Life:Powered ( is a project of the Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF) designed to “ensure that Americans continue to benefit from abundant, reliable, safe, and clean energy” and to “reframe the discussion about energy sources” including fossil fuels. [1]

In February 2018, TPPF brought on Bernard McNamee to lead the Life:Powered project and also to head TPPF’s Center for Tenth Amendment Action. According to its 2017 annual report, Life:Powered was originally TPPF’s “Fueling Freedom” project, which launched in 2015 “to combat the Obama-era Clean Power Plan.” [2], [3]

McNamee most recently worked as deputy general counsel for energy policy under Secretary Rick Perry at the Department of Energy and has also advised Texas senator Ted Cruz.  [2]

In 2018, we’ll be taking the project to a new level, expanding it to cover every aspect of the policies that promote abundant, reliable, and affordable energy to power modern life,” the report’s message from the President and the Chair noted. [3]

TPPF’s Kathleen Hartnett-White was director of the Fueling Freedom project and co-authored the same-titled book with Heritage Foundation economist Stephen Moore. White is a senior fellow of the Life:Powered project. [4]

Stance on Climate Change

May 4, 2018

Life:Powered promotes articles critical of a carbon tax as a solution to climate change, generally linking to research done by TPPF. One example is an article by Vance Ginn that links to research by John Cristy to suggest “there’s little conclusive evidence to prove that carbon dioxide emissions cause environmental harm.” [5]

The Life:Powered article concludes: [5]

“Finally, perhaps most importantly, there is little to no evidence that there is a need to reduce carbon emissions in this country. For all of these reasons, and many more, the proposed carbon tax should be whole-heartedly rejected.”


Human flourishing depends on energy use, often in invisible and unnoticed ways. A reliable energy supply can feed the hungry, take care of the sick, and ensure a prosperous economic future for society.  It promotes freedom and independence around the world and right here at home,” the Life:Powered website reads. [6]

The Texas Public Policy Foundation features a “Life:Powered” playlist in its YouTube channel that promotes “The Moral Case For Fossil Fuels” by Alex Epstein, as well as a panel presentation by the CO2 Coalition promoting the supposed benefits of boosting atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations. View the playlist below:


The following funding values are for the Texas Public Policy Foundation, the parent organization of Life:Powered.

View the attached spreadsheet for more details on the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s funding by year (.xlsx). [7]

Donor and YearTotal
Pew Charitable Trusts$5,488,454
Donors Capital Fund$3,530,848
Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation$1,137,624
Albert and Ethel Herzstein Charitable Foundation$980,000
Searle Freedom Trust$645,000
Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation$548,500
Jaquelin Hume Foundation$490,001
State Policy Network$378,900
The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation$315,000
The Roe Foundation$287,000
The Gordon and Mary Cain Foundation$275,000
Armstrong Foundation$160,000
Castle Rock Foundation$125,000
William H. Donner Foundation$110,000
JM Foundation$105,000
Cato Institute$100,000
Exxon Mobil$100,000
Heartland Institute$100,000
Friedman Foundation For Educational Choice$62,000
Charles Koch Institute$47,623
The Robertson-Finley Foundation$42,500
National Christian Charitable Foundation$27,500
Walton Family Foundation$25,000
Americans for Tax Reform Foundation$25,000
The Vernon K. Krieble Foundation$11,000
Atlas Economic Research Foundation$9,500
Grand Total$16,531,066

990 Forms

The below 990 forms are for the Texas Public Policy Foundation, the project’s parent organization:

Key People

Michael Nasi is General Counsel of Balanced Energy for Texas, a “coalition of energy consumers, producers, and providers” that includes major coal and energy companies, related advocacy groups, and groups supplying the energy industry such as the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE), American Electric Power, Arch Coal, Peabody Energy, and Union Pacific Railroad. [9]

When President Donald Trump issued an executive order to revise or rescind the Clean Power Plan, Nasi described it as “a crucial win for Texas and the nation.” He is also a partner of the law firm Jackson Walker LLP where he founded the firm’s “Climate Change and Carbon Management group.” [10], [11]

Former State Representative for Hays and Blanco counties in the Texas Hill Country. According to SourceWatch, Isaac received $2,000 from KochPAC to his Jason Isaac Campaign in 2018. [20]

  • Bernard McNamee — Initially listed as project lead until moving to a position at DOE[2]

Bernard L. McNamee was initially listed as project lead for the Life:Powered project in February 2018, however according to his LinkedIn he left that position in May 2018 to become Executive Director at the Office of Policy for the Department of Energy (DOE). McNamee worked for the DOE as Deputy General Counsel for Energy Policy since May 2017, and as Senior Counsel to the law firm McGuireWoods LLP before that. [12]

