Thomas Pyle

Thomas Pyle

Credentials

  • Pyle holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Southern California. [1]

Background

Thomas Pyle is President of both the Institute for Energy Research (IER) and its advocacy arm, the American Energy Alliance (AEA). [2], [3]

Prior to his position at IER, Pyle founded the lobbying firm Pyle Consulting, Inc. Both Pyle and his firm have lobbied for the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association (now the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers) and for Koch Industries. [4], [5]

Before his work with Pyle Consulting, Pyle served “a variety of association and corporate clients” while working as vice president of the Rhoads Group in Washington, DC. Pyle started his career on on Capitol Hill where he served as policy analyst for the Majority Whip of the U.S. House of Representatives, and as staff director for the Congressional Western Caucus.  [2]

Thomas Pyle has been noted as a figure in the Fueling US Forward campaign orchestrated by Charles Drevna and funded by the Koch Brothers. While Charles Drevna told DeSmog’s Sharon Kelly that IER was not involved in Fueling U.S. Forward, Drevna developed the campaign while serving as a Distinguished Senior Fellow at IER. [14]

Before becoming a lobbyist for Koch, Pyle worked with former congress members Tom Delay and Rich Pombo, who both have a record opposing environmental measures in Congress. From 1999 to 2001, Pyle served as Policy Analyst for Tom DeLay, and as a Legislative Aid for Richard Pombo from 1993 to 1997, according to OpenSecrets.org. [29], [30][24]

Stance on Climate Change

Pyle doesn’t comment publicly on the science of climate change, but often talks about the perceived costs of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The Institute for Energy Research has listed its position on climate change as follows: [6]

That human activity has increased the atmospheric concentration of CO2, a gas known to ‘force’ climate or increase temperatures while the Earth has warmed about 0.6 Degrees Celsius over the last one hundred years is generally accepted. How the climate works and the relationship of different variables remains to be determined.” 

Donald Trump’s Energy Transition Team

In December, 2016, Thomas Pyle was chosen to head Donald Trump‘s energy transition team after Mike McKenna stepped down. Pyle’s history of lobbying for the oil and gas industry seems to run counter to the “drain the swamp” strategy declared by Trump. Pyle also has a history of opposing renewable energy, describing subsidies for renewables as “perpetuating a cycle of dependency where politicians feed money to industries that then instruct their lobbyists to support those same politicians.” [25]

Thomas Pyle had sent a memo (see full .pdf)obtained and published by the Center for Media and Democracy—to a private email list just before the Trump team announced his placement on the team. Pyle’s email outlined “The Trump Administration’s Energy Plan,” and included 14 policy proposals such as: [26], [27], [28]

  • Withdrawing from the 2015 Paris Climate agreement;
  • Increasing federal oil and natural gas leasing;
  • Lifting the coal lease moratorium;
  • Eliminating the Clean Power Plan;
  • Expediting approvals of LNG export terminals;
  • Moving forward with pipeline projects including the Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipeline;
  • Rolling back federal fuel economy standards;
  • Ending the use of the social cost of carbon in agency rulemaking; and
  • Reconsidering the “endangerment finding” that found greenhouse gases to be a threat to public health and welfare.

Key Quotes

May 25, 2020

In an interview with ShaleMag.com, Pyle compared the Green New Deal to measures being used to mitigate the spread of COVID-19: [56]

If you like your current situation, you’re going to love the Green New Deal. That’s what it comes down to,” he began. “We have seen folks in the Green movement cheer and celebrate; we’ve seen them make comments like ‘humans are the virus, and the coronavirus is the cure.’ These are things these people are actually saying. 

The bottom line is this, this is what the Green New Deal is: stack people up, put them in public transportation, don’t drive, don’t fly. That’s what it comes down to, and we are living that. And we’re doing it because we were asked by our government to stay home, but this is really the way they want us to live permanently. 

In order for the global Paris Agreement targets to be met, one of my guys crunched the numbers, and he thinks it would take five coronaviruses, that level of economic inactivity, to get to where they would like to be. 

 “But of course, the Green New Deal isn’t about the environment, it’s about power and control. It’s about who decides: you, me, or them? It’s about who makes the choices about the cars they drive, the places they live, the electricity consumption that they use, even what type of energy is being used and how much they pay. And it’s about who controls it — the government or us, the people, individuals, consumers, Americans? That is what the Green New Deal is, it’s about power and control, it’s not about the climate.”

He later added:

The power of the free market is the single most important thing that has reduced CO2 in this country, and the most important piece of that is fracking. Oh, they hate it when I bring that up! We’ve been able to use a lot more natural gas because it burns cleaner than other sources, and it’s cheaper to build a gas plant than it is to build a coal or nuclear plant. Plus, it’s harder to build a coal plant anyway because the Greens have made it part of their mission to prevent any new coal plants from being built. 

