Virginia Institute for Public Policy (VIPP)
The Virginia Institute for Public Policy (VIPP) is a think tank based in the U.S. with the goals of “individual opportunity and economic growth.” According to their website, the Institute “works ahead of the political process to lay the intellectual foundation for a society dedicated to individual liberty, free enterprise, private property, the rule of law, and constitutionally limited government.” 
The Virginia Institute for Public Policy describes itself as an “independent, nonpartisan, education and research organization that develops and promotes public policy consistent with the Virginia tradition of individual liberty, dynamic entrepreneurial capitalism, private property, the rule of law, and constitutionally-limited government.” 
The Virginia Institute for Public Policy is a member of the State Policy Network (SPN), an organization that supports the work of some of the most prominent think tanks promoting climate change skepticism including the Heartland Institute, Cato Institute, and Heritage Foundation. The Center for Media and Democracy’s in-depth investigation, ”EXPOSED: The State Policy Network – The Powerful Right-Wing Network Helping to Hijack State Politics and Government” (PDF) shows that SPN and its member think tanks share ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the Koch brothers. , , 
The single largest donor to the Virginia Institute for Public Policy is Donors Capital Fund, which provided the VIPP at least $403,500. Donors Capital describes itself as a “donor-advised fund” designed to “safeguard the charitable intent of donors who are dedicated to the ideals of limited government, personal responsibility, and free enterprise.”
Stance on Climate Change
“The facts show—despite increasingly shrill rhetoric—that planetary warming is not proceeding as originally predicted, and that it is evolving in a much more benign fashion than is generally portrayed. The facts show that there have been no major changes in Virginia’s climate.” 
Below is a summary of funding data on the Virginia Institute for Public Policy, compiled by the Conservative Transparency Project. Note that not all funding values have been verified by DeSmog. 
See the attached spreadsheet for additional information on the Virginia Institute for Public Policy’s funding (.xlsx).
|William H. Donner Foundation||$445,479|
|Donors Capital Fund||$433,500|
|Chase Foundation of Virginia||$341,000|
|The Roe Foundation||$220,000|
|Diana Davis Spencer Foundation||$89,000|
|The Shelby Cullom Davis Foundation||$62,000|
|State Policy Network||$58,941|
|Jaquelin Hume Foundation||$40,000|
|E L Craig Foundation||$15,000|
|Friedman Foundation For Educational Choice||$15,000|
|Castle Rock Foundation||$10,000|
|National Philanthropic Trust||$500|
Donors Capital Fund
Donors Capital Fund has provided at least $433,500 to the Virginia Institute for Public Policy. Donors Capital describes itself as a “donor-advised fund” designed to “safeguard the charitable intent of donors who are dedicated to the ideals of limited government, personal responsibility, and free enterprise.”
990 Forms (EIN 54-1870848)
Board of Directors
President of the Virginia Institute for Public Policy. Recipient of the 2012 John Marshall Award for “outstanding citizen leadership in the advancement of property rights,” given by the Virginia Property Rights Coalition; the Hero of the Taxpayer Award, an annual recognition given by Americans for Tax Reform in Washington, D.C.; and the Eagle Award, an annual award given for pro-family, grassroots leadership by the Eagle Forum of St. Louis, Missouri.
Founder and chairman emeritus of Chase Investment Counsel Corporation, which manages more than $500 million for a select group of clients throughout the United States. He is president of the Chase Foundation of Virginia, a trustee of the Reason Foundation and the Fraser Institute, and a former governor of the Investment Counsel Association of America.
Charles J. Cooper
Timothy E. Donner
Served on the boards of trustees of the following organizations: the William H. Donner Foundation of New York, Radio America, the conservative radio network; Values Through Media, Cal Thomas’s foundation targeted at the mainstream media; the National Mental Health Association of Alexandria, Virginia; and the Donner Canadian Foundation, the third-largest national foundation in Canada.
Vice president at The Heritage Foundation.
Douglas C. Mills
Vice president for development with the Club for Growth. Mr. Mills previously served as executive vice president of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, after having served as executive vice president of the Media Research Center for twelve years.
