A Free-Market Energy Blog

Ted Cruz on Energy and Climate: Free Market Directions

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- April 4, 2016

“1) Do you support ending all energy subsidies, including cleaning up the tax code to treat all types of energy the same?  

A: Yes, I support a true all-of-the-above approach to energy, ending all energy subsidies and mandates so that all energy sources compete on an even playing field.”

Back in 2014, the new Texas Senator Ted Cruz [with Jim Bridenstine (R-Ok)] introduced the American Energy Renaissance Act of 2014, which I reviewed at MasterResource under the title, “Going on Offense: The American Energy Renaissance Act of 2014 (Cruz, Bridenstine set tone for post-Obama world).” This bill was easily the most free market, libertarian proposal I have seen in many decades, and perhaps ever. Not that it was/is perfect, but it is plenty good.

What does the presidential candidate have to say in 2016?

Cruz is more than happy to discuss and debate the case against energy/climate alarm and its corollary: government forced energy transformation. Energy Malthusians (‘we are running out of livable climate’) had better bring their ‘A game’ when debating Ted Cruz, as Aaron Mair of the Sierra Club found out earlier this year.

Compared to Donald Trump, Cruz’s energy positions are more free market and intellectually anchored. As such, the Texas senator is well positioned to debate the energy/climate fare of the two Democratic presidential candidates.

Here are the ten answers of Senator Cruz to a questionnaire sent by the American Energy Alliance, the advocacy arm of the Institute for Energy Research (IER), of which I am founder and CEO.

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1) Do you support ending all energy subsidies, including cleaning up the tax code to treat all types of energy the same?  

A: Yes, I support a true all-of-the-above approach to energy, ending all energy subsidies and mandates so that all energy sources compete on an even playing field.  

2) Do you support the use of open and transparent science? Should federal agencies be required to publicly disclose all the data they use to justify their regulations?

A: Yes, all scientific data and assumptions which are used by the federal government to enact regulations should be freely available for review by the American people and their elected representatives. 

3) Should Congress repeal the Renewable Fuel Standard?  

A: Yes, I support ending all energy subsidies and mandates. I have introduced legislation which would immediately begin a stepped down phase out of the RFS over five years ending in full repeal of the mandate.  

4) The federal government is the largest landowner in the United States. Should the federal government continue to acquire land, or should they begin selling certain lands back to states and private entities?  

A: The federal government already owns far too much land. The federal government should not increase its federal land holdings and instead should divest most of its current land holdings either through transfers to the States or sales to private individuals.  

5) Should federal lands be managed more like private and state lands, or should the government continue to restrict natural resource production on federal lands?  

A: I have filed legislation which would give individual States the authority to manage resource development on federal lands within their State. Additionally, I support transferring ownership of most federal land to the States or to private individuals.  

6) Does the Obama administration’s definition of waters of the United States go too far and, if so, how should the responsibility for the protection of waters be divided between the states and the federal government?  

A: The EPA’s definition of “waters of the US” is an illegal and unconstitutional overreach. The definition exceeds the letter of the Clean Water Act and seeks to expand the federal government’s control to areas which are properly the authority of the States. I have introduced legislation which would nullify this rule and voted with my colleagues in the Senate on a resolution of disapproval of the rule.

7) In 2015, the Obama administration finalized their regulation of carbon dioxide emissions for power plants under the Clean Air Act. Does this regulation exceed the federal government’s regulatory authority? Does it make sense to impose a regulation that, according to EPA, produces a temperature savings of 0.01°C1 in exchange for billions of dollars of economic costs?  

A: The Clean Power Plan is an illegal regulatory overreach, plainly contrary to the text of the Clean Air Act. Many of the President’s other carbon dioxide regulations are also of dubious legality. I do not believe that the President should be unilaterally attempting to impose these economically disastrous regulations without explicit authorization from Congress.  

8) Do you support a carbon tax? Do you support the Obama administration’s use of the social cost of carbon in rulemakings?  

A: I do not support a carbon tax or using the social cost of carbon in rulemakings. The observed temperature evidence does not support the claims that carbon dioxide is dangerous.  

9) Do you think federal agencies have abused the cost-benefit process to suit their political agenda? Would your administration end the process of underestimating costs and inflating benefits of agency regulations?  

A: I believe it is important that the costs and benefits of all regulations should be carefully considered and should not be artificially inflated or deflated to suit a regulatory agenda. 

10) Will your administration review the Obama administration’s finding that carbon dioxide endangers public health and welfare, also known as the “endangerment finding”? 

A: Yes, the observed temperature evidence does not support the claims that carbon dioxide is dangerous. More recent scientific developments indicate that a review of the endangerment finding is needed.

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With Ted Cruz, expect some real pushback to the usual fare of the radical-now-mainstreamed anti-fossil-fuel Left. May he educate, educate, educate.

2 Comments


  1. Jim  

    Good luck Ted. And thanks, Robert Bradley.

    Reply

  2. Peter Lang  

    I also say good luck Ted Cruz and thanks Robert Bradley.

    Reply

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