Cascade Policy Institute (CPI)
The Cascade Policy Institute (CPI) was founded in 1991 as a “nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy research and educational organization” based in Oregon. Its mission to “develop and promote public policy alternatives that foster individual liberty, personal responsibility and economic opportunity.” 
According to the Cascade Policy Institute website, “Cascade promotes property rights, incentives, markets and decentralized decision-making.” It releases policy reports, quarterly newsletters, commentaries, and weekly news reviews. The Institute also hosts regular conference programs, lectures and “educational programs for students” including a Summer Internship Program for undergraduate and graduate students. 
John A. Charles Jr. has been the president of the Cascade Policy Institute since 2005. John Charles once described Oregon’s Climate Trust, which had imposed regulations on carbon dioxide emissions, as a “extortion scheme,” and other carbon-reduction strategies as “coercive taxation income redistribution schemes.” 
Stance on Climate Change
The Portland Tribune reports that CPI President John Charles “doesn’t trust scientists”:
“There’s a huge amount of money and there are financial incentives for researchers to have public discussion cut off, to say, ‘We know all this. We must do something’.”
“If the concern is people don’t have as much faith in science, I can see why. When I see what is said in the debate (over climate change) and the way people like me are demonized for being skeptical, it makes me think, ‘Well, then you’re manipulating society for political purposes.’ Why wouldn’t that apply in fields I know no nothing about, like cancer research?” 
“Climate change is one of the hottest topics, literally, in state and national public policy. Alarmism over human-induced climate change is one of many examples of the extreme environmental movement. Because astonishing news sells, media coverage on climate change is focused entirely on exaggerated claims of future catastrophe caused by carbon dioxide emitted from human activities. Unfortunately, misleading media reporting is making it difficult for citizens to discern fact from fiction.”
[…] The truth is that the science of climate change is far from settled and there exists no consensus on the causes, effects, or future of climate change.” 
“CO2 is said to be responsible for global warming that is not occurring, for accelerated sea-level rise that is not occurring, for net glacial and sea ice melt that is not occurring […] and for increasing extreme weather that is not occurring.” — Gordon Fulks, Academic Advisor, Cascade Policy Institute. 
The Cascade Policy Institute’s funding is derived from “the generous, voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses and foundations.” According to their website, “Cascade does not solicit or accept any government funding. Cascade is a 501(c)(3)(h) nonprofit educational organization. Contributions are fully tax-deductible to the extent provided by state and federal law.” 
The following is based on data the Conservative Transparency project has gathered from publicly-available 990 forms. Note that not all individual values have been verified by DeSmogBlog for accuracy. View the attached spreadsheet for additional details on Cascade Policy Institute funding by year (.xlsx). 
|Donors Capital Fund||$1,303,600|
|Jaquelin Hume Foundation||$405,000|
|The Roe Foundation||$370,000|
|State Policy Network||$328,822|
|The Challenge Foundation||$219,368|
|Castle Rock Foundation||$170,000|
|Chase Foundation of Virginia||$152,500|
|Ruth & Lovett Peters Foundation||$125,000|
|Adolph Coors Foundation||$50,000|
|Friedman Foundation For Educational Choice||$42,000|
|Peterson Family Foundation||$34,000|
|Searle Freedom Trust||$30,000|
|The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation||$25,000|
|Schwab Charitable Fund||$550|
Donors Capital Fund/Donors Trust Funding
The Cascade Policy Institute’s single largest contributor is the Donors Capital Fund (DCF), a group that Mother Jones magazine has described as the “dark money ATM of the conservative movement,” along with its sister organization DonorsTrust. 
The Donors Capital Fund creates “donor-advised funds” for conservative donors, allowing them to anonymously donate large amounts of funds to specific projects or groups without revealing their identities. 
The Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) released a report in 2013 detailing think tanks that had been receiving significant funds from DonorsTrust and Donors Capital Fund. John Charles said that it was “’ludicrous’ to think that that Cascade is operating in lockstep with other conservative think tanks around the country.” , 
According to OregonLive, John Charles described the State Policy Network – which is headed by Cascade co-founder Tracie Sharp – as a loose-knit association of groups that share a common philosophy but otherwise operate independently. 
“We’re all free-market think tanks,” he said. “We don’t believe in central planning.”
Charles said most of Cascade’s funding comes from in-state contributors. He refused to discuss whether the group had received money from Donors Capital Fund, saying that, “I respect the privacy of our donors.” 
Board of Directors (2016) 
|David W. Gore||Co-founder of Cascade Policy Institute.|
|Gilion C. Dumas|
|Lawrence “Larry” W. Dennis, Sr.|
|Michael L. Barton||Cascade research associate since 2002.|
|William B. Conerly||Chairman of the board. Senior fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis.|
|William Udy||Board member and finance director of Cascade Policy Institute since it was founded in 1991.|
Staff (2016) 
|John A. Charles, Jr.||President and CEO|
|Kathryn Hickok||Director, Children’s Scholarship Fund-Portland. Publications Director. Development Coordinator.|
|Steve Buckstein||Senior Policy Analyst (Past CPI President until 2004)|
|Tina Pisenti||Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer|
|Anthony M. Rufolo||Y||Y|
|Chana B. Cox||Y||Y|
|Gerard C. S. Mildner||Y||Y|
|Gordon J. Fulks||Y||Y|
|James L. Huffman||Y||Y|
|Matthew Michael Bliziotes||Y|
|Michael L. Barton||Y||Y|
|Randall J. Pozdena||Y||Y|
|Zenon X. Zygmont||Y||Y|
The Cascade Policy Institute’s “Speakers’ Bureau” is available for “educational lectures, seminars, and conferences.”
|Anthony M. Rufolo||Academic Advisor to Cascade Policy Institute|
|Chana B. Cox||Academic Advisor to Cascade Policy Institute|
|Fred Thompson||Academic Advisor to Cascade Policy Institute|
|Gerard C.S. Mildner||Academic Advisor to Cascade Policy Institute|
|Gordon J. Fulks||Academic Advisor to Cascade Policy Institute|
|John A. Charles, Jr.||President and CEO|
|Kathryn Hickok||Director, Children’s Scholarship Fund-Portland|
|Steve Buckstein||Senior Policy Analyst|
July 12, 2016
The Cascade Policy Institute, represented by John A. Charles, Jr. , was among 22 groups represented in a “Coalition” open letter pushing back against what the Heartland Institute describes as an “affront to free speech.” The groups are responding to the recent Web of Denial Resolution brought up in the Senate, calling out fossil fuel industry-funded groups denying climate change. 
According to the Climate Investigations Center, all but one of the open letter’s signatory organizations have taken money (totalling at least $92 million since 1997) from the “climate denial web” including Koch Brothers’ various foundations, ExxonMobil, and two “Dark Money” organizations, Donors Trust and Donors Capital Fund. 
Championed by Senators Whitehouse, Markey, Schatz, Boxer, Merkley, Warren, Sanders, and Franken, the resolution condemns what they are calling the #WebOfDenial — “interconnected groups – funded by the Koch brothers, major fossil fuel companies like ExxonMobil and Peabody Coal, identity-scrubbing groups like Donors Trust and Donors Capital, and their allies – developed and executed a massive campaign to deceive the public about climate change to halt climate action and protect their bottom lines.” 
The open letter addresses the senators, calling them “tyrants”:
“We hear you. Your threat is clear: There is a heavy and inconvenient cost to disagreeing with you. Calls for debate will be met with political retribution. That’s called tyranny. And, we reject it.” 
