein spoke at a legislative hearing held by the The Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee in Washington convened by James Inhofe (R-Okla.) E&E Reporter/Greenwire describes how Epstein testified that raising carbon dioxide levels would be beneficial to plants and America and defended fossil fuel use (video below). [36]

“The president’s anti-fossil-fuel policies would ruin billions of lives economically and environmentally,” Epstein said, “depriving people of energy and therefore making them more vulnerable to nature’s ever-present climate danger.” [36]

In Epstein’s full testimony (PDF), he contends that fossil fuels keep us “safe” from nature’s “dangerous climate”:

“Because while fossil fuel use has only a mild warming impact it has an enormous protecting impact. Nature doesn’t give us a stable, safe climate that we make dangerous. It gives us an ever-changing, dangerous climate that we need to make safe. And the driver behind sturdy buildings, affordable heating and air-conditioning, drought relief, and everything else that keeps us safe from climate is cheap, plentiful, reliable energy, overwhelmingly from fossil fuels.” [37]

Committee ranking member Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) said that Epstein was not a scientist: “You’re a philosopher and not a scientist,” Boxer said, “and I don’t appreciate being lectured by a philosopher and not a scientist.”[36]

Robert A. Sirico, President and founder of the Acton Institute, was a majority witness on the panel. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) pointed out the Acton Institute’s past of fighting federal health regulations while receiving funding from the tobacco industry:  “When you’re taking industry money and doing what industry tells you,” Whitehouse said, “I have an issue with that.” Sirico confirmed that about 5% of the Acton Instute’s funding came from industry sources such as Exxon Mobil Corp. and organizations affiliated with the Koch brothers.  [36]

After Whitehouse had left the room, Epstein called on the senator to resign:

“As long as your life is being made possible by the people of the fossil fuels industry, I think you should be grateful,” Epstein said, “and I think it is a crime, a moral crime, that you are damning anyone by association.”

“And I wish Senator Whitehouse were here,” Epstein added, “because what he is doing to the free speech of those companies and anyone associated with them is unconstitutional, and I think he should apologize and resign.” [36]

When asked for comment on the remarks after the hearing, Whitehouse’s office told Greenwire that “Mr. Epstein’s comments don’t merit a response.”[36]

At the end of the hearing, Boxer commented: “I’ll never forget this hearing. We have a philosopher who wants Senator Whitehouse to resign. Senator Whitehouse, who is working every day to stop carbon pollution and save lives.” [36]

April 6, 2016

Alex Epstein writes in Forbes magazine “How Republicans Can Make Energy A Winning Issue In 2016.” His goal is to overcome Democrats’ “anti-development, anti-freedom initiatives”—things like the Clean Power Plan, renewable fuel standards, green jobs, green building standards, solar subsidies, and energy efficiency mandates—by “changing tens of thousands of minds on energy issues, particularly on the morality of fossil fuels.” [38]

Epstein’s primary tactic is to reframe the issue, suggesting that it is “moral” to use fossil fuels because he contends “the risks and side-effects of fossil fuel use […] are incomparably smaller than the benefits.” According to Epstein,  “short-term and long-term, the energy policy ideal is energy liberation.” [38]

“If we reframe the debate, making our ideals explicit, we can both win supporters and champions of the right policies, and expose the evil and anti-humanism of the wrong policies,” Epstein writes. [38]

He suggests that politicians should follow the Center for Industrial Progress’s “America’s Energy Opportunity platform” which suggests America can become “the world’s energy superpower, overtaking Russia and the Middle East” by doing the following: [39]

  • “Free consumers and communities to choose the most affordable reliable energy sources—no subsidies or mandates for anyone.
  • Free energy companies to develop all forms of energy, including coal, oil, gas, nuclear, and hydro, not just politically-correct sources.
  • Free energy transporters to build the ports, pipelines, tracks, and roads they need to move energy around the globe.
  • Free energy innovators to pursue demonized-but-safe technologies such as nuclear power and fracking.” [39]

March 22, 2016

Writing at Forbes, Epstein claimed that humans have little effect on sea level rise. [58]

“The impact on sea levels of human-influenced global warming pales in comparison to local factors and to the massive natural sea level rises of the past,” he wrote. “Global average trends can be alarming, however–not because of human beings but because of nature.”

According to Epstein, we should prepare for sea level rise by “ building the infrastructure necessary to cope with whatever sea level changes occur” because “we can never be sure what nature will throw at us.”