So, the key, the important part of IER is we put this information out there, and it’s not debatable. Our facts are not debatable because we source them all, they come mainly from government sources, and we put the facts out there in a way that basically tells the story. […]

On Keystone KL Pipeline, Pyle commented: 

The fight over Keystone XL was really the first prototype for this type of, what I call, environmental pressure tactics. They forum-shop, they look for friendly judges. Fortunately, the Trump administration is doing a darn good job of appointing conservative federal judges, and that’s going to have a long-term positive impact, I believe. 

But what it does is it slows down the process for Alberta to get in the game here, to get their oil down to the refineries in the United States. Well, we’d much rather be filling our gulf refineries with Alberta crude than, say, Venezuelan crude. Seems like a much better partner, don’t you think? So, we’ve got to get this pipe in the ground.” […[

It’s not just oil and gas. It’s for everybody. It’s really more about freedom, free markets and rule of law than it is about energy.”

December 17, 2019

The American Energy Alliance released a statement from Pyle praising President Trump’s efforts to eliminate tax credits for electric vehicles and renewable energy: [50]

After a marathon political showdown,” Pyle wrote, “President Trump’s opposition to green subsidies has won the day. Credit is something you earn, not give away. Refusing to expand the costly, unnecessary, and unfair electric vehicle tax credit, the solar investment tax credit, and other green giveaways, is a major win for middle class American taxpayers. […] President Trump stuck to his guns against a Congress hell-bent on saddling the cost of the Green New Deal on middle class American taxpayers.” [50]

Pyle also expressed frustration that the federal wind production tax credit would be extended: [50]

Big Wind succeeded in securing themselves another taxpayer-funded, billion-dollar windfall, proving once again they are afraid to compete on a level playing field. You can bet they are already gearing up to take another run at picking our pockets again next year, but they won’t do so without a fight from AEA. You can take that to the bank.” [50]

September 10, 2018

Tom Pyle spoke with Boomberg, with reference to a potential carbon tax: [45]

“The whole notion that there’s going to be some grand bargain with respect to regulations is a pipe dream. The EPA is not going to remain in the hands of Donald Trump forever. You can’t bind future congresses to some kind of no-regulation deal.

“You can dress it up and put fancy clothes on it, but it’s still a massive tax on American motorists and families, which will hit the poorest among us the hardest no matter what they claim they can do to make them whole,” Pyle said.

June 2, 2016

“I was pleased with the overall direction that Mr. Trump wants to go with respect to energy policy. It’s mainstream, it’s main street, and makes a lot of sense.” [7]

September, 2015

Obama’s carbon regulation is a national energy tax that will burden Michiganders, especially the poor, with higher energy prices and fewer jobs, yet will have no impact on climate change.”  [8]

August, 2015

It’s important to remember that President Obama’s carbon regulation, the crown jewel of his climate legacy, has no impact on climate change. EPA’s own models show that their carbon rule will limit global temperature rise by a mere 0.018 degrees Celsius by 2100. That’s a bad deal for the American people. State leaders should protect their citizens from Obama’s costly carbon rule by refusing to submit a plan.” [9]

May 22, 2013

Criticizing the documentary “Gasland Part II” which examines the effects of fracking on groundwater in the U.S., Pyle writes the following in Breitbart: [10]

“[Josh] Fox and other anti-energy activists fail to understand that affordable energy is the lifeblood of America’s economy. Over the coming years, the extent to which we harness our vast domestic energy resources will determine our economic destiny. Oil and natural gas hold the key to economic revitalization and North American energy independence. To oppose natural gas is to stand against prosperity.”

Key Deeds

May 25, 2020

Tom Pyle was featured in a ShaleMag.com article describing how he and IER were “punching above their weight for energy.” The article highlighted how Pyle and IER played a role fighting for fossil fuels. [56]

I think we’ve made a pretty big difference in terms of these battles, these policy fights,” Pyle said of what ShaleMag described as IER‘s advocacy of “a holistic approach that considers the welfare of energy consumers, energy producers and taxpayers.”

I think we’ve established ourselves as a bedrock, a foundation of free market, promotion of free markets and less government intervention in energy. I’m really proud of the team that we’ve built, and we’ve got a lot of great alumni spread around, both at the Hill and in other places. One of our communications directors is working for Texas Governor Greg Abbott, for example, another at the Department of Energy. Others have gone on to run other organizations. We’re just a little one issue shop, but I think we punch above our weight, and we’ve helped prevent some really bad policies from coming into fruition. We’ve been on the other side as well, where we’ve been providing some great solutions that this president has been able to achieve in the last three years,” Pyle said.

Discussing Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign’s focus on climate change legislation and renewable energy, Pyle commented:  [56]

We saw the threat. To give the former president credit, he never hid what his intentions were with respect to the energy issues and the environmental issues. He made it absolutely clear he wanted to fundamentally transform this country. And he also made it clear in many a speech that he wanted to make ‘renewable’ or ‘clean’ energy become ‘profitable’ energy. That was code for using the government to make his pet energy sources more competitive with those that work better in the market.”

