View video of the event panels below.

America’s energy sector has the power to bring unprecedented economic growth to our nation. But we are only partially able to take advantage of that power. One obstacle often holds this sector back: regulation. While good rules foster growth, poorly conceived policies can stymie growth. Analyzing and quantifying the regulatory cost to society is hard, which is why most experts shy away from the effort.

On September 12, 2013, energy experts, lawmakers, and leading industry figures met at the George W. Bush Presidential Center in a bold effort to determine the cost that misguided regulation imposes on growth and to suggest more sensible policies that could benefit America.


Hidden Costs: The Precautionary Principle, and Risks of Clean Energy Policy
By Dino Falaschetti
Falaschetti finds that for every $100 billion that the United States centrally directs to clean energy, GDP may decrease by over 0.4%. Compounded over a generation, this reduction approximates today’s per capita income gap between the United States and Italy.

The Energy Wealth of Indian Nations
By Shawn Regan and Terry L. Anderson
Currently Native American reservations are unable to develop their vast energy resources due to poorly-defined property rights. If policies were different and tribes could earn a 5% return on their energy resources, Native Americans would have additional income of $75 billion per year, and U.S. GDP would increase by as much as 0.5% per year.

The Energy Logjam
By Bernard L. Weinstein and Nicholas Saliba
This handbook provides vital statistics showing how removing regulatory barriers on the energy sector could unleash stronger U.S. economic growth.

Opportunity Costs of State Regulation: Accounting for the Economic Impact of a Shale Gas Well
By Michael J. Orlando

A significant part of the opportunity cost of regulation is the economic benefits of the wells not drilled. For example, were New York State to lift the current moratorium on shale gas development, well drilling and producing cash flows would generate $4.5 billion of gross state product within three years and support a total of 39,000 jobs. After 10 years, drilling and producing activities would generate over $8 billion in economic activity, predominantly wage payments supporting nearly 69,000 jobs. 

Other papers relevant to the conference

U.S. Export Restraints on Crude Oil Violate International Agreements and Are Vulnerable to Challenge
By Alan M. Dunn

The Economic Effects of Hyrdrofracturing on Local Economies: A Comparison of New York and Pennsylvania
By Diana Furchtgott-Roth

A Conference on Energy Regulation: Lessons about Growth from the States, the Nation and Abroad

View the conference live via webcast live on September 12, 2013 at 8:30 a.m. Central Time at

View video
The Honorable Donald L. Evans
Chair, George W. Bush Foundation Board of Directors 


Panel I: The Record of Growth and Regulation in the States
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Staying true to the desires of the Founding Fathers, our states have remained independent, with each jurisdiction determining its own energy policy. In this illuminating comparative panel, state scholars and leaders discuss the impact that separate and distinct regulatory policies have upon energy sectors across the country.

The Honorable Karen A. Harbert

President and Chief Executive Officer, Institute for 21st Century Energy, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

The Honorable Tom Corbett
Governor, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

The Honorable Christi Craddick
Commissioner, Railroad Commission of Texas

Diana Furchtgott-Roth
Senior Fellow, Manhattan Institute for Policy Research

Michael Orlando
Principal, Economic Advisors, Inc.
Lecturer, Global Energy Management, University of Colorado – Denver

The Honorable Ed Schafer
Former Governor of North Dakota
Former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture

Panel II A: The Future of Coal Regulation
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Despite America’s newfound energy abundance, coal remains a major source of energy that fuels our lives and, increasingly, those of citizens in other nations.  Some coal regulations benefit neither the environment nor the economy; other times such regulation makes coal a win-win proposition. Join leaders from the coal industry as they discuss the role of regulation in a changing industry.

Bruce Bullock

Director, Maguire Energy Institute
Adjunct Lecturer, Strategy, Entrepreneurship and Business Economics, SMU Cox School of Business

Joe Craft
President and Chief Executive Officer, Alliance Resource Partners, L.P. 

Ray McCormick
Managing Director, Headwaters MB

Mac McFarland
Chief Executive Officer, Luminant

Andrew Morriss
D. Paul Jones, Jr. & Charlene A. Jones
Chairholder in Law, University of Alabama

Panel II B:  Green or Growing?
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The debate over the environment is often presented as an either-or proposition. Sometimes that is the case: a town or state can be either green or growing, but not both. In many instances, though, green policy and growth policy go hand in hand. This panel discusses the intersection of the two policies and the extent to which they diverge.

Terry Anderson

President, Property and Environment
Research Center

Dino Falaschetti
Executive Director, Property and Environment Research Center 

David R. Hill
Executive Vice President and General Counsel, NRG Energy, Inc.

Michael A. Levi
Senior Fellow for Energy and the Environment and Director of the Program on Energy Security and Climate Change, Council on Foreign Relations

Eric Pooley
Senior Vice President, Strategy and Communications, Environmental Defense Fund

Bernard L. Weinstein
Associate Director, Maguire Energy Institute
Adjunct Professor of Business Economics, SMU Cox School of Business

Panel III: Our Nation’s Growth Versus Other Nations’
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As for states, so for nations … Some nations see their energy sectors grow faster than others and natural resources are but one contributing factor. Sometimes a nation’s regulatory policy towards energy can make a difference between stagnation and unemployment, and ferocious growth. In this panel, policymakers and industry leaders discuss how policies abroad impact growth and outline the lessons that can be applied here at home.