The full list of signatories and their respective organizations is as follows:
- Grover Norquist — Americans for Tax Reform
- Lisa B. Nelson — American Legislative Exchange Council
- John A. Charles, Jr. — Cascade Policy Institute
- David Rothbard — Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow
- Kent Lassman — Competitive Enterprise Institute
- Nicole Neily — Franklin Center for Government and Policy Integrity
- Benita Dodd — Georgia Public Policy Foundation
- Bridgett Wagner — The Heritage Foundation
- Fred Birnbaum — Idaho Freedom Foundation
- Joseph Bast — The Heartland Institute
- J. Robert McClure III — James Madison Institute
- Brett Healy — The John K. MacIver Institute for Public Policy
- Kory Swanson — John Locke Foundation
- Dave Trabert — Kansas Policy Institute
- Jason Hayes — Mackinac Center for Public Policy
- Brent Mead — Montana Policy Institute
- Sharon J. Rossie — Nevada Policy Research Institute
- Sally Pipes — Pacific Research Institute
- Kevin Kane — Pelican Institute for Public Policy
- Paul J. Gessing — Rio Grande Foundation
- Lynn Taylor — Virginia Institute for Public Policy
- Carol Platt Liebau — Yankee Institute for Public Policy
Cascade Policy Institute president John Charles expressed disappointment when the The U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) denied an application for the construction of a Liquefied Natural Gas export terminal proposed for Oregon’s Jordan Cove. 
“From the standpoint of some activists, all new fossil-fuel facilities should be stopped simply because they are fossil-fuel facilities,” said John Charles “The mythical ‘climate crisis’ trumps all other concerns.
“I believe the Jordan Cove project and the Oregon LNG project would have been very positive for Oregon, by bringing in a very large investment to an economically depressed region by outside private investors,” Charles said. 
February 22, 2016
Cascade Policy Institute President and CEO John Charles testified before the Senate Business and Transportation Committee, opposing HB 4036 which aims for a coal-free Oregon. 
“However, as with the singing of the Sirens in Greek mythology, the coal-free vision is a fatal attraction, and Senators should strap themselves to the mast when listening to proponents,” Charles writes. 
According to Charles, “Force-feeding more and more wind into the grid” risks grid failure. 
“The Siren Song of a coal-free grid is ultimately destructive. We suggest that the Senate Committee steer around it. If that means that the advocates move forward with their threatened ballot measures, so be it. Voters are quite capable of deciding for themselves if they want a power grid that works, or one that randomly fails,” Charles concludes.
A study by the Oregon Global Warming Commission chair found that the Clean Electricity and Coal Transition Plan would cut Oregon’s electric sector carbon emissions in half by 2030.  Additional analysis by Pacific Power and Renewable Northwest found that rates would raise no more than 1%, and could even be reduced by more than 2%. , 
September 14, 2014
An a New York Post article, climate change skeptics Tom Harris and Bob Carter quotes the Cascade Policy Institute’s Gordon Fulks (not mentioning his connection to CPI) as saying ”CO2 is said to be responsible for global warming that is not occurring, for accelerated sea-level rise that is not occurring, for net glacial and sea ice melt that is not occurring […] and for increasing extreme weather that is not occurring.” 
December 19, 2013
The Cascade Policy Institute’s Todd Myers published a piece on CPI‘s website titled, “How the Environmental Left Became the New Climate Deniers.” 
“The left has abandoned the IPCC, after years of touting the agency’s unshakable standard of excellence. What changed were not the IPCC’s standards but its conclusions. New science has sparked the left’s new denial.“ 
June 30–July 1, 2011
DeSmogBlog found that 17 of the 43 sponsors of the Heartland Institute’s Sixth International Conference on Climate Change, including the Heartland Institute itself, had collectively received over $46 million from either Scaife Foundations, Koch Foundations, or ExxonMobil. 
July 30, 2010
June 8, 2010
The Cascade Policy Institute released a report titled “Think Twice Why Wind Power Mandates Are Wrong for the Northwest” by Todd Wynn and Eric Lowe. According to the CPI description, the report “highlights the problem with the legislature picking winners and losers in the energy market.” 
April 16, 2010
Todd Wynn, Vice President of the Cascade Policy Institute, spoke at a 2010 Tea Party Rally in Salem on the subject of Cap and Trade (video below).