Pyle said he and IER focused on attacking Obama’s descriptions of hydraulic fracturing (Fracking). [56]

“[H]e was basing this whole agenda on this myth of scarcity, and we were having none of that. From the very beginning we intended to blow a hole in those theories,” Pyle said. “One of the first projects we produced was an inventory of the natural resources that we have in this country. We found that we have more energy resources underneath our lands and shores than any other country in the world, by far. So, it was never an issue of scarcity.”

Pyle commented on the recent film by Michael Moore, Planet of the Humans. The film, which has been criticized by environmental groups for its factual inaccuracy, was also criticized by Josh Fox—the producer of “Gasland,” a film that highlighted some of the risks of fracking in 2010. [56]

Josh Fox! Yeah, he’s saying Moore’s movie should be taken down because it’s ‘riddled with inaccuracies,’” Pyle commented. “‘Gasland,’ oh my gosh, are you kidding me? ‘Gasland’ is full of inaccuracies, outright lies, and they tried to use it to destroy the industry. And they were unable to do it.”

Pyle went on to describe his experience serving on President Trump’s transition team: [56]

I was fortunate to serve on President Trump’s transition team managing his Department of Energy work and some other issues within the transition team,” he said. “And that was great because we were able to give our ideas and our blueprint for how to make this country great again, and how to make American Energy great again.”

Pyle celebrated how the Trump administration has already removed “onerous” regulations like Waters of the United States (WOTUS), and restrictions on fracking on federal lands. He claimed to have played a major role in developing the Trump “American Energy Dominance” strategy. [56]

May 1, 2020

Pyle was a guest on the Capital Research Center’s InfluenceWatch podcast titled “The Left Wants the COVID economy” where he discussed how he believed environmentalists were “celebrating” the economic shutdown due to COVID-19, and how it supposedly compared to the Green New Deal. [55]

Tom Pyle: [00:01:15] Well, we would need about five or six of these Coronavirus lockdowns to get to those CO2 emission levels that the fringe, the more extreme elements of the environmental community would like us to get to. And honestly, they’re celebrating right now. [00:01:32]

Tom Pyle: [00:01:32] It’s dumbfounding to me that with 30 million people applying for unemployment where, you know, we are literally sitting it in our homes and schooling, homeschooling our children, they are talking, saying things like the humans are the virus.  [00:01:48]

Tom Pyle: [00:01:50] The Coronavirus is the cure. Look at how wonderful things are. I mean, it’s…. [00:01:55]
 

April 6, 2020

Tom Pyle is 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. [57]

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.” [57]

March 5, 2020

AEA announced a new campaign to fight against the electric vehicle (EV) tax credit. The series of digital ads urged senators to “block proposed amendments to the American Energy Innovation Act that would expand the unnecessary, inefficient, costly and unfair electric vehicle (EV) tax credit.” [54]

Pyle issued a statement: [54]

“Some Senate Democrats are once again focused on expanding the EV tax credit despite its gross inequities. They are using the American Energy Innovation Act as a tool to enrich two auto companies, GM and Tesla, along with wealthy coastal elites, mainly from California and New York. It’s now time for all Senators, especially Republicans, to stand up for their constituents and stop this obvious handout. No amendments, no deals, and no extensions of the tax credit.”

February 10, 2020

Pyle, representing the Institute for Economic Research, signed on to a coalition letter opposing the Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI), a program designed to limit carbon dioxide emissions from the transportation sector. [51]

The letter was also promoted by The Heartland Institute, who introduced it as “from many of our esteemed sister think tanks.” The letter portrays TCI as a “poorly conceived, fundamentally regressive, and economically damaging proposal.” [52]

November 20, 2019

Pyle announced the American Energy Alliance had purchased a full-page ad in The Wall Street Journal calling for an end to electric vehicle subsidies: [49]

House Democrats have made expanding the electric vehicle subsidy a top priority before Congress wraps up for the year,” Pyle said in a statement. [49]

This move would essentially enrich two auto companies, GM and Tesla, along with wealthy coastal elites, mainly from California and New York. It’s now up to the Republicans in the U.S. Senate to stop the madness. No deals, no extensions. Majority Leader McConnell and his Senate GOP colleagues must protect consumers and taxpayers by eliminating the electric vehicle tax credit once and for all. At the very least, they must block the proposed expansion of this welfare program for the wealthy.” [49]

July 11, 2019

Tom Pyle, respresenting American Energy Alliance, was a signatory to an American Energy Alliance open letter to President Trump, congratulating him for rolling back Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards and urging him not to cut a deal with California to allow them to operate with separate regulations. [53]

“Your efforts to reform this mandate will save consumers money, preserve their choices, and ensure that the federal government, and not a single state, sets national policy,” the letter reads. [53] 