Abby S. Moffat
Vice president, chief operating officer, and trustee of The Diana Davis Spencer Foundation, which focuses on education, entrepreneurship, public policy, and global issues. She previously served as vice chair of grants and managing trustee of the Shelby Cullom Davis Foundation.
Co-chairman of the Washington Studies Group, and holds professional memberships with the Philanthropy Roundtable and the Capital Speakers Club. On the boards of several non-profit organizations including the Institute of World Politics (member of the executive committee), the Atlas Economic Research Foundation (treasurer), the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, Media Research Center (chairwoman of trustees), and The Heritage Foundation.
Richard F. Norman
President of The Richard Norman Company, Robertson Mailing List Company, and Patriot Data Services, which manages fund-raising programs for dozens of nationally known conservative nonprofit organizations and political campaigns.
He serves on the board of directors of the American Association of Political Consultants and the National Association of Republican Campaign Professionals and served on the State Finance Committee of the Republican Party of Virginia.
Founder and producer of “FreedomFest,” an annual conference held in Las Vegas and billed as the world’s largest gathering of free minds on liberty.
Vice president and CFO of the Virginia Institute for Public Policy. She also serves as vice president and CFO of Tertium Quids. Prior to her current positions, Mrs. Taylor was managing director of the Charles G. Koch and the Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundations.
Served on the boards of The Heartland Institute for Public Policy, Chicago; the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship, New York; and the Young Entrepreneurs of Washington, D.C. Member of The Federalist Society and The Philadelphia Society.
Board of Scholars
- William L. Anderson — Adjunct scholar with the Ludwig von Mises Institute of Auburn, Alabama; is on the board of academic advisers of the Maryland Public Policy Institute.
- Doug Bandow — Formerly served as a special assistant to President Reagan and as a senior policy analyst in the Office of the President-elect and the Reagan for President campaign.
- Atin Basuchoudhary
- James T. Bennett — Eminent Scholar at George Mason University. Publications include the Cato Journal.
- Tom Bethell — A senior editor of The American Spectator. Visiting media fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford.
- Lillian R. BeVier — Faculty adviser to the University of Virginia School of Law chapter of the Federalist Society and has been a frequent speaker at Federalist Society gatherings at law schools throughout the country. Member of the Board of Directors of the Atlantic Legal Foundation.
- Peter J. Boettke — Deputy director of the James M. Buchanan Center for Political Economy and associate professor of economics at George Mason University.
- Donald J. Boudreaux — Chairman of the department of economics at George Mason University (as of August 2001). He previously served as president of the Foundation for Economic Education, a post he accepted in May 1997. He also served on the economics faculty at George Mason University from 1985 through 1990.
- Mark Brandly — Adjunct scholar of the Ludwig von Mises Institute.
- Bryan Caplan — Associate professor of economics at George Mason University.
- Anthony M. Carilli — Adjunct scholar of the Beacon Hill Institute for Public Policy in Boston.
- James W. Ceaser
- Lee Walter Congdon
- Lee Coppock — Holds a Ph.D. in economics from George Mason University.
- Jim Cox — Fellow of the Institute for Humane Studies in Arlington, Virginia. Member of the Academic Board of Advisors for the Georgia Public Policy Foundation.
- Christopher J. Coyne
- Robert A. Destro
- Daniel L. Dreisbach
- Floyd H. Duncan — Roberts Institute Professor of Free Enterprise Economics at the Virginia Military Institute.
- Steven J. Eagle — Professor of law at George Mason University School of Law.
- Stephen P. Halbrook — Has taught legal and political philosophy at George Mason University, Howard University, and the Tuskegee Institute and is a research fellow with the Independent Institute.
- C. William Hill, Jr.
- William P. Kittredge — In 2004, Dr. Kittredge founded the Center for the Study of Capital Markets and Democracy, a 501(c)(3) research organization that focuses on the municipal bond market.
- Arnold Kling — Member of the Financial Markets Working Group of the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.
