Foundation for Economic Education

Foundation for Economic Education (FEE)


The Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) is a non-profit free market organization based in Irvington, New York, and Atlanta, Georgia.

Founded in 1946 by Leonard E. Read, FEE describes itself as “one of the oldest free-market organizations in the United States,” and was one of the first think tanks designed specifically to promote, research and promulgate free market and libertarian ideas.

For Read, who was the general manager of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, “the free-enterprise philosophy had already become almost a religion.” The group’s officers included Read as president, Henry Hazlitt as vice-president, and David Goodrich, chairman of company B.F. Goodrich chairman, as chairman.1The Freeman: Ideas on Liberty – March 1984,” Vol. 34, No. 3. Archived October 6, 2008.

The organization was formed to advance what it describes as “the freedom philosophy,” which includes “the sanctity of private property, individual liberty, the rule of law, the free market, and the moral superiority of individual choice and responsibility over coercion.” FEE‘s mission is to “to inspire, educate and connect future leaders with the economic, ethical and legal principles of a free society.”2About,” Foundation for Economic Education. Accessed April, 2013.

FEE publishes a libertarian publication titled The Freeman: Ideas on Liberty which promotes global warming skepticism.

Climate change skeptic Donald J. Boudreaux was president of FEE from 1997 to 2001. The late David Padden, founder of the Heartland Institute, has helped fund FEE among numerous other libertarian organizations.3David H. Padden, R.I.P.,” Anniversary Benefit 2011 from the Heartland Institute, October, 2011.

Stance on Climate Change

December 27, 2012

“Cost-benefit analysis (CBA) implies we should do very little to prevent climate change. Instead, we should create wealth. Expanding the productive capacity of the economy will compensate future generations better than reductions in GHG will. A richer world in 2100, after all, will be able to afford to do things like relocating people affected by rising sea levels and constructing new port facilities and seawalls,” Daniel Sutter wrote in The Freeman. 4Daniel Sutter. “Climate Consensus: Do Little for Now,” The Freeman, December 27, 2012.

May 2007

“The dirty little secret behind nearly all the alarmists’ policy proposals is that they will not have any noticeable impact on the climate,” Roy E. Cordato wrote in The Freeman.5Roy E. Cordato. “A Carbon Tax Will Fix Global Warming? It Just Ain’t So!” (PDF), The Freeman, May 2007.

May 2001

“In the most recent 5,000-year period, there have been numerous periods of distinct global warming and global cooling. However, the overall long-term climatic trend indicates that the earth has been getting cooler, not warmer,” Michael Hebeerling wrote in The Freeman. 6Michael Heberling. “Unprecedented Global Warming?”, The Freeman, May 1, 2001.

July 1998

CO2 generally provides great benefits for the earth and mankind, […] These benefits are in addition to those that are likely to occur in the event that warming actually takes place. Increased temperatures, especially those that occur overnight, will delay the first frost and prolong growing seasons, further expanding crop yields,” Roy Cordato wrote in The Freeman. 7Roy Cordato. “Should There Be a Carbon Subsidy?” The Freeman, July 1, 1998.

December 1996

“Given the uncertain prospects for drastic climate change in the immediate future and considering the potential for crippling costs of aggressive emissions-abatement policies, reasoned concern and continued study appear to be the responsible courses of action,” J. David Bethel wrote in The Freeman. 8J. David Bethel. “Global Warming: Not an Immediate Problem,” The Freeman, Vol. 46, Issue 12 (December, 1996).


According to its website, FEE is supported “solely by contributions from private individuals, foundations, and businesses and by the sales of its publications.”9A Tradition of Freedom,” Foundation for Economic Education. Accessed March 26, 2012.

Conservative Transparency breaks down FEE‘s funding as follows. Note that not all individual values have been verified by DeSmog.10Foundation for Economic Education,” Conservative Transparency. Accessed May 25, 2017.

