Eli Lehrer, president R Street Institute

Any uber conservatives out there who support a carbon tax? Here’s the job for you at the R Street Institute, the think tank in the US that split from the Heartland Institute (otherwise known as the heartland of climate denial because its sugar daddies are the oil baron Koch brothers et al)

The jobs ad says you need to understand and broadly support the R’s policy position – not every teensy bit, but most– which includes, among other things, “market-oriented development of new energy sources, including the construction of necessary energy infrastructure”, elimination of all energy-production subsidies (including oil no doubt); smart, limited public-sector support for energy research; and revenue-neutral carbon taxes (our emphasis, of course).”

And yes you can’t do this long distance, you’ll have to move to Washington DC. Shifting that intellectual ballast (of fossil fuel love) weighing down so many conservatives will mean a lot of eye-balling and reading body language and facial twitches.

Here’s a hint of the R’s position responding to Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report in November last year:

Congress should heed today’s warning from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to pursue effective mitigation and adaptation strategies to counter the risks of a warming globe, starting with an immediate end to government subsidies that make the problem worse.


Rather than continue the politicised trench warfare that has paralysed lawmakers, R Street outlines three crucial steps that Congress could take today to better prepare Americans for their climate future.

These are: phasing out insurance subsidies to properties in flood-prone areas; stopping subsidies for development in coastal zones and enacting “Carbon Pricing Legislation to Preempt Proposed Onerous EPA Regulations”.

The reasoning on carbon pricing is to get rid of EPA legislation for a 30 per cent reduction in carbon emissions from electricity generation by 2030. These will impose “enormous costs for relatively modest emissions reductions”, the R says.

“Instead, Congress should embrace the power of the free market by utilising revenue-neutral carbon pricing as a complete substitute for command-and-control regulation. Carbon pricing would allow states to achieve mandated emissions reductions through a price signal instead of complicated regulation, while utilising all resulting revenue to eliminate or reduce taxes that are damaging to the economy.”

See? Win-win, they reckon.

We’re passing on this job opportunity because there must be quite a few people we reach in Oz who have more than their fair share of experience in crazy-making complex energy policy, (and no doubt more experience in that field that they’d ever wished for).

And also because we think this is yet another important plank in building the new cross party political networks that will will let us all get on with the job of saving this planet.

Aren’t love-ins the best fun?

Contact employment@rstreet.org

One reply on “R Street think tank (son of Heartland) on the look out for policy wonk comfortable with messy energy politics”

  1. Thanks for helping to publicize our job posting and also for drawing attention to our opposition to oil subsidies…which is quite strong. We work with groups like Friends of the Earth to end those along with all other energy production subsidies.

Comments are closed.