Energy

Comments on FERC’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on energy storage and distributed energy resources

Pursuant to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (the “Commission” or “FERC”) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NOPR”) issued on November 17, 2016, the R Street Institute (“RSI”) respectfully submits these …

Fixing the power grid through open markets and new technologies

The following op-ed was co-authored by Graham Richard, CEO of Advanced Energy Economy, a national business organization. The electric power system makes our modern, mobile, information-age economy possible. But it …

Where’s Minnesota’s electricity choice?

Minnesota Republicans are missing a critical opportunity to practice what they preach. Competition and consumer choice are good for the Gopher State. The phone you use, car you drive, …

Is lack of competition leading to costly electricity glut?

A top California utility official once quipped that he was one of the few executives in the country who earned a profit merely by remodeling his office. He …

Disciplined policy responses to nuclear retirements

A combination of market, policy and regulatory factors have converged to squeeze the finances of the U.S. nuclear generation fleet. Among a variety of organic and external factors, …

Comment on FERC’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on primary frequency response

COMMENTS OF THE R STREET INSTITUTE Pursuant to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (the “Commission” or “FERC”) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NOPR”) issued on November 17, 2016,[1] the R …

FERC chair’s departure spells policy uncertainty and infrastructure delays

In his first week in office, President Donald Trump elevated Commissioner Cheryl LaFleur to serve as acting chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. This action removed that …

Environmental benefits of electricity policy reform

The structure of the electric industry can help shape environmental outcomes. In the United States, we have significant experience with the regulated monopoly model, which dates back to …

Swapping the corporate income tax for a price on carbon

The attached policy study was co-authored by R Street Executive Director Andrew Moylan and Research Assistant Daniel Semelsberger. The corporate income tax and domestic carbon policy are two areas …

More consumer choice in electricity should be on policymakers’ holiday wish lists

As we head into the holiday shopping season, consumers should consider adding one more item to their lists: an alternative electricity supplier. The process of switching energy providers long …

What Joe Maddon can teach Illinois lawmakers about competition

Illinois policymakers are considering a sprawling, damaging and wasteful energy bill that seeks to bail out two unprofitable Exelon Corp. nuclear plants. This massive 446-page piece of legislation—dubbed …

Four ways a President Trump could actually help the Climate

President-elect Donald Trump obviously doesn’t have very many fans on the environmental left. And he has said things about climate change that don’t jibe with reality. There are …

R Street’s priorities for the next administration

The incoming Trump administration will inherit numerous challenges that must be dealt with in year one, such as overwhelming shortfalls in the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. and debt …

Ohio’s fight to preserve energy competition and choice

Ohio regulators recently approved a problematic, watered-down subsidy for investor-owned utility FirstEnergy Corp. amounts to corporate welfare to protect captive ratepayers of its monopoly utility segment from the …

What’s holding back solar in the Lone Star State?

Texas is known for being a sunny place - literally. El Paso County is in the top 1 percent of U.S. counties for the amount of sunshine received …

Avoiding backdoor bailouts on the Texas grid

Texas is blessed to have a competitive market for electrical generation. Unlike most states, Texas’ electric-power mix is not decided by bureaucrats who guarantee that utilities can recover …

How Texas can protect the electric grid from attack

A single nuclear device set off at a high altitude creates an electromagnetic pulse that knocks out electricity in a third of the United States. Key electrical infrastructure …

Conservatives should seek to enable and fairly value solar power

Competitive markets are at the heart of American economic prosperity and stability. Unfortunately, this hasn’t been true of the monopoly-led, scandal-prone Arizona electricity industry. Conservatives should welcome new technologies …

Utility regulators must protect average electricity customers and competition

The following op-ed was co-authored by Dick Munson, director of Midwest clean energy for the Environmental Defense Fund. Ohio's utility regulators may have been appointed by a conservative governor, who …

Getting juiced by the roadside

Greenville, Alabama, is a small city of about 8,000 right off I-65, south of Montgomery. It’s best known for Bates House of Turkey, a popular lunch stop on …

Avoiding the renewables blame game – lessons from down under

News that wind energy may have played a role in an electrical blackout experienced last week in South Australia has reinvigorated the question of whether renewable-energy mandates decrease …

Where have all the nuclear plants gone?

With the recently announced planned retirements of nuclear facilities in Illinois and California, nearly 10 percent of the U.S. nuclear-energy fleet either already has closed or is scheduled …

Increasing tax on wind is a bad idea

Addressing the nation’s entrepreneurs and small business owners from the Old Executive Office Building in August 1986, President Ronald Reagan lightheartedly observed that, under his predecessor Jimmy Carter, …

Energy Subsidies: End them all!

R Street, along with our friends and allies at Friends of the Earth and Taxpayers for Common Sense, have put out a new letter on tax extenders as …

Green Scissors Coalition urges Senate Finance Committee to let energy tax breaks expire

Dear Chairmen Hatch and Brady and Ranking Members Wyden and Levin: The Green Scissors coalition writes to you with deep concerns regarding attempts to extend a suite of energy …

Deepwater Horizon should make a deep impact

"Something that big should have been made by God." The new film Deepwater Horizon has a character deliver that dialogue from the cockpit of a helicopter en route to …

A carbon bargain for conservatives

Policies to restrict the emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases already are a clear and present reality. Many conservatives might not agree with those ideas, but …

How limits on Hawaiian deep-sea mining could hurt the solar-energy market

In a bid to shore up his eco-legacy, President Barack Obama announced the expansion of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine Monument. The protected area, first created by President George W. …

How microgrids could help protect Texas

Reliable electricity is vital to civilization. By harnessing the power of electricity, countries like the United States have achieved historically unprecedented levels of prosperity and human advancement. Growth …

Despite faults, organized wholesale power markets are a success, report says

From SNL Energy: The rise of organized wholesale electricity markets in the 1990s generated "large economic efficiency gains" but improvements are still needed, free-market think tank R Street Institute …

Wholesale electricity markets in the technological age

The U.S. power industry, a major underpinning of the national economy, has experienced significant regulatory and market transitions over its long history. The unique nature of electricity provision …

The broad impact of closing nuke plants

From the Weymouth News: Mr. Dolan left an envelope for me with an article by Steven Mufson in The Washington Post:‘Exelon pulls New York nuclear plant from oblivion’ and …

The White House is using the SEC to crack down on fossil fuels

With just months left in office, the Obama administration appear set to get done by executive action everything it couldn’t get Congress to do over the past eight …

Free-market think tank supports ‘fee’ for reducing pollution

From SNL Power Policy Weekly: Right-leaning policy research group the R Street Institute said a "simple and transparent fee" is the best way to reduce pollution that affects a …

White House overreaches with SEC climate disclosure plan

As has been expected for months, the Federal Emergency Management Agency this coming morning will publish in the Aug. 19 edition of the Federal Register its regulations implementing …

Types of organized electricity markets

Regional transmission organizations and independent system operators (RTO/ISOs) deliver reliable electricity through organized competitive markets. These markets reduce the costs to operate the grid and send long-term investment …

