Center for Energy & Environment

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Center Vision

American ingenuity and entrepreneurialism have transformed American energy. When our Nation thrived under America First leadership, the United States achieved a generational strategic goal and moved from a position of chronic energy dependency to true energy independence—providing abundant and affordable energy to American homes and communities and opening new vistas of American dreams and opportunities. Our American energy sector achieved something else as well: in attaining new heights of innovation and development, the United States led the world in generating opportunity, security, and environmental progress. The America First Policy Institute (AFPI) will advance policies to safeguard the freedoms and opportunities presented by our energy potential and rebuild our Nation’s energy independence while advancing clean air and clean water and helping make the greatest economy in the world work for all Americans. 


  • U.S. energy independence
  • A secure and resilient U.S. energy sector
  • A predictable and efficient permitting process
  • A level playing field for all sources of energy to compete
  • Increased energy exports and international energy dominance
  • Realistic, fact-based, and economically viable solutions for complex environmental problems
  • Energy policies that help America’s most vulnerable and end energy poverty—ensuring that every American has access to affordable, reliable energy

STATEMENT: AFPI on the Supreme Court’s Decision Rejecting the Environmental Protection Agency’s Overreach

STATEMENT: Carla Sands on the House’s Rebuke of the Biden Administration’s Heavy-Duty Vehicle Emissions Rule

STATEMENT: Rick Perry on the Passage of H.R. 1

STATEMENT: Carla Sands on the Biden Administration’s Disastrous “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) Rule

Statement: Coach Kennedy Case

Pam Bondi, Chair for the Constitutional Litigation Partnership and Co-Chair of the Center for Law and Justice

Statement from AFPI on the “Unconscionably Excessive” Price-Fixing Measures — Market Distortion is an Invitation for Recession

Re-establishing our Energy Independence

The Leadership of the America First Policy Institute Provided the Following Reactions and Insight Into the State of America One Year Into the Biden Administration

Senator Manchin Delivers Christmas Early

AFPI Statement: Andrew Wheeler on Biden Administration’s Disastrous Climate Policies

Read the Entire Big Government Socialist Spending Bill Before Voting

Doug Hoelscher

Announcement: Former EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler will chair AFPI’s Center for the Environment


Statement: Brooke Rollins, AFPI’s President & CEO, on the Flawed Infrastructure Bill


Op-Ed: Banning Gas Stoves? That’s Too Many Government Cooks In Your Kitchen

Carla Sands

Op-Ed: The United States Can Still Be a Leader on Natural Gas

Samuel Buchan & Carla Sands

Issue Brief: Distillate Disaster

Samuel Buchan

Biden administration’s problem with Saudi Arabia

Jacob Olidort and Sam Buchan

Puerto Rico & the Jones Act—The Urgency of Modernizing Energy Policy

David Vasquez

Re-Energizing American Diplomacy with Africa & Countering the Left’s Climate Colonialism

Oliver McPherson-Smith

Close Calls and Cold Winters—The Ongoing Threat of Russia’s Energy Weaponization

Sam Buchan

Biden Administration’s Mismanagement of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve Demands a Response – a Long-Term Strategy for American Energy Security

Sam Buchan

Federal Gas Tax Holiday is a Gimmicky Approach to Biden’s Failing Energy Policy

David Vasquez

AFPI Statement on the SEC’s Destructive Climate Disclosure Rule

Comments by America First Policy Institute on The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Proposed Rule entitled

Op-Ed: Historic $5 gas exposes Biden’s energy delusion

Rick Perry

Op-ed: La falsa promesa de Venezuela


Op-ed: America needs its Gulf allies

Jacob Olidort & Sam Buchan

FACT SHEET: Joe Biden’s Economic Op-Ed: Who Does He Think He Is Fooling?

James Carter and Michael Faulkender

Wet Blankets and the Looming Formula Shortage

Samuel Buchan

AFPI 2022 Annual Policy Summit

The European Union Announces Plan for Phased Ban of Russian Oil and Refined Products—America Must Meet the Moment

Former Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, Chair of AFPI’s Center for Energy Independence, and Lt. General (Ret.) Keith Kellogg, Co-Chair of AFPI’s Center for American Security

AFPI Statement on the Biden Administration Final NEPA Rule that Will Delay Infrastructure, Increase Energy Costs, and Cement a Legacy of Build Back Never

Happy First Birthday AFPI!

