Free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense—promoting these principles is the mission of The Heritage Foundation, a mission its team of scholars and analysts fight for every day.
As the nation’s largest conservative research and educational institution, or think tank, the Heritage Foundation has been a bastion of the American conservative movement since its founding in 1973. More than 500,000 dues-paying members support Heritage’s vision of building an America where freedom, prosperity, opportunity, and civil society flourish.
The Heritage Foundation’s guiding philosophy is that the principles and ideas of America’s founding are worth conserving and renewing. As policy entrepreneurs, the work of Heritage’s scholars shows the most effective solutions are consistent with those ideas and principles.
Heritage’s staff pursues its mission by conducting timely, accurate research on key policy issues and effectively marketing these findings to their primary audiences: members of Congress, key congressional staff members, policymakers in the executive branch, the nation’s news media, and the academic and policy communities.
Markets, Energy and the Environment
Heritage pursues energy and environmental policies that open access to markets, reduce costly, ineffective regulatory barriers, and get the government out of energy markets and off of private property. Before the pandemic, America’s booming energy industry was a shining star in the economy, and it will be critical to the recovery. Capitalizing on America’s energy abundance will create new jobs, stimulate the economy, and save consumers money through lower prices.
Despite America’s successes, the nation’s energy policy is fraught with problems. The federal government has delayed projects, restricted access, and overregulated industries at great cost. Furthermore, Washington provides taxpayer-funded subsidies, imposes mandates, and rewards political connections and the power of special interests instead of letting economic viability decide success.
‘Get Government Out of the Way’
A common thread runs through the reforms needed to create more opportunity and remove favoritism in the energy sector: get government out of the way. A free market in energy would encourage and reward innovation to produce the affordable, reliable energy American families and businesses need. In addition, policies rooted in the free market would not only protect the environment but also deliver the means to promote a cleaner environment.
Economic liberty provides people with the means to protect the environment. As a country grows economically, its citizens and businesses have greater financial ability to care for the environment and reduce pollution, and history shows they spend more on environmental quality. Countries with more economic freedom have cleaner environments and greater energy efficiency. The Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom and Yale University’s Environmental Performance Index show a highly positive correlation between a country’s environmental performance and its economic freedom. Freer economies have access to more products and technologies that make our lives healthier and the environment cleaner.
Showing how, and discovering ways for, free peoples and free markets to further environmental improvements is central to Heritage’s environmental research efforts.