“The existing mandate makes cars more expensive. …  In short, because of the mandate, those consumers who prefer trucks, SUVs, or crossovers pay more to subsidize those who buy smaller vehicles or electric vehicles.” [53]

May 9, 2019

Thomas Pyle, representing the American Energy Alliance, signed on to an open letter fighting against an electric vehicle tax credit. [47]

The American Energy Alliance has organized a coalition to proclaim in one unified voice that there should be no expansion of the misguided electric vehicle tax credit,” Pyle wrote in a statement, quoted at The Daily Caller. There is no question that the electric vehicle tax credit distorts the auto market to no gain.” [48]

According to Pyle and others who signed the letter, Electric vehicle tax credits “overwhelmingly benefit the rich.” DeSmog’s Koch vs. Clean project has systematically debunked this, among other well-rehearsed talking points and misinformation put forward by industry about electric vehicles. [48]

The letter cites research by the Pacific Research Institute (PRI), a group that has received over $600,000 from ExxonMobil and millions from “dark money” groups DonorsTrust and Donors Capital Fund

February 27, 2019

Pyle appeared before the Congressional Western Caucus alongside Marc Morano and Myron Ebell to provide testimony in opposition to the proposed Green New Deal. Defending the fossil fuel industry as an indispensible tool of global poverty alleviation, Pyle testified:

Contrary to the naysayers, we have drilled our way to prosperity at home. And as this energy revolution continues, U.S. energy exports will lift millions of people out of poverty around the world.” [46]

He concluded his remarks with a rebuke of the Green New Deal on moral grounds:

The economic contradictions found within the green new deal further expose that the whole proposal is nothing more than a green activist manifesto. […] The Green New Deal is unnecessary, illogical and immoral.” [46]

July 18, 2018

Thomas Pyle, representing the American Energy Alliance, was among signatories of a letter supporting an anti-carbon tax resolution from House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) and Rep. David McKinley (R-W.Va. [42]

“We oppose any carbon tax. We oppose a carbon tax because it would lead to less income and fewer jobs for American families,” the letter read. “We support the House Concurrent Resolution in opposition to a job-killing carbon tax and urge members to co-sponsor and support this effort.” [42]

The resolution would call a carbon tax “detrimental to the United States economy.”E&E News reported it was similar to a measure that passed the House in 2016. Rep. Carlos Curbelo of Florida, co-chairman of the Climate Solutions Caucus, said he would not vote for the resolution. [43]

“Protecting our environment and economic growth are not mutually exclusive,” he said in a statement. “The resolution presents a false choice.”

The Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL) issued a point-by-point rebuttal of the measure when it was first introduced. [44]

May 10, 2018

Thomas Pyle, representing the Institute for Energy Research, was one of three signatories of an open letter to Donald Trump requesting that he follow through on a major rollback of Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards for the auto industry. [40]

The open letter was sent amid concerns from the the auto industry that the rollback could result in a “regulatory nightmare,” with potentially years of litigation from California and a lack of regulatory certainty. Bill Ford, chairman of Ford Motor Co., said at the company’s annual meeting, “We are not asking the administration for a rollback.”  He said, “We want California at the table, and we want one national standard.” [41]

Despite this, presidential transition team members Pyle, Myron Ebell, and Shirley Ybarra pleaded with Trump, saying “You should dismiss this concern.” The letter continues: “We agree that in an ideal world, California would negotiate with you in good faith, but we all know that is not a reality in this current political climate.” Signatories also the existing mandate would mean “those consumers who prefer trucks, SUVs, or crossovers pay more to subsidize those who buy smaller vehicles.” [41]

“These significant increases in the average price of a car or truck are a very real regressive tax on American families that make consumers poorer and the economy weaker,” Pyle, Ebell, and Ybarra wrote. [41]

April 23, 2018

Thomas Pyle, representing the American Energy Alliance, was among 22 groups signed on to an open letter asking President Trump to ignore recent criticism of EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. [38]

In a speech to the U.S. Senate, a group of Democratic senators identified the organizations as front groups for the Koch Brothers and other wealthy donors, nicknamed the “Web of Deceit.” The senators outlined how, in addition to funding from the Koch network, many of the groups use untraceable “dark money” funneled through groups like Donors Capital Fund and Donors Trust to influence legislation, particularly with regards to climate and pollution.

