Since the rise in influence of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in the 1960s, energy has occupied the minds of policymakers. Energy is recognized as among the top challenges to our nation’s future prosperity, national security, and quality of life.
Energy concerns have been consistently voiced by a number of administrations, both Democratic and Republican, since the Arab oil embargo in 1973. In the four decades since, the risks of supply disruptions, price spikes, blackouts, shortages, and environmental concerns solidified energy as a pressing national economic and security priority.
But that dynamic is changing. America has always been rich in unconventional energy resources. The problem has always been that they have been difficult and costly to tap, making them uncompetitive. That all has changed thanks largely to the application of two technologies, hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling (both of which have been used alone successfully for decades), to extract oil and natural gas from shale and other “tight” geologic formations. The transformation these technologies have produced has been astounding—and wholly unexpected just a few years ago.
The energy prospects now before America are unprecedented in their scale, scope, and importance to economic growth, but fulfilling these opportunities is not guaranteed. The energy policy plan that follows takes into account these new circumstances. It encompasses a bold, strategic, and actionable path forward toward a forceful, forward-looking energy policy that will serve our nation’s vital interests, both foreign and domestic.
The report and recommendations are organized around nine key planks:
Remove Barriers to Increased Domestic Oil and Natural Gas Production and Fuel Manufacturing
Maintain Coal’s Role as a Vital Part of a Diverse Energy Portfolio
Expand Nuclear Energy Use and Commit to a Nuclear Waste Solution
Enhance the Competitiveness of Renewable Sources of Energy
Promote 21st Century Energy Efficiency and Advanced Technologies
Modernize the Permitting Process for Our Nation’s Energy Infrastructure
Protect Our Energy Infrastructure from Physical Disruptions and Cyber Attacks
Reform the Regulatory Process for Balance, Predictability, and Transparency