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  • 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…

  • 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…

  • Commentary posted October 28, 2013 by David W. Kreutzer, Ph.D. Feds' energy 'micro' management goes too far

    Have you ever gone to the kitchen in the middle of the night without turning on the lights, looked at your microwave’s digital clock and said, “Man, that is bright! How much energy does that thing use anyway?” If so, you were either hung over or an employee of the Department of Energy. In reality, that clock uses hardly any energy at all — an average of 4.5 watts on the…