He concludes that, to adapt to sea level rise, we actually ned more fossil fuel use: [58]

“Thus, if the world wants to be safe from the sea, it needs more fossil fuels, more development, and more freedom.”

March, 2016

Epstein challenged Bill Nye to a debate on cliamte change, writing in an email that “ I believe I could do a lot of good by making an example out of him.” [65]

“If Nye’s followers and their networks are made aware of a live event or recording in which Nye’s position is shown to be unscientific (and immoral) and are exposed to a pro-human, big picture way of thinking about fossil fuels, it could create a measurable shift in how the youth view fossil fuels,” Epstein wrote in the email, shared by Robert Bradley Jr. at MasterResource[65]

November 24, 2015

Alex Epstein claimed, in a Forbes article, that health risks related to the release of mercury by coal fired power plants were a “myth” while the “truth” is that “Shutting down coal power will make electricity more expensive and threaten human health, while the impact on mercury exposure would be so small that it will have no observable effect.” [59]

October 5, 2015

Alexander Epstein planned to release his “Energy Liberation Plan” for consideration by 2016 political candidates. While he initially planned to release the plan in October, as of April 2017 it still does not appear publicly available on the CIP website. [51]

According to an article by Epstein in Forbes, the Energy Liberation Plan seeks to combat “backwards energy and environmental policies that are anti-development, not anti-pollution.” He contends that we are “squandering the opportunity of a generation, through blind opposition to our three most potent sources of power: hydrocarbon energy (coal, oil, and gas), nuclear energy, and hydroelectric energy.” [34]

Epstein concludes that “The Energy Liberation Plan is based on the timeless wisdom of our Founding Fathers, who believed that everyone has the right to produce and consume as they judge best so long as they do not violate the rights of others” (emphasis added).

September 17, 2015

Alex Epstein wrote an article in Forbes titled “Jerry Brownout,” where he criticizes California governor Jerry Brown for his opposition of fossil fuel use. According to Epstein, “it’s crucial to understand just how destructive his anti-oil agenda is.”

“Energy abundance is essential to climate livability—since the natural climate is inherently variable, volatile, and vicious. And oil and other fossil fuels do infinitely more to make it safer than make it more dangerous. This has been proven and documented—there has been a 98% decline in the rate of climate-related deaths since significant global CO2 emissions began. For 40 years doomsayers have hidden our ever-safer climate by conflating mild, manageable global warming, which is real, with catastrophic global warming, which is not,” Epstein writes. [33]

June 4, 2015

Alex Epstein appeared at an event hosted by the Americans for Prosperity Foundation’s Grassroots Leadership Academy to discuss “The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels.” Video below via Internet Archive: [67], [68]

“There’s actually no such thing, on a large scale, as solar power and wind power. There’s just solar-coal, solar-gas, and solar-oil because they are dependent sources of energy,” Epstein said.

February 25, 2015

Epstein offered a solution on “How to solve the water crisis.” Writing at Forbes, he suggested that using more fossil fuels will be the best way to combat drought: [60]

“[T]hanks in part to increasing fossil fuel use, we are bringing about a world where our bodies and our crops have more of the water they need, not less,” Epstein writes. “Clearly, CO2 emissions have not had a significant effect on droughts, but expanded human ability to fight drought, powered by fossil fuels, has […]”

January 6, 2015

Alex Epstein claimed that the 97% consensus among climate scientists on man-made climate change “is 100% wrong.” [61]

“Bottom line: What the 97% of climate scientists allegedly agree on is very mild and in no way justifies restricting the energy that billions need,” Epstein wrote in an article at Forbes.

About a year before, Epstein had also written in Forbes claiming that there was a consensus “that in the last 15+ years there has been no significant global warming, despite record, accelerating CO2 emissions, and the climate models based on high sensitivity failed to predict this.” [62]

November 28, 2014

Alex Epstein offered followers of his Facebook page, “I Love Fossil Fuels,” the opportunity to receive a “Book-Coal Bundle” if they purchased his book The Moral Case For Fossil Fuels on Black Friday. [31] The social media post reads:

“Wondering what to give that downcast friend or colleague for the holidays, or that curmudgeon in your family for Christmas? How about something to brighten his day! With every copy of The Moral Case For Fossil Fuels you purchase on Black Friday, you will receive a free piece of coal. A perfect combo, The Moral Case offers an uplifting view of man’s potential while coal serves as a reminder that even from the blackest of black can come light. There’s tremendous untapped energy inside of each of us–even within your gloomy environmentalist neighbor–so let’s fire it up this Black Friday! Happy shopping, Alex”

