Americans have been blessed with vast supplies of natural gas, newly accessible to us thanks to advances in “hydraulic fracturing” and horizontal drilling. Our abundant new energy supplies can help to lower our electric and heating bills, fuel our cars and trucks, promote manufacturing, and improve the nation’s long-term national interest.
But to achieve these aims, Congress must reform our energy regulatory framework, in order to allow for the development of necessary infrastructure; moreover, Congress must undertake serious oversight of regulatory agencies, to deter officials from misusing their power and improperly administering the laws.
In all of this, it is important to take seriously the concerns that Americans voice regarding new energy infrastructure’s environmental impacts, as well as concerns about private property rights. It would be a mistake to downplay these concerns, when they are voiced in good faith by the very same Middle Class Americans whom the new energy revolution is supposed to benefit. To that end, regulators and legislators must themselves work in good faith, to respond to these concerns and make decisions truly in the public interest. Most of all, Americans must finally be given a voice charting the nation’s energy future, instead of having radical new energy policies imposed upon them by regulators and ideologues.
Adam White is counsel at Boyden Gray & Associates. He is a contributing editor for National Affairs and The New Atlantis. He writes this article on his own behalf, and not on behalf of the firm or its clients.