Issue Brief posted March 13, 2014
Free Ukraine by Freeing Energy Markets
Whether military, diplomatic, economic, or otherwise, the U.S. government has an array of policy options to bring to bear in response to Russia’s unacceptable aggression against Ukraine. However, one must not discount the impact that free markets and free trade can ultimately have on the situation.
Much of Russia’s power in the region is the result of its control over…
Issue Brief posted March 12, 2014
Energy Efficiency: Two Bills Aimed at Reducing Energy Consumption
The House of Representatives and the Senate released separate energy efficiency bills to ostensibly save families, businesses, and government money and reduce energy consumption. The House recently passed Representative David McKinley’s (R–WV) Energy Efficiency Improvement Act (H.R. 2126), and Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D–NH) and Rob Portman (R–OH) re-introduced the…
Issue Brief posted March 4, 2014
EPA’s Climate Regulations Will Harm American Manufacturing
The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) forthcoming climate change regulations for new and existing electricity generating units have been appropriately labeled the “war on coal,” because the proposed limits for carbon dioxide emissions would essentially prohibit the construction of new coal-fired power plants and force existing ones into early retirement.…
Issue Brief posted February 4, 2014
10 Ways the EXPAND Act Would Take the Energy Market in the Right Direction
The federal government’s intrusions with onerous regulations, taxpayer-funded subsidies, and mandates have resulted in economic inefficiencies in the energy marketplace. Congressman Jeff Duncan’s (R–SC) Energy Exploration and Production to Achieve National Demand (EXPAND) Act would remove or prevent many of the federal government’s interferences and allow the energy…
Issue Brief posted January 30, 2014
INNOVATES Act Creates a More Effective National Lab System
Senators Chris Coons (D–DE) and Marco Rubio (R–FL) recently introduced the America Implementing New National Opportunities to Vigorously Accelerate Technology, Energy and Science (INNOVATES) Act, which would promote technology development at the Department of Energy (DOE) national laboratories.
For far too long, DOE has attempted to use taxpayer money to drive…
Issue Brief posted January 27, 2014
West Virginia Chemical Spill: Learn Lessons and Let States Lead
On January 9, a leak in an above-ground storage facility spilled chemicals into the Elk River near Charleston, West Virginia, contaminating potable water affecting nine counties. But environmental pressure groups and big-government proponents are using the spill to serve their own agendas.
While the incident warrants investigation and thoughtful examination of the…
Issue Brief posted January 8, 2014
EPA and the Corps Ignoring Sound Science on Critical Clean Water Act Regulations
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers have drafted regulations that would clarify what kinds of bodies of water are covered under the Clean Water Act (CWA). This new definition would serve as the foundation of the CWA, determining the reach of the federal government’s jurisdiction under this law.
The EPA is developing a scientific…
Issue Brief posted December 11, 2013
Coal in the Global Energy Landscape
An abundant, affordable energy resource, coal provides 30 percent of the world’s energy, 41 percent of the world’s electricity generation and factors into 70 percent of the world’s steel production. While coal is by no means the only source of energy developed across the globe, it is a critical resource to driving economic growth all over the world and will continue to…
Issue Brief posted November 19, 2013
Protecting the States’ Ability to Regulate Fracking
The Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is working to finalize a rule that would put in place more stringent federal regulations for hydraulic fracturing (or “fracking”) on federal and Indian lands. At the same time, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is conducting a study on the potential impacts of fracking on groundwater.
Issue Brief posted October 8, 2013
Let the Wind PTC Die Down Immediately
As the federal budget debate continues to heat up, one of the contentious energy policy battles is over the extension of the wind production tax credit (PTC), a 2.3-cents-per-kilowatt-hour handout that is awarded to wind producers and other qualifying sources and continues for a decade after initial production.
Proponents of the subsidy are yet again calling for an…
Issue Brief posted September 23, 2013
Congress Should Stop Regulations of Greenhouse Gases
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed its new rule for regulating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for newly constructed power plants. Originally proposed in March 2012 with a standard threshold of 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent per megawatt hour, the new source performance standards set a limit for new coal-fired power plants of 1,100 pounds…
Issue Brief posted September 4, 2013
10 Questions Congress Should Ask About the Shaheen–Portman Energy Bill
The Senate will soon debate the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act, which was introduced by Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D–NH) and Rob Portman (R–OH). The proposed legislation provides taxpayer handouts to businesses and homeowners for building-efficiency improvements, workforce training programs, and advanced manufacturing processes.
If these initiatives…
Issue Brief posted August 13, 2013
Congress Should Scale Back the Renewable Fuel Standard—to Zero
The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) recent alteration to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) offers Americans a bit of temporary relief for an economic ailment that needs a cure. And Congress has the cure at its disposal.
Instead of attempting to reform the RFS or continually calling on the EPA to waive the mandates, Congress should repeal the RFS to protect…
Issue Brief posted June 27, 2013
Energy Production on Federal Lands: Handing Keys Over to the States
Advancements in drilling and extraction technologies and better information have provided a recent surge in domestic oil and gas production in some regions of the country, while in others, the rate of production has slowed or even decreased.
The divergent trajectories in production primarily boils down to one word: ownership. Much of the growth is occurring on private and…
Issue Brief posted June 27, 2013
Cost of a Climate Policy: The Economic Impact of Obama’s Climate Action Plan
President Obama recently released his Climate Action Plan, which is a continuation of the costly, ineffective policies from his first four years in office: Solyndra-style loan guarantees, nice-sounding but too expensive efficiency mandates, and his war on coal. It is this war on coal that would prove the most costly, with hundreds of thousands of lost jobs and $1.47…