- Michael I. Krauss — Professor of law at George Mason University School of Law.
- Peter T. Leeson — BB&T Professor for the Study of Capitalism at George Mason University.
- Mark R. Levin — President of Landmark Legal Foundation. Previously he served as Landmark’s director of legal policy for more than three years.
- William R. Luckey — Earhart Foundation Fellow and a Robert Boone Stewart Fellow.
- Nelson Lund — Professor of law at the George Mason University School of Law, where he has served as coeditor of the Supreme Court Economic Review and acted as associate dean for academic affairs.
- Paul G. Mahoney
- Joyce Lee Malcolm — Professor of legal history at George Mason University School of Law and former director of research for the National Endowment for the Humanities.
- David I. Meiselman — A founder and former member of the Board of Directors of the Manhattan Institute, adjunct scholar at the Heritage Foundation, the Cato Institute, and the American Enterprise Institute. Former vice president of the Southern Economic Association.
- Patrick J. Michaels — Research professor of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia and senior fellow in environmental studies at the Cato Institute.
- Carlisle E. Moody, Jr.
- Iain Murray — Director of projects and analysis and senior fellow in Energy, Science and Technology at the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI). Visiting fellow of the British think tank The Adam Smith Institute.
- Robert H. Nelson — Served as the senior economist of the Commission on Fair Market Value Policy for Federal Coal Leasing (Linowes Commission), senior research manager of the President’s Commission on Privatization, and economist for the Senate Select Committee on Indian Affairs. Has been a visiting scholar at the Brookings Institution, visiting scholar at the Political Economy Research Center, a visiting research associate at the Center for Applied Social Science at the University of Zimbabwe, and a research fellow at the International Center for Economic Research in Turin, Italy.
- Michael J. New — Adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute.
- Randal O’Toole — Senior fellow with the Cato Institute.
- James F. Pontuso
- Lawrence W. (Larry) Reed — Past president of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. In 1994, he was elected to the Board of Trustees of the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) and publisher of the journal The Freeman, for which he writes a monthly column titled “Ideas and Consequences.” In May 1998, he was elected chairman of FEE’s Board of Trustees.
- Mark E. Rush
- Thomas Carl Rustici — Full-time visiting instructor of economics at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. Sponsored by the Fund for American Studies.
- Taylor Sanders
- Garrett Ward Sheldon
- Vernon L. Smith — Professor of economics and law at George Mason University and a research scholar at the Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science. Has served on the board of editors of the Cato Journal. Past president of the Public Choice Society, the Economic Science Association, the Western Economic Association, and the Association for Private Enterprise Education.
- Ilya Somin — Assistant professor at George Mason University School of Law.
- Sam Staley — President of the Buckeye Institute in Columbus, Ohio. Previous director of the Urban Futures Program for the Reason Public Policy Institute.
- Richard Vedder — Adjunct scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.
- Richard E. Wagner — Professor of economics and director of graduate studies at George Mason University where he served as chairman of the department of economics from 1989–95.
- Bernard Way
- Walter E. Williams — John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics and former chairman of the economics department at George Mason University. Publications have included in the Freeman and the Cato Journal. Dr. Williams is a member of the Mont Pelerin Society and the American Economic Association.
- Gary Wolfram
Past Board of Scholars
Leonard P. Liggio — Distinguished Senior Scholar with the Institute for Humane Studies, where he served as president from 1980 to 1989. Research professor at the George Mason University School of Law and executive vice president of the Atlas Economic Research Foundation. Chairman of the Advisory Council of The Salvatori Center for Academic Leadership at The Heritage Foundation and is treasurer of the Mont Pelerin Society. Trustee with the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty, with the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and with the Philadelphia Society, where he twice served as President (1992–93, 1994–95).
Tibor R. Machan — Research fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.
July 12, 2016
The Virginia Institute for Public Policy, represented by Lynn Taylor, was among 22 groups represented in a “Coalition” open letter pushing back against what the Heartland Institute describes as an “affront to free speech.” The groups are responding to the recent Web of Denial Resolution brought up in the Senate, calling out fossil fuel industry-funded groups denying climate change. 