Traditionally regulated vs. competitive wholesale markets

In the 1990s and 2000s, U.S. states chose either to restructure their wholesale electricity markets fully or partially, or to retain regulation of vertically integrated monopoly utilities.[i] Generally, …

A conservative approach to environmental principles

The lyrics of the classic hymn “America the Beautiful” – written by the poet Katharine Lee Bates during an 1893 trip to Pike’s Peak – testify to the …

Economic characteristics of electricity

The physical fundamentals of energy inform the economic fundamentals of electricity. Power plants that generate electricity face both fixed and variable costs. Fixed costs do not vary with …

Physical characteristics of energy

Power vs. Energy: Power is the instantaneous flow of electricity, or current – that is, the rate of electricity production, transfer or demand. Under the International System of …

Marketplace for energy drives lower costs

The following op-ed was co-authored by Rev. Mitch Hescox, the president and CEO of Evangelical Environmental Network. When it comes to energy generation, business as usual is hurting Missouri. …

Unnatural Monopolies: Do power companies have to be crony capitalists?

The following op-ed was co-authored by R Street Electricity Policy Manager Devin Hartman. When Lord Acton warned about the corrupting tendency of power, he wasn’t thinking of electricity. The …

California push for coal divestment raises concerns

Unlike the sellers of most other products or services, insurance companies receive payments from their customers in exchange for future promises. If you wreck your car, they will pay …

Federal Power Act and organized electricity markets

Organized electricity markets that allow competition have evolved considerably since their inception in the late 1990s. A host of policy, market and technological developments have altered their outcomes …

California coal-divestment push mostly about politics

California voters in 1988 dramatically expanded the power of the state Department of Insurance and turned the insurance commissioner post into an elected position. The Proposition 103 initiative …

Coal divestment and the California insurance industry

California voters in 1988 dramatically expanded the power of the state Department of Insurance and turned the insurance commissioner post into an elected position. It also gave the …

Generation Gap: The age of nuclear retirement

The following op-ed was co-authored by R Street Energy Policy Director Catrina Rorke.  At a meeting of the National Association of Science Writers in New York in 1954, the …

Six energy-policy reforms conservatives should embrace

The U.S. House demonstrated last month that the politics of climate solutions remain intractable. With bipartisan support, lawmakers overwhelmingly passed a resolution describing a carbon tax as, “not …

Democrats’ climate agenda deserves a conservative response

As the Democratic Party looks to advance what has been characterized as the “most progressive platform in the party's history,” there's never been a more urgent time for …

Pathways to competition in demand response

Demand response (DR) holds great promise to improve the competitiveness, reliability and environmental performance of the electricity system. DR refers to a system under which end-use customers earn …

Why does nuclear energy account for less than a fifth of our national energy mix?

Even though the United States has more nuclear-electricity generating units than any country in the world, nuclear power makes up less than 20 percent of our nation’s energy …

State subsidies and competitive wholesale electricity markets

On June 10, 2016, Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and Rep. Ed Whitfield, R-Ky., Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman, sent a …

Report: Texas utility-scale solar to double this year

From SmartGridNews: In April, a report from non-profit The R Street Institute indicated that although Texas' solar-power potential outpaced that of nearly every other state, the state's potential remains …

Forum highlights how you can be both conservative and sustainable

From American Sustainable Business Council: The forum will feature panels on sustainability as a competitive advantage, enhancing national and environmental security, and building an ecosystem of sustainability entrepreneurs and …

To reduce carbon emissions, U.S. should embrace nuclear power

This month, the first new nuclear reactor in the United States in two decades came online. The new reactor at the Watts Bar power plant in Tennessee is …

Federal law hurting growth of electric vehicle market

It’s summer and you’re on a family vacation cruising down the interstate listening to the Eagles. Your child interrupts that peaceful easy feeling by declaring an immediate and …

Six energy-policy reforms conservatives should embrace

The U.S. House demonstrated last week that the politics of climate solutions remain intractable. With bipartisan support, lawmakers overwhelmingly passed a resolution describing a carbon tax as, “not …

Let my Nevadans go

More than 3,000 years later, another desert exodus is upon us. Customers yearn to break free from NV Energy, the sole electricity provider in most of Nevada. Escaping …

The Grand Oil Party: House Republicans denounce a carbon tax

From the Guardian: It’s odd that not a single House Republican voted against the Resolution, because as long as the revenue is returned to taxpayers (also known as “revenue …

Why Republicans should reconsider their blanket opposition to a carbon tax

As House Republicans take up a resolution declaring they are against ever considering the possibility of a carbon tax, it bears noting that there are good reasons for …

Conservative carbon tax backers see silver lining in house opposition

From InsideEPA.com: "We are having some traction, so that is why the politics are rearing their ugly head this week on the House floor condemning the carbon tax as a …

GOP to rule out carbon tax

From The Hill: Catrina Rorke, director of the energy program at R Street Institute — which supports a tax that would return revenues to taxpayers — said if Republicans …

House message: No carbon tax under Clinton

From Politico: Eli Lehrer, the president of the free-market think tank the R Street Institute, agreed. “In the long run, a carbon tax or something like it is probably …

Pro-carbon tax conservatives make their case ahead of House vote

From ClimateWire: A carbon tax "uses small-government principles," said Catrina Rorke, director of energy policy and senior fellow with conservative think tank the R Street Institute, during a call …

Coalition blasts DOE’s funding of Texas Clean Energy Project

From SNL Energy: Green Scissors, which includes Friends of the Earth, Taxpayers for Common Sense and The R Street Institute and which describes itself as a coalition of free-market, taxpayer …

Ohio’s attempt at power-plant bailouts should alarm conservatives

This piece was co-authored by Dick Munson, Midwest clean energy director for the Environmental Defense Fund. In a recent victory for consumers, federal regulators blocked bailout plans by two of …

Growth is green

Global 2000, a report published by the Carter administration in 1980, offered a bleak forecast for the human race. It predicted “the world in 2000 will be more …

Green Scissors coalition urges U.S. Department of Energy to withdraw funding from the Texas Clean Energy Project

Dear Secretary Moniz: The Green Scissors coalition is deeply concerned by the U.S. Department of Energy’s ongoing support for the Texas Clean Energy Project. As a coalition of free-market, …

36 groups to Energy and Commerce Committee: Hold hearing on the Renewable Fuel Standard

Dear Chairman Upton and Ranking Member Pallone: The undersigned organizations encourage you, as soon as possible, to hold a Committee hearing on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). We believe …

Clean Power Plan isn’t only EPA rule endangering electric reliability

Back in February, the U.S. Supreme Court stayed implementation of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan (CPP) pending resolution of various legal challenges against the rule. The …

Five climate lies the attorneys general aren’t investigating

The attorneys general of 20 states have launched an investigation into groups they suggest have misled the public on the dangerous reality of climate change. Caught up in …

Improving the market for clean energy in Texas

The last few years have seen an incredible decline in the price of technologies that provide clean energy or increase energy efficiency. The cost of solar power has …

