Non-profit

Property and Environment Research Center

Website:

www.perc.org

Location:

Bozeman, MT

Tax ID:

81-0393444

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Budget (2017):

Revenue: $2,586,687
Expenses: $2,268,821
Assets: $5,230,542

Formation:

1981

Type:

Non-profit

Executive Director:

Mike Nichols

Executive Director's Salary:

$235,331[42]

The Property and Environment Research Center (PERC) (formerly the Political Economy Research Center) is a non-partisan, environmental public policy think tank that promotes free market environmentalism and focuses much of its research on voluntary trade’s effects on the environment. [1] PERC’s research focuses on environmental policies related to wildlife, public lands, water, and energy, especially as it pertains to property rights. [2]

The Property and Environment Research Center is an associate member of the State Policy Network, a coalition of free-market state-level policy organizations. [3] While PERC is non-partisan, members of its board and staff have affiliations with the Republican Party.

Activity

Property and Environment Research Center defines free-market environmentalism as a system whereby voluntary trade is able to produce good environmental outcomes. It promotes private property ownership, claiming that people take better care of something they own; accountability, claiming that ownership makes people responsible for harm done to others; and trade, claiming that ownership allows people to understand how their resources are valued by others. [4]

PERC’s primary 2021 initiatives involve wildlife and public lands. Many of PERC’s policy recommendations involve seeing wildlife as assets or benefits instead of liabilities or costs. PERC also recommends that public lands, like national parks, should find alternatives to federal funding and that an open bidding system should be enacted for resource management of public lands. [5]

PERC claims that the Endangered Species Act prevents extinction but does little to promote species recovery. PERC also claims that this affects land use decisions, which infringes on property rights and creates burdens on private landowners. PERC advocates for reforms to the Act that include compensation for landowners who restore habitats and reimbursements to landowners who establish critical-habitat designations. [6]

PERC advocates for a market-based solution to managing wild horses and burros in the west and supports the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) 2019 implementation of an incentivized horse and burro adoption system. Instead of auctioning these animals, as BLM had done in the past, PERC claims that BLM’s new system of paying adopters $1,000 creates a voluntary exchange that will increase adoptions and save taxpayers money. [7]

PERC advocates for an open-market bidding process for managing resources on public lands, claiming it would better balance conservation and natural resources development. PERC recommends providing an option for conservation leasing on public lands that have energy, grazing, or timber resources, where current legal requirements tend to exclude conservationists from leasing these lands for conservation purposes. PERC claims that land leases should be available to the highest bidder and that allowing both developers and conservationists to hold leases could result in less legal and politic turmoil between the two groups. [8]

PERC has written that the National Park Service needs to be less reliant on Congress for funding, claiming that Congress is more concerned with acquiring new parks than maintaining existing ones. PERC advocates for localized authority over park fee structures and how revenues are spent, along with outsourcing certain activities to the private sector as a means of improving efficiency. [9]

PERC has been advocating for water markets for decades, and claims that connecting willing buyers and sellers of water rights encourages conservation and may have a positive impact on current and future water scarcity. PERC also claims that disputes over water will continue in the many states that do not allow for water markets, because of regulations, politics, and other legalities. [10]

PERC’s research and suggestions for energy policy are primarily focused on property rights. PERC claims that well-defined and enforced property rights, as related to energy resources, allow for environmental markets that can more effectively resolve conflicts between developers and conservationists. [11] PERC also notes that eminent domain stands in the way of the market process, by giving the government and private companies the right to take land from owners, despite the land’s value. PERC sites gas pipelines as an example where many conflicts have occurred between landowners, tribes, and environmentalists, and claims that a market system would more easily resolve this conflict. In a market system, a pipeline contractor would have to acquire land that could also potentially be acquired by a tribe, a conservation group, or a private owner. [12]

Funding

The Property and Environment Research Center is funded by donations from individuals, businesses, and foundations. While PERC does not disclose its donors, tax filings show notable donations from the Lilly Endowment, which contributed between 2001 and 2018, [13] Donors Trust, which contributed between 2012 and 2014, [14] and the ExxonMobil Foundation, which contributed between 2001 and 2007. [15] [16] [17]