November 13, 2014

Alex Epstein hosts a Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA) Session titled, “I am Alex Epstein and I just wrote a book called The Moral Case FOR Fossil Fuels (published by Penguin). AMA!” In response to a Reddit user’s question regarding Epstein’s sources of funding, Epstein wrote he was “proud to work with the fossil fuel industry,” which he believes has “historically done a horrible job of educating the public,” and thinks his ideas “will help [the fossil fuel industry] make a better case for freedom.” [30] Epstein states his main sources of revenue vary “depending on what [he’s] working on,” but in the “last year it’s been a combination of public-facing (e.g., getting paid to write the book [The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels]) and giving speeches, a lot of which are to industry groups,” noting that he’d be willing to “work with anyone fighting for freedom–but not for subsidies.” [30] Epstein continues by writing the Center for Industrial Progress (CIP), his for-profit think tank, “has no funders,” and that the business “model allows [CIP] to keep conflicts of interest to an absolute minimum,” because CIP conducts its own research and writing. [30] As for Epstein’s relationship with the fossil fuel industry, he writes “it’s the same as everyone else–they pay for our ideas, we never accept money to voice theirs.” [30]

November 13, 2014

Alex Epstein releases The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels, published by Penguin Random House. Epstein asks if everything we know about fossil fuels could be wrong, and suggests readers should “look at the big picture of fossil fuels”:

“Compared with the alternatives, the overall impact of using fossil fuels is to make the world a far better place. We are morally obligated to use more fossil fuels for the sake of our economy and our environment.” [28]

Epstein’s writing received praise from Patrick Michaels and Matt Ridley on the book’s publisher’s page, which describes The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels as “the best popular-market book about climate, environmental policy, and energy,” as well as an “eloquent and powerful argument for using fossil fuels on moral grounds.” [28]

September 21, 2014

Alex Epstein attends the People’s Climate March in New York, New York to “explain to protesters why they should stop marching against the lifeblood of civilization.” [26]

Epstein, at 3:50, states:

“You know, Mother Earth wasn’t a very good mother for 99.9% of history. It was only a good mother once man industrialized it. So, I think we should thank ‘Father Watt’ for his achievement, for giving birth to the coal-fired steam engine.” [26]

June 5, 2013

Alex Epstein writes a letter published on the Center for Industrial Progress‘ website titled, “Don’t Divest, Educate—An Open Letter to American Universities,” in which he and several other notable climate change deniers, including Peter Ferrara, J. Scott Armstrong, Steve Goreham, S. Fred Singer, David Schnare, Richard Lindzen, and Matt Ridley, proclaim that they are “proud to stand in favor of fossil fuels.” [32] The “undersigned scientists, philosophers, energy experts, and economists” of the letter ask for a “more rigorous education on energy and environmental issues,” and “are willing to debate anytime, anywhere to defend what [they] believe is right.” [32]

April 12, 2013

Alex Epstein speaks to the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) in an effort to help Canadian fossil fuel companies reframe climate-related communications tactics to the public. [25] Epstein, in his talk, repeats his stance that “fossil fuels improve the planet” and protect society at large from the climate. [8] [25]

Epstein encourages fossil fuel companies to switch the conversation (from the “environmentalists’ argument”)–and embrace their product as a communications tactic–as highlighted by the creation of his Facebook page entitled “I love Fossil Fuels.” [25] Noticeably and intentionally throughout his discussion, Epstein speaks to the incredible environment we live in, which he believes is possible only because of fossil fuels. He then motivates CAPP communications audience members to spread this type of dialog throughout the public sphere. [25]

February 19, 2013

Alex Epstein’s website featured a testimonial from former Shell Oil Company CFO, Jeri Eagan.

While no longer exists, the full testimonial is posted on Epstein’s “Energy Ethics 101” at the Center for Industrial Progress. [89]

Epstein Jeri Eagan Testimonial

November 5, 2012

Alex Epstein debated leading environmentalist Bill McKibben on the issue of global warming. Epstein argued that “fossil fuels improve the planet” while McKibben presented the majority scientific view that the continued burning of fossil fuels will have a strongly negative impact on the environment. [8]

The debate was urged on by MasterResource‘s Robert Bradley who showed Epstein an article published by McKibben titled “Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math” which Epstein now claims received “not nearly enough criticism.”

