Nicolas Loris

Nicolas Loris


  • Loris has a master’s degree in economics from George Mason University in Fairfax, Va and a bachelor’s degree in economics, finance, and political science from Albright College in Reading, Pa. [1]


Nicolas (Nick) Loris is a research fellow at the Heritage Foundation where, according to his profile, he writes about “energy supplies, energy prices, and other economic effects of environmental policies and regulations, including climate change legislation, energy efficiency mandates, and energy subsidies.” [1]

He also “articulates the benefits of free market environmentalism” and covers coal, oil, natural gas, and nuclear energy. Loris was formerly an associate at the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation where he was a senior fellow until joining Heritage in 2007. [1]

Stance on Climate Change

March 10, 2017

Loris was quoted in an article at E&E News, which noted that his work at the Heritage Foundation had the potential to make it into the Trump administration’s energy strategy. [2]

“I do still think there’s plenty of disagreement on how much warming is man-made, how quickly the planet is warming, what a doubling of CO2 emissions will mean for global temperatures,” he said. “That’s not to say climate change isn’t happening or that man-made emissions aren’t playing a role. That’s obviously the case.” [2]

January 18, 2017

In an article at The Daily Signal, Loris defended Scott Pruitt’s confirmation as EPA Administrator and claimed Pruitt was not a climate change denier. Loris also described his own interpretation of climate change science: [3]

“Pruitt’s opponents painted him as a climate denier, despite the fact he’s never actually denied the science behind man-made warming. The reality is climatologists have a wide range of theories as to the magnitude of warming, the causes, man-made emissions’ impact on warming, and the rate of future warming and reliability of climate models to predict centuries into the future.

“Despite claims from senators that the planet is experiencing more frequent and intense natural disasters, the data show no trends for extreme weather events. And despite fearmongering about sea level increases that would flood coastal cities, the current rate of sea level rise lies far beneath alarmist projections.”

September 6, 2016

“We all know the climate changes. The debate, which is very much open, is how fast the climate is changing, why it’s changing, and what is man’s impact,” Loris wrote at The Daily Signal. [4]

July 12, 2016

“The fact of the matter is that no overwhelming consensus exists among climatologists on the magnitude of future warming, man’s impact on the climate, or on the urgency to reduce carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions,”  Loris wrote at The Daily Signal. [5]

Key Quotes

April 6, 2018

Loris co-wrote an article at the Heritage Foundation’s publication, The Daily Signal, where he declared: [6]

“The purpose of taxing carbon dioxide is not because of its impact on human health, but because of its alleged contribution to climate change. Taxing carbon dioxide emissions, however, will not result in any meaningful abated warming.”

October 10, 2017

“The Clean Air Act was never intended to regulate carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions,” Loris wrote at The Daily Signal, “Congress should pass legislation prohibiting the EPA and other agencies from implementing harmful regulations that stunt economic growth and produce futile climate benefits.” [7]

June 23, 2017

Writing at The Daily SIgnal, writing of “clean coal” in the context of reduced CO2 emissions, Loris described it as “a waste of money and diverts resources away from other competitive uses”: [8]

“Like Mississippi’s Public Service Commission, Washington should pull the plug on clean coal,” Loris wrote.

June 1, 2017

“The Paris Agreement, which committed the U.S. to drastically reducing greenhouse gas emissions, was a truly bad deal—bad for American taxpayers, American energy companies, and every single American who depends on affordable, reliable energy,” Loris co-wrote in an article at The Daily Signal. [9]

Key Deeds

April 13, 2020

Writing in a Heritage Foundation article praising the Trump Administration’s rollback of fuel economy standards, Loris suggested they hadn’t gone far enough and “policymakers should jettison fuel economy standards altogether.” [26]

“Fuel economy standards are a relic of the past,” Loris suggested. He also suggested “The global temperature impact would be practically immeasurable”  for CAFE standards and that “Consumers should have the freedom to buy the vehicle of their choice. Policymakers will get it ‘just right’ when they scrap CAFE entirely.” [26]

March 11, 2020

Loris wrote an opinion piece in the Chattanooga Times Free Press, distributed by the Tribune Content Agency, countering arguments for the oil industry’s inclusion in the financial relief bills passed by the U.S. government in response to the coronavirus. Loris summarized the forces responsible for driving the price of oil down and said a bailout would prevent the self-correction markets need in a capitalist economy. [24]

“Though the industry hasn’t asked for one, some within the administration are floating the idea of a “financial relief” package,” Loris wrote. “Doing so would be a terrible idea…no matter what financial woes lie ahead for the U.S. oil industry, a taxpayer-funded bailout isn’t the answer.” 