People

Staff

Brian Yablonski is the CEO of the Property and Environment Research Center and sits on the board of the left-leaning Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. Yablonski formerly served as chair of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, as director of policy and deputy chief of staff to former Governor Jeb Bush (R-FL), and as a personal staff assistant to former President George H.W. Bush. [18]

Rupert Munro is vice president of development at PERC and formerly worked as the director of development for the Bill of Rights Institute. [19]

Shawn Regan is vice president of research at PERC and the executive editor of PERC Reports. Regan formerly served as a fellow at the Breakthrough Institute. [20]

Research fellow Catherine Semcer serves as a member of the International Union for Conservation of Nature and formerly served as a senior Washington, D.C. representative for Sierra Club. [21]

Kat Dwyer is the marketing and media manager at PERC and formerly worked as the marketing manager at the Independent Institute. [22]

Senior fellow Jonathan Adler serves on the academic advisory board of the Cato Supreme Court Review and the ELI Press advisory board of the Environmental Law Institute (ELI). Adler formerly worked as director of environmental studies at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. [23]

Senior fellow Spencer Banzhaf is a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. [24]

Senior fellow Daniel Benjamin is a former national fellow at the Hoover Institution and formerly served on the executive committee of the Western Economic Association. During the Reagan Administration, Benjamin served as deputy assistant secretary for policy and chief of staff at the Department of Labor and as a staff economist for the President’s Council of Economic Advisers. [25]

Senior fellow Christopher Costello is a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and sits on the board of the Environmental Defense Fund. [26]

Senior fellow Gary Libecap is a fellow at the Hoover Institution and a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. [27]

Senior fellow Andrew Morriss is a research fellow at the Center for Labor and Employment Law, a senior scholar at the Mercatus Center, and a senior fellow at the Institute for Energy Research. Morriss is also a reporter for the American Law Institute. [28]

Senior fellow Sheila Olmstead formerly served as a senior fellow at Resources for the Future. [29]

Senior fellow Randy Simmons is the director of the Institute of Political Economy and a senior scholar with the Competitive Enterprise Institute. [30]

Senior fellow emeritus Richard Stroup co-founded PERC in 1980. During the Reagan Administration, Stroup served as the director of the Office of Policy Analysis at the Department of the Interior. [31]

Senior fellow emeritus Bruce Yandle formerly served as a White House senior economist during the Ford Administration and as executive director of the Federal Trade Commission during the Reagan Administration. Bruce formerly served as chair of the South Carolina State Board of Economic Advisors and on the board of the Foundation for Economic Education. [32]

Laura Huggins is a research fellow at both PERC and the Hoover Institution. [33]

Research fellow Jonathan Wood is an attorney at the Pacific Legal Foundation. [34]

Board of Directors

Reginald “Reg” Brown formerly served as the White House Counsel’s legal liaison to the Department of the Treasury and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and as deputy general counsel to former Governor Jeb Bush (R-FL). [35]

Henry Butler is a law professor for the George Mason University Foundation and serves on the board of the Atlantic Legal Foundation. [36]

Chris Corr formerly served as a Republican member of the Florida House of Representatives. [37]

Kim Dennis is the president of the Searle Freedom Trust and the co-founder and chair of Donors Trust. Dennis formerly sat on the boards of the Arthur N. Rupe Foundation, the Earhart Foundation, the W. H. Brady Foundation, and George Mason University. Dennis formerly worked as a staffer for the John M. Olin Foundation and as executive director of the Philanthropy Roundtable. [38]

Kristi Kendall formerly worked as John Stossel’s executive producer at Fox News and Fox Business and as executive vice president for Elizabeth Koch’s media company, New Balloon. [39]

Adam Putnam formerly served as a member of the U.S. Congress, where he served as the Republican Policy Chair and the chair of the Republican Conference, and as Florida Commissioner of Agriculture. [40]

K.C. Walsh serves on the boards of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. [41]

