IN THE NEWS
Writing for The Weekly Standard, Adam J. White explains how federal regulation is hindering American energy development.
American energy policy is increasingly defined in terms of what is prohibited, not what is promoted. Coal, nuclear, and natural “shale” gas all have been hampered by the current administration. And the last three weeks have offered two more examples of how America’s byzantine energy laws and policy deter innovation.
First, White points to the Obama Administration’s recent announcement that it will delay a decision on the Keystone XL Pipeline project – a multibillion-dollar project that would boost the economy and create thousands of American jobs. Next, he highlights another infamous project stalled by bureaucratic excess: Cape Wind.
In New England, some might joke that Keystone XL is getting off easy. For while Keystone’s project has been mired in regulatory chaos for three years, the Cape Wind offshore wind power project is now in its tenth year of trial-by-bureaucrat.
Cape Wind, an offshore wind farm that would produce up to 420 megawatts of clean, renewable energy – enough to satisfy the power demands of Cape Cod, the islands of Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket – has been stymied at every turn by government bureaucracy. The project has “fended off efforts at obstruction by state officials, federal legislators, and environmental activists” for a decade. The Hoover Dam was built in just over five years.
Cape Wind, by contrast, will celebrate its tenth year of federal review on November 22 with not a single completed wind turbine to show for its efforts, but a pile of regulatory paperwork almost as high as the Hoover Dam.
The regulatory headwinds faced by developers of new energy infrastructure projects – renewable and nonrenewable alike – are simply staggering.
Looking at the regulatory obstacles confronting Cape Wind and Keystone XL––to say nothing of the regulatory mess that currently plagues the nascent shale gas industry—the public is left to wonder: How can any major infrastructure project be built today?
WHAT ARE HOUSE REPUBLICANS DOING?
It’s time to tear down the barriers to American energy production. On November 9, House Republicans sent a letter to the President demanding action on the Keystone XL Pipeline project.
“Mr. President, each day that you postpone the decision beyond the 90-day interagency comment period […] is another day that thousands of Americans remain unemployed while awaiting a job to build the pipeline or refine the product it delivers. We urge you to delay no further and with the stroke of your pen approve the permit, put these Americans to work, and advance our nation’s energy security.”
The American Energy Initiative is an ongoing effort by House Republicans to address rising gasoline prices and expand American energy production. As the President continues to pursue counter-productive policies that harm consumers and discourage the production of American energy, House Republicans are committed to finding sensible solutions to families’ rapidly rising energy costs and putting Americans back to work.