A plan to energize the US economy

Fuel Fix:
U.S. business executives on Monday unveiled a plan to rev up the U.S. economy by producing more oil and gas, boosting energy efficiency and supporting renewable power.

The 76-page plan by the Business Roundtable, dubbed “a CEO vision for America’s Energy Future,” lays out a broad blueprint for lawmakers and the Obama administration to leverage and capitalize on already climbing domestic oil and gas production as well as energy efficiency gains.

Honeywell International CEO David Cote said the group believes the U.S. needs a “competitiveness agenda” where energy is prioritized.

And Chevron Corp. CEO John Watson said it is “vital that the government work with us to produce a policy framework that supports investments,” because, right now, “what’s holding us back is (the lack of) a national strategy for taking advantage of this opportunity.”

“Driven by private sector innovation and investment, the United States is poised to regain its status as an energy superpower,” Watson said. “The dramatic rise in U.S. oil and natural gas production is creating jobs and economic growth across America, but our ability to take full advantage of the historic opportunity in front of us depends upon the right policy framework.”

The major theme advanced by the group of CEOs: Take a hands-off approach to regulation.

Read more: Top Republican pledges tough oversight of new drilling rules

The executives recommended the U.S. expand access to public lands and waters “to ensure reliable supplies of coal, oil and natural gas,” while “streamlining the permitting and approval processes to expedite critical infrastructure projects,” such as pipelines to transport the supplies.

Watson specifically mentioned the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, which would ferry oil sands crude from Canada to the Gulf Coast. The State Department is currently reviewing the $7 billion project.

The executives insisted that any new federal environmental rules should undergo “thorough net cost-benefit analysis” and consideration of how they might hike energy costs or restrict economic growth.

Dow Chemical Co. CEO Andrew Liveris said “overly complex and costly regulations” have been “a major impediment to growth,” and, have exacted “a particularly heavy toll on energy exploration and production.”

The panel also tapped into industry concerns that a new layer of federal regulations governing oil and gas drilling — both proposed and speculative, possible policies — will conflict with state rules already on the books or create new obstacles to development. The Business Roundtable recommends “respecting the role that states have traditionally played in regulating oil and natural gas activity on non-federal lands” and ensuring that future rules for federal tracts are developed in consultation with states.
The plan looks consistent with what I have been arguing for over the last half dozen years at least.  In fact not doing it would be a huge mistake.  The Obama administration has been too beholden to the anti energy left and the organizations pushing inefficient alternative energy.  If people want to invest in alternatives they should do so on the basis of the market place and not with their hand in the tax payer's pocket.  Give them the same tax breaks the carbon based energy sources get and let them compete on a level playing field.

In the meantime, we should open up all US energy resources for development including those in Alaska and under the oceans.  We should quite pretending that oil and gas is a scarce resource.  That means it make no sense to require ethanol  purchases.  If it is determined that ethanol is a worthwhile resource then make it from the abundant natural gas supply we have and use the corn for food.


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