Senator Whitehouse outlined it as “a web of deceit conceived and bankrolled by the Koch brothers and other self-interested billionaires to advocate for very selfish and unpatriotic policies.” Whitehouse added: “This web of deceit has infiltrated and populated the Trump administration, and it is swamping the interests of everyday Americans. [39]

The full list of pro-Pruitt signatories and their respective organizations is as follows:

September 21, 2017

Thomas Pyle spoke at the American Conservative Union Foundation‘s (ACU“West Virginia on the Rise” conference in Charleston, WV. The event included keynote presentations from U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Congressman Alex Mooney (WV-2), WV Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, and others. Pyle was scheduled to speak on the first panel, titled “rebuilding the economy.” [37]

June 2, 2017

Speaking with Breitbart News Daily host Joel Pollak, Pyle described the scrapping of the Paris Climate Agreement as “one of the single-most important decisions President Trump has made.” Pyle and the Institute of Energy Research supported US withdrawal from the deal. [36]

“The biggest tragedy in all of this is the Obama administration spent billions and billions of our taxpayer money subsidizing, picking sources of energy and making bets of specific sources of energy. There’s a role for the federal government, it ought to be in basic R and D, funding those types of things that could lead to those breakthroughs. And then let the Bill Gates’s of the world, let the investor class, the people who have the resources to place bets on some of these technologies,” Pyle said. Listen to the audio below. [36]

June 1, 2017

According to Politico, Pyle was among those who were invited to the Rose Garden event where Donald Trump would go on to announce the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord.  Other “ardent foes” of the accord who were invited to the event included Myron Ebell, Director of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and several representatives from the Heritage Foundation. [35]

May 8, 2017

Thomas J. Pyle, representing AEA, is a signatory to an open letter to President Donald J. Trump urging him “to withdraw fully from the Paris Climate Treaty and to stop all taxpayer funding of UN global warming programs.” [32]

DeSmog reported that the 40 groups represented in the letter, including the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), The Heartland Institute, and the Heritage Foundation, have received a combined total of millions of dollars from the Koch Brothers, ExxonMobil, and other industry groups. [33]

Analysis also showed that the groups accepted about $80 million through Donors Capital Fund and Donors Trust, two groups that have been confirmed is a key financial source for key U.S-based cliamate change denial groups. [34]

January 12, 2017

Thomas Pyle was a signatory to a January 12, 2017 official letter of support (PDF) for Scott Pruitt, in which numerous groups, including The Heartland Institute, American Energy Alliance (AEA), and others, declared that the Senate should “swiftly approve his nomination” for Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Other signatories of the letter included: [31]

May 27, 2016

Thomas Pyle, representing the American Energy Alliance (AEA), went on the Marc Cox Show on Fox News Radio to discuss Donald Trump’s energy speech on May 26. [11]

Pyle described Trump’s speech as a “breath of fresh air” and a “well-written, well-thought-out approach for how any administration should manage energy.” [11]

“Why would any president advocate shutting down Coal Power Plants in this country?” Pyle asks. Audio below. [11]

November 13, 2015

Thomas Pyle wrote a column in the Lincoln Journal Star titled “Support affordable energy by ending corporate welfare” where he argues against renewing the wind Production Tax Credit (PTC):

“Enough is enough. Wind advocates have claimed for decades they wouldn’t need handouts within a few more years, claims that have proven wrong time and again. Wind’s recent history illustrates this reality. When the PTC is active – aka, when the tax spigot is open – new wind installations soar. When it’s temporarily expired and no more tax dollars are available, installations plummet,” Pyle writes. [12]

In a responding column, author Dan McGuire notes that fossil fuel subsidies dwarf wind energy incentives. [13]

“It’s ironic, if not downright hypocritical, for Mr. Pyle to complain about the wind production tax credit,” McGuire writes. “According to the U. S Treasury Mid-Session Review of the Budget of the United States Government for Fiscal Year 2015 the U. S. government provides eleven permanent federal fossil fuel production tax provisions with a 10-year nominal annual revenue average cost of $4.7 billion or nearly $38 billion since 2008, the same time period that Mr. Pyle complains about the wind energy Production Tax Credit (PTC) costing $7.3 billion. Those fossil fuel production subsidies cost U.S. taxpayers 8 times more than the wind PTC during that same period”

September 1, 2015

Thomas Pyle, in his capacity as Institute for Energy Research President, issued a statement criticizing Michigan’s Governor Richard Dale Snyder for his plan to implement EPA carbon regulations: [8]

The Snyder administration’s decision to wave the white flag and implement EPA’s carbon regulation is bad news for Michigan families. The governor claims this approach ‘retains control’ for Michigan, yet the opposite is true. Implementing this regulation, when serious legal challenges persist, effectively hands over the keys to Michigan’s energy future to unelected bureaucrats in Washington. Once Gov. Snyder signs away Michigan’s control over its energy future to Obama’s EPA, there is no turning back.

Obama and EPA want states to think their only choices are to submit a state plan or have a federal plan imposed on them. Gov. Snyder has apparently fallen for this false choice. The real choice is between shielding Michigan from this harmful carbon regulation or helping President Obama carry it across the finish line as the sun sets on his presidency.

