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Cato Institute on Energy & Oil

 


Close Dept. of Transportation; repeal federal gas tax

In transportation policy, the federal government has become not just a costly and unnecessary, but also a meddlesome middleman.

The original rational for the DOT was to build an interstate highway system. That was a legitimate federal function, since all citizens benefit from a coordinated network of highways. The interstate was completed 10 years ago. The vast majority is spent on local roads and urban mass transit systems [should be done on local level].

Source: Cato Handbook for the 105th Congress , Jan 1, 1997


Cato Institute on Energy

Wind power is not competitive; stop funding it

Wind power has proven itself to be in a perpetual “infant industry”, with its competitive viability always somewhere on the horizon. Wind power is noisy, land intensive, materials intensive (concrete and steel), a visual blight, and a hazard to birds. Peak demand for electricity and peak winds do not always coincide.

It is erroneous to conclude that if wind is not competitive now, it soon will be. Wind is competing against improving technologies and the increasing abundance of natural resources.

Source: Policy Analysis No. 280, “Renewable Energy” by R. Bradley , Aug 27, 1997

Eliminate federal energy R&D expenditures

Despite the occasional R&D successes, DOE energy research expenditures fail to pay for themselves. Given the dramatic sums invested in energy R&D over the past decades, the government has little to show for its effort save for light water nuclear reactor technology, and even that breakthrough has yet to show significant commercial gains. The commercial returns on the $80 billion spent don’t even come close to matching the sums allocated. Federal energy R&D expenditures should thus be eliminated.
Source: Congressional testimony by Jerry Taylor, “Restructuring DOE” , May 16, 1995

Energy production by market forces not government planners

Energy is no different from any other commodity in the marketplace. Energy production and distribution is better directed by market forces than by government planners. There is no more reason for a Department of Energy than there is for a Department of Automobiles. The more important an industry, the more important it is to keep it in the hands of the free market. [We shouldn’t] believe that government is better able to manage markets than is the marketplace.
Source: Congressional testimony by Jerry Taylor, “Restructuring DOE” , May 16, 1995


Cato Institute on Global Warming

Predictions of imminent doom don’t come true

Fifteen years ago, we were warned to prepare for the next Ice Age. Today, we worry about our ever shrinking ozone layer and the looming threat of global warming; ever since the atomic bomb, the public and policymakers have been barraged by predictions of imminent environmental doom--none which have come true, and none of which probably ever will come true [according to author Ronald Bailey in ECO-SCAM: The False Prophets of Ecological Apocalypse].
Source: Book review, ECO-SCAM, on Cato web site , Jul 2, 2000

Measured warming is recovery from previous cooling

The small amount of warming during the past century occurred mainly before 1940 and is most likely a natural recovery from previous cooling, not a manifestation of human-induced warming.
Source: Jerry Taylor, “Heated Rhetoric”, Cate web site , Jul 2, 2000


Cato Institute on Pollution

Nuclear cleanup standards are unachievable and costly

Nuclear Weapons facilities such as Rocky Flats, Colorado, and Hartford, Washington, are among the most contaminated environmental sites in America and are expected to take 30 years or more to remediate. Current cleanup standards negotiated by DOE with state and local communities establish rigorous protocols based on the federal Superfund statue that are aimed at returning sites to near pristine conditions. The U.S. General Accounting office believes that the effort to clean up federal hazardous waste sites is likely to be among the costliest public works projects attempted by the government.

Nuclear weapons cleanup programs assumed by the NNWA should be renegotiated to reflect prioritization of containment and neutralization of risk rather than removal and return sites to pristine conditions. In fact, most of the cost associated with DOE cleanups stems from the fact that an attempt is being made to ensure that future residential use would pose no risk whatsoever.

Source: Congressional testimony by Jerry Taylor, “Restructuring DOE” , May 16, 1995

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Page last updated: Oct 10, 2013