References

  1. “What We Do.” Property and Environment Research Center, 2021. Accessed February 20, 2021. https://www.perc.org/about-us/what-we-do/. ^
  2. “Research Areas.” Property and Environment Research Center, 2021. Accessed February 20, 2021. https://www.perc.org/research/. ^
  3. “The Network: Montana.” State Policy Network, 2021. Accessed February 15, 2021. https://spn.org/directory/#MT. ^
  4. “Free Market Environmentalism.” Property and Environment Research Center, 2021. Accessed February 20, 2021. https://www.perc.org/about-us/what-we-do/free-market-environmentalism-2/. ^
  5. “Current Initiatives.” Property and Environment Research Center, 2021. Accessed February 20, 2021. https://www.perc.org/about-us/what-we-do/current-initiatives/. ^
  6. “Endangered Species as Assets Instead of Liabilities.” Property and Environment Research Center, 2021. Accessed February 20, 2021. https://www.perc.org/about-us/what-we-do/current-initiatives/perc-and-the-endangered-species-act/. ^
  7. “Reining in the Wild Horse Crisis.” Property and Environment Research Center, 2021. Accessed February 20, 2021. https://www.perc.org/about-us/what-we-do/current-initiatives/reining-in-the-wild-horse-crisis/. ^
  8. “Give Conservationists a Seat at the Natural Resources Table.” Property and Environment Research Center, 2021. Accessed February 20, 2021. https://www.perc.org/about-us/what-we-do/current-initiatives/give-conservationists-a-seat-at-the-natural-resources-table/. ^
  9. “Parks Without Politics.” Property and Environment Research Center, 2021. Accessed February 20, 2021. https://www.perc.org/about-us/what-we-do/current-initiatives/parks-without-politics/. ^
  10. “Water.” Property and Environment Research Center, 2021. Accessed February 20, 2021. https://www.perc.org/category/water/. ^
  11. “Energy.” Property and Environment Research Center, 2021. Accessed February 20, 2021. https://www.perc.org/category/energy/. ^
  12. Wood, Jonathan. “Pipeline Approval Process Can’t Ignore Property Owners’ Rights.” Property and Environment Research Center, July 30, 2020. Accessed February 20, 2021. https://www.perc.org/2020/07/31/pipeline-approval-process-cant-ignore-property-owners-rights/. ^
  13. Lilly Endowment, Return of Private Foundation (Form 990-PF), 2001-2018, Part XV, Line 3a. ^
  14. Donors Trust, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2012-2014, Schedule I, Part II. ^
  15. Exxonmobil Foundation, Return of Private Foundation (Form 990-PF), 2001-2007, Part XV, Line 3a. ^
  16. “Public Information and Policy Research: 2005 Worldwide Giving Report.” ExxonMobil. Archived from the original November 15, 2016. Accessed February 20, 2021. http://web.archive.org/web/20061115191752/https://www.exxonmobil.com/corporate/files/corporate/giving05_policy.pdf. ^
  17. “2007 Worldwide Contributions and Community Investments.” ExxonMobil. Archived from the original November 18, 2008. Accessed February 20, 2021. http://web.archive.org/web/20081118105742/https://www.exxonmobil.com/corporate/files/gcr_contributions_public07.pdf. ^
  18. “Brian Yablonski.” Property and Environment Research Center, 2021. Accessed February 18, 2021.https://www.perc.org/people/brian-yablonski/. ^
  19. “Rupert Munro.” Property and Environment Research Center, 2021. Accessed February 18, 2021. https://www.perc.org/people/rupert-munro/. ^
  20. “Shawn Regan.” Property and Environment Research Center, 2021. Accessed February 18, 2021. https://www.perc.org/people/shawn-regan/. ^
  21. “Catherine E. Semcer.” Property and Environment Research Center, 2021. Accessed February 18, 2021. https://www.perc.org/people/catherine-e-semcer-2/. ^
  22. “Kat Dwyer.” Property and Environment Research Center, 2021. Accessed February 18, 2021. https://www.perc.org/people/kat-dwyer/. ^
  23. “Jonathan Adler.” Property and Environment Research Center, 2021. Accessed February 18, 2021. https://www.perc.org/people/jonathan-adler/. ^
  24. “Spencer Banzhaf.” Property and Environment Research Center, 2021. Accessed February 18, 2021. https://www.perc.org/people/spencer-banzhaf/. ^
  25. “Daniel Benjamin.” Property and Environment Research Center, 2021. Accessed February 18, 2021. https://www.perc.org/people/daniel-benjamin/. ^
  26. “Christopher Costello.” Property and Environment Research Center, 2021. Accessed February 18, 2021. https://www.perc.org/people/christopher-costello/. ^
  27. “Gary Libecap.” Property and Environment Research Center, 2021. Accessed February 18, 2021. https://www.perc.org/people/gary-libecap/. ^
  28. “Andrew Morriss.” Property and Environment Research Center, 2021. Accessed February 18, 2021. https://www.perc.org/people/andrew-morriss/. ^
  29. “Sheila Olmstead.” Property and Environment Research Center, 2021. Accessed February 18, 2021. https://www.perc.org/people/sheila-olmstead/. ^
  30. “Randy Simmons.” Property and Environment Research Center, 2021. Accessed February 18, 2021. https://www.perc.org/people/randy-simmons/. ^
  31. “Richard Stroup.” Property and Environment Research Center, 2021. Accessed February 18, 2021. https://www.perc.org/people/richard-stroup/. ^
  32. “Bruce Yandle.” Property and Environment Research Center, 2021. Accessed February 18, 2021. https://www.perc.org/people/bruce-yandle/. ^
  33. “Laura Huggins.” Property and Environment Research Center, 2021. Accessed February 18, 2021. https://www.perc.org/people/laura-huggins/. ^
  34. “Jonathan Wood.” Property and Environment Research Center, 2021. Accessed February 18, 2021. https://www.perc.org/people/jonathan-wood/. ^
  35. “Reg Brown.” Property and Environment Research Center, 2021. Accessed February 18, 2021. https://www.perc.org/people/reg-brown/. ^
  36. “Henry N. Butler.” Property and Environment Research Center, 2021. Accessed February 18, 2021. https://www.perc.org/people/henry-n-butler/. ^
  37. “Chris Corr.” Property and Environment Research Center, 2021. Accessed February 18, 2021. https://www.perc.org/people/chris-corr/. ^
  38. “Kimbery O. Dennis.” Property and Environment Research Center, 2021. Accessed February 18, 2021. https://www.perc.org/people/kimberly-o-dennis/. ^
  39. “Kristina Kendall.” Property and Environment Research Center, 2021. Accessed February 18, 2021. https://www.perc.org/people/kristina-kendall/.[/note]