SCOTUS protects electricity competition, strikes down Maryland subsidies

Tuesday’s unanimous decision by the U.S. Supreme Court invalidating Maryland's subsidy program to encourage building new power generation marks a welcome defense of the principles of competition in electricity …

Al Gore’s climate gestapo seeks to punish political dissent

AG's United for Clean Power should embrace the more appropriate moniker, "Climate Gestapo." The coalition assembled by former Vice President Al Gore and 17 state attorneys general appears set to …

Senate could sneak wasteful energy subsidies into FAA reauthorization

What does the Federal Aviation Administration have to do with renewable-energy subsidies? Not much, except that senators are trying to sneak extensions of expiring green-energy tax credits into …

Competition, ratepayers lose big in Ohio

In a unanimous vote, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) moved March 31 to accept modified plans from investor-owned utilities FirstEnergy Corp. and American Electric Power Ohio …

Free trade makes dollars and sense

Trade has become a huge issue on the campaign trail this year. The front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, Donald J. Trump, has made trade one of his …

Rash Ratemaking: Lessons from Nevada’s NEM reforms

In a December 2015 order, the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada (PUCN) made drastic changes in its policies governing net energy metering (NEM), the process under which consumers …

Neeley talks net metering on Bloggingheads.tv

R Street Texas Director Josiah Neeley sat down recently with Kevin Glass of the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity to chat at Bloggingheads.tv about net energy …

U.S. should look to Canada and Australia as examples of robust global energy markets

WASHINGTON (March 29, 2016) – Congress' decision to lift the decades old ban on exports of U.S. crude oil should make the U.S. energy sector an attractive target …

Predatory foreign investment and domestic energy security

The attached paper was co-authored by John Roberts. U.S. energy markets started 2016 with good news. The 40-year-old oil-export ban, which long has hamstrung one of the world’s …

Why the Supreme Court stay hasn’t stopped states’ CPP compliance plans

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy told lawmakers earlier this week that 25 states are still working on Clean Power Plan (CPP) compliance plans. This may come as …

Wind PTC’s creator says credit’s end is nearing

As we’ve said before, the federal wind-energy production tax credit (PTC) is a wasteful and harmful subsidy that has lived far beyond its expiration date. Last week, new …

Would a President Trump make a deal on climate?

What would energy policy look like under a Donald Trump presidency? It’s a question worth considering. While the race to pick a Republican presidential nominee remains undecided, the …

Lehrer talks free-market environmentalism with The Energy Gang

R Street President Eli Lehrer sat down recently with Greentech Media's The Energy Gang podcast to discuss the institute's work on carbon pricing, the ongoing market transition to distributed sources …

5 environmental topics a new GOP working group should tackle

At what would prove to be the final presidential primary debate in which he'd participate, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., was asked to respond to Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado’s …

Bureaucrats are remaking the energy economy, not necessarily for the better

The Obama administration is determined to transform the energy economy in its last year in office, and now the White House is calling in reinforcements from our neighbors …

Oregon energy bill is long on symbolism, short on smart policy

Oregon's S.B. 1547, signed into law last Friday by Gov. Kate Brown, has all the hallmarks of top-down, government-directed industrial policy. But when it comes to weighing costs …

AEP and FirstEnergy proposals undercut competition and ratepayers

FirstEnergy Corp. and American Electric Power (AEP) are looking to undo Ohio's electricity market reforms in an effort to extract more revenue from Ohio ratepayers. The companies’ proposals, which …

Congress can, and should, check the EPA’s power grab

The Clean Power Plan – the Obama administration’s policy to reduce emissions from the nation’s power plants – has a whole host of problems that have been discussed …

Technological advances spur need for deregulated electricity market

WASHINGTON (Feb. 22, 2016) – As more consumers adopt photovoltaic solar and other forms of distributed energy resources (DERs), policymakers will need to scrap outdated rules for electricity …

Alternatives to Net Metering: A pathway to decentralized electricity markets

The traditional regulated monopoly model for electric utilities is outdated and limits both innovation and product and service development in the power sector. One current example is the …

With CPP on hold, what’s next?

A fortuitous 5-4 judgment by the Supreme Court puts on hold the centerpiece of President Barack Obama’s greenhouse-gas-reduction program until the court has a chance to review the …

SCOTUS relieves nation from an EPA power grab

Last week, while all attention was focused on the New Hampshire primary, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an order that could have far-reaching consequences for the destiny of …

U.S. Supreme Court blocks implementation of Obama’s carbon rule

In a 5-4 order, the conservative wing of the U.S. Supreme Court stayed implementation of President Barack Obama's carbon rule while litigation is ongoing. The court issued the order …

EPA’s Renewable Fuel Standard deceit

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) wants Americans to pay more for their groceries. That's the only way to explain the agency's decision to mandate the use of corn-based …

R Street Institute statement on Supreme Court’s delay of Clean Power Plan

The following statement can be attributed to Catrina Rorke, director of energy policy for the R Street Institute: While it's unclear how the legal challenge will pan out, the …

Greens tangled in the Evergreen State’s political thicket

Washington state's environmental community continues to fail to escape the tangle of its own political allegiances, even when it comes to addressing a crisis that, by its own …

R Street welcomes former FERC analyst as electricity policy manager

WASHINGTON (Jan. 28, 2016) – R Street is pleased to announce the addition of Devin Hartman as electricity policy manager and senior fellow. In his new role, Hartman will conduct …

Understanding the GOP’s civil war over off-the-grid energy

If politics makes for strange bedfellows, few issues make for more peculiar sleeping arrangements than that of distributed energy. There aren’t many others that put former Republican congressman …

Jones’ coal divestment call is irresponsible, blatantly political

In the early 1990s, the insolvencies of three major life insurers – Executive Life, Mutual Benefit and Confederation Life – rocked the industry and threatened to bring about …

DC Circuit Court refuses to halt EPA’s carbon rule

If you thought the courts were coming to the rescue to stop President Barack Obama's greenhouse gas restrictions, think again. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. …

R Street disappointed in court ruling allowing EPA rule to go into effect

WASHINGTON (Jan. 21, 2016) – The R Street Institute expressed deep disappointment in today's decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit not to stay …

Former Chicago Home Loan Bank president to lead R Street’s financial services work

WASHINGTON (Jan. 19, 2016) -- The R Street Institute is pleased to welcome Alex J. Pollock as the institute's newest distinguished senior fellow. In his new role with …

For energy markets, tax and budget talks include good, bad and ugly proposals

R Street has a longstanding commitment to highlight wasteful government spending, programs and market restrictions. The end-of-year negotiations on the budget deal and tax extenders have highlighted some …

With eyes on Paris, DC stayed busy on energy issues

The international climate negotiations in Paris – formally, the 21st Conference of Parties, or COP21 –might have been the media focus the last two weeks, but Congress and …

A conservative answer to climate change

The Paris climate change negotiations won’t end until later this week, but we already know what will happen. The parties will reach a toothless agreement pledging to reduce emissions …

The pitfalls of just saying ‘no’ to EPA’s carbon rule

If states like Alabama don't submit a carbon-reduction plan or request an extension by Sept. 6, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will impose what amounts to a …

How states can use the Clean Power Plan to cut taxes

With the latest round of climate talking getting underway, all eyes are on Paris. Yet back in the United States, states are already considering how to reduce greenhouse …

Texas shouldn’t wait to address EPA carbon rule

WASHINGTON (Nov. 18, 2015) – The option to use carbon fees to comply with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan could produce enough revenue for Texas to …

The Texas Path: Preserving energy sovereignty to cut taxes

Texas faces some tough energy choices. Under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan (CPP), Texas is expected by 2030 to have reduced carbon dioxide (CO2 ) …

Should oil firms be held liable in earthquake lawsuits?

