This white paper, the result of the combined efforts of a group of think tanks coming from different sides of the political spectrum (American enterprise Institute, The Brookings Institute, and the Breakthrough Institute), argues that America is once again at an energy crossroads, but the choices it faces are not those that many aligned with either the right or the left have imagined. The choice is not, as liberals often maintain, between global warming apocalypse or mandating the widespread adoption of today’s solar, wind, and electric car technologies. Nor is the choice, as conservatives have argued, between an economy wrecked by liberal
global warming policies or expanding oil drilling and nuclear power. The choice is whether America will focus on what really matters when it comes to energy technology and on what the vast majority of Americans want: innovation.
Though Washington and policy elites were polarized by the ‘climate wars’ of the last decade, Americans as a whole remain largely united in their attitudes toward energy policy. They are grateful for cheap fossil energy and are willing to pay modestly more for affordable, cleaner energy sources. The most popular and effective energy policy is technology innovation aimed at making clean energy sources better and
cheaper. This white paper is our contribution to advancing a new public policy consensus that starts from this place of post-partisan agreement.
The paper recommends that we:
- Invest in Energy Science and Education
- Overhaul the Energy Innovation System
- Reform Energy Subsidies and Use Military Procurement and Competitive Deployment Incentives to Drive Price Declines
- Internalize the Cost of Energy Modernization and Ensure Investments Do Not Add to the Deficit
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