Obama’s carbon regulation is a national energy tax that will burden Michiganders, especially the poor, with higher energy prices and fewer jobs, yet will have no impact on climate change. Michigan voters made clear their stance on higher energy taxes when they overwhelmingly rejected Governor Snyder’s gas tax proposal earlier this year. The governor should listen to the citizens in his state and join the ranks of several of his fellow governors by rejecting the Obama administration’s carbon regulation.”

August 17, 2015

Thomas Pyle issued a statement on the approval of Shell’s permit to explore for oil in the Arctic Ocean: [15] 

The approval of this permit is a huge victory for the American people. After fulfilling all of the requirements and investing $7 billion, Shell is finally able to begin the process of exploring these areas for vast oil resources that could make America stronger. But this is about more than finding oil. This is about investing in America’s future. The resources that lie in the Arctic will boost our energy security and ensure that American families have access to affordable energy for generations and generations to come. Americans of good will wish them luck in their search.”

August 6, 2015

Thomas Pyle published an article in Medium responding to a previous post by EPA Chief Gina McCarthy “with his own six reasons as to why states and the American people should be wary of entrusting EPA with their energy futures.” [16]

Pyle contends in his article that the EPA‘s power plan, which he entitles a “carbon agenda” will have “no impact on climate change,” will “[hurt] Americans’ health,” “relies on threats and bribes,” and “was written by the environmental lobby,” among other criticisms. [17] 

August 3, 2015

Thomas Pyle issued a statement criticizing President Obama’s Clean Power Plan: [9]

The final version of President Obama’s ‘Clean Power Plan’ is somehow more harmful than the proposed rule. It forces states to make even steeper cuts, it guts natural gas in favor of costly renewables, and it still has no effect on climate change. While the EPA touts these adjustments to the rule as a sign of ‘flexibility’, it’s really an admission that Obama needs states to do his dirty work. But state leaders shouldn’t give in to the administration’s bribery schemes. Regardless of these cosmetic changes to the rule, the fundamental flaws remain.

It’s important to remember that President Obama’s carbon regulation, the crown jewel of his climate legacy, has no impact on climate change. EPA’s own models show that their carbon rule will limit global temperature rise by a mere 0.018 degrees Celsius by 2100. That’s a bad deal for the American people. State leaders should protect their citizens from Obama’s costly carbon rule by refusing to submit a plan.”

June 30, 2015

The Institute for Energy Research published a study titled “The Levelized Cost of Electricity from Existing Generation Resources” (PDF) authored by Thomas F. Stacy and George S. Taylor. Thomas Pyle writes in the Wall Street Journal that the study concludes that  “scrapping the existing coal fleet to build new generators would impose expensive and unnecessary costs—and the public would foot the bill.”  [18], [19]

November 21, 2014

IER President Thomas Pyle published an op-ed in the Las Vegas Review-Journal titled “It’s time for wind tax credit to get blown away”: [20]

One of the central building blocks of the EPA’s power plant rule is increased use of wind and solar for electricity generation. But wind and solar are uncompetitive without massive taxpayer subsidies and mandated renewable portfolio standards. For wind, that takes the form of the production tax credit. […]

Congress should reject any attempt by [Senate Majority Leader Harry] Reid to revive the wind production tax credit in the lame-duck session. It’s clearly a bad deal for Nevadans, enriching out-of-state billionaires at the expense of working families.” [20]

September, 2014

The Checks and Balances project reports that the American Energy Alliance and its President Thomas J. Pyle released a poll that they contend was made to “deliberately deceive the public by forgetting about 150 years of subsidies paid to the oil, gas, and coal industries.” [21]

According to Checks and Balances, the poll’s questions were “carefully written to manufacture public opposition to tax credits that would spur the growth of the wind energy industry, as well as the EPA’s proposal to cut carbon emissions from existing coal-fired power plants.”

The federal government has been giving special treatment to green energy for decades either directly through handouts like the wind [Production Tax Credit] or indirectly through red tape like EPA’s proposed power plant rule,” Pyle wrote in an email to The Hill.

The poll was conducted by MWR Strategies, a company that also lobbies for the fossil fuel industry. According to OpenSecrets.org, MWR Strategies was paid $470K from Koch; $570 from American Electric Power, and $770K from Southern Company. [22]

September 4, 2012

Thomas Pyle released a statement following the speech by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, NC discussing Obama’s energy policies: [23]

“Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s speech tonight at the Democratic National Convention was an impressive example of rhetorical charades, bestowing credit upon President Obama for the bright horizon of America’s energy future despite the administration’s relentless, take-no-prisoners assault on affordable domestic coal, oil, and natural gas.”

Pyle targets electric vehicles, calling them “neither affordable nor efficient for the overwhelming majority of consumers who commute for work.”