Holding companies liable for damages caused by fracking-induced earthquakes is an unreliable way to manage this new risk. The courts simply aren’t equipped to handle this issue in …

How Texas can get more time on EPA rules

Last Friday, the U.S Environmental Protection Agency formally published its Clean Power Plan, a set of regulations requiring a 32 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from American …

Nevada power markets need more competition

Nevada’s power markets need more competition. Plagued by continued reliance on the outdated regulated utility model, Nevadans pay more for electricity than all but four states west of the …

Obama’s disappointing keystone rejection

President Barack Obama's rejection of Keystone XL is far from surprising. That doesn't stop it from being extremely disappointing. Debate over the pipeline morphed over time into a completely …

R Street frustrated by White House rejection of Keystone XL pipeline

WASHINGTON (Nov. 6, 2015) - The R Street Institute was disappointed by today's decision from President Barack Obama to reject the Keystone XL pipeline, a project that would …

R Street disappointed that government regulation delays Keystone XL pipeline once again

WASHINGTON (Nov. 3, 2015) – Having already waited seven years for a decision from the U.S. State Department, the R Street Institute was disappointed at yesterday's news that …

Despite veto threat, Congress moves closer to lifting crude export ban

The U.S. House late last week voted to lift the politically contentious 40-year-old ban on crude oil exports. This sends debate over to the Senate, which already has …

Solar needs competition, not government ownership

CPS Energy, San Antonio's city-run electrical utility, launched a new program this month to install solar panels on residents' homes. The plan calls for residents to receive fixed …

The Republican base would welcome the right messages on energy policy

Even as Democratic candidates for president prattle endlessly about energy issues – Hilary Clinton couldn’t resist a dig at the Keystone XL pipeline during her Saturday Night Live …

Colorado utility looks to charge solar customers for energy they don’t use

The laws of supply and demand are straightforward. Prices reflect the interplay between what people want and how realizable what they want is. But in the world of …

Poll: Clean-energy issues pretty popular among conservative base

Some new findings on how conservative voters think about energy issues from a bevvy of top-tier GOP pollsters ought to be required reading for the eventual Republican presidential …

Emissions bill failed at capitol for a reason

For a Sacramento administration unaccustomed to failure, the end of the state’s legislative session had an air of unique disappointment. An effort backed by Governor Jerry Brown and …

Free-market coalition to Congress: Repeal the Crude Oil Export Ban

On behalf of our groups and organizations, together representing millions of Americans, we urge you to end the Crude Oil Export Ban. Repealing this antiquated government mandate will …

Benefits of fracking outweigh the risks

WASHINGTON (Sept. 16. 2015) – A review of the literature on commonly cited environmental hazards of hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," demonstrates that the process' economic benefits far outweigh …

The green side of fracking

Originally patented in 1949, hydraulic fracturing – known colloquially as "fracking" – is a process to recover oil and gas from shale rock. In the fracking process, water, …

Shareholder democracy isn’t what it’s cracked up to be

A decade ago, when then-President George W. Bush proposed a partial privatization of Americans' Social Security accounts, public debate largely centered on whether the change actually would mitigate …

California should keep its energy incentives straight

A quietly crucial debate is going on within the California Public Utilities Commission about the future of distributed electricity generation. At stake is the Self-Generation Incentive Program. Created in …

The EPA’s propaganda machine

A little over a century ago, U.S. Rep. Frederick Gillett, R-Mass., read something in The New York Times that vexed him. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Bureau of …

States should consider using carbon-fee option to offset other taxes

WASHINGTON (Aug. 18, 2015) – The option to use carbon fees to comply with the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan could allow some states to offset a …

Using the Clean Power Plan’s carbon fee option to offset state taxes

Earlier this month, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released the final version of its Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units. Known colloquially …

When it comes to EPA standards, California has a gas problem

California's reaction to the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan has been a collective mix of self-congratulation and confidence in the state's ability to comply with the rule's demands. …

Fracking drives NAIC earthquake conversation

Hydraulic fracturing – the process of extracting oil and gas resources that requires breaking rock through the high-pressured injection of liquid into the ground, popularly known as "fracking" …

Has the Clean Power Plan abandoned energy efficiency?

The Environmental Protection Agency on Monday released the final version of the Clean Power Plan (CPP), which mandates a 32 percent reduction in carbon-dioxide emissions from the U.S. …

Clean Power Plan begs for a better conservative response to pollution control

On Monday, the Environmental Protection Agency released the final version of President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan. Designed to curb U.S. carbon emissions, conservatives predictably don’t like the …

How the Clean Power Plan is like the Death Star

Trigger warning: Nerdy analogies; some discussion of taxes. On Monday, the Obama administration released the final version of its “Clean Power Plan,” which mandates a 32 percent reduction in …

White House finalizes CPP, but will it stand?

President Barack Obama yesterday released long-awaited regulations intended to reduce carbon emissions from the power sector by 30 percent by 2030. The stakes are high. Designed under decades-old …

R Street Institute disappointed by President Obama’s energy plan

WASHINGTON (Aug. 3, 2015) – The R Street Institute expressed disappointment at the energy plan released today by President Barack Obama, noting both the increased costs and unworkable …

Green Scissors Coalition letter to former Gov. Jeb Bush

Dear Gov. Bush: The Green Scissors Coalition, made up of environmental, taxpayer and free-market groups dedicated to eliminating wasteful spending that harms the environment, applauds your recent comment that …

Proposed changes to California’s Renewable Portfolio Standard

Hard as it may be to believe, we’re beginning to hear rumblings of sensibility from California’s electricity markets. Pacific Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison both have …

Coalition to Congress: Support PTC Elimination Act

Dear Representatives, On behalf of the millions of members that our organizations represent, we encourage you to support H.R. 1901, the PTC Elimination Act, introduced earlier this year by …

Solar bailout? Don’t bet on it

Is the U.S. solar energy market in a bubble? Analysis suggesting that the burgeoning industry is overvalued certainly aren't new, and the list of observers who have deigned …

SCOTUS’ mercury decision probably won’t end EPA overreach

Conservatives have spent the past month rejoicing over the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling that the Environmental Protection Agency failed to appropriately account for industry costs when deciding to …

Preserving energy access for distributed generation

ISSUE SNAPSHOT Moving our energy generation paradigm increasingly toward distributed generation and market choice provides many potential benefits. Regulations and state policy should ensure access to existing infrastructure at rates …

Proxy access proposals do not maximize shareholder wealth, R Street study finds

WASHINGTON (July 15, 2015) – Shareholder-sponsored proxy access proposals, which have passed at 39 of the 65 companies that have voted on them in 2015, do not maximize …

Proxy Access: Shareholder democracy or creeping mercantilism?

