NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Reduce Consumer Costs by Repealing Energy Regulations

January 22, 2015

The Heritage Foundation has released a collection of policy recommendations for the new Congress, and one of the issues it tackles is energy. Nicolas Loris, a fellow with the organization, says that while America's energy boom has brought consumers jobs, lower prices and energy bill savings, there's much more that can be done.

Loris identifies four government policies that he says are raising prices for consumers:

  • The Renewable Fuel Standard makes food and fuel prices higher by mandating that fuel contain certain amounts of renewable fuels. He cites a Congressional Budget Office report concluding that gas prices could increase by up to 26 cents per gallon in 2017 due to the standard.
  • Crude oil exports are currently banned, but Loris says getting rid of the ban would cause gasoline prices to fall by 8 cents per gallon, in addition to creating 1 million new jobs.
  • Gasoline contains sulfur, but the EPA's Tier 3 regulations aim to lower sulfur in gasoline. The rule will kick in in 2017, and Loris says it could add between 6 and 9 cents to the cost of a gallon of gas -- without improving air quality.
  • The Jones Act is a 1920 law that requires goods shipped between U.S. ports to be carried on American-made ships with American crews. The anticompetitive law raises domestic shipping costs. Loris cites a 2014 report which determined gasoline prices could fall by 15 cents per gallon if the Jones Act were repealed.

These are just a handful of regulations in the energy field that raise costs, hurting businesses and individual consumers.

Source: "Opportunity for All, Favoritism to None," Heritage Foundation, 2015.   


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