Kathleen Hartnett-White is the distinguished senior fellow-in-residence and director of the Armstrong Center for Energy & the Environment at the Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF). Hartnett White previously worked as Chairman and Commissioner of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). Prior to 2001, she served as then-Governor George W. Bush’s appointee to the Texas Water Development Board, where she sat until appointed to TCEQ. [13]

Hartnett-White was nominated by President Donald Trump in 2017 to lead the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), and also served on Trump’s “economic advisory team” in 2016. White’s nomination was withdrawn after it was sent back to the White House at the end of 2017. [14], [15], [16]

Jacki Pick formerly served as the executive vice president and CEO of the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA), a corporate-funded group that has promoted supposed uncertainties around climate science. She also hosts The Jacki Daily Show at [17]

Gunasekara is a Republican “climate and energy strategist” and the founder of the “pro-Trump nonprofit” Energy 45 Fund. As of February 2020, Gunasekara was reportedly set to return as the EPA‘s chief of staff accordig to The Washington Post[24][25]

She is a a member of the CO2 Coalition, a group directed by climate change denier William Happer that portrays carbon dioxide as “a nutrient vital for life” and advocates for more of it in the atmosphere. Her CO2 Coalition profile describes Gunasekara as “the chief architect of the Paris Accord withdrawal and the repeal of the Clean Power Plan” while working for Trump at the EPA as principal deputy assistant administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation. [26], [27]

Other People

As of August 2018, TPPF was actively hiring for positions including “Project Coordinator” and “Policy Analyst” for the Life:Powered project. [18]


February 14, 2022

H. Sterling Burnett featured guest speaker Jason Isaac, director of the Texas Public Policy Foundation‘s Life:Powered project, on an episode of the Heartland Daily Podcast. [32]

“As it stands, subsidized renewable power sources forced onto the system have left Texans vulnerable to power outages, a problem that could worsen in the future,” Burnett claimed in the podcast’s description.

Discussing the Texas power outages in 2021, Burnett commented:

“I’m saying we used to have other coal plants, but they were not just off line they had been closed. We had a lot of wind and solar, more wind in Texas than solar, but some solar that suddenly was politically mandated, but was not putting power on the grid. So that’s the day. But what built up to it?”

Jason Isaac responded:

Yeah, and it’s really these market distorting policies that have propped up one form of generation over another, put us in this situation to begin with. And you’ve seen a decline in thermal generation over the last seven years because they can’t compete. And that’s the big thing. The market design is the problem when you have wind, generate electricity because of the investment tax credit, the production tax credit, the property tax exemptions they get from the state of Texas and other incentives.”

“We shouldn’t depend on variable sources of unreliable electric generation on our grid. Because then where we are at the whims of nature, especially especially when we have reliable forms of thermal generation that are out there,” Isaac said.

April 6, 2020

Life:Powered, represented by Jason Isaac, was signatory to an American Energy Alliance letter to President Donald Trump supporting the Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Rule which would scrap federal fuel economy mandates under the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) program. [31]

Describing CAFE, the letter contends: “Those families and individuals who prefer or need trucks, SUVs, and crossovers pay more to subsidize those who buy smaller vehicles or electric vehicles under the existing mandate. This significant, needless, and unjust cost is a very real regressive tax on American families that has made our country worse off.” [31]

March 23, 2020

As reported at DeSmog, Life:Powered sent a letter to Congress critical of the COVID-19 stimulus package for including “tax incentives and spending for unreliable ‘green’ energy
programs.” [29], [30]

The letter concludes: 

“This is no time for political games. Climate change is not an immediate threat to humanity. Climate-related deaths have declined 98.9% in the last century, and humanity is growing more and more resilient thanks to the availability of affordable, reliable energy. On behalf of all Americans, we urge you to oppose any stimulus proposals that carve out special treatment for or bail out any energy companies and focus instead on stopping COVID-19.”  [30]

Signatories included:  [30]