Following certain rule changes made by Congress and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the 2015 proxy season has seen a deluge of shareholder proposals at U.S. public …

Tax pollution, not profits: a reply to Rep. John Delaney

The carbon tax is an elegant mechanism for imposing a price on carbon dioxide emissions from the energy sector, especially when compared to the alternatives. The patchwork of federal …

Neeley talks climate change at EarthDay Texas

R Street Texas Director Josiah Neeley sat down with Michael Quirke, executive director of the Climate Change National Forum, at the recent EarthDay Texas in Dallas to discuss …

Michigan v. EPA: Pyrrhic victory or a sign of more to come?

Last week, the Environmental Protection Agency hit a roadblock in its quest to enact new standards for mercury emissions from U.S. power plants. In Michigan v. EPA, the …

How conservatives should deal with climate change

Remarks as Prepared for Delivery Climate of Confusion: How Should Conservatives Think About Climate Change? Co-Hosted by The R Street Institute and National Affairs The Rayburn Building Washington, D.C. July 6, 2015 In 1980, …

A new dawn for solar in Texas?

Something peculiar is happening in Texas. In 2011, Austin Energy, the electric utility for the Texas capital, began receiving electricity from Webberville Solar, a 30-megawatt photovoltaic plant, at a …

Why did the pope condemn carbon credits?

Last month, Pope Francis released Laudato Si, a papal encyclical devoted to environmental issues. The document combines reflections on environmental ethics from a religious perspective with background descriptions …

After Supreme Court’s mercury decision, what now for environmental law?

The U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Michigan v. EPA will force the Environmental Protection Agency to reevaluate its recently promulgated rules governing mercury emissions by coal-fired power plants. …

R Street praises Supreme Court for affirming cost-benefit analysis in rulemaking

WASHINGTON (June 29, 2015) – The R Street Institute welcomed today's U.S. Supreme Court decision affirming the requirement that federal agencies consider costs before determining whether a rule is …

Letter to Washington House Finance Committee on distributed generation

My name is Ian Adams and I am Western region director of the R Street Institute, a free-market think tank headquartered in Washington, with five offices spread throughout …

The moral case for fossil fuel taxes

One of the downsides of working in policy is that you end up hearing the same arguments over and over again. So I was excited to read Oren …

The GOP needs its own plan for climate change

The Obama administration’s ongoing campaign to regulate climate-change causing pollutants under the Clean Air Act deserves all of the withering criticism it has gotten from the political right. …

A practical approach to climate change

The attached policy study appeared in the Summer 2015 edition of National Affairs. Climate change resulting from human activity likely poses the biggest environmental risk modern society faces. Its …

Let’s listen to the pope on climate

The Syllabus of Errors, issued in 1864 under the auspices of Pope Pius IX, famously ends by condemning the proposition that: The Roman Pontiff can, and ought to, reconcile …

Washington state lawmakers should save solar for another day

Washington state's second special legislative session was made necessary by lawmakers' earlier failure to pass a budget that remedied the state's chronic shortfall in education funding. But some lawmakers …

How EPA’s ethanol cut could hurt taxpayers

Last Friday, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed cutting the Renewable Fuel Standard's corn-ethanol mandate by 3.75 billion gallons from 2014 to 2016. This naturally prompted pushback from the …

It’s time to raise the oil spill liability cap

Santa Barbara County is the latest seaside community to watch its coastline dirtied by an all-too-recognizable black sludge. Early estimates project that more than 100,000 gallons of oil …

Is regulatory reform a hopeless cause?

In short, no, although the reader of Charles Murray’s new book might come away with that conclusion. In By the People: Rebuilding Liberty Without Permission (Crown Forum, 2015), …

Congress looks to reduce the regulatory behemoth

The Code of Federal Regulations is more than 170,000 pages long. How did it become such a behemoth? Simple: every year, about 4,000 new regulations are proposed, and …

Nevada should embrace disruption in energy markets

Things are changing rapidly in America's energy markets. The shale revolution of the past decade already has brought about enormous changes both in the price of energy and in …

Jersey Strong…but not strong enough to pump gas

As a New Jersey native who has spent most of his adult life living elsewhere, I often find myself standing up to defend my much-maligned homeland against the …

Nevada should take steps to foster a competitive electric market, R Street study finds

WASHINGTON (May 19, 2015) – Nevada lawmakers have a unique opportunity to set a national example for how best to regulate distributed generation, according to a new policy …

Governance in distributed generation: A Nevada case study

Disruptive innovation has hit electricity markets. Just as disruptive technologies and services have revolutionized telecom and urban-transportation markets by expanding consumer choice, electricity customers can now take advantage …

Texas moves to abolish renewable energy mandates (but much damage has been done)

Texas has always been big on energy. The state's long history of oil and gas production is well-known. And on the electric generation side, Texas ranks first in the nation in nuclear …

Louisiana mulls duplicative rules for solar

Rooftop solar has emerged in recent years as the primary challenge to the staid business model of large-scale regulated electric utilities. It turns large numbers of what were strictly …

Catrina Rorke joins R Street as director of energy policy

WASHINGTON (April 27, 2015) – The R Street Institute is proud to announce Catrina Rorke has joined the organization as director of energy policy. Rorke brings with her significant …

Disruption can be a good thing

The ideal of a staid, heavily regulated industry that offers blue-collar jobs with respectable wages, pensions and strong community ties—usually lamented as a thing of the past by …

Pennsylvania’s energy economy is a model for the rest of the country

President Barack Obama has been aggressively promoting the advantages of fast-track authority for his Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade agreement by pushing a message of job creation, economic growth and …

Testimony on Oregon carbon-pricing proposals

My name is Ian Adams and I am the Western region director of the R Street Institute. R Street is a non-profit, free-market think tank, headquartered in Washington, …

Fracking and quakes

Over the past decade, huge improvements in hydraulic fracturing techniques used to unlock natural gas deposits have lowered energy prices and boosted the economy. They’ve been great for …

CEA says it’s seen no fracking-related earthquake claims

The California Earthquake Authority, the state-run insurance pool that is the primary source of residential earthquake coverage in the Golden State, says it hasn't received any claims that …

Don’t let local control undermine the Texas model

Texas has always been fiercely protective of its prerogatives as a state. From challenging federal regulatory overreach in court to maintaining our own electric grid, we are willing …

Ethanol isn’t the only renewable fuel source Iowans love

When people think of Iowa, they almost instantly think of corn. Iowa is the nation's largest producer of the stuff, and also has become famous (or infamous) for …