James Lucier

Managing Director, Capital Alpha Partners, LLC

The Honorable Kevin Brady
United States House of Representatives, 8th District of Texas

Lane Britain
Partner, Highland Capital Management, L.P.
Managing Director, Falcon E&P Opportunities Fund, L.P.

The Honorable C. Boyden Gray
Founder, Boyden Gray & Associates

Kenneth A. Hersh
Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, NGP Energy Capital Management

Roger Meiners
Goolsby-Rosenthal Chair, Economics and Law, University of Texas at Arlington
Chairman, Department of Economics, University of Texas at Arlington

Duncan Wood
Director, Mexico Institute, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

Panel IV: Energy Exports: The Potential for Growth in Exports
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Another form of regulation is export policy. This is especially true for natural gas, where an onerous and arbitrary permit process determines which companies may export and which must wait. Also a point of debate, some firms believe it is best to keep resources such as coal and natural gas at home, while others advocate greater opportunity to export. Join experts and industry leaders as they discuss an issue that is key to growth and our energy future.

The Honorable James K. Glassman

Visiting Fellow, American Enterprise Institute
Former Executive Director of the George W. Bush Institute

Paul Cicio

President, Industrial Energy Consumers of America

Robbie Diamond
President and Chief Executive Officer, Electrification Coalition
Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer, 
Securing America’s Future Energy

The Honorable Ron Kirk
Senior of Counsel, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP 
Ambassador, 16th U.S. Trade Representative

Scott Sheffield
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Pioneer Natural Resources

Kelcy Warren
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Energy Transfer Partners

Introduction of President Bush by the Honorable Margaret Spellings, Remarks by President George W. Bush
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Panel V: Governors and Policymakers Roundtable on How to Achieve Energy Growth
2:55 p.m. – 3:55 p.m.

View video
Everyone gets the theory, but what is energy policy really like in practice? Join Russell Gold, energy reporter at The Wall Street Journal, as he probes sitting and former governors and policymakers about decisions made while in office.

Russell Gold

Staff Reporter, The Wall Street Journal

The Honorable Sam Brownback
Governor, Kansas

The Honorable James Douglas
Former Governor of Vermont

The Honourable James Flaherty
Minister of Finance, Canada

The Honorable Jordy Herrera
Former Secretary of Energy, Mexico

The Honorable Rick Perry
Governor, Texas

Tag Archive
Friday, January 29, 2016

Times are tough in the oil patch. For years, America’s oil and gas industry sprinted while the rest of the economy crawled. After the Great Recession, energy was one of the few American industries generating substantial employment and output growth. Fueled by hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling in shale plays, the U.S. doubled its production of oil between 2008 and 2015.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

These days, it seems that most of the public discourse in North America regarding cross-border energy infrastructure centers around one project: the rejected Keystone XL pipeline. However, as the Bush Institute North America Competitiveness Working Group recently discovered, cross-border energy integration does not begin and end with one much-maligned pipeline.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

North America is a dynamic, thriving, and competitive entity on the world stage.  But to remain competitive, further integration among the North American countries, particularly in energy, is necessary.  That’s why the Obama Administration’s recent rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline permit application, after seven years of slow-walking the decision process, is disappointing.  This rejection is bad economic policy and a setback in strengthening North American integration.

Friday, September 11, 2015

The Bush Institute convened the first meeting of its North American Working Group last week in Dallas. The gathering brought thought leaders from Canada, Mexico and the United States together to examine both the challenges and benefits of more closely align

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

As part of the Bush Institute’s focus on North America, where we concentrate on free market policies that promote economic integration among the United States, Canada and Mexico, the Institute tomorrow will host its inaugural North America Competitiveness Working Group. Thought leaders from business, government, and academia, representing all three countries, will meet throughout the day to identify policy strategies to more closely integrate our economies.

Friday, May 29, 2015

In this edition of North America Watch, we highlight pieces that deal with a range of energy, environmental, immigration, and transportation issues at play in Canada, Mexico and the United States. This being the start of summer, we also have thrown in a light-hearted report about a ferry that carries people across the Rio Grande. Sometimes, it is refreshing to remember that the world is not always so complex.

Thursday, May 07, 2015

The pieces in this edition of North America Watch present the challenges of integrating the economies of the United States, Mexico and Canada, while also showing the promise of greater harmonization. The first piece explains why free trade among these nations matters to people who live and work in Mexico, Canada and the U.S. The bottom line is greater trading networks drive economic growth.

Thursday, April 02, 2015

In this edition of North America Watch, we call your attention to a collection of pieces dealing with immigration patterns, international competitiveness, and oil prices, each of which are critical to the progress of the economies of the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Carl Gershman, President of the National Endowment for Democracy and member of the Bush Institute’s Human Freedom Advisory Council, writes in the World Affairs Journal on what’s next for North Korea, a year after the UN Commission of Inquiry (COI) report. He notes:

Monday, March 09, 2015

In this installment of North America Watch, a collection of pieces that affect the United States, Mexico and Canada, we look at two that particularly deal with the U.S./Mexico border. We also include one about the psychology of oil markets, which has a direct bearing on energy production in each of North America’s nations.