The piece was also re-published on the Heritage Foundation website. [25]

June 24, 2019

Loris published a commentary with the Philadelphia Inquirer calling for an end to electric vehicle tax credits, claiming that they only benefit the wealthy at the expense of the poor: [23]

Who’s benefiting from this government-forced benevolence?” He wrote, “The people who need help from other taxpayers and ratepayers the least. […] Extending the tax credit and increasing the cap would be an economic and political loser. Congress should pump the brakes on this cronyist handout that benefits the elite.” [23]

June 20, 2019

Loris testified before the House Committee on Energy & Commerce in a joint hearing with the Subcommittees on Consumer Protection & Commerce and Environment & Climate Change. [20]

In his prepared testimony, he defended the Trump administration’s rollback of fuel economy and carbon emissions regulations in testimony: [21]

Rather than imposing regulations and gifting subsidies to nudge consumers in a specific direction, policymakers should eliminate preferential treatment for all fuels and technologies. When it comes to car and light truck purchases, consumers should be in the driver’s seat,” Loris said. [21]

The SAFE (Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient) Vehicles Rule proposed by the Trump administration would apply to cars and light-duty trucks in model years 2021-2026 and freeze the 2021 fuel-economy mandate at 37 mpg through 2025, replacing the Obama-era Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards. [20]

An official fact sheet released by the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) claimed the SAFE rule would save “up to 1,000 lives lost annually in fatal vehicle crashes,” although Deputy NHTSA Administrator Heidi King could not provide corroborating data in the committee hearing. [22]

Sen. Jan Schakowsky (IL), who chaired the hearing, said that the proposed SAFE rule was based on “sham science” and was a “remarkable overstatement of safety benefits that cannot withstand public scrutiny.” [20]

April 9, 2019

Loris testified at a hearing of the House Committee on Oversight Reform’s Subcommittee on Environment. After admitting that climate change “is real and it is clear that man-made emissions are having an impact,” Loris downplayed scientists’ understanding of climate change: [19]

Distinguishing what climatologists know, what they do not know, and what they might know is necessary so that objective, transparent science can guide public policy. […] Science should be a guiding principle for Congress; however, the politicization of science jeopardizes sound policymaking,” Loris claimed in his testimony. [19]

Loris warned against reducing reliance on fossil fuels, and suggested government interference would reduce incomes and GDP while increasing consumer costs and job losses: [19]

No matter where one stands on the urgency to combat climate change, proposed federal policies like cap and trade, a carbon tax, or regulations on power plants would be ineffective in combatting climate change. In fact, the U.S. could cut its carbon-dioxide emissions 100 percent and it would not make a difference abating much warming.” [19]

He further called for the repeal and reform of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to remove barriers to energy development. [19]

He concluded his testimony by making a case for adaptation to extreme weather events:

Whether a challenge occurs slowly over time like sea-level rise or occurs without much warning like a hurricane, adaptation to extreme weather is critical to increasing resilience of America’s infrastructure. Learning lessons from previous storms and using the best scientific and technical information available will improve the ability to reduce dangers from future climate-related challenges.” [19]

December 3, 2018

Referring to electric vehicle tax credits as a corporate welfare scheme, Loris praised President Trump’s recent remarks about possibly cutting subsidies for General Motors after the automaker announced thousands of layoffs. Trump hinted that the move would also apply to tax credits for electric vehicles produced by GM. [18]

Loris claimed that electric vehicles offer little to no environmental benefit, are only accessible by wealthy consumers, and that tax credits undermine free market competition. [18]

Writing for The Daily Signal, Loris also proposed the elimination of credits and subsidies for all forms of energy:

Rather than extend the tax credit for electric vehicles, Congress should eliminate preferential treatment for all energy sources and technologies. That way, innovative companies will be chasing after the preferences of consumers rather than the next handout from Washington.” [18]

August 7, 2018

Loris spoke at the Heartland Institute‘s “America First Energy Conference” (AFEC 2018) in New Orleans, Louisiana. [10]

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[11]

He spoke on a panel titled “CAFE Standards: Why they Need to Go.” [12]

March 2, 2018

Loris spoke at a breakout section hosted by the Heartland Institute on energy and environment policy at CPAC 2018. Other panelists included David Legates and Isaac Orr. [13]

September 8, 2017

Citing data from Bjorn Lomborg and Roger Pielke Jr., and claiming mainstream data also supports his viewpoint, Loris claimed that it is a “myth” that climate change created hurricane Harvey and Irma. [14]