Epstein launched a website, where he presents his case on the issue — that “McKibben is dead wrong about fossil fuels and our environment.” Epstein purports to take an “objective, scientific look” at why he believes fossil fuels have given us “the greatest environment in human history.” [14]

“Solar and wind have never replaced one fossil fuel plant in all of subsidized solar and winds history,” Epstein said during the debate. Epstein also cited climate change denier Richard Lindzen while claiming McKibben (who had repeatedly referred to recent studies) was “giving no specific evidence.”

McKibben responded later in the debate:

“Alex finally cited an actual scientist, albeit in passing without any real reference. He called on Richard Lindzen, who’s always been the one scientist that, uh, climate deniers and skeptics have talked about. It’s worth knowing that though he did good work a long time ago, a long time ago, was a long time ago. The New York Times recently talked about the fact that his theories about clouds and the equator that Alex cited have been widely discredited.

Today, most mainstream researchers consider Dr. Lindzen’s theory discredited. He published a paper in 2009 offering more support for his case, but once again, scientists identified errors, including a failure to account for known inaccuracies in satellite measurements. Dr Lindzen acknowledged that the 2009 paper contained some ‘stupid mistakes.’ ‘It was just embarrassing,’ he said in an interview.”

November 2012

Epstein debated Dino Ress, an Assistant Professor, University of Wisconsin, on whether oil is a “Dangerous Addiction or Healthy Choice.” [90]

“I just want to say, I proudly have absolutely no vision for the future of energy. Because how would I know what the best people can come up with and how would I know what you guys can want?” Epstein declared. [23:39]

“Agriculture alone, is the reason why you always want the freedom to use the best fuel and the best material because if we do not, people will die, they will die, they will be malnourished,” he argued [25:40]

Ress responded:

“You have no vision for energy future. That’s, I think, rather unfortunate, because without vision, there’s no planning, there’s no directive.” [26:12]

“There’s no ability for people to have confidence, because confidence typically is derived from direction and planning, these are all business principles that we depend on. […]  But it’s not my vision, okay. This is the vision for which a combination of forces, market driven forces, in combination with government, consumers, business, industry, so on and so forth, have decided the way that we should go.”

Later on, on the subject of subsidies, Epstein claims, without providing a specific source for his information, that “solar and wind get dozens and dozens of times the subsidies as oil and natural gas.”

“It’s a controversial issue. And if Dino wants to raise some specific aspect, I’m happy to deal with it. But I can, my general impression is that ost of the claims that oil is subsidized, are hollow,” Epstein claimed. [31:52]

Note that, as of 2015, DeSmog reported that the fossil fuel industry was benefitting from $20 billion in subsidies in the U.S. [91]

During the debate, Ress brought up a specific quote from Epstein’s prior debate with Bill McKibben.

Ress: “During a previous debate you had with Bill McKibben, regarding ethics of fossil fuel use, you stated, and I’m paraphrasing here, but that no platform for renewable energy has ever displaced a single facility using fossil fuels. Do you still do remember that quote, reference?”[40:20]

Epstein: “That’s a miss-quote, if you can frame the question, I think it’d be helpful to frame the question, I assume you guys all haven’t seen that debate or committed it to memory. So just if you can frame the question in a way that so […]

Ress didn’t get a chance to respond before closing statements, however Epstein brought it up later:[45:50]

Epstein: “To get to what Dino was mentioning, in that debate, I stated the fact that, for example, in Germany, which is the world leader in solar, arguably, Germany has replaced zero coal plants with solar despite hundreds of billions of dollars in, ‘investment.’”

“And the reason that it hasn’t, it’s not only not replaced it, it has over a dozen new coal plants under construction.”

“And the reason is, is because that technology is simply not at a level. And I also argued in that debate, that the people who are who are saying we shouldn’t use fossil fuels, are also saying in general, that we shouldn’t use nuclear energy and hydro electric energy, which are the two best sources of energy that emit no CO2.

“So if you think CO2 is a big concern, your number one enemy is most of the anti fossil fuel movement, which has restricted the two, the two best forms of non CO2 emitting energy.”

Ress concluded:

“Do not be swayed by [Epstein’s] views that positions your frame of reference backwards. In time, history can be a guide, but it need not be a shackled confinement for your opinions and attitudes about energy moving forward. [48:26]

“He’s here to argue on behalf of an ideological principle, I get that. It may or may not appeal to you.