Testimony to Texas House Energy Resources Committee

Chairman, members, my name is Josiah Neeley and I am the Texas director of the R Street Institute. R Street is a non-profit, free-market think tank headquartered in …

Why the ethanol mandate is terrible policy

You know the campaign season has started when people start talking about ethanol. Various GOP hopefuls have affirmed or reaffirmed their support for existing ethanol mandates, and while …

It’s time for real competition in solar markets

Fights are playing out across the states as regulators try to navigate the introduction of rooftop solar into energy markets. Over the last few years, numerous pieces of legislation …

Letter to House Energy and Commerce Committee: RFS is broken

Dear Chairman Upton and Ranking Member Pallone: The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is increasingly recognized as a failed policy in need of attention by the Congress. With the exception …

Testimony to Texas Senate Committee on Natural Resources

Chairman Fraser, members, my name is Josiah Neeley and I am the Texas director of the R Street Institute. R Street is a non-profit, free-market think tank headquartered …

Cheap oil gets rid of subsidized oil in developing nations

William Goldman is best known as the screenwriter behind the films the Princess Bride and Marathon Man. He is also the author of a profound quote about business: Nobody knows …

Olympia could punish early adopters of rooftop solar

When it comes to technology, so-called “early adopters” understand they are taking a risk. Those who choose to pay more for unproven or unscaled technologies do so with …

Trains are no substitute for Keystone

In what was ultimately a surprise to no one, President Barack Obama yesterday vetoed the bill to approve construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. This sets the stage …

Green Scissors letter to Secretary Moniz on FutureGen 2.0

Secretary Ernest Moniz Department of Energy 1000 Independence Ave. SW Washington, DC 20585 Feb. 25, 2015 The Green Scissors coalition, made up of environmental, taxpayer and free-market groups dedicated to eliminating wasteful …

The difference between wanting a carbon tax and getting one

Negotiation is the process by which value is determined by the intensity of the involved parties’ desires. The more that one party wants something the other controls, the …

R Street paper touts importance of federal research and development in nuclear power

WASHINGTON (Feb. 24, 2015) – Federal research policy should be reoriented to recognize the U.S. nuclear sector as a national asset that contributes to domestic economic, energy security …

The role of U.S. research and development policy in nuclear power

The U.S. civil nuclear sector faces a number of challenges that threaten grid reliability and climate mitigation goals. Though current U.S. reactor designs improve confidence in the predictability …

Lehmann talks extreme weather on NPR’s On Point

With record snowstorms crippling New England, R Street Institute Senior Fellow and Editor-in-Chief R.J. Lehmann was a guest this week on the nationally syndicated public radio program On …

Obama will veto Keystone XL behind closed doors

President Barack Obama will veto a bill authorizing construction of the Keystone XL pipeline this week, despite the bill's bipartisan support. But instead of making a big deal …

Senate set to vote on five-year extension of Wind PTC

Congress has been in session for only a couple weeks and the new Republican majority in the U.S. Senate already has surpassed the number of roll call amendment …

Obama takes on oil drilling from giant jet

I don't remember the last time I heard the term "ANWR" - the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge - before this weekend. I think I recall some controversy over …

Crafting a carbon tax Oregon conservatives can support

Three West Coast governors wrote recently of a regional model for addressing climate change. Each of their three states — California, Oregon and Washington — is taking a …

Keystone pipeline drama returns for an exciting new season

Just as popular television shows often go on hiatus for the holidays, so our nation’s greatest political drama is now back for a new season. And measured purely …

Obama admin publishes 1,200 new regs ahead of New Year

Happy New Year's Eve! Tonight, while you're too busy getting wasted on cheap champagne and arguing with your Uber driver over surge pricing to notice, the Obama administration will …

After CRomnibus, a conservative wish list for a Republican-controlled Congress

While enactment of the trillion dollar "CRomnibus" left some conservatives fuming over Republican leadership's unwillingness to fight a shutdown battle over immigration or the Affordable Care Act, here …

The Wind Production Tax Credit lives on

After much negotiation, Congress has passed legislation retroactively extending 55 “temporary” tax breaks (or tax extenders) through the end of 2014. It is likely that the president will …

Virginia vs. the EPA?

The Obama administration’s recently announced Clean Air Act power-plant rules, advertised as helping to control the greenhouse gases that cause climate change, have almost nothing to recommend them. …

EPA’s Clean Power Plan: Likely to fail regardless of litigation outcome

In less than two weeks, comments are due for the Environmental Protection Agency’s highly controversial Clean Power Plan (CPP), which would regulate carbon dioxide emissions from existing power …

Texas cities are losing control of fracking

Overall, conservatives in Texas had a very good election night earlier this month. Republicans took all the statewide offices, as indeed they have in every election since 1994, …

The Keystone pipeline is not about oil—it’s about milk

On Tuesday evening, the U.S. Senate finished the latest performance in one of its oldest pastimes: political theater. Facing a December runoff that she is widely predicted to …

Louisiana’s PSC race is a must-watch for solar energy

The race for a seat on the Public Service Commission in Louisiana rarely generates headlines, even though the PSC in Louisiana, unlike in most states, actually has some …

Green Scissors 2.0: Broad coalition launches tool to cut wasteful spending and protect enviornment

WASHINGTON (Nov. 17, 2014) – Amid congressional conflict over year-end appropriations, the Green Scissors Coalition released a new interactive database that identifies nearly 80 cuts Congress could make …

Our work speaks for itself

One of the more dispiriting trends of the political left in recent years has been the growing tendency to do battle, not by engaging with ideas, but through …

How can U.S. strike a blow against ISIS and Russia? Try moving ahead with fracking

Over the last several years, the Obama administration has routinely taken a hostile stance toward fossil fuels. From pushing carbon regulation by regulatory fiat to slow-walking the oil …

R Street encouraged by upcoming vote on Keystone XL pipeline

WASHINGTON (Nov. 13, 2014) – The R Street Institute today welcomed news that both the U.S. House and U.S. Senate are set to move legislation to approve the …

R Street responds to Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report

WASHINGTON (Nov. 2, 2014) – Congress should heed today's warning from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to pursue effective mitigation and adaptation strategies to counter the risks …

A carbon tax won’t happen without some give from the left

Despite growing support from some conservative policy wonks, the idea of taxing carbon dioxide emissions, even as an alternative to the sort of heavy-handed greenhouse regulations promulgated by …

How the EPA should modify its proposed 111(d) regulations to allow states to comply by taxing pollution

The attached piece was co-authored with Michael Wara and Marta R. Darby of Stanford University. I. Introduction The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is exercising its authority under section 111(d) …

How the Wind Production Tax Credit undermines wind power

U.S. renewable-energy policy is largely defined by mandates and subsidies that maintain an artificial market for investment and generation. Heavy dependence on government creates significant vulnerability for the …

Why conservatives should support carbon taxation

Conservatives are conditioned to wince at the mention of the word "tax." Mention the term "carbon tax," and many will recoil altogether. Still, in the only place in …

What’s the matter with Paul Krugman?