1994

According to his interview with ShaleMag.com article, early in Pyle’s career he was a staffer for Republican Congressman Richard Pombo. [56]

In 1994, Pombo was appointed to a task force on reforming the Endangered Species Act where Pyle “had the fortune of being able to staff that for him, and we conducted field hearings all around the country; we were able to meet a whole lot of folks who were impacted by the law.” [56]

Affiliations

OpenSecrets.org describes the “revolving door” of Thomas Pyle’s employment history: [24]

Social Media

Publications

Some sample publications below:

Resources

  1. Tom Pyle Bio” (PDF), Institute for Energy Research. Archived .pdf on file at Desmog.

  2. Thomas J. Pyle: President,” Institute for Energy Research. Archived October 19, 2016. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/vtwzz

  3. Thomas Pyle: President,” American Energy Alliance. Archived October 19, 2016. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/uqRyS

  4. Pyle Consulting,” OpenSecrets.org. Accessed October 19, 2016.

  5. Pyle, Thomas J,” OpenSecrets.org. Accessed October 19, 2016.

  6. Influencing The Debate,” Institute for Energy Research. Archived August 28, 2015.

  7. Tom Pyle responds to Donald Trump’s energy speech,” YouTube video uploaded by user IERDC, June 2, 2016. Archived .mp4 on file at Desmog.

  8. Gov. Snyder Surrenders to Obama’s EPA,” Energy Townhall (AEA Publication), September 1, 2015. Archived May 21, 2015. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/zYjBW

  9. (Press Release). “Obama’s Carbon Rule Still a Bad Deal for Americans,” Energy Townhall (AEA Publication), July 3, 2015. Archived May 21, 2016. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/2mFW7

  10. Thomas J. Pyle. “Anti-Fracking Documentary ‘Gasland Part II,” Breitbart, May 22, 2013. Archived October 19, 2016. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/F6a99

  11. Thomas Pyle 5-27-16,” YouTube Video uploaded by user FM NewsTalk 97.1 – Fox News Radio – St. Louis, MO, May 27, 2016. Archived .mp4 on file at Desmog.

  12. Thomas J. Pyle. “Column: Support affordable energy by ending corporate welfare,” Lincoln Journal Star, November 13, 2015. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/W7fSH

  13. Dan McGuire. “Local View: Fossil fuel subsidies dwarf wind energy incentives,” Lincoln Journal Star, November 18, 2015. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/rFaha

  14. Charles T. Drevna Joins IER,” Institute for Energy Research, May 26, 2015. Archived October 18, 2016. Archivei.is URL: https://archive.is/fyOUP

  15. Shell’s Permit to Drill is a Victory for American Energy Security,” Institute for Energy Research, August 17, 2015. Archived May 23, 2016. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/L8366

  16. Six Things Every American Should Really Know About EPA’s Carbon Agenda,” Energy Townhall (AEA Publication), July 12, 2015. Archived May 21, 2016. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/lByuG

  17. Tom Pyle. “Six Things Every American Should Really Know About EPA’s Carbon Agenda,” Medium, August 6, 2015. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmogBlog.

  18. The Levelized Cost of Electricity from Existing Generation Resources” (PDF), Institute for Energy Research, June 2015. Archived August 30, 2015.

  19. Thomas Pyle. “The Price Tag For Uprooting America’s Electric Grid,” The Wall Street Journal, August 9, 2015.

  20. ICYMI: It’s Time for the Wind PTC to Blow Away,” Energy Townhall, November 21, 2014.

  21. Fossil Fuel Front Groups’ Flawed Poll Ignores Century of Fossil Fuel Welfare,” Checks & Balances Project, September 10, 2014. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/NlhiO

  22. MWR Strategies,” OpenSecrets.org. Accessed October 19, 2016.

  23. (Press Release). “IER Responds to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s DNC Speech,” Institute for Energy Research, September 4, 2012. Archived October 19, 2016. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/sQhlF

  24. Pyle, Thomas J,” OpenSecrets.org. Archived October 19, 2016. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/ABxdK

  25. Julian Spector. “Trump Energy Team Swaps Out Its Transition Team Leader,” Green Tech Media, December 1, 2016.  Archived December 7, 2016. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/uDcE5

  26. Pyle-What-to-Expect-From-the-Trump-Administration.pdf” From the Desk of Thomas Pyle. Retrieved from Documentcloud.org. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

  27. Nick Surgey. “REVEALED: THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION’S ENERGY PLAN,” The Center for Media and Democracy, December 4, 2016. Archive.is URL:  https://archive.is/R9rzX

  28. Ben Jervey. “Trump Energy Agenda Revealed in Thomas Pyle Memo,” DeSmog, December 7, 2016.

  29. Tom DeLay on Environment,” OnThe Issues. Archived January 2, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/pOll3

  30. Richard Pombo on Environment,” OnThe Issues. Archived January 2, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/CC0yJ

  31. “Dear Senators,” (PDF)Competitive Enterprise Institute, January 12, 2017. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

  32. “Dear Mr. President” (PDF), retrieved from Competitive Enterprise Institute. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

  33. Graham Readfearn. “Conservative Groups Pushing Trump To Exit Paris Climate Deal Have Taken Millions From Koch Brothers, Exxon,” DeSmog, May 10, 2017.

