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PERC (Political Economy Research Center or sometimes “Property and Environment Research Center”) sees it self a pioneer in free market environmentalism. It covers endangered species, forestry, fisheries, mines, parks, public lands, property rights, Superfund, water, wildlife, and environmental education. It is part of the anti-environmental Wise Use movement.

Links to Republican

Department of Interior

Secretary of Interior Former Colorado Attorney General Gale Norton is a protege of Reagan Interior Secretary James Watt (see MSLF). She was hired by the Mountain States Legal Foundation in 1979 and worked there as a Senior Attorney until 1983, when she moved to the Hoover Institute. She also served on the advisory boards of two other right wing groups, Defenders of Property Rights and the Washington Legal Foundation. In 1998, she founded a group called the Council of Republicans for Environmental Advocacy (CREA). The sponsors for CREA’s kick-off gala included the Chlorine Chemical Council, National Coal Council, Chemical Manufacturers Association, and the National Mining Association[1]. She was a fellow at PERC when it was announced that she was to become Secretary of Interior. Norton was also on the Advisory board of the Advancement of Sound Science Coalition, run by Steve Milloy (see above).[2]

Norton’s appointment was met with dismay by environmental groups. The nomination of Gale Norton amounts to a declaration of war on the environment," said Dr. Brent Blackwelder, President of Friends of the Earth[3]. The NRDC said “No amount of rhetoric can conceal who she is: an ideological extremist who has worked for more than two decades to systematically dismantle our nation's environmental protections. The direct beneficiaries of her views on enforcement are mining, grazing, timber, oil and other multinational corporations -- at the expense of the environment and public health”[4]

Robert F Kennedy JR from the NRDC wrote in the Independent that: “In autumn 2001, the Interior Secretary, Gale Norton, provided the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources with her agency's scientific assessment that Arctic oil-drilling would not harm hundreds of thousands of caribou. Not long afterwards, Fish and Wildlife Service biologists contacted the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, which defends scientists and other professionals working in state and federal environmental agencies. ‘The scientists provided us the science that they had submitted to Norton and the altered version that she had given to Congress a week later’, said the group's executive director, Jeff Ruch. There were 17 major substantive changes, all of them minimising the reported impacts. When Norton was asked about the alterations in October 2001, she dismissed them as typographical errors”[5].


According to PERC “Currently, 92 percent of our funding comes from foundations, 7 percent from individuals and miscellaneous sources and 1 percent from corporations”[6]

It has received money from Amoco, ARCO, the Chemical Manufacturers Association, Conoco, Eli Lilly and Co., Pfizer, and Coors[7]. The Institute received some $4,125,875 in 88 grants from 1985 to 2002, from the following 10 foundations[8]:

Philip M McKenna Castle Rock Earhart John M Olin Sarah Scaife JM Foundation Lynde and Harry Bradley Claude R. Lamb Charles G Koch Carthage Foundation


Terry L. Anderson – Executive Director - author of “Enviro-Capitalists: Doing Good While Doing Well”, which argues that entrepreneurs in the private sector rather than the federal government “guarantee protection and improvement of environmental quality”[9]. He is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. He is an adjunct fellow at the Cato Institute and Fellow at the Pacific Research Institute.


Vernon L. Smith, 2002 Nobel Prize winner.

Some Senior Associates

  • Daniel K. Benjamin - He was a national fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University
  • P.J. Hill - Co-author of Eco-Sanity: A Common-Sense Guide to Environmentalism. with Joseph L. Bast and Richard C. Rue. (See Heartland Institute)
  • Donald R. Leal – Co- author with Anderson of Enviro-Capitalists, Doing Good While Doing Well.
  • Jane S. Shaw co-author with Michael Sanera of Facts, Not Fear: A Parents' Guide to Teaching Children About the Environment. She is a member of the Editorial Advisory Council of the Institute of Economic Affairs (London). Wife of Richard Stroup Below. According to PR Watch: “The purpose of Facts Not Fear is not to enlighten parents, teachers or students, nor is it to broaden scientific debate or inquiry. The real goal is political: to attack the very idea that environmental problems exist, and especially to disparage the view that government or citizen action might be necessary to address these problems” Michael Sanera is an adjunct scholar at the conservative Heritage Foundation (see below) [10].
  • Randy T. Simmons - Simmons is a senior scholar with the Competitive Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C and “expert” on the Endangered Species Act
  • Richard L. Stroup - During the Reagan administration, Stroup served as the director of the Office of Policy Analysis at the Department of Interior.
  • Bruce Yandle – author of “Common Sense and Common Law for the Environment”


Education – to provide all students with access to a quality education Entrepreneurship – to strike down barriers to economic growth and innovation Health Care – to provide better quality and access to health-care while lowering costs Technology – to identify and limit harmful government regulation in the technology sector Environment – to sustain the trend toward a cleaner environment