When it comes to energy policy, the main task for federal policymakers is to keep a good thing going. Advancements in drilling and extraction technologies have positioned the U.S. to be world’s top oil producer as early as 2015. Hydraulic fracturing -- the much-maligned “fracking” -- and horizontal drilling have added two million barrels of oil per day to U.S. energy production. Natural gas is also very plentiful.
However, this boom has taken place in spite of government interference in the energy marketplace, which is still saddled with burdensome regulations, taxpayer-funded subsidies, and bureaucratic mandates. According to energy expert Nicolas Loris, though, there are numerous steps federal policymakers can take to change this situation for the better.
For one thing, they can remove the special tax breaks for all energy sources, including oil, gas, coal, and nuclear. This would push the producers of these energy technologies to be competitive, not rely on handouts from the federal government. In addition, they can repeal the mandate to add ethanol to gasoline, approve the Keystone XL Pipeline, and streamline the construction of new nuclear plants.
The key, when it comes to both of these issues and many others, is to find good, practical solutions. As Gov. Walker added: “I think most Americans, even if they don’t like the size or growth of government, they still want something to work.” Exactly.
So yes, oppose the bad, but let’s leave the job half-finished. Let’s promote the good -- and make things better.