Sources including Scientific American had concluded that Harvey was made more powerful due to global warming. Human-caused climate change caused the storm to drop significantly more rain than storms would have before atmospheric carbon dioxide levels spiked from the consumption of fossil fuels, according to research published yesterday,” Scientific American reported. [15]

Loris claims “University of Washington climatologist Cliff Mass” discredits this claim. According to his profile at the U of W, Mass is a meteorologist. His profile does not mention a specific background in climatology. [16]


Social Media


Loris contributes to the Heritage Foundation’s publication, The Daily Signal. According to his Heritage profile, he has also testified before House and Senate committees and “he has been published and quoted in major newspapers such as The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. His radio and television appearances include CNN, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, and National Public Radio.” [17][1]

View a full list of Loris’s publications, sortable by keyword (.xlsx). Sample publications below:


  1. Nicolas Loris,” The Heritage Foundation. Archived Aug 4, 2018. Archive URL:
  2. Umair Irfan. “Meet the man behind the Heritage energy budget proposal,” E&E News, March 10, 2017. Archived August 6, 2018. URL:
  3. Scott Pruitt Provides an Opportunity to Rein in a Rogue EPA,” The Daily Signal, January 18, 2017. Archived Aug 6, 2018. URL:
  4. Why the Media’s Portrayal of Carbon Dioxide Is Often Wrong,” The Daily Signal, September 6, 2016. Archived Aug 6, 2018. URL
  5. Nicolas Loris. “The Left’s Climate Change Hysteria,” The Daily Signal, July 12, 2016. . Archived Aug 6, 2018. URL:
  6. Elliott Raia and Nicolas Loris, “College Republicans’ Misguided Support for a Carbon Tax,” The Daily Signal, April 6, 2018, Archived August 6, 2018. URL:
  7. Nicolas Loris. “Obama’s Climate Plan Was a Failure on All Accounts,” The Daily Signal, October 10, 2017. Archived August 6, 2018. URL:
  8. Nicolas Loris. “Coal in America Is Already Clean. Why ‘Clean Coal’ Is a Boondoggle That Needs to End,” The Daily Signal, June 23, 2017. Archived August 6, 2018. URL:
  9. 4 Reasons Trump Was Right to Pull Out of the Paris Agreement,” The Daily Signal, June 1, 2017. Archived August 6, 2018. URL:
  10. Speakers,” America First Energy Conference 2018. Archived August 1, 2018. URL:
  11. About,” America First Energy Conference 2018. Archived July 23, 2018. URL
  12. NICOLAS LORIS,” America First Energy Conference 2018. Archived August 1, 2018. Archive URL:
  13. Heartland’s CPAC Energy and Environment Panel,” The Heartland Institute, March 2, 2018. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.
  14. Nicolas Loris. “The Myth That Climate Change Created Harvey, Irma,” The Daily Signal, September 08, 2017. Archived August 6, 2018. URL:
  15. Global Warming Tied to Hurricane Harvey,” Scientific American, December 14, 2017.
  16. Faculty: Cliff Mass,” University of Washington College of the Environment. Archived August 6, 2018. URL
  17. Nicolas Loris,” The Daily Signal. Accessed August 4, 2018.
  18. Nicolas Loris. “Unplug Electric Vehicle Subsidies and Let Consumers Decide,” The Daily Signal, December 3, 2018. Archived December 4, 2018. URL:
  19. Subcommittee on Environment: Climate Change, Part I: The History of a Consensus and the Causes of Inaction.” Oversight.House.Gov. April 9, 2019. Archived April 15, 2019. URL
  20. HEARING ONDRIVING IN REVERSE: THE ADMINISTRATION’S ROLLBACK OF FUEL ECONOMY AND CLEAN CAR STANDARDS,” House Committee on Energy & Commerce, June 20, 2019. Accessed June 25, 2019. URL: Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.
  21. Nicolas Loris. “Congressional Testimony,” House Committee on Energy & Commerce, June 20, 2019. Accessed June 25, 2019. URL: Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.
  22. Fact Sheet,” U.S. Department of Transportation & U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, August 2, 2018. Archived June 25, 2019. URL: Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.
  23. Nicolas Loris. “Electric cars: Owned by few, subsidized by all,” The Philadelphia Inquirer, June 24, 2019. Archived July 4, 2019. URL:
  24. Nicolas Loris. ”What do collapsing oil prices mean for America?The Chatanooga Times Free Press, March 11, 2020. Archive URL
  25. Nicolas Loris. “What Do Collapsing Oil Prices Mean for America? Heritage Foundation, March 13, 2020. Archive URL
  26. The Best Fuel Economy Standard Is Zero,” The Heritage Foundation, April 13, 2020. Archived April 28, 2020. Archive URL:

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