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Pro-Environment, Pro-Energy, and Pro-Jobs

August 10, 2016

Affordable, reliable, and plentiful energy enables us to protect the environment while also creating jobs and the goods and services we need.

Expensive and unreliable energy, like the kind produced by ethanol and commercial wind and solar companies, destroys jobs and harms the environment.

Fossil fuels are the foundation of economic growth and prosperity. Taxing them or making them more scarce causes economic growth to slow, makes food and other essential goods more expensive, and many of the good things we take for granted are lost.

Subsidies to wind and solar companies destroy many more jobs than they create. Good-paying jobs in manufacturing are lost to China, India, and other competitors because energy prices here are artificially inflated by unnecessary environmental regulations.

We owe it to future generations to leave the world a better place than we found it. Renewable energies don’t  protect the environment. They actually harm it by being less efficient and more land-intensive than fossil fuels.

We believe:

1. Rein in EPA
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is a rogue agency that routinely defies congressional oversight, abuses science, and imposes regulations whose costs vastly exceed their benefits. EPA needs to be reined in. It’s time to replace most of EPA with a Committee of the Whole composed of the environmental protection agencies of the 50 states.

2. Repeal Global Warming Regulations
Fear of global warming (or “climate change”) led to the adoption of taxes, regulations, and subsidies aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions. But now we know the threat of global warming was grossly exaggerated and reducing emissions would have an insignificant impact on temperature or weather. It’s time to repeal those laws and give the American people an annual global warming “peace dividend” worth hundreds of billions of dollars.

3. End Climate Profiteering
Decades of subsidies to ethanol producers and wind and solar companies combined with mandates that consumers buy their expensive energy have cost taxpayers and consumers billions of dollars and produced no environmental benefits. It’s time to repeal all renewable power mandates and all subsidies to energy companies, whether renewable, nuclear, or fossil fuels.

4. Use It, Don’t Lose It
America is blessed with coal, oil, and natural gas reserves sufficient to meet our energy needs for centuries. Modern drilling and mining taps these reserves without threatening the natural environment or public health. Opposition comes mainly from environmental groups that oppose energy production no matter how safe it is or how many jobs it creates. It’s time to lift legislative obstacles to energy production and development.

5. Repeal CAFE Standards
Corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards require car manufacturers to increase the average fuel economy of the nation’s vehicles from 25 miles per gallon in 2014 to 54.5 miles per gallon by model year 2025, an impossible feat. High CAFE standards force car companies to produce vehicles consumers don’t want as well as smaller and lighter vehicles that are less safe in accidents. It’s time to repeal CAFE standards and let people buy and ride the cars and trucks they want.

Author
Joseph Bast is the president and CEO of The Heartland Institute, a 33-year-old national nonprofit research center located in Arlington Heights, Illinois.
jbast@heartland.org @JosephLBast