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Energy is an Opportunity, Not a Problem

Article by Bernard L. Weinstein February 13, 2013 //   2 minute read

Bernard L. Weinstein, National Journal As with most issues, Congress is currently gridlocked when it comes to energy and environmental policy. Perhaps this is a good state of affairs. The last time we had an explicit energy policy was in the late 1970s during the administration of President Jimmy Carter. In the aftermath of the OPEC embargo, President Carter argued that reducing America’s dependence on imported oil was the “moral equivalent of war.” His energy advisors then fashioned the nation’s first comprehensive energy policy that turned out to be a set of laws that distorted the marketplace and wasted billions of taxpayer dollars on impractical and uneconomical alternatives to conventional energy supplies. The goals of the “National Energy Plan (NEP)” were to mandate efficiency in energy use, limit prices increases of all fuels, and allocate allegedly scarce energy resources to their perceived highest and best use. For example, natural gas was banned as a fuel for power generation or industrial boilers. (Not surprisingly, the coal industry was a big fan of the “fuel use act.”) Sometimes referred to as a "travesty in five acts," the NEP actually increased rather than decreased our dependence on foreign sources of supply. Read More