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  • Backgrounder posted November 13, 2014 by Kevin D. Dayaratna, Ph.D., Nicolas Loris, David W. Kreutzer, Ph.D. The Obama Administration’s Climate Agenda: Underestimated Costs and Exaggerated Benefits

    W‌hen his climate cap-and-trade bill was defeated in the Democrat-controlled Senate, President Barack Obama noted there were other ways of “skinning the cat.”[1] Now we know that his chosen way is an onslaught of mandates, regulations, and possibly taxes directed primarily by the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The indicator…

  • WebMemo posted May 12, 2011 by Nicolas Loris, Curtis S. Dubay What’s an Oil Subsidy?

    In his fiscal year (FY) 2012 budget request, President Obama proposed to end subsidies for oil companies by eliminating tax breaks, including accelerated depreciation options. A growing number of policymakers have echoed that call. Though the President’s anti-subsidy rhetoric is on track, there are several fundamental problems with the Administration’s crusade. The…

  • Issue Brief posted March 28, 2013 by Jack Spencer Nuclear Waste Management: Minimum Requirements for Reforms and Legislation

    Senator Ron Wyden (D–OR), chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, is expected to put forth a bill to reform nuclear waste management in the U.S. According to media reports, the bill under consideration maintains the same basic structure of America’s current, failed system for waste management.[1] While such a bill might meet some near-term…

  • WebMemo posted July 1, 2010 by David W. Kreutzer, Ph.D., John L. Ligon The Economic Impact of an Offshore Drilling Ban

    Responding to the BP oil leak, President Obama instituted a moratorium on deepwater (over 500 feet) drilling. Though a judge ruled against the moratorium, drilling has not restarted. In addition, though no official moratorium was issued for drilling in shallower water, the permitting process has slowed considerably.[1] The President has raised questions about the…

  • Testimony posted June 7, 2011 by Jack Spencer The American Energy Initiative

    Testimony before Subcommittee on Energy and Power Committee on Energy and Commerce United States House of Representatives June 3, 2011 Chairman Whitfield, Ranking Member Rush, and Members of the Subcommittee: My name is Jack Spencer. I am the Research Fellow for Nuclear Energy Policy at The Heritage Foundation. The…

  • Issue Brief posted April 8, 2013 by Baker Spring, Jack Spencer Mixed Oxide Fuel Facility in South Carolina Needs Congress’s Support

    The Department of Energy (DOE) is constructing a facility at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina to produce mixed oxide (MOX) fuel, which consists of uranium oxide and plutonium oxide, for use in nuclear power reactors. This building project follows from a 2000 agreement with Russia to dispose of 34 metric tons of surplus weapons plutonium by each country. The DOE…

  • Backgrounder posted March 23, 2012 by Nicolas Loris Department of Energy Budget Cuts: Time to End the Hidden Green Stimulus

    Abstract: Government spending has been spiraling upward—and spending by nearly all government agencies can, and should, be cut. President Obama has just submitted his 2013 budget request to Congress, providing fertile ground for spending cuts.The Department of Energy (DOE), with its many research, development, and grant programs offers many opportunities for savings.…

  • Backgrounder posted December 5, 2013 by Nicolas Loris, Kevin D. Dayaratna, Ph.D., David W. Kreutzer, Ph.D. EPA Power Plant Regulations: A Backdoor Energy Tax

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has re-proposed its desired regulation of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for future power plants. The agency also plans to finalize standards for existing plants by summer 2015. If implemented and combined with other proposed and newly implemented regulations, these GHG regulations would significantly…

  • Backgrounder posted April 18, 2011 by Nicolas Loris Department of Energy Spending Cuts: A Guide to Trimming President Obama’s 2012 Budget Request

    Abstract: Government spending has been spiraling upward in nearly all areas—and spending by most government agencies can, and should, be cut. President Obama recently submitted his 2012 budget request to Congress, providing fertile ground for spending cuts. One of the fastest-growing federal agencies, the Department of Energy (DOE), with its numerous research,…

  • Backgrounder posted September 3, 2013 by Nicolas Loris Advanced Energy Trust Fund: Tying a Good Idea to a Bad One

    Senator Lisa Murkowski (R–AK) recently released draft legislation outlining her idea of an Advanced Energy Trust Fund. The trust fund would create a new stream of revenue for the Secretary of Energy to spend on basic and applied research for new energy technologies—with funding coming predominately from oil and gas production on federal lands currently off-limits to…

