“Our politicians should be seizing all eight of these opportunities. Instead, they are squandering them.”
Alex Epstein, who has emerged as perhaps the most important energy voice of 2016, has said:
“The 2016 election presents us with a once-in-a-lifetime energy opportunity–and energy danger. There is no middle ground. There can be no more standing down. It’s time to stand up.”
Back in January, Epstein, published an energy manifesto for this election year. In case you missed it, here are his eight policy areas with prescriptions.
1. Jump-start the American economy
Our challenge: We have been mired in recession or near-recession for a decade—and without the energy industry it would be much, much worse.
Our opportunity: The same industry that has kept us out of desperate trouble can bring us to new heights, by producing and selling energy around the world.
2. Create millions of well-paying job opportunities
Our challenge: It is difficult for many Americans to find jobs, in large part thanks to onerous restrictions on industry, which have shut down many companies.
Our opportunity: A ramp-up in the U.S. energy industry would create millions of productive, well-paying jobs.
3. Lower your cost of living
Our challenge: The U.S. cost of living has been going up for decades, and when the prices of energy goes up, transportation, heating, and electric bills place a large burden on American business.
Our opportunity: Energy affordability can lower the cost of our direct energy bills, saving thousands of dollars a year—and, because energy is part of every industry, it can lower the cost of everything we buy and do.
4. Increase our industrial competitiveness
Our challenge: Due largely to onerous government policies, American manufacturing has declined for decades, leaving far worse employment opportunities for those trained for industrial jobs.
Our opportunity: Energy affordability dramatically lowers one of the largest manufacturing costs, and combined with liberating industry from irrational costs, it can make America a manufacturing hub.
5. Shrink the deficit
Our challenge: America has a massive, ever-growing deficit and debt, caused by a combination of reckless spending and a sluggish economy.
The opportunity: Doubling American energy production is our easiest path to economic growth and increased tax revenues without tax increases; coupled with a commitment to cutting spending, we can finally be on a path to solvency.
6. Increase national security
Our challenge: Nations around the world threaten us, and one major difficulty we have in dealing with them is their enormous influence in world energy markets, particularly oil and gas.
Our opportunity: America’s energy leadership will give America and her allies energy security from Russia and the Middle East, protecting both economic stability and foreign policy leverage.
7. Fight global poverty
Our challenge: Much of the world is still massively impoverished.
Our opportunity: Energy abundance will make it more affordable for countries to industrialize and in particular to alleviate one of the most crucial aspects of poverty: energy poverty.
8. Improve environmental quality worldwide
Our challenge: Environmental concerns are always crucial—we want to be as productive as we can be but also have a clean, healthy environment, which many say is impossible with fossil fuels, nuclear, and hydro.
Our opportunity: Contrary to popular belief, the freedom to develop these sources won’t make our environment dirtier and our climate more dangerous, they will make our environment cleaner and our climate safer—because energy abundance dramatically improves environmental quality and climate safety.
One can add ideas within these eight — such as adding to #5 selling the federal government’s bountiful energy assets, from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to mineral rights on public land. But as it stands, this is a manifesto for Donald Trump (who is already on board with a number of these to-do’s) and the to-be-determined Libertarian nominee.