Jason IsaacSenior Manager & Distinguished FellowLife:Powered/Texas Public Policy Foundation
Myron EbellDirector, Center for Energy and EnvironmentCompetitive Enterprise Institute
Bette GrandeCEORoughrider Policy Center
Ellen WeaverPresident & CEOPalmetto Promise Institute
Isaac OrrPolicy FellowCenter of the American Experiment
Bethany MarcumExecutive DirectorAlaska Policy Forum
David T. StevensonDirector, Center for Energy and EnvironmentCaesar Rodney Institute
Donald van der VaartSenior FellowJohn Locke Foundation
Jason HayesDirector of Environmental PolicyMackinac Center for Public Policy
John Droz, Jr.FounderAlliance for Wise Energy Decisions
George K. Rasley, Jr.Managing
Becky Norton DunlopFormer Secretary of Natural ResourcesCommonwealth of Virginia
James L. MartinFounder/Chairman60 Plus Association
Saulius “Saul” AnuzisPresident60 Plus Association
Ken BlackwellSenior FellowFamily Research Council
Eunie SmithPresidentEagle Forum
Jenny Beth MartinHonorary ChairmanTea Party Patriots Action
Jon CaldaraPresidentIndependence Institute
L. Brent Bozell, IIIFounder and PresidentMedia Research Center
Jason PyeVice President of Legislative AffairsFreedomWorks
Jameson TaylorVice President for PolicyMississippi Center for Public Policy
Carol Platt LiebauPresidentYankee Institute
Mike StenhouseCEORhode Island Center for Freedom & Prosperity
Daniel ErspamerCEOPelican Institute for Public Policy
Christian N. BraunlichPresidentThomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy
Todd MyersEnvironmental DirectorWashington Policy Center

August 20, 2019

In a YouTube video titled “Most Googled Questions About The Green New Deal,” Life:Powered Senior Manager Jason Isaac described the Green New Deal as “the quickest way to end all life as we know it.” Isaac claims in the video that the GND “seeks to eliminate all greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. All of them. The majority of which are water.”[23]

June 14, 2019

Speaking to the American-Statesman, senior manager Jason Isaac said that the mission of Life:Powered was to “raise America’s energy IQ,” adding: [22]

We’re making the connection between prosperity we enjoy here in the United States and access to energy in all forms, all abundant, affordable reliable, all forms and all of the above.” [22]

A 2018 TPPF video promoting the continued operation of a coal-fired power plant on the Arizona Navajo reservation has been rebranded with the Life:Powered name. The video showed images of smokestacks with a voiceover by a young Navajo girl saying, “Papa says it’s the heart of the land. I can hear it beating.” [22]

The video’s closing text reads:

Extreme environmentalist politics will eliminate jobs, destroy families, and spike electric bills in the Navajo Nation and across America. The Navajo don’t need to be told what to do. They’ve been protecting the environment for centuries.” [22]

Local environmental groups responded with claims that the plant’s consumption of billions of gallons of groundwater has led to contamination and depletion of the reservation’s water supply. The executive director of a Navajo non-profit organization told the Statesman[22]

The pro-coal supporters have made it all about jobs. There’s more to it than that. What’s happening on Black Mesa shows that jobs and revenues is not all that it’s made out to be. When you lose your own potable water source, that’s life or death right there.” [22]

Peabody Energy, a TPPF donor, operates the Navajo Generating Station, which will be shuttered at the end of 2019. [22]

Another TPPF Life:Powered-branded video on the topic of “Energy Poverty” featured Caleb Rossiter of the CO2 Foundationpromoting wider adoption of fossil fuel-generated electricity in the developing world. [22]

Life:Powered plans to target future messaging in New Mexico, the Pacific Northwest, the Midwest, and Alaska in opposition to renewable energy and carbon reduction initiatives. [22]

February 8, 2019

Life:Powered posted a critique of the Green New Deal on its website, written by The Honorable Jason Isaac, describing it as a “massive new tax” and claiming the threats to the planet of continued fossil fuel use have “no scientific evidence to back it up.” [21]

“… if U.S. emissions were completely eliminated by 2020, global temperatures would only be 0.077°C lower in 2050. That doesn’t exactly do much to prevent the End of Days in the next 12 years,” the article claims.  “Here is something a little closer to scientific certainty: we are not going to figure out how to generate all the power we need and use in America from wind and solar in the next decade. We’re not even going to get close.” [21]

In conclusion: “Rep. Ocasio-Cortez predicts catastrophe in 12 years if we do nothing to fight climate change. The real catastrophe would be enacting her plan to do that.” [21]

August 7, 2018

S&P Global reported that Life:Powered screened two videos at the American Coal Council’s Coal Market Strategies conference in New Mexico that would be part of an upcoming campaign. [8]

Michael Nasi, who is reportedly leading the effort, said the videos “aim to educate an ‘extremely under-informed’ public on fossil fuels.” [8]

“We have failed as both a coal industry, a power industry and obviously other fossil industries and the nuclear industry because we have failed to get together to message together,” said Nasi. [8]

Also speaking at the conference, Luke Popovich, former spokesman for the National Mining Association, discussed industry tactics with regards to climate change: [8]

“It’s too late for denial when your customers, the ratepayers, the banks, and regulators already believe climate change is real,” Popovich said. “Accepting that climate change is real merely opens the discussion with the public.”