Op-ed: Europe needs a Mitchell Plan, not a Marshall plan

Rick Perry

Biden blames Putin and US oil companies for the rising prices making Americans’ lives miserable, but the TRUTH is that runaway inflation is his own fault

Andy Puzder

Issue Brief: Biden Administration Inflation & Oil Markets

The Latest Strategic Petroleum Reserve Release Demonstrates the “Consequence and Peril” of President Biden’s War on Fossil Fuels

Rick Perry and David Bernhardt

Unleashing U.S. Energy Dominance Livestream Discussion

Unleashing American Energy

Rick Perry joined Cavuto Live on Fox to discuss the energy crisis and oil restrictions from Russia

Rick Perry joined Mornings with Maria on Fox Business to discuss the energy crisis

Op-Ed: Biden’s war on American energy made us dependent, again

Steve Moore

An Examination of the First Year of Biden’s Presidency

Rick Perry: What I’ve Got in Common with Stacey Abrams

Rick Perry

Op-Ed: Yes, the Biden Administration DOES Have a Magic Wand for Energy Prices

Rick Perry

Senator Manchin Delivers Christmas Early

Administrator Andrew Wheeler joined ‘Mornings with Maria’ on Fox Business

Another Way Biden Pushes Gasoline Prices Up

Andrew Wheeler

Biden Policies Hamper Infrastructure Projects

Andrew Wheeler

Administrator Andrew Wheeler joined Fox Business Tonight with David Asman

Administrator Andrew Wheeler joined Rob Schmitt Tonight on Newsmax

Governor Rick Perry joined ‘Kudlow’ on Fox Business

Administrator Andrew Wheeler joins ‘Cortes & Pellegrino’ on Newsmax

Biden Administration’s Answer to Energy Costs: Even Higher Prices

Andrew Wheeler

Op-Ed: America deserves better than what Congressional Democrats are offering

Brooke Rollins in The Washington Times

Op-Ed: Biden’s Race to Undo Trump Environmental Reforms Violates Public Trust

Rick Perry and Jason Isaac in Real Clear Energy

Blog: National Environmental Protection Act Reform Comments

Beatrice Brooke Senior Policy Analyst, Center for American Prosperity and Center for Energy & Environment

Beatrice Brooke was born in Atlanta, Georgia, and serves as the Senior Policy Analyst in the Center for American Prosperity and the Center for Energy & Environment for AFPI. Brooke recently finished her service at the United States Department of Commerce, where she served as a Senior Advisor to the Deputy Secretary on policy matters including international trade, economic development, weather operations, and commercial space enterprises. In this role, she supported the Deputy Secretary, who served as the Department’s Chief Operating Officer of a budget of more than $15.2 billion, 12 operating units, and over 47,000 employees. She is a graduate of Northwestern University, where she majored in Political Science and International Studies and also studied Spanish and Italian. Brooke grew up in Washington, D.C., and she enjoys reading about history, traveling, and studying languages—and has recently begun learning Korean.

“The price of liberty is eternal vigilance.”

Thomas Jefferson

Samuel Buchan Visiting Fellow, Center for Energy & Environment

Samuel Buchan is from Akron, Ohio, and serves as a Visiting Fellow for the Center for Energy & Environment at AFPI. Buchan recently served as the Director for International Economic Policy on the National Economic Council, where he contributed to the Trump Administration’s energy and environmental policy and developed the administration’s strategy for European energy security. Previously, Buchan served as the Senior Advisor to Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, where he oversaw the Department’s international efforts and established the Partnership for Transatlantic Energy and Climate Cooperation. Buchan has written numerous articles on the geopolitics of energy and domestic energy policy for leading sector publications, including Newsweek, The National Interest, RealClearEnergy, and The Hill. Buchan earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Akron and is pursuing his Master of International Policy at Texas A&M University. Buchan enjoys woodworking, sailing, and monitoring black market energy trade. 

