Thanks to American ingenuity, this country has the potential to become the energy engine of the world—jumpstarting our economy, guaranteeing our energy security, helping billions to pull themselves out of poverty, and creating millions of highly productive jobs—all while improving the quality of our environment.
The energy industry is the industry that powers every other to improve human life. The more affordable, plentiful, and reliable energy we can produce, the more (and better) food, clothing, shelter, transportation, medical care, sanitation, clean water, technology, and everything else we can have.
Unfortunately, because of backwards energy and environmental policies that are anti-development, not anti-pollution, we are squandering the opportunity of a generation, through blind opposition to our three most potent sources of power: hydrocarbon energy (coal, oil, and gas), nuclear energy, and hydroelectric energy.
It’s time to replace today’s energy deprivation policies with energy liberation policies.
On October 5 I will be releasing the Energy Liberation Plan for consideration by 2016 political candidates.
The Energy Liberation plan is not like other energy plans, which are based on special treatment for some industries over others, and designed by people who think they know the energy business better than the energy business does and what consumers need more than consumers do.
The Energy Liberation Plan is based on the timeless wisdom of our Founding Fathers, who believed that everyone has the right to produce and consume as they judge best so long as they do not violate the rights of others. This principle leads to prosperity and justice in every area and in every era. It certainly applies to today’s energy policy.
Here is a preview of the five steps to Energy Liberation.
Step 1: Liberate energy consumers and communities from the meddlers who prevent us from choosing the most affordable, reliable energy.
- Abolish all energy mandates, subsidies, and special taxes, including all Renewable Fuel Mandates, Renewable Fuel Standards—anything and everything designed to make us consume uncompetitive, expensive forms of energy.
- Abolish all subsidies for government-preferred vehicles, stopping injustices such as forcing taxpayers to pay wealthy Tesla buyers upwards of $10,000.
- Liberate states to protect their air and water, removing these local issues from the jurisdiction of an unaccountable EPA that imposes massive costs on faraway places, leading to communities deciding on the best energy sources for their overall well-being.
If we restore consumer choice, abolishing all subsidies and mandates whatsoever, all consumers and businesses will have the opportunity to pay the lowest electricity rates and transportation costs.
Step 2: Liberate energy producers and builders from anti-development policies that prevent them from finding and developing the most affordable, reliable forms of energy.
- Restore true ownership to property owners, preventing laws like the Endangered Species Act from interfering with an owner’s right to create value, prioritizing a snail darter or sage grouse over human rights and well-being.
- Allow people to benefit from offshore and federal lands by allowing development in non-national park areas, putting an end to the practice of anti-development policies on 1/3 of American land.
Today’s governments treat development as guilty until proven innocent. They need to recognize that development, done safely and responsibly, is essential to prosperity and to high environmental quality.
Step 3: Liberate energy transporters from anti-development and xenophobic policies that prevent us from selling abundant, world-class energy to allies around the globe.
- Liberate exports of coal, the world’s fastest-growing fuel, to create prosperity in America and help billions around the globe bring themselves out of poverty, creating greater wealth for all humans on the planet.
- Liberate exports of crude oil, allowing our productive companies to sell their product to allies at a fair price instead of wasting resources at distorted domestic prices, which decreases productivity and efficiency.
- Liberate the export of natural gas, creating a global market for our prolific gas producers.
Restricting our energy producers’ ability to sell energy around the world makes no more sense than restricting Apple’s ability to sell iPhones around the world. The world is ours to win—as long as we are free to participate in it.
Step 4: Liberate energy innovators from technophobic policies that prevent technologies like nuclear power and shale energy (including fracking) to reach their potential.
- Allow nuclear progress by replacing superstition-based laws with science-based laws, so that the US can be a leader in nuclear power like it once was.
- Acknowledge that nuclear power is one of the most innovative and safest technologies available and that its future potential is even greater, which makes spreading the false narrative about the dangers of nuclear power and arbitrary red-tape-regulations a major sin, preventing a safe, clean, and inexpensive resource from growing to its full potential.
- Stop the demonization of hydraulic fracturing and shale energy, which are safe, proven technologies.
Anyone who truly cares about the freedom to introduce alternative forms of energy should commit to stopping the technophobic opposition to nuclear power and to hydraulic fracturing.
Step 5: Protect individual rights and maximize environmental quality through laws requiring proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
- Recognize that our Constitution provides that laws are passed by Congress and the states and dutifully enforced by the executive branch—and repeal the many executive orders that violate this principle.
- Recognize that our legal system requires that to hold someone guilty of a crime one needs proof of harm beyond a reasonable doubt—and apply this to our treatment of energy producers. Recognize that while there may be proof beyond a reasonable doubt that human behavior has some influence on the global climate system, there is no such proof that we are causing a climate catastrophe. Such claims are all based on invalid models that have not and cannot accurately predict the climate. What we absolutely can predict is that restricting energy use, including fossil fuel use, will make Americans both poorer and more vulnerable to climate danger.
- Refuse to sign any global treaty that would increase energy prices, above all restrictions on our most affordable, abundant, reliable energy sources, which will enable us to continue the last 30 years of progress instead of reversing it.
Fundamentally, governments need to be clear with each and every law regarding the protection of environmental quality that the overall goal is to protect human well-being and flourishing, and objectively analyze all the facts with that in mind. As I wrote in The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels: We are not trying to save the planet from human beings, we are trying to improve it for human beings.
Tell your favorite political candidates that you don’t want them to put forward another “energy plan” to dictate when and whether we are free to choose, use, find, develop, generate, transport, and sell it. Tell them to support the Energy Liberation Plan—and empower 300 million Americans with the greatest value a politician can give: freedom.