According to the Climate Investigations Center, all but one of the open letter’s signatory organizations have taken money (totalling at least $92 million since 1997) from the “climate denial web” including Koch Brothers’ various foundations, ExxonMobil, and two “Dark Money” organizations, Donors Trust and Donors Capital Fund. 
Championed by Senators Whitehouse, Markey, Schatz, Boxer, Merkley, Warren, Sanders, and Franken, the resolution condemns what they are calling the #WebOfDenial — “interconnected groups – funded by the Koch brothers, major fossil fuel companies like ExxonMobil and Peabody Coal, identity-scrubbing groups like Donors Trust and Donors Capital, and their allies – developed and executed a massive campaign to deceive the public about climate change to halt climate action and protect their bottom lines.” 
The open letter addresses the senators, calling them “tyrants”:
“We hear you. Your threat is clear: There is a heavy and inconvenient cost to disagreeing with you. Calls for debate will be met with political retribution. That’s called tyranny. And, we reject it.” 
The full list of signatories and their respective organizations is as follows:
- Grover Norquist — Americans for Tax Reform
- Lisa B. Nelson — American Legislative Exchange Council
- John A. Charles, Jr. — Cascade Policy Institute
- David Rothbard — Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow
- Kent Lassman — Competitive Enterprise Institute
- Nicole Neily — Franklin Center for Government and Policy Integrity
- Benita Dodd — Georgia Public Policy Foundation
- Bridgett Wagner — The Heritage Foundation
- Fred Birnbaum — Idaho Freedom Foundation
- Joseph Bast — The Heartland Institute
- J. Robert McClure III — James Madison Institute
- Brett Healy — The John K. MacIver Institute for Public Policy
- Kory Swanson — John Locke Foundation
- Dave Trabert — Kansas Policy Institute
- Jason Hayes — Mackinac Center for Public Policy
- Brent Mead — Montana Policy Institute
- Sharon J. Rossie — Nevada Policy Research Institute
- Sally Pipes — Pacific Research Institute
- Kevin Kane — Pelican Institute for Public Policy
- Paul J. Gessing — Rio Grande Foundation
- Lynn Taylor — Virginia Institute for Public Policy
- Carol Platt Liebau — Yankee Institute for Public Policy
Climate change denier Charles Battig went on the “Freedom & Prosperity Radio” show hosted by the Virginia Institute for Public Policy and Tertium quids to talk about the benefits of carbon dioxide (audio of full 1 hour program below): 
“Dr. Charles Battig discusses: the positive effects of carbon dioxide without which plants would die closely followed by the human race; and how according to the satellite data, there has been no global warming for the last 18 years. Dr. Battig also asks if the environmentalists are so certain of their positions, why do they: refuse to debate, make personal attacks on opponents, refuse to release their data, and try to limit the freedom of speech of those who disagree with them. Aren’t these actions more typical of the side that realizes it holds a losing hand? Of what are they afraid other than losing their federal research bribes, er, grants?” reads the event program.
The Virginia Institute for Public Policy was one of 58 nonprofit and other organizations joining the Center for Competitive Politics in opposing a change to nonprofit disclosure laws that would require groups to show the names of its biggest donors. 
