United States Should Embrace Its Energy Superpower Status

December 9, 2013

U.S. energy policy should be changed to reflect its newfound energy abundance, says Mark J. Perry, an American Enterprise Institute scholar.

Thanks to private ingenuity and shale oil, the United States has seen a surge in oil and natural gas production. Perry offers the federal government three recommendations to make the most of the country's shale boom:

Leave the industry alone.

  • The Obama administration has called for higher taxes on the oil and gas industry, in addition to burdensome and unnecessary regulations on energy production.
  • That would only discourage investment in domestic energy and put a halt to the United States' impressive energy growth.

Speed up liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal approvals.

  • LNG export terminals allow American companies to sell natural gas to other countries.
  • So far, the Obama administration has given only four companies permits to construct those terminals and sell natural gas to countries that lack a free trade agreement with the United States.
  • Many applications are waiting to be reviewed, and they should be approved: the market can determine which projects will be viable.

Encourage that natural gas be used as transportation fuel.

  • The United States is not immune to oil price spikes, despite our increased domestic production, and oil is responsible for 93 percent of fuel for transportation.
  • The United States should not mandate the use of natural gas as it did with ethanol, but tax incentives could be offered that would encourage the purchase of vehicles that can run on natural gas.
  • Trucks and buses have already been converted to run on natural gas, at the cost of only $1.50 per gallon (a savings from gasoline).

With its newfound energy abundance, the United States can move away from the Renewable Fuel Standard and can adopt new policies that encourage the production of oil and natural gas.

Source: Mark Perry, "U.S. Should Embrace Its Energy Superpower Status," Investor's Business Daily, November 18, 2013.

 

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