    Kameran Onley is the director of U.S. Government Relations for The Nature Conservancy. Onley formerly served as acting assistant secretary for water and science at the Department of the Interior during the George W. Bush Administration and as associate director for environmental policy at the White House Council on Environmental Quality. [note]“Kameran Onley.” Property and Environment Research Center, 2021. Accessed February 18, 2021. https://www.perc.org/people/kameran-onley/. ^

  40. “Adam Putnam.” Property and Environment Research Center, 2021. Accessed February 18, 2021. https://www.perc.org/people/adam-putnam/. ^
  41. “K.C. Walsh.” Property and Environment Research Center, 2021. Accessed February 18, 2021. https://www.perc.org/people/k-c-walsh/. ^
  42. Property and Environment Research Center, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2018, Part VII, Section A, Line 1a. ^

Coalition Memberships

  1. State Policy Network (SPN)
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: June 1, 1981

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2017 Dec Form 990 $2,586,687 $2,268,821 $5,230,542 $45,130 N $2,549,962 $0 $12,589 $205,545
    2016 Dec Form 990 $2,483,944 $2,269,589 $4,912,264 $44,718 N $2,450,572 $0 $11,172 $178,279
    2015 Dec Form 990 $1,830,035 $2,356,797 $4,684,057 $30,866 N $1,798,824 $0 $6,799 $423,449 PDF
    2014 Dec Form 990 $3,418,492 $1,950,661 $5,214,255 $34,301 Y $3,411,590 $0 $2,622 $431,170 PDF
    2013 Dec Form 990 $2,288,768 $2,015,073 $4,005,156 $293,033 Y $2,281,434 $0 $2,515 $444,120 PDF
    2012 Dec Form 990 $1,678,060 $2,204,919 $4,074,156 $635,728 Y $1,668,697 $0 $3,636 $384,068 PDF
    2011 Dec Form 990 $3,067,561 $2,208,404 $4,692,495 $727,207 N $3,060,329 $0 $7,232 $212,160 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Property and Environment Research Center

    2048 ANALYSIS DR STE A
    Bozeman, MT 59718-6829