  34. Susanne Goldberg. “Conservative groups spend up to $1bn a year to fight action on climate change,” The Guardian, December 20, 2013. Archived May 12, 2017. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/TB2yy

  35. Eric Wolff and Darius Dixon. “Paris deal foes to attend Trump’s climate announcement,” Politico, June 1, 2017. Archived June 19, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/SEZWD

  36. Dan Riehl. “Thomas Pyle: Scrapping Paris Deal ‘One of the Single-Most Important Decisions’ Trump Has Made,” Breitbart, June 2, 2017. Archived July 13, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/uW0Tv

  37. WEST VIRGINIA ON THE RISE: REBUILDING THE ECONOMY, REBUILDING LIVES,” The ACU Foundation. Archived  October 3, 2017. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/fGaIR

  38. “Coalition letter to the President on Scott Pruitt,” (PDF) Heartland Institute. Archived .pdf on file with DeSmogBlog.

  39. Senator Whitehouse. “Time to wake up: Web of Deceit” April 23, 2018. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.li/HzIsa

  40. “Dear Mr. President” (PDF), Institute for Energy Research, May 10, 2018. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog. 

  41. Ben Jervey. “On Rollbacks, Automakers Tell Trump ‘Not So Fast,’ Kochs Say ‘Burn More Gas’,”DeSmog, May 14, 2018.

  42. 41 Conservative Groups Support Scalise/McKinley Anti-Carbon Tax Resolution,” Americans for Tax Reform, July 18, 2018. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

  43. Nick Sobczyk. “House voting on anti-carbon-tax measure: ‘Pass the popcorn’,” E&E News, July 16, 2018. Archived Aug 2, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.fo/aTP8h

  44. Teaching opportunities from House Concurrent Resolution 119 (H.Con.Res.119)” (PDF), Citizens’ Climate Lobby, April 30, 2018.

  45. Jennifer A Dlouhy. “Yellen Touts Carbon Tax as ‘Textbook Solution’ to Climate Change,” Bloomberg, September 10, 2018. Archived September 14, 2018. Archive URLhttps://archive.fo/yNdk6

  46. Watch: Morano testifies at Congressional Hearing On The Green New Deal as AOC Backs Out: The Dem Party has shifted ‘into serious, unscientific, nutty territory’ – Urges GOP NOT to offer ‘Green New Deal-lite’,” Climate Depot, February 27, 2019. Archived March 5, 2019. Archive.is URLhttp://archive.is/bMwSD. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog. 

  47. Dear Senator Grassley, Senator Wyden, Representative Neal and Representative Brady:” May 9, 2019. Retrieved from The Daily Caller.

  48. Christ White. “CONSERVATIVES WARN LAWMAKERS: TESLA’S TAX CREDITSOVERWHELMINGLY BENEFIT THE RICH,”The Daily Caller, May 9, 2019. Archived May 9, 2019. Archive.fo URLhttps://archive.fo/qzvF3

  49. Jon Haubert. “AEA Launches Initiative Calling on Republican Senators to End Welfare for Auto Manufacturers and Wealthy Coastal Elites,” American Energy Alliance, November 20, 2019. Archived December 9, 2019. Archive.is URL: http://archive.is/TKwK3

  50. Jon Haubert. “President Trump Holds the Line: Protects Middle Class Taxpayers from the Green New Deal,” AmericanEnergyAlliance.org, December 17, 2019. Archived January 1, 2020. Archive.is URL: http://archive.is/bIlkn

  51. TCI Open Letter” (PDF), Institute for Energy Research, December 19, 2019.Archived February 14, 2020. Archive.is URL: http://archive.is/Y0mBJ. Archived .PDF on file at DeSmog.

  52. Tim Benson. “Public Input By The Heartland Institute Regarding The Transportation And Climate Initiative,” Heartland.org, February 10, 2020. Archived February 14, 2020. Archive.is URLhttp://archive.is/wip/ybTn3

  53. “Dear Mr. President:” (PDF), American Energy Alliance, July 11, 2019. Archived .pdf on file at Desmog.

  54. AEA Launches Initiative to Stop Special Interest Tax Giveaways,” American Energy Alliance, March 5, 2020. Archived March 9, 2020. Archive.ph URL: https://archive.vn/O2Soq

  55. InfluenceWatch Podcast #117: The Left Wants the COVID Economy,” Capital Research Center, May 1, 2020. Archived .mp3 on file at DeSmog.

  56. David Blackmon. “Tom Pyle and IER: Punching Above Their Weight for Energy,” ShaleMag.com, May 25, 2020. Archived June 1, 2020. Archive URL: https://archive.vn/k8BFc

  57. CAFE-Coaliton-to-Trump-April-2020-9 (PDF), American Energy Alliance.

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