“But it is essential that you recognize how decidedly important it is to rationalize our consumption, and use of resources through what is known, not what fantasies we would like to substitute in place of this reality.

October 2012

Alex Epstein hosts the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow‘s “North East speaking tour,” which included visits to “CFACT‘s chapters at the University of Connecticut, Sienna College, and Rutgers University.” [27]

Epstein spoke to students about how “fossil fuels have allowed humans to better protect the environment and advance civilization and technology beyond the squalor of absolute poverty,” while debunking the “catastrophic claims being made about climate change.” Epstein’s speaking tour was a lead-up to his debate with Bill McKibben at Duke University on November 5, 2012.[27]

May 21 – 23, 2012

Epstein’s Center for Industrial Progress was listed as a co-sponsor of the Heartland Institute‘s Seventh International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC7). [15]

April 2 – 5, 2012

On April 2, 2012, Epstein spoke at the University of North Carolina. His speech was titled “The Green Blackout” and suggested that green energy policies are “harming both America’s economy and environment.” It was sponsored by The Carolina Review, a conservative student publication associated with [16]

On April 3 he spoke at Furman University on “Why the Green Movement is Ruining America.” [16]

On April 5th he made a final speech at Pennsylvania State University titled “Fracking Amazing” which focused on the supposed benefits of hydraulic fracturing. According to Epstein, the media is “completely overblowing the risks of fracking… while completely undervaluing the benefits.” [16]

June 12 – June 13, 2011

Alex Epstein attended an international conference titled “Big Footprint: Is Green the New Tyranny?” hosted by the American Freedom Alliance, a group that has been described by some sources as anti-climate science, anti-evolution and Islamo phobic in its outlook. [17]

Speakers included numerous conservative commentators and climate change skeptics such as Christopher Monckton, James Delingpole, Christopher Horner, Steve Milloy, Benny Peiser, and Brian Sussman. [18] 

The American Freedom Alliance describes the event as “A Conference on Radical Environmentalism,” and suggests that “the contemporary Green Movement, represented by a variety of national and international institutions, may have far exceeded its original mandate to protect the Earth.” Topics debated included “The Assault on Human Exceptionalism”; “Agenda 21 and the UN Mandate for Social Revolution”; and “Transhumanism, Deep Ecology and Ecocide: How Are Shifting Social Attitudes Re-shaping Our Appreciation of Human Uniqueness?”


Tar Sands Affiliations

Alex Epstein gave a presentation to the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers in a speaker series titled, “How to Convert Fossil Fuel Opponents Into Supporters.” He gave a preview highlighting “key ideas” of his talks, which he noted would not normally be recorded or available to the public. [25], [29]

Epstein also spoke to the CI Energy Group who wrote they “would be more than happy to have [him] back anytime.” [29]

Alex Epstein’s Professional References

  • Scott Arnold, Director, Sustainability & External Relations, Canadian Oil Sands [29]
  • Janet Annesley, Vice President, Communications, Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers [29]
  • Heath Lovell, Vice President, River View Coal, General Manager, Alliance Resource Partners, L.P.[29]

Social Media


Epstein has published articles in newspapers such as the San Francisco Chronicle, Philadelphia Inquirer, National Post, Washington Times, Detroit Free Press, Houston Chronicle, Chicago Sun-Times, Atlanta Journal and Constitution, Arizona Republic, Indianapolis Star, Orange County Register, and Tampa Tribune. He has also written in quarterly journals (of “culture and politics”) including The Objective Standard.

According to Google Scholar, Epstein has never published an article in a peer-reviewed journal on any subject. View a larger list of Epstein’s publications here (.xlsx).

Capitalism Magazine

Capitalism Magazine has republished an extensive lest of Epstein’s publications. See some samples below:



  1. Alex Epstein,” ‘The Ayn rand Institute. Archived August 25, 2007. URL
  2. Speakers and Writers: Alex Epstein,” Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights. Archived June 17, 2007. URL
  3. “Koch Industries: Still Fuelling Climate Denial 2011 Update” (PDF), Greenpeace, April, 2011. Accessed January 18, 2016.
  4. Alex Epstein. “Why We Should Love the Oil Companies (Straight talk from an industry outsider),” MasterResource, June 15, 2012. Archived August 19, 2016. URL
  5. Communications Consulting,” Alex Epstein. Archived October 30, 2014.
  6. Alex Epstein. “Power Hour Episode 5: Climate Change with Richard Lindzen,” Ayn Rand Center, June 1, 2011. Archived September 8, 2012. URL
  7. Interview with Alex Epstein, Founder of Center for Industrial Progress,” The Objective Standard, November 17, 2011. URL
  8. Alex Epstein. “Challenging Bill McKibben and the Green Establishment: The Environmental Case for Fossil Fuels,” MasterResource, September 28, 2012. URL
  9. Alex Epstein. “COAL IS CLEAN,” Center for Industrial Progress, March 12, 2012. URL
  10. Alex Epstein on How Coal and Oil Improve Our Lives,” Philosophy In Action Talk Radio: Wednesday, September 12, 2012. Archived August 19, 2016. URL
  11. Alex Epstein and Yaron Brook. “The Evil of Animal ‘Rights’,” Tulsa World, May 19, 2001. Reproduced by the Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights. Archived August 19, 2016.
  12. Alex Epstein. “Keep Our ‘Addiction‘ to Oil, End Our Allergy to Self-Assertion,” Capitalism Magazine, July 10, 2006. URL
  13. Alex Epstein. “The Virtue of ‘Playing God’,” Capitalism Magazine, June 17, 2002. URL
  14. McKibben vs Epstein: the ultimate environmental debate,” indiegogo fundraising campaign. Accessed January 18, 2016.
  15. “Seventh International Conference on Climate Change” (PDF),” Heartland Institute. Archived .pdf on file at Desmog.
  16. Michael Armstrong. “Alex Epstein Speaks at UNC, Furman and Penn State,” Campus, April 18, 2012. Archived August 19, 2016. URL:
  17. Leo Hickman. “Climate sceptics flirt with intelligent design and Islamophobic group,” The Guardian, June 10, 2011. URL
  18. Speakers,” Archived June 15, 2011. URL
  19. About,” Center for Industrial Progress. Archived August 19, 2016. URL
  20. About,” MasterResource. Archived August 19, 2016. URL
  21. Faculty,” Accessed January 18, 2016. URL
  22. Alex Epstein. “A Victory for Big Tobacco–and the Rule of Law,” The Courier-Journal, July 11, 2006. Reproduced by the Ayn Rand Institute. Archived August 19, 2016.
  23. An Interview with Alex Epstein: Nuclear Power – How Safe is it and what have we learned from Japan?”, Education News, August 7, 2011. URL
  24. POWER HOUR: THE DANGERS OF NOT FRACKING,” Center For Industrial Progress, July 10, 2012. Accessed January 18, 2016. URL
  25. Power Preview: 4 New Talks to Industry,” Center for Industrial Progress, October 23, 2013. Archived April 19, 2017. URL:
  26. Alex Epstein. “Alex Epstein at People’s Climate March – Part 3, “You Know, Your Clothes are Fracked!,” Center for Industrial Progress, September 21, 2014.
  28. Alex Epstein. “The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels,” Penguin Random House Publishing, November 13, 2014. URL
  29. “Alex Epstein; Energy Philosopher, Speaker, Debater” (PDF), Center for Industrial Progress. Archived .pdf on file at Desmog.
  30. Alex Epstein. “I am Alex Epstein and I just wrote a book called The Moral Case FOR Fossil Fuels (published by Penguin). AMA!,” Reddit IAMA, November 13, 2014. Archived November 17, 2014. URL
  31. Photo,” I Love Fossil Fuels Facebook Page, November 28, 2014. URL
  32. Alex Epstein. “Don’t Divest, Educate—An Open Letter to American Universities,” Center for Industrial Progress, June 5, 2013. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmogBlog. URL
  33. Alex Epstein. “Jerry Burnout,” Forbes, September 17, 2015. URL
  34. Alex Epstein. “The Energy Liberation Plan,” Forbes, August 19, 2015. URL
  35. Michael Bastasch. “Industrialist: Francis Is The Most Anti-Capitalist Pope In Decades,” Daily Caller, September 23, 2015. Archived September 24, 2015. URL
  36. Amanda Reilly. “‘Moral Case for Fossil Fuels’ sparks angry Senate debate,” Greenwire, April 13, 2016. Archived April 18, 2016. URL
  37. “Testimony of Alex Epstein, author of The Moral Case for Fossil Fuel” (PDF), Retrieved from U.S. Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works Website. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmogBlog.
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