Rarely does a Nobel Prize-winning economist specifically inquire about the job performance of a state like Alabama. This week, Paul Krugman, a popular liberal commentary writer for the …

Four reasons why international climate discussions should matter to U.S. industry

Virtually every American in the climate change policy space is supporting, fighting or still deciphering the EPA's plan to regulate CO2 emissions from existing power plants – commonly …

Under carbon rule, the EPA will be either Alabama’s overlord or its puppet master

In June of 2014, the EPA proposed a draft rule to regulate carbon dioxide. The rule made headlines for weeks and then largely dropped from public conversation. While …

Sanders on EPA carbon rules

R Street's Lori Sanders joined the American Action Forum's Douglas Holtz-Eakin and the Brookings Institution's Adele Morris in a panel discussion examined flaws in the structure of forthcoming …

R Street hosting two energy events on Capitol Hill this Wednesday

The R Street Institute will be hosting two energy events on Capitol Hill this Wednesday, September 17. We hope you can join us for one or both of …

Slowing the rise of the oceans

From Al Gore to the leadership of groups like the Union of Concerned Scientists, environmentalists long have warned that global disaster is certain unless we do something about …

How big government and cronyism are slowing the growth of solar in the south

An Aug. 9 article in the Los Angeles Times explored why states in the U.S. South that get plenty of sunlight -- such as Virginia, South Carolina and, of …

Pending gas price hikes make California lawmakers skittish

As the California Legislature wraps up its last few weeks of this year's session, some lawmakers are anxious to head off a scheduled gas price increase set to …

The peculiar benefit calculation of EPA’s carbon rule

This week, the EPA held a field hearing in Atlanta regarding the Clean Power Plan proposed rule. Once final, the rule, by 2030, "would achieve CO2 emission reductions from the …

It’s time for a conservative global-warming agenda

Conservatives should adopt a new strategy in the battle over global warming. Rather than falling back on the claim that global warming isn’t a problem, conservatives should take …

Don’t take the Texas GOP’s crazy platform too seriously

In recent weeks, more than a few groups – including one on whose board I serve – have denounced various aspects of the Texas Republican Party's platform. Indeed, there's …

R Street disappointed by EPA greenhouse gas rules

WASHINGTON (June 2, 2014) – New carbon emissions regulations proposed today by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are likely to prove expensive and damaging to a still-fragile economic …

R Street encouraged by draft bill offering alternatives to EPA regulation

WASHINGTON (May 21, 2014) - The R Street Institute welcomed today's release of a discussion draft of legislation empowering states to adopt market-based solutions as a substitute for …

Showtime series highlights R Street carbon tax debate

The makers of the Showtime series Years of Living Dangerously shot some footage of the carbon tax debate we hosted last June, pitting R Street Executive Director Andrew …

R Street paper urges more opportunities for nuclear power

WASHINGTON (May 15, 2014) - Opportunities to export U.S. nuclear technology should be expanded and subsidies granted to other forms of power should be eliminated to make the …

A rational approach to U.S. civil nuclear power

The U.S. commercial nuclear sector is in trouble. Absent significant policy changes, the near-term closure of a number of reactors appears increasingly inevitable. Much has been written about …

Fugitive emissions from hydraulic fracturing: Current knowledge and policy implications

Recent innovations in drilling technology, especially staged hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") and horizontal drilling, have unlocked unconventional resources of oil and natural gas.  These developments represent a revolutionary moment …

Letter to Ways and Means on Wind Production Tax Credit

April 25, 2014 Congressman Dave Camp Chairman Committee on Ways and Means 341 Cannon House Office Building Washington, DC 20515 Congressman Sander M. Levin Ranking Member Committee on Ways and Means 1236 Longworth House Office Building Washington, DC …

Breaking wind

It's budget season, and with budget season comes a renewed debate over one of the most depressing elements of American politics – namely, its tendency to pick winners …

The limits of consumer choice

Most conservatives, and even some liberals of the dwindling "New Democrat" variety, put near-religious faith in the maxim that greater consumer choice would improve nearly every heavily regulated …

Letter to the House Energy & Commerce Committee on ethanol mandate

Jan. 27, 2014 The Honorable Fred Upton, Chairman The Honorable Henry Waxman, Ranking Member Committee on Energy & Commerce U.S. House of Representatives Washington, DC 20515 Dear Chairman Upton & Ranking Member Waxman: Last year, …

Eliminate the Corn Ethanol Mandate

Dec. 10, 2013 Dear Congress: Recently, the Environmental Protection Agency, which is charged with implementing and administering the Renewable Fuel Standard, released its proposal for the amount of biofuels that …

Comments to EPA on greenhouse gas emissions

The following comments by R Street Policy Analyst Lori Sanders were delivered at the Environmental Protection Agency's Nov. 7 public listening session on regulation of carbon emissions from …

Over 100 organizations to Congress: Let the Wind PTC expire!

R Street was one of 102 organizations to sign this coalition letter calling on Congress to oppose extending federal wind subsidies. The organizations listed on the letter are …

Why Ken Cuccinelli will lose in Virginia and what it means for the GOP

Ken Cuccinelli, currently behind in the polls by more than seven points, will not win the November election to become Virginia's next governor. This spells very serious problems …

Centennial Institute on Renewable Portfolio Standards

Renewable Portfolio Standards are policies that mandate electricity producers generate certain percentages of their power from renewable standards. As of 2012, 30 states had RPS mandates and another …

Coalition to Congress: End the renewable fuel standard

September 26, 2013 Re:  Renewable Fuel Standard "Reforms" Dear Senator & Representative: It has come to our attention that Congress is considering legislation this fall to reform the Renewable Fuel Standard …

What the Australian elections mean (and don’t mean) for climate policy and the left

As a right-wing Republican, I consider newly elected Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott a man after my own heart. He wants to deregulate his country's economy, protect the …

Climate change: It’s time for a conservative alternative

President Barack Obama's climate agenda announced in June 2013 represents the latest of many Democratic Party efforts to address climate change. Although it includes no new legislation, the …

The White House’s ‘new’ newspeak

"I got tired of cursing the newspaper every morning. I got tired of seeing what was going wrong and not being able to do anything about it."  - …

Of bunny rabbits and stupid regulations

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's efforts to require birthday party entertainer Marty the Magician to develop a written "disaster plan" for taking care of his rabbit is a …

Support amendment to stop USEC giveaways in energy and water development appropriations bill

July 9, 2013 Dear Representative, On behalf of our members and activists, we urge you to support the amendment offered by Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Texas, to eliminate the $48 million …

End fossil fuel giveaways in energy and water bill: Vote yes on Speier amendment to end wasteful subsidy

July 10, 2013 Dear Representative, On behalf of our members and supporters, the Green Scissors Coalition urges you to support the amendment offered by Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., to eliminate …

Republicans need a new game plan on climate change

There’s no reason for conservatives and libertarians to celebrate President Barack Obama’s recently announced climate change plan. While Obama does seek to confront a real problem, his plan …