According to a Tea-Party-aligned news source, the friend-of-the-court brief (PDF) alleges that General Harris is “imposing extortionate conditions violating federal tax return confidentiality law and multiple Constitutional provisions for charities and advocacy nonprofits to reach Californians.” , 
The 57 Co-AMICI are listed as follows:
|501(c)(3) Organizations||501(c)(4) Organizations||For-Profit Organizations|
|American Civil Rights Union||American Council for Health Care Reform||ClearWord Communications Group Inc.|
|Center for Financial Privacy and Human Rights||American Grassroots Council Inc.||Donor Trends Corporation|
|Citizens Council for Health Freedom||American Policy Center||Eberle Associates|
|Citizens in Charge||Campaign for Liberty||Fund Raising Strategies Inc.|
|Citizens Outreach Foundation||Citizens Outreach Inc.||McFarland Messaging|
|Citizens United Foundation||Citizens United||MDS Communications|
|Dreamchaser Horse Rescue & Rehabilitation||Coalition for America (The Weyrich Lunch)|
|Family Research Council||Committee for the Republic|
|Freedom Alliance||Concerned Women for America|
|Galen Institute||Faith & Freedom Coalition|
|Gun Owners Foundation||ForAmerica (America Inc.)|
|Homes for Veterans||Frontiers of Freedom|
|Independent Women’s Forum||Grassroots Hawaii Action|
|Ladies of Liberty Alliance||Gun Owners of America|
|Media Research Center||Independent Women’s Voice|
|Project Veritas||Liberty Guard|
|Smiling Dog Farms||Liberty Initiative Fund|
|The 60 Plus Foundation||Maryland Taxpayer Association|
|The Conservative Caucus Foundation||National Organization for Marriage|
|The Family Action Council of Tennessee Inc.||Patriot Voices|
|The Leadership Institute||Securing Equal Education Development|
|The United States Constitutional Rights Legal Defense Fund Inc.||Taxpayers Protection Alliance|
|Tiger Creek Wildlife Refuge/Tiger Missing Link Foundation||The 60 Plus Association Inc.|
|Tiger Preservation Center||Traditional Values Coalition|
|Traditional Values Coalition Education and Legal Institute|
|Virginia Institute for Public Policy|
|Young America’s Foundation|
According to Dennis, “Global warming, if it exists, is a manageable condition. The most recent computer models of possible human-induced global warming reduce the predicted amount of warming to much lower levels than earlier models. But computer models are only sophisticated guesses, and scientists are divided over the quality of the science behind them. Predicted changes are well within the range of known temperature fluctuations that have been recorded during human history.”
Dennis says that “Perhaps it is time for parents to sit down with their kids to present an alternative view of the state of the planet.”
“We must remind our kids, and occasionally ourselves, that assertions made about environmental degradation are often not supported by facts or science.” He continues, “We should not let this environment be threatened by the political agenda of those environmental groups that do not support the institutions of liberty.”
May 1, 2001
Michaels makes the following assertions: 
- “Kyoto does nothing.”
- “Kyoto costs a fortune.”
- “Global warming is overblown. […] historical records show that about two-thirds of this warming will be in the cold portion of the year, and the lion’s share will be in the coldest, most deadly air. Does this sound like something we should spend a fortune trying to stop?”
- “Kyoto is fiscally irresponsible. “
- “Kyoto would harm the environment. […] the feds are likely to take the taxes meant to force us to stop burning gasoline, and literally throw them at windmills, or burn them in one of our dumbest technologies (because it can’t ever work on a large scale), solar energy.”
In conclusion, Michaels says “[W]e could just save our dough because the climate change issue is an overblown bunch of hooey, which is why President Bush killed Kyoto.” 
The Virginia Institute for Public Policy published a Policy Study titled “The Science and Economics of Climate Change” by climate change skeptics Patrick J. Michaels (who has reported that “40 percent” of his funding comes from the oil industry) and Paul C. Knappenberger that opposed the Kyoto Protocol, suggesting that decisions should be “based upon facts, not feelings.” Their study also suggests that climate change is a natural cycle, and that it has “occurred in the past and it will occur again in the future.” 
Among the views presented include that emissions trading would be impractical as “any emissions trading proposal is likely to become mired in the U.S. legal system for years,” that jobs would be lost, gas prices would rise at an “increase of 50 percent,” and a number of other concerns. According to Michaels and Knappenberger, “Climate change may actually be benign relative to Virginia’s agriculture and forests. However, efforts to reduce emissions would undoubtedly be harmful to those sectors of Virginia’s economy that involve the mining and transporting of coal.” 
They conclude that “The facts show that there have been no major changes in Virginia’s climate. At the same time, the economic costs of the Kyoto Protocol are enormous.” and, according to them, “The conclusion should be obvious.” 
