Issue Brief posted June 3, 2014
EPA Proposes Next Step of Regulatory Cap-and-Trade
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released its draft regulation to limit greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from existing power plants. Along with the EPA’s New Source Performance Standards for new electricity generating units, the Administration is pursuing the regulatory equivalent of cap-and-trade that would drive up energy costs for families and businesses…
Issue Brief posted May 28, 2014
Ending Ex–Im Would Remove Wasteful Energy Subsidies
The U.S. Export–Import Bank (Ex–Im) provides government-backed loans, loan guarantees, and capital and credit insurance to foreign firms to enable them to buy U.S. exports. Producers of energy technologies and equipment have been a significant beneficiary of the Ex–Im Bank, accounting for 30 percent of the loans and guarantees Ex–Im made last year.
While Ex–Im was…
Issue Brief posted May 7, 2014
Federal Regulations and Federal Ownership Limit Oil Production Potential
Production of crude oil in the United States is up to 8.36 million barrels per day—the highest since January 1988. The increased supply of oil has widespread economic benefits, but a new Congressional Research Service report shows that when the numbers are broken down by ownership it becomes clear that the situation could be even better. Although oil production overall…
Issue Brief posted May 5, 2014
10 Guiding Principles for Agriculture Policy: A Free-Market Vision
Agriculture has changed dramatically over the past 80 years, yet farm and commodity programs are Depression-era relics that are grounded in central-planning philosophies. Even some policymakers who claim to be strong proponents of free markets and limited government tend to forget these core beliefs when it comes to these programs.
Agriculture policy is not just limited…
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…