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  • Backgrounder posted December 8, 2014 by Nicolas Loris, Katie Tubb Six Easy Energy Reforms for Congress to Take Up

    With a new Congress set to take office in January, policymakers will be eager to prove that they can move good policy forward. In energy policy, plenty of bipartisan opportunities exist for Congress to implement free-market reforms to remove government interference and create opportunities. Six Reforms While certainly not all-encompassing, the following six energy…

  • Backgrounder posted November 13, 2014 by Kevin D. Dayaratna, Ph.D., Nicolas Loris, David W. Kreutzer, Ph.D. The Obama Administration’s Climate Agenda: Underestimated Costs and Exaggerated Benefits

    W‌hen his climate cap-and-trade bill was defeated in the Democrat-controlled Senate, President Barack Obama noted there were other ways of “skinning the cat.”[1] Now we know that his chosen way is an onslaught of mandates, regulations, and possibly taxes directed primarily by the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The indicator…

  • Backgrounder posted December 5, 2013 by Nicolas Loris, Kevin D. Dayaratna, Ph.D., David W. Kreutzer, Ph.D. EPA Power Plant Regulations: A Backdoor Energy Tax

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has re-proposed its desired regulation of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for future power plants. The agency also plans to finalize standards for existing plants by summer 2015. If implemented and combined with other proposed and newly implemented regulations, these GHG regulations would significantly…

  • Backgrounder posted September 3, 2013 by Nicolas Loris Advanced Energy Trust Fund: Tying a Good Idea to a Bad One

    Senator Lisa Murkowski (R–AK) recently released draft legislation outlining her idea of an Advanced Energy Trust Fund. The trust fund would create a new stream of revenue for the Secretary of Energy to spend on basic and applied research for new energy technologies—with funding coming predominately from oil and gas production on federal lands currently off-limits to…

  • Backgrounder posted June 7, 2013 by Nicolas Loris The Shaheen–Portman Energy Efficiency Bill: A Costly, Inefficient Use of Taxpayer Money

    Deep divisions within Congress have the American public and politicians alike wondering what Congress can accomplish—on any issue. One issue consistently mentioned is energy efficiency. To that end, Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D–NH) and Rob Portman (R–OH) have introduced the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act. Known as Shaheen–Portman, the act relies on…

  • Issue Brief posted April 8, 2013 by Baker Spring, Jack Spencer Mixed Oxide Fuel Facility in South Carolina Needs Congress’s Support

    The Department of Energy (DOE) is constructing a facility at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina to produce mixed oxide (MOX) fuel, which consists of uranium oxide and plutonium oxide, for use in nuclear power reactors. This building project follows from a 2000 agreement with Russia to dispose of 34 metric tons of surplus weapons plutonium by each country. The DOE…

  • Issue Brief posted April 8, 2013 by Nicolas Loris, Jack Spencer, Katie Tubb 10 Questions for DOE Nominee Ernest Moniz

    Dr. Ernest Moniz, if confirmed by the Senate as next Secretary of Energy, will be taking over a Department wrought with controversy from the past four years. During a time when energy development should be driving the economy forward, pernicious subsidy policies, missing leadership on nuclear waste disposal, and unnecessary limits on conventional fuel development on…

  • Issue Brief posted March 28, 2013 by Jack Spencer Nuclear Waste Management: Minimum Requirements for Reforms and Legislation

    Senator Ron Wyden (D–OR), chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, is expected to put forth a bill to reform nuclear waste management in the U.S. According to media reports, the bill under consideration maintains the same basic structure of America’s current, failed system for waste management.[1] While such a bill might meet some near-term…

  • Issue Brief posted March 14, 2013 by Nicolas Loris Energy Efficiency, Not Efficiency Mandates

    In order to compel American businesses and consumers to act in a manner that suits the federal government, various federal agencies have created mandates and energy-efficiency programs for vehicles, homes, manufacturing processes, appliances, and more since the 1970s. Proponents of those programs argue that they save consumers and businesses money, reduce energy use, and…

  • Backgrounder posted February 11, 2013 by Nicolas Loris U.S. Natural Gas Exports: Lift Restrictions and Empower the States

    Technological advancements in directional drilling and hydraulic fracturing have led to an abundance of natural gas production in the United States that is fundamentally changing the energy landscape. The result has been more jobs, economic growth, and consistently low domestic natural gas prices in what has been known to be a historically volatile market. In fact, the…

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