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Energy

 

The Issue

Energy is the “lifeblood of our economic system,” as the Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman noted.

Affordable, reliable, and plentiful energy is the foundation of economic growth and prosperity. People and businesses pay directly to purchase electric power and fuel for transportation, and the price of energy is a significant factor in the cost of the vats majority of goods and services traded in our economy. When energy is expensive, people and businesses have fewer resources available for food, education, health care, environmental stewardship, hiring more workers and paying them better wages, and expanding business operations.

Affordable energy, economic growth, and environmental stewardship need not be at odds with one another. Affordable energy and economic growth create the economic resources necessary for effective environmental stewardship. The energy sources that are most abundant and affordable are surprisingly environmentally friendly, especially given recent technological advances. In many ways, the best way to be pro-environment is to be pro-energy.

Energy issues are rising to the top of the agenda in many states, compelling elected officials to take positions on topics as wide-ranging as subsidies to biofuels producers and restrictions on mercury emissions from coal-burning power plants. Energy issues often are complex and frequently changing, with changes in technology, prices, and policies adopted in other states and other countries all affecting what policymakers do.

How do we balance energy and environmental concerns with the individual rights and freedoms we hold dear? Those who say we most not utilize our least-expensive fuel sources are putting small and hypothetical risks ahead of better-understood costs and benefits. We know that coal, natural gas, and nuclear power can be used to generate electricity safely and cleanly. If we fail to do so, we risk supply interruptions and rising costs, which in turn will reduce economic growth and job creation.

Our Stance

Unhindered and unsubsidized competition among energy technologies is the best means to discovering tomorrow’s new energy sources. Elected officials should not try to pick winners, even though doing so may score points with one group or another in the short term. In the long term, the individual choices of people and businesses, not governments, will lead to a more diversified fuel supply, reliable energy technology, and environmental protection that is effective as well as efficient. Market-driven energy policies will generate the wealth necessary to maintain a healthy environment and provide our homes and businesses with affordable and reliable electricity.

Featured Subtopics

Man pumping ethanol fuel
Ethanol production is now known to have a “carbon footprint” as large or even larger than production of oil and natural gas. Diverting corn crops to make fuel has raised the cost of feed for cows, cattle, hogs, and even chickens, and raised the prices of other inputs for other crops.
Hydraulic fracturing well
Technological advances in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, commonly called “fracking,” have made oil and natural gas production America’s fastest growing industries.
Girl frustrated by stacks of books
Unnecessary and burdensome environmental regulations have negative health impacts that result from income being diverted away from health-promoting expenditures toward energy costs.
Wind turbines and solar panels
Renewable power mandates – often referred to as “renewable portfolio standards” – force expensive, heavily subsidized electricity on ratepayers and taxpayers while providing few if any net environmental benefits.

Additional Subtopics

  • Coal
  • Electricity
  • Hydroelectric
  • Mining
  • Natural Gas
  • Net Metering
  • Nuclear
  • Off Shore Drilling
  • Oil
  • Solar
  • Subsidies
  • Wind

Videos

Title: In the Tank ep 345: Threats on SCOTUS, Inflation and Energy Costs Continue to Rise, Get Awake to ESG
Description: LIVE at noon CT on Thursday, May 12. The Heartland Institute's latest Thursday episode of the flagship In the Tank Podcast will cover the Biden administration dangerously encouraging illegal protests at the homes of conservative Supreme Court justices, how inflation and energy prices just keep going up, and the latest on the ESG (Environment, Social, and Governance) scores. SHOW NOTES OPENING BANTER (I’ll try to think of something light, but then we’re gonna get into some heavy stuff.) THREATS ON SCOTUS AND OTHER PROTESTS Fox News: Wisconsin anti-abortion group targeted in Molotov cocktail arson attack https://www.foxnews.com/us/wisconsin-anti-abortion-group-molotov-cocktail-arson-attack Jen Psaki still refused to condemn protests outside the HOMES of conservative SCOTUS judges, despite it being a federal crime “that is the president’s position.” VIDEO CLIP: https://twitter.com/townhallcom/status/1524102600349691905 It’s OK to incite violence on Twitter — as long as it’s against the right https://nypost.com/2022/05/10/its-ok-to-incite-violence-on-twitter-as-long-as-its-against-the-right/ Senate passes bill to expand protection for Supreme Court justices to their families https://hotair.com/karen-townsend/2022/05/10/senate-passes-bill-to-expand-protection-for-supreme-court-justices-to-their-families-n468209 Reddit: Group called ‘Jane’s Revenge’ threatens more violence https://www.reddit.com/r/Anarchism/comments/umdjqw/communique_of_janes_revenge_group_claiming/ VIDEO CLIP: “Ruth Sent Us” invading a Catholic Church during Mass https://twitter.com/Romangod7/status/1523368533119234048? INFLATION AND ENERGY COSTS STILL RISING Inflation barreled ahead at 8.3% in April from a year ago, remaining near 40-year highs https://www.cnbc.com/2022/05/11/cpi-april-2022.html Heartland/Rasmussen Poll: Vast Majority of Voters Worried About Rising Energy Prices, Favor Increasing Drilling in the US https://www.heartland.org/news-opinion/news/heartlandrasmussen-poll-vast-majority-of-voters-worried-about-rising-energy-prices-favor-increasing-drilling-in-the-us With Gas Prices Rising, Texas Oil and Gas Well Production Surges https://heartlanddailynews.com/2022/05/with-rising-gasoline-prices-texas-oil-and-gas-well-production-surges/ ESG - ENVIRONMENT, SOCIAL, AND GOVERNANCE McPherrin: ESG Ratings are Counterproductive, Hypocritical, and Anti-American https://the1818.com/2022/05/mcpherrin-esg-ratings-are-counterproductive-hypocritical-and-anti-american/

Energy Experts Team

The Heartland Institute's experts on energy policy are available for legislative testimony, speaking engagements, and media interviews.

Heartland Staff Policy Experts

Linnea Lueken
Research Fellow, Energy
Linnea Lueken is a Research Fellow with the Arthur B. Robinson Center on Climate and Environmental Policy.
Frederick D. Palmer
Policy Advisor, Energy and Climate
Frederick D. Palmer is a policy advisor for energy and climate at The Heartland Institute.