How Freeing the Energy Market Can Help Free Ukraine


In Heritage Work

To help free Ukraine, the United States should free its energy markets, Heritage Foundation experts Nicolas Loris and Jack Spencer argue in a new report.

This policy, which wouldn’t cost taxpayers anything, would free Western Europe from dependence on Russian energy. Not only that, it would boost the economy here at home.

Russia has held the West hostage through its control of natural gas flowing into Europe. This effectively limits these countries’ ability to act in Ukraine.

Loris and Spencer identify three specific reforms that would end Russia’s monopoly of Europe’s energy market and limit Russia’s ability to use energy as a weapon: Continue Reading »

How to Get a Real All-of-the-Above Energy Policy


In Heritage Work

A few years ago, President Obama announced what he called an “all-of-the-above” energy strategy. In this year’s State of the Union address, he proclaimed it was working.

But the energy sector’s success comes in spite of the administration’s policies, not because of them, Heritage Foundation expert Nicolas Loris argues: Continue Reading »

Why Is the Obama Administration Cracking Down on Coal?

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In Heritage Work

Monty Rakusen/ZUMAPRESS/Newscom

By 2017, coal may replace oil as the world’s top energy source. But while coal production is going up around the globe, the Obama administration seems focused on limiting the domestic coal industry by imposing burdensome and costly regulations.

Heritage Foundation expert Nicolas Loris explains:

Although coal-fired power plants generate over 40 percent of America’s electricity, the coal industry—and therefore American energy consumers—is increasingly under attack from both proposed and implemented federal regulations on new power plants, existing power plants, and mining operations.

When coal’s decline is driven by market forces, such as from the extraction and supply of cheap natural gas from shale formations, consumers and the economy at large are made better off. But when politicians unnecessarily choke coal supplies through excessive regulations devoid of environmental benefit, the result is less competition, higher prices, and job destruction.

The free market should determine the country’s energy source of choice, Loris argues, not bureaucrats in the federal government. While governments all over the world have figured that out, Washington continues to make American coal production more expensive and less competitive on the global market.

Do you think Lawmakers should be increasing regulations on the coal industry?

Heritage Report on Backdoor Energy Tax ‘Exactly What We Needed’ on Capitol Hill

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In Heritage Impact

A Heritage Foundation report on the consequences of proposed EPA power-plant regulations has drawn rave reviews on Capitol Hill.

“This is great,” a senior Capitol Hill energy staffer told report coauthor David Kreutzer. ”Exactly what we needed.”

The regulations would substantially reduce the use of coal in this country, Heritage experts Nicolas Loris, Kevin Dayaratna and Kreutzer found. And by 2023, the economic effects would be dramatic: Continue Reading »

Heritage Experts Force the Administration to Reconsider Flawed Carbon Policy


In Heritage Impact

Department of EnergyThe Heritage Foundation’s Kevin Dayaratna and David Kreutzer report some good news on environmental policy:

The White House has stated that it will open its estimate of the social cost of carbon (SCC) for public comment. Administration officials who are responsible for this decision should be commended for recognizing the need to revisit this issue.

We at Heritage are proud to say that we contributed to this discussion. In particular, we closely examined the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) statistical models for estimating SCC by rigorously examining their underlying assumptions as well as identifying a fundamental misspecification.

There are fundamental flaws with the “social cost of carbon” concept, which is based on flawed models and lends itself to harmful solutions, Heritage’s Nicolas Loris explained in a September comment to the Department of Energy. Continue Reading »

Uncle Sam Is Snooping Around Your Kitchen Gadgets


In Heritage Work

Microwave clock. Photo: Flickr/George Hatcher

Big government thinks your microwave clock is wasteful. Photo: Flickr/George Hatcher

Just when you thought federal red tape couldn’t get any more absurd, Heritage’s David Kreutzer reports that the Department of Energy wants to regulate your microwave clock.

Yes, your microwave clock. They’ve decided that it uses too much energy.

There’s a more energy-efficient technology you can buy, but the DOE’s own testing shows it isn’t as reliable. It actually breaks within just days in the test environment.

Kreutzer summarizes in the Albuquerque Journal:

to save customers less than $1.50 per year, DOE standards push manufacturers to a technology that can render half of their customers’ clocks useless within a week – a cost the DOE totally ignores. Well, what sort of savings sense should people expect from a government that last year added over $10,000 to the national debt for every household in America?

Do you think this kind of regulation is the proper role of the federal government?

Stopping the EPA from Inflicting Harm on the American Economy

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In Heritage Work

EPA logo

The Environmental Protection Agency has proposed costly new regulations on greenhouse gas emissions, even though the agency “has no explicit statutory authority to regulate CO2 as a pollutant,” Heritage Foundation expert Nicolas Loris explains.

The proposed rules will “effectively ban the construction of new coal-fired power plants,” driving up energy costs for families and businesses. Moreover, even the EPA has admitted the regulations will do nothing to combat climate change.

Congress should act to rein in the EPA, Loris argues, by either cutting its budget to enforce the rules or by limiting its authority.

Do you think the EPA should regulate carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases?

New Energy-Efficiency Law Would Give Handouts to Special Interests


In Heritage Work

New energy-efficiency legislation “amounts to nothing more than handouts to companies in the energy-efficiency business at the taxpayers’ expense,” Heritage Foundation expert Nicolas Loris writes.

The legislation, authored by Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D–NH) and Rob Portman (R–OH), would impose paternalistic new rules on Americans. It would also create new taxpayer-funded programs that “would benefit special-interest groups and promote corporate welfare.”

Lawmakers should avoid intervention in the markets, Loris explains: Continue Reading »

President Obama’s Infrastructure Plan Is More Tax-and-Spend Liberalism


In Heritage Work

Photo: Newscom

President Obama delivered another misguided speech on the economy on Tuesday. He argued for more taxes on businesses to pay for new infrastructure “investments.”

This plan would cover a broad range of projects such as widening roads, dredging ports, repairing old bridges, and updating America’s air traffic control system.

The Heritage Foundation’s Emily Goff points out the flaws with Obama’s approach: Continue Reading »

Throwing Cold Water on President Obama’s Climate Change Plan


In Heritage Work

Earlier this week, President Obama announced a climate change plan aimed at cutting carbon dioxide emissions and increasing energy efficiency.

Although President Obama claims 2012 was the warmest year in history, experts say global temperatures have plateaued over the past 16 years.

Nevertheless, President Obama is going forward with a plan that could cost families $1,000 a year. Heritage Foundation expert Nicolas Loris points out 11 problems with this climate change plan, including: Continue Reading »

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