AMY OLIVER COOKE
Senior Media Fellow
Amy Oliver Cooke is an energy policy expert and blogger for the Independence Institute, Colorado’s free market State Policy Network think tank since 2004, also covering spending and transparency. Lawmakers frequently request Cooke’s testimony on energy and transparency in legislative committee hearings.
She collaborated with William Yeatman of the Competitive Enterprise Institute to expose the high cost of Colorado’s “new energy economy,” a supposed model for renewable energy for the rest of the country, questionable behavior at the Public Utilities Commission, and collusion between lawmakers, bureaucrats and special interest groups. Their work resulted in five pieces of legislation introduced during the 2011 legislative session.
She is also the host of the award winning Amy Oliver Show heard on News Talk 1310 KFKA in Greeley, Colo. In 2008, the Colorado Broadcasters Association recognized her with the Award of Excellence for Best News Talk Personality in a major market. Cooke was recognized again in 2011 with an Award of Merit for Best News Talk Personality in a major market. Cooke has been published in the Denver Post, Pueblo Chieftain, Greeley Tribune, Denver Business Journal, Denver Daily News, Liberty Ink Journal, The Daily Caller and on Save Our States. She has written numerous opinion editorials, issue papers and issue backgrounders.
Senior Media Fellow
Katy Grimes is a longtime political journalist, analyst and writer. As Senior Correspondent for the Flash Report, Katy covers the California Legislature and state agency politics from the State Capitol. For the last 10 years, Katy has worked as an investigative journalist, political columnist and news reporter for The Sacramento Union, the Pacific Research Institute’s CalWatchdog Journalism Center, and The Flash Report.
Katy has been published in the Orange County Register, the Flash Report, Cal News,California Political News and Views, Fox and Hounds, Human Events, and Watchdog.org. She was a regular columnist for The Sacramento Union, and has written for the Washington Examiner, the San Francisco Examiner, the Sacramento Bee, Fox News, and the Business Journal.
Katy has also been an influential political blogger since 2004, and can be heard on many talk radio shows throughout California. Katy fills in as a talk radio host for Sacramento radio shows. A California native, Katy lives in Sacramento with her husband Terry. Her son is a recent U.S. Naval Academy graduate, now a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy
Senior Policy Fellow
Kevon Martis is Founder and Executive Director of the Interstate Informed Citizen Coalition (IICC), which is a non-profit corporation dedicated to raising public awareness of the potential impacts from the construction of industrial wind turbines in Ohio and Michigan.
As director of the IICC, an independent public policy resource to township, county and state officials wrestling with wind energy subsidies, mandates and controversial land use policies associated with wind development, Martis has developed model land use regulations for utility scale wind generation that protect individual land owners from predatory zoning practices employed by the wind industry. These regulations use current zoning law to restore the free market principles of consent and compensation to land use policy in the renewable energy space. He has presented these concepts to regulators and legislators across the Midwest.
In 2014 Martis provided critical testimony to the Ohio legislature leading to enactment of the nation’s first freeze of a Renewable Portfolio Standard. He also played a key role in educating Michigan voters as they rejected a ballot initiative that would have constitutionally mandated Michigan utilities generate 25% of their energy from renewable sources by the year 2025.
Martis also regularly testifies before both the Ohio and Michigan legislatures on energy policy matters. His testimonies on renewable energy mandates and subsidies are valued for their independence, clarity and ability to cut through the fog of lobbyist misinformation.
Senior Policy Fellow
Steve Milloy is a recognized leader in the fight against junk science with more than 20 years of experience, and is credited with popularizing the term “junk science.” He is the founder and publisher of JunkScience.com, and an environmental and public health consultant. Mr. Milloy is a biostatistician and securities lawyer who has also been a registered securities principal, investment fund manager, non-profit executive, and a print/web columnist on science and business issues.
Mr. Milloy has authored the following books:
- Green Hell: How Environmentalists Plan to Control Your Life and What You Can Do to Stop Them, Regnery 2009 — an Amazon.com Top 100 seller;
- Junk Science Judo: Self-defense Against Health Scares and Scams, Cato Institute, 2001;
- Silencing Science, with co-author Michael Gough, Cato Institute, 1999 — an Amazon.com Top 100 seller;
- Science Without Sense: The Risky Business of Public Health Research, Cato Institute, 1995;
- Science-Based Risk Assessment: A Piece of the Superfund Puzzle, National Environmental Policy Institute, 1995;
Mr. Milloy has also authored over 600 articles/columns published in major newspapers/web sites, including the Wall Street Journal, Investor’s Business Daily, FoxNews.com, Financial Times, National Post (Canada), USA Today, Los Angeles Times, Washington Times, New York Post, New York Sun and other print and web outlets.