DeSmogBlog researched the funding behind Heartland’s Second International Conference on Climate Change and found that sponsor organizations had received over $47 million in funding from energy companies and right-wing foundations. 
The Cascade Policy Institute funded and developed the video “Climate Chains.” They describe the video as “22-minute documentary that exposes extreme environmentalism and the misguided pursuit of cap-and-trade legislation. Climate Chains not only explains the dangers of this legislation but offers an alternative to top-down regulation in the form of free market environmentalism.” 
Climate Chains supposes that “One of the greatest threats to freedom and prosperity in America is climate change legislation.”
- John Charles (President of CPI)
- Myron Ebell
- Robert Ferguson
- Kenneth P. Green
- Chris Horner
- Drew Johnson
- David Kreutzer
- Marlo Lewis
- Ben Lieberman
- Ann McElhinney
- Patrick Michaels
- Todd Myers
- Floyd Brown
Koch Fellowship Program
The Cascade Policy Institute offers a summer internship program through the “Charles G. Koch Summer Fellow Program,” and administered by the Institute for Humane Studies and the State Policy Network. 
Carbon Cartel Education Project
The Cascade Policy Institute is hosting a “Carbon Cartel Education Project” that operates on the premise that “One of the greatest threats to freedom and economic prosperity in America today is climate change legislation.” 
The goal of the Carbon Cartel Education Project is “to raise awareness of the costs and implications of policies based on global warming alarmism by conducting a multi-faceted campaign to peel away grassroots political support for carbon restrictions, while simultaneously promoting market-based policies that preserve individual liberty, economic opportunity, and environmental quality.”
Cascade Policy Institute Contact & Location
The Cascade Policy Institute listed the following contact information in its website as of May, 2016: 
Cascade Policy Institute
4850 SW Scholls Ferry Road
Portland, Oregon 97225
- State Policy Network — Headed by Cascade co-founder Tracie Sharp
- @CascadePolicy on Twitter
- “Cascade Policy Institute” on Facebook.
- “Cascade Policy Institute” on LinkedIn.
- “About,” Cascade Policy Institute. Archived November 4, 2015.
- “John A Charles ICCC1,” YouTube Video. Uploaded by User “HeartlandTube,” July 17, 2013.
- “Climate Change,” Cascade Policy Institute. Archived November 5, 2015.
- “Cascade Policy Institute,” Conservative Transparency. Data retrieved June 7, 2016.
- “Exposed: The Dark-Money ATM of the Conservative Movement,” Mother Jones, February 5, 2013. Archived July 23, 2015.
- “Board of Directors,” Cascade Policy Institute. Archived May 5, 2016.
- “Staff,” Cascade Policy Institute. Archived May 5, 2016.
- “Academic Advisors,” Cascade Policy Institute. Archived November 5, 2015.
- “Speakers’ Bureau,” Cascade Policy Institute. Archived May 6, 2016.
- “Internships,” Cascade Policy Institute. Archived November 5, 2015.
- “Carbon Cartel Education Project,” Cascade Policy Institute. Archived November 5, 2015.
- Tom Harris and Bob Carter. “Leo vs. science: vanishing evidence for climate change,” New York Post, September 14, 2014. Archived November 5, 2015. WebCite URL: http://www.webcitation.org/6cop8nvq9
- Todd Myers. ”How the Environmental Left Became the New Climate Deniers,” Cascade Policy Institute, December 19, 2013. Archived October 21, 2015.
- Sixth International Conference on Climate Change Conference Program (PDF), the Heartland Institute. Archived July 25, 2015.
- Brendan DeMelle. “Denial-a-Palooza 6: Heartland’s Sixth International Conference on Climate Change, Courtesy of Koch, Scaife & Exxon,” DeSmogBlog, June 30, 2011.
- “Milton Friedman Tribute Dinner with Cascade Policy Institute July 30,” Americans For Prosperity Oregon. Archived November 1, 2010.
