NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


October 21, 2004

Sen. John Kerry's (D-Mass.) energy plan promises to reduce energy prices, maintain diversity of supply while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improve our domestic energy security. However, his goals are contradictory and implementation will be expensive. His plan would result in less energy security and higher fuel costs, says H. Sterling Burnett, a senior fellow with the National Center for Policy Analysis and research assistant Todd Gabel.

Sen. Kerry proposes steps to reduce the cost of gasoline -- while pursuing initiatives that experience has shown will raise prices.

  • He proposes to reduce gasoline and other fuel prices by halting the filling of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), which is designed to provide a 90-day fuel supply in the event of a national emergency; the Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports that diverting oil from the SPR is not enough to affect prices significantly.
  • He has rejected exploration and production of oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) stating that it would have little or no effect on gas prices; however, ANWR contains 10 to 23 times more oil than the SPR can hold when it is completely filled.
  • He also proposes increasing ethanol use in motor fuel by five billion gallons by 2012 -- this is nearly triple the amount currently produced; but this shift would also increase fuel prices because ethanol is twice as expensive to produce as conventional gasoline.

Candidate Kerry's energy plan presents some laudable goals, but if enacted, would have the opposite of its intended effects. It would raise energy prices and reduce energy security. As such, it is a plan that no politician concerned about America's future prosperity should support, say Burnett and Gabel.

Source: H. Sterling Burnett and Todd Gabel, "Kerry's Energy Plan: Inconsistent, Expensive, Leaving America Less Secure," National Center for Policy Analysis, October 21, 2004.

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