Mr. Milloy was the co-founder and managing principal of Free Enterprise Action Fund (2004-2009), the first pro-free enterprise activist mutual fund, which merged with the Congressional Effect in July 2009.
Senior Legal Fellow
Fred Palmer served from 2001 through June 2015 as Peabody Energy’s senior vice president of Government Relations, which included service on the Executive Leadership Team. Most recently he served as a special advisor to the office of Peabody’s executive chairman.
Prior to joining Peabody Energy, Palmer served for five years as General Counsel and 15 years as chief executive officer of Western Fuels Association, Inc. While at Western Fuels, Palmer served on the Board of Directors of the National Mining Association and in that capacity served as chair of the NMA Legal Committee with a focus on coal and climate policies during the Clinton/Gore years in the 1990s.
Palmer began his career in 1969 in Washington, D.C., on the staff of Arizona Congressman Morris K. Udall, where he served for two years. He was a partner in Duncan, Brown, Weinberg & Palmer, a Washington, D.C.-based law firm, for eight years where he specialized in utility, environmental, and resource law.
He was the 2004 recipient of the Erskine Ramsay Medal Award from the Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration. He is a member of the National Coal Council where he is chairman of the New Markets For Coal Subcommittee, Coal Policy Committee. During his service to Peabody Energy, he was Peabody’s representative on the Board of Directors of the World Coal Association and served as its chairman from November 2010 to November 2012. He also represented Peabody on the Board of the FutureGen Alliance from its formation until June 2015. Additionally, he is a member of the California and D.C. Bar Associations.
Palmer attended the University of Arizona, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1966 and Juris Doctorate with honors in 1969. He was inducted into the Order of the Coif honor society there in 1969 and served as Symposium Editor of the Arizona Law Review.
JENNA ASHLEY ROBINSON
Senior Policy Fellow
Jenna Ashley Robinson is the Director of Outreach at the John W. Pope Center for Higher Education Policy, where she has worked since 2007. She was previously the E.A. Morris Fellowship Assistant at the John Locke Foundation.
Robinson graduated from N. C. State University in 2003 with majors in political science and French. She has studied at the University of East Anglia School of American Studies in Norwich, England. She received her master’s degree in political science from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2005 and her Ph.D. in political science, with a concentration in American politics and a minor in methods, from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2012. Robinson is also a graduate of the Koch Associates Program sponsored by the Charles G. Koch Foundation.
Robinson’s work has appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, American Thinker, Human Events, Carolina Journal, the Lincoln Tribune, the Hickory Daily Record, the Gaston Gazette, the Mountain Express, and the News & Observer. She has taught introductory courses in American politics at UNC-Chapel Hill, Wake Technical Community College, and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Robinson lives in Raleigh, NC with her husband, son, and three cats.
Senior Policy Fellow
George Taylor is the founder of Palmetto Energy Research, a non-profit devoted to educating the public about the future of energy, where his focus has been on the costs and environmental impacts of all leading choices for the generation of electricity. His reports have highlighted the indirect and infrastructure costs of each technology in addition to the more typical capital and operations costs.
From his outsider’s perspective, he has given readers the tools and information they need in order to answer the most important policy questions for themselves. His most recent articles have been on the cost of fossil, fossil/wind and nuclear electricity; the cost of electricity transmission and storage; the maximum amount of intermittent electricity that the system could accommodate; the dependency of intermittent technologies on primary fossil technologies; the consequences of state-level renewable electricity mandates; and the cost of new nuclear construction in the United States. Prior to working on energy policy, he was a Silicon Valley engineer, executive and co-founder of two microprocessor design companies. He graduated from U.C. Berkeley with a Ph.D. in computer architecture.
Board Member & Senior Policy Fellow
Greg Walcher has been involved in the public policy process for 35 years. He is an avid student of history, and a keen observer of government. Walcher is President of the Natural Resources Group, a national consulting firm specializing in energy, water, public lands, forestry, and wildlife.
He served in the Governor’s Cabinet as head of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources, and as president of the national organization of natural resources cabinet secretaries. Leveraging a decade of Capitol Hill experience, Walcher also spent ten years as President of Club 20, a consortium of Western Colorado stakeholders, during which the group’s budget and membership tripled through activism on important regional issues.
In 2004, Walcher was the Republican nominee for Congress in the top targeted House race in America that year. He won a five-way primary, broke previous Colorado records for congressional fund raising and organization, came within 2 points of victory, and remains a frequent and popular speaker in Colorado and around the country. Walcher authors a regular blog called “Resources and Reality,” highlighting instances of government overreach, overkill, and “plain silliness”. He is the author of a recently released book, Smoking Them Out: The Theft of the Environment and How to Take it Back.