- Todd Wynn. “Cascade Report: Think Twice Why Wind Power Mandates Are Wrong for the Northwest,” Cascade Policy Institute, June 8, 2010.
- 4th International Conference on Climate Change Conference Program (PDF), The Heartland Institute.
- Brendan DeMelle. “Denial-a-palooza Round 4: ‘International Conference on Climate Change’ Groups Funded by Exxon, Koch Industries,” DeSmogBlog, May 13, 2010.
- “Co-Sponsors,” The 2009 International Conference on Climate Change. Archived April 28, 2011.
- “Heartland Institute’s 2009 Climate Conference in New York: funding history of the sponsors,” DeSmogBlog.
- “About Climate Chains,” Archived October 20, 2009.
- “Contact,” Climate Chains. Archived Oct 20, 2009.
- “About the Experts,” Climate Chains. Archived October 21, 2009.
- “Sponsorships,” The 2008 International Conference on climate Change. Archived June 10, 2011.
- “Academic Advisors,” The Cascade Policy Institute. Archived May 6, 2015.
- Peter Korn. “‘Miracle cures’? Nope, OHSU says, it’s just art of the sale,” Portland Tribune, November 12, 2015. Archived May 6, 2016. WebCite URL: http://www.webcitation.org/6hJRwWPJN
- “Testimony Regarding HB 4036 Before the Senate Business and Transportation Committee,” Cascade Policy Institute, February 22, 2016. WebCite URL: http://www.webcitation.org/6hJSYRU34
- “Leo Vs. science: vanishing evidence for global warming,” New York Post, September 14, 2014. Archived May 6, 2016. WebCite URL: http://www.webcitation.org/6hJVYdPHL
- “Pacific Power Analysis of Clean Electricity and Coal Transition Plan Shows HB 4036 is Affordable and Workable,” Pacific Power, January 27, 2016. Archived May 6, 2016. WebCite URL: http://www.webcitation.org/6hJWRsCsj
- (Press Release). “NEW REPORT! Rates will remain steady under Clean Electricity & Coal Transition Plan,” Renewable Northwest, February 29, 2016. Archived May 6, 2016. WebCite URL: http://www.webcitation.org/6hJWWrReH
- Angus Duncan. “Analysis: Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reductions Resulting from the Clean Electricity and Coal Transition Plan,” Renew Oregon. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmogBlog.
- “Something Stinks at the State Policy Network,”Center for Media and Democracy, November, 2013. Retrieved from stinktanks.org. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmogBlog.
- Jeff Mapes. “Cascade Policy Institute benefits from secretive donor group but says it operates independently,” OregonLive, November 13, 2013. Archived May 6, 2016. WebCite URL: http://www.webcitation.org/6hJXfLuaE
- “Contact,” Cascade Policy Institute. WebCite URL: http://www.webcitation.org/6hrGJfwks
- Michael McGrady. “Environmentalists, Feds Block Two Proposed LNG Export Terminals in Oregon,” Heartland Institute, May 23, 2016. Archived June 25, 2016. WebCite URL: http://www.webcitation.org/6iWDbmmRJ
- Jim Lakely. “#WebOfDenial Push by Senate Dems Exposes Their Hatred of Free Speech,” Somewhat Reasonable (Heartland Institute Blog), July 12, 2016. Archived July 14, 2016.
- Brendan Demelle. “Senators Launch Resolution, Speech Blitz Calling Out #WebOfDenial Blocking Climate Action,” DeSmog, July 11, 2016.
- Coalition Letter to Senate Web of Denial Resolution (PDF). Retrieved from the Heartland Institute. Archived .pdf on file at DeSMogBlog.
- Cindy Baxter. “Front Groups Attacking #WebofDenial Senate Action Took Over $92M in Dark, Dirty Money,” Desmog, July 14, 2016. Originally posted at Climate Investigations Center.
- “Cascade Policy Institute,” SourceWatch Profile.
- “Cascade Policy Center,” SourceWatch Profile.
- ExxonSecrets Factsheet: Cascade Policy Institute, CPI.