Robert L. Bradley Jr.

Robert L. Bradley Jr.



Robert Bradley Jr. is the founder and CEO of Institute for Energy Research (IER). Bradley spent nearly 20 years in the business world including 16 years at Enron where he served as corporate director of public policy analysis and as a speech writer for Kenneth L. Lay.4ExxonSecrets Factsheet: Robert L. Bradley Jr.,” Accessed May 20, 2016.

Robert Bradley has been associated with a range of conservative and free-market think tanks; he was an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute and Competitive Enterprise Institute CEI), an Energy and Climate Change Fellow at the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) in London, and an honorary senior research fellow at the Center for Energy Economics. He has been a member of the Academic Review Committee for the Institute for Humane Studies at George Mason University.5About Robert Bradley,” Archived January 25, 2010. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

He is also the author of several books including Climate Alarmism Reconsidered (2003) and Renewable Energy: Not Cheap, Not ‘Green’ (Cato Institute, 1997), and formerly ran the website Political Robert Bradley,” Archived January 25, 2010. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

Stance on Climate Change

September 2016

Writing in a Forbes Op-Ed, Bradley said:7Robert Bradley Jr. “Climate Exaggeration is Backfiring,” Forbes, September 23, 2016. URL:

“There is good news as good science drives out bad. The discrepancy between model-predicted warming and (lower) real-world observations has inspired new respect for natural climate variability relative to greenhouse-gas forcing. […] The real news is good news in contradiction to doom-and-gloom. It is time for energy and climate planners to lay down their government arms. Let consumers and taxpayers be.”

May 2008

Writing in an issue of The New Individualist, Bradley claims that the science is not settled on climate change:

“It is as if the physical science is settled in favor of climate alarmism (it is not), and government intervention to ‘stabilize climate’ is cost-beneficial (it is not).”8Robert Bradley Jr. “The Two Faces of American Capitalism” (PDF), The New Individualist, May 2008.

Key Quotes

June 2017

In one part of a three-part series Bradley wrote at IER on “The Philosophic Roots of the Paris Agreement,” Bradley concluded:

“People remain the problem to the congregation of the Church of Climate, as much as they want to say that forced energy transformation is compatible with economic coordination and prosperity.

“And here we are today. The Malthusian scares have been refuted one-by-one, leaving the daily sermons about the perils of manmade climate change. But trends are positive regarding the green greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide. The ecological benefits of increasing atmospheric concentrations of CO2 is in the news. Climate sensitivity estimates to the enhanced greenhouse effect are falling. The Paris agreement has been exposed on the Left as ‘a fraud … a fake … worthless.’ And the grassroots revolt against industrial wind turbines and solar farms is growing.

“The good news is that the Malthusian bad news is wrong. May the Church of Climate find its pews increasingly empty.”9Robert L. Bradley, Jr. “The Philosophic Roots of the Paris Agreement Part II: The Malthusian People Problem,” IER, June 1, 2017. Archived October 14, 2017. URL:

May 2017

In the first part of his three-part series on the Paris Climate Agreement, Bradley declares:

“The rejection the Paris climate agreements is really the liberation of 7.5 billion people from a dangerous, anti-human, anti-progress agenda.”10Robert L. Bradley, Jr. ”The Philosophic Roots of the Paris Agreement Part I: Deep Ecology vs. Human Progress,” Institute for Energy Research, May 25, 2017. Archived Octobe 14, 2017. URL:

March 2017

Writing in a Forbes Op-Ed, Bradley opposed divestment in fossil fuels:

“The divestment of fossil-fuel stocks is both ineffectual against its corporate targets and hurtful to ordinary people,” Bradley said, describing divestment as “a futile crusade.”11Robert Bradely, Jr. “Don’t Divest, Invest In Fossil-Fuel America,” Forbes, March 30, 2017. URL:

August–September 2000

The following is from the abstract for an article Bradley wrote in The Electricity Journal titled “Climate Alarmism and Corporate Responsibility”:

“Voluntary actions by corporations should not go beyond innovative win–win ‘no regrets’ initiatives. Greenhouse gas control practices that are uneconomic penalize either consumers or stockholders while politicizing the issue of corporate responsibility. Few will be satisfied, and the ineffectual measures will eventually have to be abandoned.”12Climate Alarmism and Corporate Responsibility Robert L. Bradley Jr.” (abstract), The Electricity Journal, Volume 13, Issue 7, August-September 2000, Pages 65-71.

