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  • Opening Access, Not Subsidies, The Key to America's Energy Future


    Over the years our federal government has implemented a number of bad policies to reduce dependence on foreign oil. The latest flavor-of-the-month policy is the New Alternative Transportation to Give Americans Solutions (NAT GAS) Act, which would give targeted tax credits to produce natural gas vehicles and heavy-duty trucks.

    The problem with these plans is that the government picks winners and losers in the marketplace, wastes taxpayer dollars, diverts resources away from more productive use, and does little to reduce dependence on foreign oil.

    As Heritage’s David Kreutzer points this out, the NAT GAS Act is much of the same:

    In the proponents’ dreams, the act will save 1.5 million barrels of oil per day … by 2035. Though 1.5 million barrels is nothing to sniff at, 1.5 million either way won’t scare any dictators, especially when the impact is spread out over a 25-year period.

    These hypothetical savings would cut world demand by only 1.5 percent in 2035. If this is Anti-terror Plan A, let’s move on to Plan B, because the threat of cutting revenues by a couple of percent 25 years from now will do nothing to affect behavior in Iran, Venezuela or anywhere else. If the bill’s supporters seriously want to reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil, a great place to start is to allow access to our domestic reserves. Opening access and streamlining permits would generate royalties and bonus-bids, creating additional income and government revenue instead of boosting the debt to cover the subsidies.

    A good place to start allowing access to our reserves is out west. A new report entitled “The Blueprint for Western Energy Prosperity” from the Western Energy Alliance highlights the important potential of oil and natural gas production, noting that the region is projected to generate 1.3 billion barrels by 2020. The increased supply would create jobs and bring in revenue to federal and state governments and can be accessed without subsidies and targeted tax credits.

    What we need, the report correctly argues, is a “moratorium on new and expanded layers of regulation” that would add to the already onerous regulatory regime. Furthermore, we need an end to frivolous lawsuits that needlessly tie up these projects in years of litigation. Environmental activists have a remarkably successful track record of delaying new energy projects—not just for oil and gas but all energy projects—by filing endless administrative appeals and lawsuits.

    Instead of restricting access, policies should focus on opening markets. Politicians should worry less about catchy sound clips when talking about energy independence and center more on sound economic policies that grant Americans access to affordable energy. Our policies should not promote protectionism and isolationism, both of which are in opposition to America’s long-term interests. If oil is cheaper to import, we should do that, and the resources in the United States could be put to more efficient use.

    That being said, there are plenty of opportunities to produce oil onshore and offshore here at home at its current price (and well below it), and it should be a priority for our government to allow companies to explore and drill for oil and natural gas.

    Posted in Energy [slideshow_deploy]

    8 Responses to Opening Access, Not Subsidies, The Key to America's Energy Future

    1. Jeanette Sharp says:

      What an eye opener! Loved it!!!!

    2. @psal051 says:

      If we could assign as many resources to the production of products and services in America as we do complying with local, state and federal regulations the cost of living would be drastically reduced and the standard of living would be drastically increased. Did I mention the explosion of job creation. This can only happen if regulations and tax rates are reduced to a manageable minimum! "Basic Economics" Dr. Thomas Sowell.

    3. Tim Az says:

      The govt. has been obstructing the American oil companies since they first acquired the permit to produce oil on Alaska's northern slope. In fact the govt. did everything in their power to stop the building of the Alaskan pipeline to ensure that oil would never make it to the American people. All the American oil companies joned in this venture and had to borrow their total net worth to finish the pipeline before they went broke. How did they do it. Quite simply in the last six months they brought in every available person they could get and overwhelmed the govt. by ignoring every attempted block and paying the resulting fines.lol The govt, could not keep up with the violations fast enough. If the oil companies had not met that dead line and began to see profits to pay the interest on their 25 billion dollar loan the govt. would have bankrupted them and taken over all energy production. To this day the govt. is still trying to destroy the oil companies by turning the American citizens against the oil companies in hopes that the citizenry will beg the govt. to socialize energy production. To this day the oil companies are not allowed to deduct the interest and payments towards that loan from their profit margine so that the American people can be conned into believing that the profit margine is excessive. No other business in America is done this way. Because as we are about to find out if the govt. controls energy production they control every aspect of your life. For more information on the subject find the book entitled The Energy Non-Crisis by Lindsey Williams. Had enough yet?

    4. Tim Az says:

      If you truly want an eye opener read the book The Energy Non-Crisis by Lindsey Williams. You will discover that the govt. has been out to destroy the American oil companies the begining of the building of the Alaskan Pipeline. He who controls energy controls the people. Has enough yet?

    5. Lloyd Scallan says:

      This is exactly why Obama need the BP blow-out, and the resulting spill in the Gulf last year, to cause as much damage as possible. Obama needed justification for his hatred of fossil fuels and to make us more dependent to foreign sources by stopping drilling onshore and offshore. Not only is Obama "spreading the wealth" to countries like Brazil, where his buddies like Saros are making money hand over fist. But, by forcing us to buy oil from two-bit thugs, he is supporting their dictatorships. To suggest importing oil may be "cheaper" is a foolish statement. When all factors such as transportation cost and the risk of spills are considered, there is no comparison.

    6. Bill says:

      Who is paying for the environmentalists legal bills? Grant money from the EPA?

    7. Pingback: PA Pundits - International

    8. Mike, Wichita Falls says:

      Repeal automatic standing for environmental groups, make them show injury, and make them pay their own legal bills.

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