Rather, a message on how fossil fuels could be a “humanitarian tool”— so-called “energy poverty” has long been a talking point of industry — would be a primary focus of the Life:Powered videos. [8]

“Over 1 billion people do not have any electricity,” retired Penn State University Professor Frank Clemente said in one of the videos. “That’s only the tip of the iceberg. About 2.5 billion people only have limited access to electric power. You’re closing on almost half of the population of the world are living in energy poverty and that’s why I say it is the leading problem facing mankind today.” [8] Clemente has regularly consulted for the energy industry, and has said he has “written, spoken and testified quite a bit on coal’s importance to the quality of life around the world.”

Contact & Address

The Life:Powered project shares the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s address. As per the project’s Privacy Policy Page: [19]
901 Congress Avenue
Austin, Texas 78701
United States
[email protected]
512) 472-2700

Social Media


  1. About,” Life:Powered. Archived August 21, 2018. URL:
  2. (Press Release). “TPPF Brings on Bernard McNamee, former Dept. of Energy Official, to Lead Tenth Amendment Center, Life: Powered,” Texas Public Policy Foundation, February 8, 2018. Archived via Google Cache dated July 17, 2018.
  3. 2017 Annual Report,” Texas Public Policy Foundation. Retrieved from
  4. Fueling Freedom,” Regnery Publishing. Archived August 21, 2018. URL:
  5. Vance Ginn. “Carbon Tax: A Free Market Solution to Climate Change?Life:Powered, May 4, 2018. Archived August 22, 2018. URL:
  6. About,” Life:Powered. Archived August 21, 2018. URL:
  7. Texas Public Policy Foundation,” Conservative Transparency. August 21, 2018.
  8. Taylor Kuykendall. “US fossil fuels target global energy poverty, climate change in new PR push,” SPGlobal, August 9, 2018. Archived August 21, 2018. URL:
  9. Homepage, Balanced Energy for Texas. Archived August 22, 2018. URL:
  10. BET Statement Regarding President Trump’s Energy Independence Executive Order,” Balanced Energy for Texas, March 28, 2017. Archived August 22, 2018. URL:
  11. Michael Nasi,” LinkedIn. Accessed August 22, 2018. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.
  12. Bernard L. McNamee,” LinkedIn. Accessed August 22, 2018. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.
  14. Steve Horn. “Trump Names Climate Denier Kathleen Hartnett White to Head White House Environmental Council,” DeSmog, October 13, 2017.
  15. Press Release). “EXPANSION OF TRUMP ECONOMIC ADVISORY COUNCIL,”, August 11, 2016. Archived September 28, 2016. URL
  16. AP. “Climate change sceptic Kathleen Hartnett White dropped as Trump environment expert,” The Guardian, February 3, 2018. Archived August 22, 2018. URL:
  17. JACKI PICK, SENIOR FELLOW, LIFE:POWERED,” Texas Public Policy Foundation. Archived August 22, 2018. URL:
  18. Employment,” Texas Public Policy Foundation. Archived August 21, 2018. URL:
  19. Privacy Policy,” Life:Powered. Archived August 21, 2018. URL:
  20. The Honorable Jason Isaac,” Texas Public Policy Foundation. Archived April 5, 2019. URL:
  21. The Green New Deal is a Massive New Tax,” Life:Powered, February 8, 2019. Archived April 5, 2019. URL:
  22. Asher Price. “Texas Public Policy Foundation touts fossil fuel benefits beyond Texas,” American-Statesman, June 14, 2019. Archived June 19, 2019. Archived .mp4s on file at DeSmog. 
  23. Most Googled Questions About The Green New Deal,” YouTube video uploaded b user “Texas Public Policy Foundation,” August 20, 2019. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.
  24. Homepage, Archived February 19, 2020. URL:
  25. Juliet Eilperin and Brady Dennis. “She pushed Trump to exit the Paris climate agreement and roll back environmental rules. And she’s returning to EPA as chief of staff,” The Washington Post, February 14, 2020. Archived February 19, 2020. URL:
  26. AMANDA (MANDY) GUNASEKARA,” CO2 Coalition. Archived February 19, 2020. URL:
  27. CO2 FUNDAMENTALS,” CO2 Coalition. Archived February 19, 2020. URL
  28. Mandy Gunasekara,” Texas Public Policy Foundation. Archived February 19, 2020. URL:
  29. Dana Drugmand. “Under Cover of Pandemic, Fossil Fuel Interests Unleash Lobbying Frenzy,” DeSmog, April 2, 2020.
  30. “Dear Members of Congress” (PDF)Life:Powered, March 23, 2020. Archived.pdf on file at DeSmog.
  31. CAFE-Coaliton-to-Trump-April-2020-9 (PDF)American Energy Alliance.
  32. POLITICIANS ARE RUINING TEXAS’ POWER GRID (GUEST: JASON ISAAC),” The Heartland Institute. Archived .mp3 on file at DeSmog.

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