EXPANDing to a Market Driven Energy Policy

Nicolas Loris /

Typically, comprehensive pieces of energy legislation expand the government’s authority over the energy economy rather than minimize it. The 2005 and 2007 energy bills are good examples, and probably the most expansive was the failed cap-and-trade in 2009. And most recently the House-proposed water and energy appropriations bill continues to waste taxpayer dollars by spending on fossil fuel and nuclear energy programs that the private sector should undertake.

The current state of America’s energy policy is far from a market-driven one. Subsidies, loan guarantees, targeted tax credits, and mandates pick winners and losers. Government restrictions and regulations impede the market’s effectiveness, reduce access to energy sources, and artificially drive prices higher.

Congressman Jeff Duncan (R–SC) recently introduced the Energy Exploration and Production to Achieve National Demand (EXPAND) Act, which would introduce market forces into energy policy by increasing access, reducing onerous regulations, and removing targeted subsidies and mandates.

The bill would create a more competitive energy economy that would ultimately benefit Americans through lower prices and fewer tax handouts to politically preferred industries. Here are some highlights:

Duncan’s energy legislation would remove market distortions from the energy sector by removing subsidies and needless red tape and opening access for companies to pursue energy projects if they have an economic interest to do so.