View the attached spreadsheet for details on Foundation for Economic Education funding by year (.xlsx).

Richard Seth Staley Educational Foundation$1,782,929
Donors Capital Fund$950,000
Dunn’s Foundation for the Advancement of Right Thinking$638,000
Pierre F. and Enid Goodrich Foundation$626,667
The Rodney Fund$621,600
Lowndes Foundation$393,909
Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation$304,267
National Christian Charitable Foundation$250,000
Sarah Scaife Foundation$196,500
Chase Foundation of Virginia$186,150
Holman Foundation$175,000
Lovett and Ruth Peters Foundation$145,000
John Templeton Foundation$122,965
Earhart Foundation$117,000
Schwab Charitable Fund$116,750
The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation$115,000
Adolph Coors Foundation$80,000
The Roe Foundation$67,500
Charles Koch Institute$63,400
Armstrong Foundation$60,000
JM Foundation$45,000
The Carthage Foundation$35,000
Herrick Foundation$25,000
George Edward Durell Foundation$25,000
Stiles-Nicholson Foundation$23,500
John M. Olin Foundation$22,500
Atlas Economic Research Foundation$21,000
F.M. Kirby Foundation$20,000
Philip M. McKenna Foundation$20,000
Chiavacci Family Foundation$18,000
John William Pope Foundation$13,000
John P and Kathryn G Evans Foundation$8,000
Arthur N. Rupe Foundation$5,000
The Howell Foundation$5,000
Hickory Foundation$3,500
Woodhouse Family Foundation$2,500
National Philanthropic Trust$1,500
Fund for American Studies$1,000
Charles and Ann Johnson Foundation$250
Ruth & Lovett Peters Foundation$250
Grand Total$7,851,757

Koch Funding

According to Greenpeace USA, FEE has received at least $353,167 from Koch foundations between 2000 and 2017.  Including archived data from the Conservative Transparency project, that total jumps to $367,667:11Foundation for Economic Education (FEE): Koch Industries Climate Denial Front Group,” Greenpeace USA. Accessed May 25, 2017. URL:

YearCharles G. Koch Charitable FoundationCharles Koch InstituteGrand Total
1989$1,000 $1,000
1991$1,000 $1,000
1995$1,000 $1,000
1996$4,000 $4,000
1997$2,500 $2,500
1999$5,000 $5,000
2000$8,000 $8,000
2009$15,767 $15,767
2010$7,000 $7,000
2017$228,000 $228,000
2016 $7,500$7,500
2015 $28,400$28,400
Grand Total$304,267$63,400$367,667

990 Forms

Key People

View key people by year below, or view the attached spreadsheet for a full list of the Foundation for Economic Education’s key People (.xlsx) including sources.



Through its publication, The Freeman, FEE regularly publishes articles questioning the existence of man-made climate change and opposing the implementation of any sort of emissions reductions policy. A number of its articles are published by prominent climate change skeptics, and use inflamatory language such as “alarmists” to refer to those who accept the mainstream global warming science.

The following are sample publications in The Freeman relating to climate:

September 2004

The Freeman published an article that attempted to rebut a previous study published in Nature linking global warming to increased extinction rates.

The FEE article points to a previous study co-produced by the Marshall Institute with the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change as refutation. Both of these organizations have known connections to oil industry funding.

According to the Freeman article, “the threat of climbing temperatures alone need not be a cause for alarm … global temperature averages always change.”12Lingle, Christopher, “Higher CO2, More Global Warming, and Less Extinction?“ The Freeman Online, Vol. 54, Issue 7, September 2004.

Foundation for Economic Education Contact & Address

As of May 23, 2016 the main contact address was:13 “Contact,” Foundation for Economic Education. Archived May 23, 2016. WebCite URL:

1819 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 300
Atlanta, GA 30309

Main Line: (404) 554-9980
Toll Free: (800) 960-4333
Fax: (404) 393-3142

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