Stephen DeMaura

A national energy security summit hosted by Securing America’s Future Energy Foundation (SAFE) and its sister organization the Electrification Coalition is set to take place in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, and will focus on how the United States' rapidly changing energy and transportation markets present an opportunity to end foreign dependence on oil.

It’s true. Thanks to new drilling technologies, U.S. oil and gas production is booming while demand is rapidly declining. In July, U.S. oil output hit its highest level in 20 years, and in less than five years, America may no longer need to import oil from any source but Canada, according to a recent Citigroup report. This is a dramatic turnaround from just a few years ago. At this rate and as projected, the U.S. could become the world’s largest oil producer next year, meaning positive geopolitical leverage and significant economic growth.

Unfortunately the boom in energy production will not be the focus of SAFE’s OPEC anniversary summit, and here’s the ironic part: the summit is a group of prominent political, business and military leaders joining together in D.C. to request government subsidies in the midst of a government shutdown; and the argument is that the government should spend more money promoting technology for electric vehicles (EV) and weaning the country off of oil.

SAFE tries to disguise subsidies as “tax benefits,” “programs,” and “research and development initiatives,” but what they really want is more money for the Fortune 50 companies they lobby for. And that’s what Wednesday’s Subsidy Summit will be all about.

Millions of taxpayer dollars have already been spent on tax breaks for people who have chosen to buy an EV, while the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) says that even with these tax benefits, EVs are not cost effective. In fact, the CBO says tax breaks may have to increase by as much as four times in order to bring costs down to comparable non-electric vehicles.

Stephen DeMaura

Stephen DeMaura is president of Americans for Job Security.