NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Needed: Free-Market State-Based Energy Policy

July 2, 2015

Members of the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives are calling for a comprehensive energy bill in 2015. If past is prologue, however, such wide-ranging energy bills do much more economic harm than good.

For instance, the last two major energy bills signed into law by President George W. Bush, while including some seemingly pro-market titles, contained policies that restrict consumer choice, mandate production of ethanol, and pick winners and losers by subsidizing politically preferred energy technologies. Congress should operate from the basic principle that free markets work efficiently and that any new legislation should get government out of the way of the market and innovation.

Objectives for Energy Legislation in 2015 should:

  1. Open access to domestic resources.
  2. Allow access to freely traded energy sources.
  3. Eliminate and block burdensome regulations.
  4. Eliminate handouts and workforce-training programs.
  5. Remove government-forced efficiency and renewable-fuel mandates.
  6. Streamline, not subsidize, energy-infrastructure projects.
  7. Return power to the states and the people.

Congress should recognize that free energy markets work and should enact legislative reforms to achieve those seven objectives that make the U.S. energy economy freer and more competitive — to the benefit of all Americans.

Source: Nicolas Loris, "Seven Objectives for Effective and Productive Energy Legislation in 2015," Heritage Foundation, May 21, 2015.


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