Key Deeds

February 1, 2019

The Institute for Energy Research (IER) published a commentary article by Bradley framing the proposed Green New Deal within the context of the perceived failures of the New Deal of the 1930’s. According to Bradley, citing another article by Pacific Research Institute Senior Fellow Robert Murphy, a Green New Deal would lead to a dramatic uptick in unemployment along with market “chaos” as a result of overreaching government regulation and selective enforcement.13Robert L. Bradley Jr. “What Was the Energy New Deal Anyway?,” Institute for Energy Research, February 1, 2019. Archived February 12, 2019. URL:

More concerning, according to Bradley, would be the necessary imposition of something akin to martial law in response to the inevitable resistance to government interference in energy markets:

Expect a Green New Deal aiming to outlaw fossil-fuel usage to be a police state too, with self-interested actions towards cheaper, more reliable energies thwarting the central planners from Washington, D.C.”14Robert L. Bradley Jr. “What Was the Energy New Deal Anyway?,” Institute for Energy Research, February 1, 2019. Archived February 12, 2019. URL:

Bradley concludes with a dire warning that a Green New Deal would ultimately result in a failed state:

[…] the proposed Green New Deal would be a giant leap on the road to serfdom. It would create the distortions and conflicts that would engender more of the same. Its slow-motion attack on wealth creation to subsidize the inefficient and a growing class of cronies would spiral the United States toward a present-day Venezuela.”15Robert L. Bradley Jr. “What Was the Energy New Deal Anyway?,” Institute for Energy Research, February 1, 2019. Archived February 12, 2019. URL:

August 7, 2018

Bradley was registered at the Heartland Institute‘s “America First Energy Conference” (AFEC 2018) in New Orleans, Louisiana.16Speakers,” America First Energy Conference 2018. Archived August 1, 2018. URL:

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.17About,” America First Energy Conference 2018. Archived July 23, 2018. URL:

He moderated a panel titled “REINing in the Regulators.”18BENJAMIN ZYCHER, PH.D.,” America First Energy Conference 2018. Archived August 1, 2018. Archive URL:

September 8, 2017

Bradley cites climate change denier Judith Curry, describing her as a “leading foe of (faulty) science emanating from groupthink, false certainty, bad incentives, and half-truths,” to claim that sea level rise is natural and not influenced by man’s activities.

“Humans are not going to stop sea level rise on the time scale of a few centuries by ceasing emissions of CO2,” Bradley wrote at IER. He concluded that “The good news is that sea level rise is much more modest than false prognosticators have led us to believe. Al Gore’s worst case scenario fooled some for a time, but no more.

[…] Rather than attempt to shave fractions of an inch off of future sea level rise in the distant future, policymakers should keep fossil fuels affordable, plentiful, and reliable to deal with climate and weather events of all kinds. Free-market adaptation, not a futile crusade to ‘stabilize’ climate, is the obvious choice for a free, prosperous world.”19Robert Bradley. “Scary Sea Level Rise? Check Your Science,” IER, September 8, 2017. Archived October 14, 2017. URL:

Note that Bradley/Curry’s claims that sea level rise is exaggerated is one of several myths debunked by SkepticalScience.20How much will sea levels rise in the 21st Century?SkepticalScience. Accessed October 14, 2017

August 2017

Bradley spoke at an event hosted by the World Affairs Council of Houston titled “Local to Global Politics: Climate Change.”

“Knowing that climate activists abounded at the two-and-a-half day affair, I pitched an optimistic view of free markets and a cautionary one about intellectual elites identifying problems for the government to solve,” Bradley wrote at IER, adding: “My first slide was a quotation from William Happer, Professor of Physics, Princeton University: ‘I believe that the increase of CO2 is not a cause for alarm and will be good for mankind.’”21Climate Optimism, Energy Realism for the Next Generation,” IER, August 11, 2017. Archived October 14, 2017. URL:

He concludes by supporting the ”red team-blue team debate on climate science” proposed under Scott Pruitt’s EPA, adding that “This same debate deserves to be held in every classroom and public forum across the country.”22Climate Optimism, Energy Realism for the Next Generation,” IER, August 11, 2017. Archived October 14, 2017. URL:

November 20, 2015

Robert L. Bradley Jr. spoke at an event hosted by the Texas Public Policy Foundation titled “At the Crossroads Energy & Climate Policy Summit.” He spoke as part of Session VI, titled “ The Shale Energy Boom: Prodigious Prosperity In the Making ” described as “A discussion on the unprecedented opportunities before us: the U.S. is now the largest producer of energy in the world.”23At The CrossRoads Energy & Climate Policy Summit,” Archived July 4, 2016. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog

Event speakers included:

Robert E. MurrayFounder, Chairman, President, and CEO of Murray Energy Corporation, the nation’s largest underground coal mining commpany.
H. Leighton StewardMember,
Dr. Don EasterbrookProfessor Emeritus of Geology at Western Washington University
Dr. Will HapperCyrus Fogg Brackett Professor of Physics, Emeritus, Princeton University
Dr. Richard LindzenAlfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology, Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, MIT
Dr. Patrick MooreAuthor and founding member of Greenpeace
Dr. E. Calvin BeisnerSpokesman for the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation
Horace CooperAdjunct Fellow, National Center for Public Policy Research
Dr. Caleb RossiterAdjunct Professor, School of International Service and Adjunct Professor, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, College of Arts and Sciences at American University
Mark P. MillsSenior Fellow, Manhattan Institute and founder andCEO, Digital Power Group
Dr. Hal DoironFormer NASA Engineer and Chairman, The Right Climate Stuff Research Team
Walter CunninghamFighter Pilot, Col. USMCR-Ret.; Physicist; Apollo 7 Astronaut
Dr. George L. StegemeierPresident, GLS Engineering, Inc.
Stephen MooreDistinguished Visiting Fellow on the Project for Economic Growth at the Heritage Foundation
Robert L. Bradley Jr.CEO, Institute for Energy Research
Mike NasPartner, Environmental and Legislative Affairs Practice Group, Jackson Walker L.L.P.
Marc MoranoFounder,
Ray GiffordPartner, Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP
Brian LloydExecutive Director, Public Utility Commission of Texas
John CornynU.S. Senator and Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn

September 26, 2014

Robert L. Bradley Jr. attends the “At the Crossroads; Energy & Climate Policy Summit” in Houston, Texas, hosted by the Texas Public Policy Foundation and The Heritage Foundation. Bradley Jr. presents in “Panel IV: Not up to the Task: Energy Alternatives to Fossil Fuels?” with Marlo Lewis of the Competitive Enterprise Institute.24Robert L. Bradley Jr. “Speakers,” At the Crossroads; Energy & Climate Policy Summit, September 2014.

August 2014

Bradley wrote an Op-Ed at Forbes titled “Oil-Export Ban: Holding America Back,” where he argued that “restrictions on crude exports have no public purpose.”25Robert Bradley Jr. “Oil-Export Ban: Holding America Back,” Forbes, August 20, 2014. URL:

August 2011

According to materials on file at the Center for Media and Democracy’s SourceWatch, Robert Bradley spoke at the Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) annual meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana.26American Legislative Exchange Council, “Energy, Environment, and Agriculture 2011 Annual Meeting Task Force Meeting,” speaker biographies and materials, August 4, 2011, on file with CMD.

March 8–9, 2009

Bradley spoke at the Heartland Institute‘s Second International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC2) in New York City. His speech, titled “The Mathusian Virus in the Scientific Debate” can be viewed below.27“Second International Conference on Climate Change, Program” (PDF) Heartland Institute. Archived January 23, 2018.

Download the PowerPoint here.28Robert Bradley, ICCC2,” International Conferences on Climate Change. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.

DeSmog researched the funding behind the conference and found that sponsor organizations had collectively received over $47 million from energy companies and right-wing foundations, with 78% of that total coming from the Scaife Family of foundations.

March, 2008

Bradley was a speaker at the Heartland Institute‘s First International Conference on Climate Change (CCC1) where he gave a presentation titled, “Lessons Learned from Enron’s Failed ‘Green’ Energy Policy.29Robert L. Bradley Jr.” SourceWatch. 30“First International Conference on Climate Change, Program” (PDF) Heartland Institute. Archived January 23, 2018. 31Robert Bradley, ICCC1,” International Conferences on Climate Change. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.



According to a search of Google Scholar, Robert L. Bradley Jr. has not published any articles in peer-reviewed journals on the subject of climate. The search does list numerous articles by Bradley done for the Cato Institute.

Bradley published the following in an electricity journal:

Robert Bradley has authored numerous books regarding energy and climate change including The Mirage of Oil Protection (1989), Julian Simon and the Triumph of Energy Sustainability (2000), Climate Alarmism Reconsidered (2003), and Energy: The Master Resource (2004, with Richard Fulmer). His most recent book is Capitalism at Work: Business, Government and Energy (2008).

Climate Alarmism Reconsidered was published by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), a right-wing think-tank, and distributed by the industry-funded Heartland Institute. In the book, Bradley claims that the world will never run out of fossil fuels, and that “a moderately warmer and wetter world from either natural or man-made causes promises more benefits than costs.”44“CLIMATE ALARMISM RECONSIDERED” (PDF), Current Affairs, Science, and Environment (distributed by The Heartland Institute), 2003.

Bradley founded the website, which covers his most recent books and work. The site also contains memos critical of the theory of man-made global warming. The site also summarizes Bradley’s experience working with Enron.

Bradley is also a regular contributor to MasterResource, a free-market energy blog which is “dedicated to analysis and commentary about energy markets and public policy” and which claims to “better inform the energy debate in a civil but forceful manner.” MasterResource regularly posts articles skeptical of climate change.

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