Virginia Institute for Public Policy Contact & Location
As of June 2016, the Virginia Institute for Public Policy listed the following contact information on its website: 
Virginia Institute for Public Policy
282 Bald Rock Road
Verona, VA 24482
- George Mason University — At least eighteen members of the “Board of Scholars” are affiliated with George Mason University.
- Heritage Foundation — Becky Norton Dunlop, VP of the Heritage Foundation, is a director of VIPP.
- State Policy Network — Member (and funding recipient). 
- Homepage, Virginia Institute for Public Policy. Archived September 25, 2015. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/zBZAl
- “Board of Directors,” Virginia Institute for Public Policy. Archived September 24, 2015. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/MqEM1
- “Directory,” State Policy Network. Accessed September 18, 2015. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmogBlog.
- “EXPOSED: The State Policy Network:The Powerful Right-Wing Network Helping to Hijack State Politics and Government” (PDF) Centre for Media and Democracy, November, 2013.
- Patrick J. Michaels and Paul C. Knappenberger. “THE SCIENCE AND ECONOMICS OF CLIMATE CHANGE,” Virginia Institute for Public Policy Policy Study no. 5 (December, 1999). Archived September 25, 2015. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/NtjNI
- “Virginia Institute for Public Policy,” Conservative Transparency. Accessed May 9, 2016. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/BHjBJ
- “Board of Scholars,” Virginia Institute for Public Policy. Archived September 24, 2015. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/oSEo3
- William C. Dennis. “Earth Day Revisited,” Virginia Viewpoint, May, 2003 (No. 2003-4). Archived September 25, 2015. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/c6Ec4
- Patrick J. Michaels. ”Win The Kyoto Fight, Save Your Money,” Virginia Viewpoint, May 1, 2001 (No. 2001-2). Archived .pdf on file at DeSmogBlog. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/OvYOp
- “FLASH: 58 Organizations Join Fight To Stop California AG Kamala Harris’s Illegal, Extortionate Privacy Violations,” ConservativeHQ, September 1, 2015. Archived May 9, 2016. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/1kD05
- Adam Lidgett. “Center For Competitive Politics v. Harris: Will The Supreme Court Hear Case On Nonprofit Donor Anonymity?”International Business Times, November 8, 2015. Archived May 10, 2016. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/d9jdL
- “CENTER FOR COMPETITIVE POLITICS, Petitioner, v. KAMALA D. HARRIS, ATTORNEY GENERAL OF CALIFORNIA, Respondent” (PDF), No. 15-142, September 1, 2015. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmogBlog.
- “Virginia Institute for Public Policy,” State Policy Network. Archived May 10, 2016.
- “Freedom & Prosperity Radio,” Tertium Quids. Archived May 10, 2016. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmogBlog. https://archive.is/PyDO6
- “Contact,” Virginia Institute for Public Policy. Archived June 8, 2016. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/qXYqr
- Jim Lakely. “#WebOfDenial Push by Senate Dems Exposes Their Hatred of Free Speech,” Somewhat Reasonable (Heartland Institute Blog), July 12, 2016. Archived July 14, 2016. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/eFCkh
- Brendan Demelle. “Senators Launch Resolution, Speech Blitz Calling Out #WebOfDenial Blocking Climate Action,” DeSmog, July 11, 2016.
- Coalition Letter to Senate Web of Denial Resolution (PDF). Retrieved from the Heartland Institute. Archived .pdf on file at DeSMogBlog.
- Cindy Baxter. “Front Groups Attacking #WebofDenial Senate Action Took Over $92M in Dark, Dirty Money,” Desmog, July 14, 2016. Originally posted at Climate Investigations Center.
- “Board of Directors,” Virginia Institute for Public Policy. Archived August 3, 2016. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/DMDC7
- “Board of Scholars,” Virginia Institute for Public Policy. Archived August 3, 2016. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/fbYes
- “Virginia Institute for Public Policy,” SourceWatch.