Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) recently proposed new legislation that would end all $16 billion dollars in subsidies on energy, restoring a free market energy sector.
Ordinarily, when legislation such as this is mentioned it is directed at the renewable sector only, allowing oil companies to retain the billions they receive. However, this bill will end all oil and gas subsidies as well, allowing competition to return to the sector. Now the government will be unable to pick winners and losers in the market.
Source: “60 Years Of Energy Incentives,” Management Information Services for the Nuclear Energy Institute
Credit: Alyson Hurt/NPR
Since 1950, the U.S. government has provided and astonishing $837 billion for energy development, over half of that being oil and natural gas. However, his bill also reduces taxes for these companies which could prove balanced out in the long run.
This is not the first time something like this has been tried. In 2012, Congressman Mike Pompeo of Kansas attempted the same plan and ultimately was referred to the House Subcommittee on Energy and Power. Senator Mike Lee has quite a few more tricks up his sleeve as he currently has 34 sponsors on the bill. He does have opposition however in that many senate democrats and republicans want to extend biofuel subsidies for at least one more year. In order to have a truly effective bill, all government assistance has to be cut.
While renewables were once viewed as the future of U.S. energy, the recent oil and gas boom has taken over the economy. In 5 years alone, oil production on state and private lands has soared an astonishing 61 percent, and natural gas production has risen 33 percent.