Beacon Hill Institute

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Beacon Hill Institute
Beacon Hill Institute (emblem).png
AbbreviationBHI
Formation1991; 28 years ago (1991)
TypeNonprofit think tank
FocusState tax policy
Headquarters8 Ashburton Place on Beacon Hill
Location
Executive Director
David G. Tuerck
Websitewww.beaconhill.org

The Beacon Hill Institute (BHI) is a free-market think tank in Boston. It was founded in 1991 by businessman Ray Shamie. The institute conducts fiscally conservative research,[1] independent or commissioned, and distributes it to interested citizens and policy makers through various print and electronic media, including its quarterly newsletter, BHI NewsLink; policy studies; BHI FaxSheets; policy forums; opinion editorials; radio and TV interviews; and its web site.[2]

The institute describes itself as "grounded in the principles of limited government, fiscal responsibility and free markets".[3]

The institute was previously affiliated with the Department of Economics at Suffolk University. However, the relationship was terminated, and the institute has been unaffiliated with any school or university since December 30, 2016.

Activities[edit]

BHI specializes in the development of economic and statistical models for policy analysis. These include STAMP and LAMP, computer generalized equilibrium models, that are frequently used in BHI analysis of state and local tax policy issues.

The Beacon Hill Institute produced reports on the projected economic impact of proposed clean energy policies in Maine. The reports were cited by Maine Governor Paul LePage, and criticized by some environmental advocacy groups.[4] BHI reports opposing clean energy initiatives in Maine and in other states were funded indirectly by Berman and Company, a public relations and lobbying firm that conducts smear campaigns against environmental and labor activists.[5] At least part of the Berman funding was funneled through a front group, the Economic Policy Institute.[6][7]

Questions regarding institute work[edit]

Some of the Beacon Hill Institute fellows have been criticized for advocating discredited scientific views, and inaccurate economic modeling,[8] and accused of participating in "pay for commentary" campaigns.[9] Notably, members argued against imposing cigarette taxes and tax funded anti-smoking efforts, and deny the scientific credibility behind climate change theory.[10][11][12]

The Sawyer building at 8 Ashburton Place on Beacon Hill in Boston

BHI submitted a grant proposal to the Searle Freedom Trust in 2013 to study climate regulations.[13] According to the BHI proposal, "Success will take the form of media recognition, dissemination to stakeholders, and legislative activity that will pare back or repeal [the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative]." The executive director of the institute confirmed that the purpose of the Searle funded study was not to conduct a rigorous, intensive analyses, but rather to help roll back regional legislation to reduce carbon pollution. The institute regularly used student classwork in its studies. Suffolk University issued a statement saying BHI had not consulted its host university about the grant proposal and that it would not have authorized the grant proposal as conceived by BHI.[13]

Relationship with Suffolk University[edit]

In December 2015, it was announced that the Beacon Hill Institute and Suffolk University would end their relationship at the end of 2016. BHI's director, director, David Tuerck, said it decided to cut ties with the university because Suffolk had "made its work impossible by denying research proposals and imposing fund-raising rules that limited from whom it could take money."[14]

Relationship with the Charles Koch Institute[edit]

The Charles Koch Institute website lists Beacon Hill as one of its partner organizations.[15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Report calling for civilian flaggers to replace police stirs up a hornet's nest". SouthCoastToday.com. 2004-11-21. Retrieved 2007-12-07.
  2. ^ About Beacon Hill Institute
  3. ^ "Mission and Vision". Beacon Hill Institute. Retrieved 2007-12-10.
  4. ^ "Skeptics blast study making energy claims". Portland Press Herald. 2012-11-26. Retrieved 2011-05-13.
  5. ^ "Hard-Nosed Advice From Veteran Lobbyist: 'Win Ugly or Lose Pretty'".
  6. ^ "Suffolk University, Records & Archives" (PDF).
  7. ^ "Lobbyist dubbed Dr Evil behind front groups attacking Obama power rules".
  8. ^ "Frank Ackerman, ALEC vs. Renewable Energy" (PDF).
  9. ^ "A Web Of Climate Deception: The Beacon Hill Institute, Richard Berman, And The State Policy Network".
  10. ^ "Legacy Tobacco Documents Library, Tuerck".
  11. ^ "Legacy Tobacco Documents Library, Tuerck".
  12. ^ "Third International Conference on Climate Change, Heartland Institute,'David Tuerck ICCC3'". YouTube. Missing or empty |url= (help)
  13. ^ a b "Free-market research group's climate proposal denounced by host university". The Guardian. 2013-12-05. Retrieved 2014-11-04.
  14. ^ Krantz, Laura (December 2, 2015). "Suffolk University cuts ties with conservative research group". Boston Globe. Retrieved 14 September 2016.
  15. ^ "Partner Organizations". Charles Koch Institute. Retrieved 11 September 2017.

External links[edit]