Could we do worse than current U.S. energy policy?
Energy is a fundamental component of our economy. Business and industry need it to operate. We all need it to survive. Yet, our federal government continues to pursue ill-conceived energy policies that unnecessarily compromise accessibility, inflate prices, stymie business, and make it harder for already strapped families to afford heating, housing, food, and everything else.
It is imperative that we chart a wiser and more productive course.
When we adopt better energy policy, many of the enormous economic challenges we’re facing will quickly begin to resolve. We’ll create jobs, grow the economy, and begin to make life far more affordable for everyone again.
Wiser energy policy will also ensure preparedness and strengthen national security. While approximately a quarter of our oil currently comes from our neighbor and ally, Canada, we also purchase a good deal of oil from nations that are not nearly so stable. Some of those suppliers are even unfriendly. By relying so heavily on foreign sources, we leave ourselves vulnerable to price manipulations and shortages. We even potentially open ourselves to various forms of attack, financed with the money we have paid for oil.
To responsibly grow our economy and ensure national security, we must finally now do what we should have done long ago: increase access to plentiful energy resources that lie within U.S. borders.
BOLD SOLUTION A: Get Government out of the Way
Federal policy hostile to energy development and/or use lies at the root of much of our current debacle. In fact, a good portion of the reason we’re dependent on foreign sources of energy stems from the fact that federal regulations have made it so difficult and costly to develop or access a wide variety of important energy options within our own borders. It is time to roll back over-burdensome regulations that bind the hands of the energy industry so that it can finally produce and provide stable, affordable energy products.
BOLD SOLUTION B: End Energy Subsidies and Let the Free Market Work
Energy subsidies are no different than any other subsidy. They wrongly allow the government to play favorites, resulting in artificial winners and losers in the marketplace. They also frequently result in cartels and price fixing. Moreover, subsidies stifle healthy incentive to compete and innovate within an industry. None of these outcomes benefits the U.S. economy or consumers like you and me.
It’s time to end energy subsidies and let the free market work.
Removing taxpayer dollars from the equation creates a reason for energy producers to battle for market share. It also ensures that those battles will rightly be won or lost based on proof of concept, investor confidence, product viability, and value to consumers.
The Founders’ intent was never to protect and stagnate business and industry. Rather they wanted business and industry to be completely free to strive for excellence; to create true value; to extend that value through products and services; and, subsequently, to benefit from and propagate prosperity. It is a system that is historically proven. It works brilliantly…when we let it. Leveraging true competition in relationship to consumer demand will powerfully reinvigorate the energy industry and provide a diverse and far more affordable array of real energy solutions.
In this way, the U.S. can move toward an “all-of-the-above” energy policy that acknowledges and leverages the best of the best from among:
- Traditional, efficient, and highly stable energy options, such as:
- Natural Gas
- Long ignored but increasingly cost-effective energy solutions, such as:
- Shale Oil
- Renewable energy options, such as:
In Washington, I will advance precisely this sort of diverse, market-driven energy approach. A comprehensive energy plan and policy will help us move toward energy independence, prepare for the future, improve our economic outlook, and remain good stewards of the environment–all while improving national security.
BOLD SOLUTION C: Restore Federal Lands to the States
It’s a simple fact: The more land government controls, the less free Americans are. Right now the federal government owns approximately 650 million acres, or about one third of all U.S. lands. It prevents energy production on most of these holdings.
Taxpayers, then, do not, in general, benefit economically from most federal lands. Rather, they pay to have the use of these lands withheld from them.
As energy prices grow and our economy shrinks, we can no longer afford to allow useful lands to sit idle. We are crippling ourselves.
In Congress, I will fully support a restoration of federal lands to the states in which they lie. In this way, citizens, though their state representatives, will have greater power to determine what should be done with those lands. In particular, many of these lands could subsequently be sold (or at the very least leased) by the state in order to facilitate energy production and other valuable outcomes. Such a solution would move us toward several crucial goals:
- Job creation
- Economic renewal
- Taxpayer relief
- Constitutional limitation of the federal government’s scope and authority
- Restoration to the states and the people of their proper authority under the 10th Amendment