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Federal Energy Policy for America (Part III: Cato's priorities–and a few more)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- June 15, 2011

Editor note: This three-part series began with A Free Market Energy Vision (Part I: Worldview) and continued with Energy for a Free Society: The ‘American Energy Act’ (Part II: Real World Reform).

In their essay on energy policy for the 111th Congress, Jerry Taylor and Peter Van Doren of the libertarian Cato Institute offered nine priorities to move the United States from energy statism to free energy markets.

But there are more areas of pro-private pro-market exchange reform on the federal level. I offer four–perhaps readers can add more in comments.

Nine Policy Recommendations (Cato)

Congress should:

  • Open up public lands currently off limits to the oil and gas industry in the outer continental shelf and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) for exploration and drilling,
  • Repeal Corporate Average Fuel Efficiency (CAFE) standards along with all other energy conservation mandates,
  • Repeal subsidies for all energy industries including oil, gas, coal, nuclear, and renewable energies of all kinds,
  • Repeal fuel consumption mandates for ethanol and resist prospective consumption mandates for other renewable energies,
  • Eliminate all targeted public energy research and development programs and replace them with a generalized tax credit for private research and development undertakings,
  • Transfer the maintenance of the nuclear weapons stockpile from the Department of Energy to the Department of Defense and privatize the national laboratories,
  • Sell the oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and shut the program down,
  • Eliminate the Department of Energy and all its programs, and
  • Refuse appeals to impose new taxes and/or regulations on energy producers and manufacturers.