The Honorable Rick Perry Chair, Center for Energy & Environment

Rick Perry was born in Haskell, Texas, and raised in Paint Creek, Texas. The son of dryland cotton farmers, he currently serves as the Chair of the Center for Energy & Environment at AFPI. Perry previously served as the 14th Secretary of Energy under President Donald Trump, where he advanced America’s dominance in energy production to help American businesses, workers, families, and farmers. Previously, Perry served as the 47th Governor of Texas. As Governor of the Lone Star State, Perry championed conservative principles that helped Texas become America’s economic engine. Perry also served Texas as Lt. Governor, Agriculture Commissioner, and State Representative. Perry is a veteran of the United States Air Force, having flown C-130 tactical airlift aircraft in Europe and the Middle East and remains passionate about supporting the active duty and veteran community. Perry earned distinction early in his life as an Eagle Scout and he was one of the first in his family to go to college, earning a degree in Animal Science from Texas A&M University, where he was a member of the Corps of Cadets and a Yell Leader. Perry married his childhood sweetheart, Anita, in 1982. They have two children, two beautiful granddaughters, and a grandson, who was born on the 4th of July.

Ambassador Carla Sands Vice Chair, Center for Energy & Environment

Ambassador Carla Sands is from Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, and serves as the Vice Chair of the Center for Energy and Environment at AFPI. Previously, she was appointed to President Donald J. Trump’s Economic Advisory Council, and in 2017, President Trump called on Sands to represent the United States as the Ambassador to Denmark, Greenland, and the Faroe Islands. During her tenure, Denmark increased its defense spending, while U.S. exports to the Kingdom of Denmark rose more than 43%, creating additional jobs right here at home. As Ambassador, Sands proposed and helped establish the U.S. Consulate in Nuuk, Greenland, and assisted with resolving the Thule Base Maintenance Contract dispute. She facilitated partnership agreements between the U.S. and the people of Greenland and the people of the Faroe Islands and expanded the U.S. mission in the Kingdom of Denmark to include the Coast Guard. In January 2021, Sands received the Department of Defense’s highest civilian honor, the Medal for Distinguished Public Service, for her work to increase security in the high north while countering Russia and China. Before her time in the Trump Administration, Sands was the first woman to serve as Chairman & CEO of Vintage Capital Group in 2015. She studied biology and chemistry at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and Elizabethtown College before receiving her Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Life Chiropractic College. Following her father and grandfather’s footsteps, Sands was the third generation in her family to practice chiropractic in Pennsylvania. In 1999, she married her beloved husband, Fred Sands, and had a daughter together. 

Oliver McPherson-Smith Director, Center for Energy & Environment

Oliver McPherson-Smith is from Sydney, Australia, and serves as a Director for the Center for Energy & Environment at AFPI. He is currently completing a Ph.D. in Political Science at the University of Oxford, where his research explores the politics of corporate and energy policy in Africa and the Middle East. McPherson-Smith earned a master’s in Middle Eastern studies from Harvard University and a bachelor’s in land economy from the University of Cambridge. His research has been published in several leading academic journals, and he maintains a fluency in Russian and Iranian Persian. Before his research career, McPherson-Smith worked as a television correspondent in Africa and Europe. He resides in California and enjoys surfing, skiing, and debating tax policy with his husband. He is a proud naturalized citizen.

“He who keeps company with the wise becomes wise.”

Proverbs 13:20

David Vasquez Policy Analyst for the Center for American Prosperity, the Center for Energy & Environment

David Vasquez is from Ripon, California, and serves as a Policy Analyst for the Center for American Prosperity, the Center for Energy & Environment at AFPI. Previously, David served in the policy debate world as a founding director of the policy debate team at Concordia-Chicago. Before this, Vasquez served as a development and policy intern through the Charles Koch Foundation’s Koch Internship Program. He is also the co-founder of the Helmsmen Institute, which provides thousands of students in speech and debate with professional training and resources to hone their rhetoric, presentation, public speaking, and policy analysis skills. Vasquez graduated from Concordia University Irvine, majoring in history and political thought, with a minor in law and politics. He was senior captain of the debate team, finishing his senior year as the highest-ranked collegiate debater in the United States among several hundreds of competitors. In his free time, he enjoys ultimate frisbee, rooting for the Oakland Athletics, and researching the impact of tax evasion laws on American expatriates. 

“Our span of life is brief, but is long enough for us to live well and honestly.”

Marcus Tullius Cicero

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