Legalize energy freedom

June 3, 2015

The Hill

Historians will view the early 21st Century as the time when America reversed its geographical energy deficit to become the world’s leading oil and natural gas producer. Human ingenuity, enabled by a private property-based, mostly free market system, is responsible, overcoming the federal policies of an opposition president.

The benefits for U.S. consumers are enormous: ample supplies, lower prices, and less risk from unstable oil-producing countries. But for many energy workers, the supply boom has been a bust. At least 100,000 U.S. energy workers have been either laid off or furloughed by companies that are fighting to stay profitable in times of low energy prices.

Reduced investments by energy producing companies were a factor in the economy’s contraction in the first quarter, a GDP fall of 0.7 percent. But there is a solution: legalizing freedom. The low hanging fruit of regulatory reform, based on sound science, consumer sovereignty, and budget-deficit reduction, can spur investment and put highly skilled workers back in the energy marketplace.

Here are three areas of needed reform.

Federal-Land Production:

Since 2009, the government has made less federally owned land available for energy development.... (read more).

Ozone Overreach:

The federal government is going overboard on ozone. Although the standards set in 2008 have not been fully implemented, the government is finalizing tougher ozone rules that experts say will have little, if any, benefit to public health... (read more). 

Methane Emissions: 

Methane emissions from oil and gas production likewise have declined markedly, with emissions from fracked natural gas wells falling by 73 percent since 2011. Yet the government is proposing very stringent methane reductions which could slow even today's pared back gas production... (read more).


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