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  • Issue Brief posted November 30, 2016 by Michaela Dodge The Trump Administration’s Nuclear Weapons Policy: First Steps

    Nuclear weapons continue to be essential for U.S. national security and will continue to play an irreplaceable role in deterring a large-scale attack against the U.S. homeland. Nuclear weapons in the hands of U.S. adversaries and potential adversaries are the only weapons that pose an existential threat to the nation. The Trump Administration will have a unique…

  • Backgrounder posted October 24, 2016 by Nicolas Loris, Katie Tubb Colorado’s Discovery of Massive Oil and Gas Reserves: A Case for Local Energy and Environment Policy

    The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) discovered this past June that Colorado has 40 times more technically recoverable natural gas resources than previously estimated. The discovery makes Colorado’s Mancos Shale in the Piceance Basin the second-largest known shale reserve in the country (after Pennsylvania), assessed by the USGS with over 66 trillion cubic feet of gas, 74…

  • Backgrounder posted June 20, 2016 by Michaela Dodge New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty: Time to Stop the Damage to U.S. National Security

    In April 2010, U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START). Six years later, an analysis of New START’s impact on U.S. national security is as timely as it is instructive. New START has not accomplished the Administration’s main goal of providing predictability and strategic stability between…

  • Backgrounder posted May 23, 2016 by James L. Gattuso, Diane Katz Red Tape Rising 2016: Obama Regs Top $100 Billion Annually

    The number and cost of federal regulations increased substantially in 2015, as regulators continued to tighten restrictions on American businesses and individuals. The addition of 43 new major rules last year increased annual regulatory costs by more than $22 billion, bringing the total annual costs of Obama Administration rules to an astonishing $100 billon-plus in just…

  • Issue Brief posted May 16, 2016 by Nicolas Loris Congress Should Rescind Unused Qualified Energy Conservation Bond Funds

    In an era of record deficits, Congress should explore every opportunity to save taxpayer money. One funding stream Congress should cut immediately is Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds (QECBs). The federal government uses a number of policy tools to favor the production of one energy source over or another and subsidize or mandate energy efficiency. One such mechanism,…

  • Backgrounder posted April 13, 2016 by Kevin D. Dayaratna, Ph.D., Nicolas Loris, David W. Kreutzer, Ph.D. Consequences of Paris Protocol: Devastating Economic Costs, Essentially Zero Environmental Benefits

    During the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris, President Barack Obama met with world leaders from around the globe to discuss plans to combat climate change. The general consensus from the summit was that the use of natural resources, such as coal, oil, and natural gas—which provide 80 percent of the world’s energy needs—should be avoided. Furthermore,…

  • Backgrounder posted March 22, 2016 by Katie Tubb, Jack Spencer Real Consent for Nuclear Waste Management Starts with a Free Market

    Last December, the Department of Energy (DOE) finally announced the next step in its plan to manage nuclear waste, as roughly outlined in its 2013 Strategy for the Management and Disposal of Used Nuclear Fuel and High-Level Radioactive Waste.[1] In what the DOE characterized as a “critical step,” it opened a public comment period to gather input on how a new consent-based…

  • Testimony posted March 7, 2016 by Nicolas Loris Examining the Department of Energy’s Loan Portfolio

    The House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space and Technology’s Subcommittee on Energy and Subcommittee on Oversight March 3, 2016 Nick Loris Herbert & Joyce Morgan Fellow The Heritage Foundation My name is Nick Loris and I am the Herbert & Joyce Morgan Fellow at The Heritage Foundation. The views I express in this testimony are my own, and should not be…

  • Backgrounder posted December 14, 2015 by Diane Katz An Environmental Policy Primer for the Next President

    The nation’s environment has dramatically improved in the four decades since adoption of America’s foundational environmental statutes.[1] It is also true that there could have been even greater improvement at far less cost—economic and social—had lawmakers forgone centralized government control in favor of the transformative powers of market incentives and private…

  • Backgrounder posted October 28, 2015 by Nicolas Loris Bipartisan Senate Energy Bill Full of Poison Pills

    The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee recently passed its comprehensive 357-page energy bill out of committee.[1] The Senate is attempting to move forward with “non-controversial” legislation that, according to proponents, contains no “poison pills.” However, as with the last two major energy bills passed in 2005 and 2007, a few good provisions do not outweigh…

  • Backgrounder posted October 9, 2015 by Nicolas Loris, Luke Coffey, Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D., James Phillips, Dean Cheng, Ana Quintana, Lisa Curtis, William T. Wilson, Ph.D. The Economic and Geopolitical Benefits of Free Trade in Energy Resources

    Given its abundance of natural resources and the recent growth in domestic energy production, the United States is in a position to export far more energy than American trade laws currently allow. Free trade is imperative to a free society, as it fosters economic growth and improves human well-being. Policymakers should treat energy like any other good or service that is…

  • Backgrounder posted August 20, 2015 by Nicolas Loris Why Congress Should Pull the Plug on the Strategic Petroleum Reserve

    After the Arab oil embargo and the creation of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in the 1970s, the United States and countries around the world felt a need to hold more oil inventories for emergencies. The U.S. joined the International Energy Agency (IEA) in November 1974 to coordinate a multi-lateral response to oil supply shocks. As part of that…

  • Backgrounder posted August 5, 2015 by Jack Spencer, Katie Tubb Fooled Again: The Nuclear Waste Administration Act Preserves Futile Status Quo

    The federal government has failed to meet its legal obligations to manage and dispose of America’s spent nuclear fuel and nuclear waste. Once again, progress seems possible only after federal courts ended years of delay caused by the Obama Administration’s refusal to follow the law under the 1982 Nuclear Waste Policy Act, as amended.[1] A new bill introduced by Senators…

  • Testimony posted March 25, 2015 by Nicolas Loris Department of Energy Oversight: Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

    Subcommittee on Energy Committee on Science, Space, and Technology U.S. House of Representatives March 24, 2015 Nicolas D. Loris Herbert and Joyce Morgan Fellow The Heritage Foundation My name is Nick Loris. I am a senior energy policy analyst and the Herbert and Joyce Morgan Fellow at The Heritage Foundation. The views I express in this testimony are my…

  • 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…