Climate change for the GOP

It’s time for a conservative alternative to liberal alarmism. President Barack Obama’s climate agenda announced last week represents the latest of many Democratic party efforts to address climate change. …

R Street wins carbon tax debate with Heritage Foundation and Heartland Institute

On June 13, 2013, the R Street Institute hosted a debate with the Energy & Enterprise Institute, the Heritage Foundation, and the Heartland Institute on the question, "Are …

R Street suggests conservative alternative to Obama climate plan

WASHINGTON (June 25, 2013) -- The R Street Institute today urged conservatives to support market-based alternatives to the flawed climate policy approach outlined by President Barack Obama in …

Climate change: Conservatives make the argument for a carbon tax

The following piece was co-authored with Bob Inglis, the founder and executive director of the Energy and Enterprise Initiative. If conservatives don't begin to engage on the important issue …

Eli Lehrer discussing conservatism and the environment at Duke University

Eli Lehrer of R-Street at Duke University from Energy & Enterprise Initiative on Vimeo. …

Reagan, the environmentalist

Mention Ronald Reagan to an avowed environmentalist, and you’ll generally elicit a groan. In the conventional telling, the Gipper appointed right-wing extremists to key environmental positions and proceeded …

Why you just may come to like a carbon tax

Tax reform may involve simplifying the tax code, but actually achieving such a thing promises to be a terrifyingly complicated process. The battle over how (and by how …

Grow your pie and eat it too

The Politics of Abundance: How Technology Can Fix the Budget, Revive the American Dream, and Establish Obama’s Legacy By Reed Hundt and Blair Levin 101 pages; Odyssey Editions, 2012 A …

Time for a carbon tax?

The New York Times reports that the EU Parliament has elected to not remove carbon tax credits from the market, despite the price plunging from a peak of …

An agenda for regulatory reform: Think big (and small)

If they want to get serious about doing away with job-killing government regulations, congressional Republicans need to get practical about the battles they choose. Last session, Congress' deregulatory …

R Street proposes ‘cat-and-trade’ offset system for wind power

WASHINGTON (April 1, 2013) -- Researchers at the R Street Institute today unveiled a new major public policy initiative that aims to simultaneously preserve wildlife and encourage wider …

A less lively CPAC

The Conservative Political Action Conference is clearly not as energized as last year, due largely to the intervening national election, which  many of these folks had thought would …

The right way to eliminate state income taxes

Even as the newly reelected president calls for ever-bigger government, a tax-slashing season has started in some Republican-leaning states. Efforts to eliminate or significantly cut state income taxes …

Examining the U.S. regulatory ‘budget’

The nation’s federal budget deficit gets a lot of attention from policy wonks and political commentators, and for good reason. Most people agree that the rapid rise in …

The ‘open for business’ tax plan

It’s not hard to find people in Washington who say they favor something called “fundamental tax reform.” President Barack Obama, for example, loves talking about the idea. In …

The green(ish) case against wind power subsidies

As an energy source, wind power looks just about perfect: it creates no greenhouse gases, requires pulling nothing out of the earth, and relies on an inexhaustible resource. …

Dec. 13 press conference on ending the Wind Production Tax Credit

WASHINGTON (Dec. 12, 2012) – R Street President Eli Lehrer will join other representatives from a coalition of conservative and free-market groups in a Dec. 13 press conference …

A tax we could learn to love

Global emissions of carbon dioxide hit a record high in 2011, scientists from the Global Carbon Project reported last week. Another record is expected in 2012. The earth continues to …

The ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ of the Fiscal Cliff

With the end of the year fast approaching, the conversation about how Congress should address the “fiscal cliff” is heating up. If Washington fails to act, the New …

By the rivers of .  .  . Quebec?

Jake Irving looks excited. Sitting at a table in a noisy Washington, D.C., bistro, he pulls a chart out of a briefcase with a flourish. The numbers are …

88 organizations to Congress: “Let the Wind Production Tax Credit expire!”

An open letter to every member of Congress from 88 organizations, including R Street, opposing reauthorization of the wind production tax credit. …

After elections, time to address long-term issues

With this election winding down to the final provisional and absentee ballot-counting in the seats too close to determine a winner on Election Day, there are a few …

The coming election

Since Ohio makes the news on a regular basis in any election year expected to be a close contest for the presidency, everywhere I go people are asking …

‘Climate silence’: It’s just common sense

As any number of activists and journalists -- nearly all of them on the left -- have noted, the two major party presidential candidates aren't talking much about …

Energy policy akin to a Cheesecake Factory menu: Is it needed?

If nothing else, the Cheesecake Factory, a mall favorite sit-down restaurant with Gaudi-esque décor, offers an all-of-the-above menu. Want Asian? There's pad thai and orange chicken. Americanized Italian? …

What we are and aren’t getting out of the debates

A 21-year-old Bangladeshi man tried to blow up the building next to where my children live yesterday.  He was sent to our country on a student visa by …

Let the Wind Production Tax Credit expire!

The following letter was submitted Sept. 6 by R Street and 63 other allied organizations to every member of Congress. September 6, 2012 Dear United States Senators and Representatives: The principal …

‘All of the Above’ is not working

If you view, as I do, the American economy running along on two major rails – cheap energy and cheap credit – it is easy for one to …

Save the earth! Shrink the state!

America has some good things to show for its more than 40 years of intense environmental activism: the air and water are cleaner than they were and the …

Lying, incompetent or what?

A few years ago following a number of major hurricanes, the public relations staff of the property casualty insurance company I was employed by at the time managed …

R Street welcomes launch of Energy and Enterprise Initiative

WASHINGTON (July 10, 2012) -- The R Street Institute welcomes today’s launch of the Energy and Enterprise Initiative, a new campaign launched by former U.S. Rep. Bob Inglis, …

Green Scissors 2012 finds ending environmentally destructive federal programs would save nearly $700 billion

Left-Right coalition identifies practical steps Congress could take to slash deficits, save natural resources WASHINGTON, D.C. — June 26, 2012 — Congress could move a long way toward solving …

Green Scissors 2012

PDF Download Text Green Scissors 2012 recommends nearly $700 billion in cuts to wasteful and environmentally harmful federal spending. It is produced by Friends of the Earth, Taxpayers for …

Ohio takes it slow on new energy taxes

Ohio has an interesting case study in principles and politics in the current clash over the potential of new natural gas and oil reserves in the eastern and …

Free-market and conservative coalition urges ‘yes’ on S.J. Res. 37, the Inhofe resolution to stop Utility MACT

Dear Senator: On behalf of the millions of members and supporters of our organizations, we urge you to VOTE YES on the Inhofe Resolution, S.J. Res. 37, to overturn …

Letter from Ohio: Credit and energy, the economy’s twin tracks

The economy of the United States and all other developed countries rides along on two rails – credit and energy. Anybody who has read a newspaper in the …

Green Scissors 2011

PDF Download Text This report, co-authored by R Street President Eli Lehrer, was issued in August 2011 as a joint project of the Heartland Institute, Friends of the …

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