Presidential candidates from both parties are outlining their positions on the issues in an attempt to attract voters. Energy Citizens need to make sure that the men and women running for president are forthright on what the candidates will do about energy.
What should these candidates focus on?
In the Pittsburgh Tribune, Jeffrey Kupfer, former acting deputy secretary of the Department of Energy, outlines some federal policies that would be very beneficial for our nation:
First, the federal government needs to loosen the restrictions on exports of oil and natural gas. Virtually every study concludes that ending the 40-year-old ban on crude oil exports would actually lower gasoline prices by at least a few cents per gallon. Allowing oil exports and liberalizing LNG exports would add hundreds of billions of dollars to our economy every year.
Second, the federal government needs to reduce overregulation. While we need sensible rules that protect human health and the environment, the federal government must not overstep its bounds. The Obama administration's so-called Clean Power Plan, for instance, not only imposes its vision of how everyone should produce and use energy, but it is also likely to increase electricity costs and threaten reliability.
Third, we need to upgrade our energy infrastructure and implement an efficient permitting system that looks at the merits of a project, not the politics. The Keystone pipeline is Exhibit A. No project should take seven years to review. Because of the delay, we have failed to capitalize on billions of dollars in new investment and tens of thousands of new jobs.
Taking these steps would create jobs, grow our economy, help consumers, and increase revenue for governments at the federal, state, and local levels. We need to see presidential candidates embracing these ideas, along with other pro-development policies, over the course of the campaign.