by Tom Tanton, E&E Legal Director of Science and Technology Assessment, and Mark Krebs
As appearing in MasterResource
…With a renewed focus on energy consumers and less on environmental cronyism, DOE can gain new found respect from the American public and help drive a resurgent economy. With this purpose in mind, we offer the following ideas to Misters Barton, Shimkus, Secretary Perry, and his new regulatory reform officers to help start fundamental reform:
- Recalibrate DOE’s mission to focus on improving energy productivity rather than a blind quest to save BTUs. Many of DOE’s programs reduce labor productivity in the quest to save fossil fuel BTUs with diminishing costs.
- Change the application of computer modeling from seeking and justifying answers to improving questions for policy makers. For example, if energy prices are forecasted to increase and a proposed standard is only beneficial under that scenario, what can be done to firm up future prices, instead of accepting higher prices and a regulatory standard as a fait accompli?
- Build flexibility into programs, recognizing that science and technology change over time. Harmonize organizational and personnel behavior with best business practice; staff salaries that reward size of staff feed mission creep. Always keep a weather eye on how programs affect consumers and everyday Americans. Recognize the valuable contribution of all energy forms and stop favoring one over another. Finally, and most importantly, acknowledge that free markets can and do accomplish social goals more efficiently and effectively than government programs and mandates, including environmental goals.
In short: Make sure that an “all the above” energy policy means every option is fairly and scientifically evaluated.