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Cato Institute: Zeroing Out the Department of Energy

By Jerry Taylor -- July 7, 2011

“All Americans are involved in making energy policy. When individual choices are made with a maximum of personal understanding and a minimum of government restraints, the result is the most appropriate energy policy.”

– Reagan Administration Energy Plan (1981)

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) oversees nuclear weapons sites and subsidizes conventional and alternative fuels. The department has a history of fiscal and environmental mismanagement. Further, misguided energy regulations have caused large loses to consumers and the economy over the decades.

DOE will spend about $45 billion in 2011, or about $380 per U.S. household. It employs about 17,000 workers directly and oversees 100,000 contract workers at 21 national laboratories and other facilities across the nation. The department operates 37 different subsidy programs.

Spending Cuts

Department of Energy research activities should be terminated.…