Policy Brief 3
Should the U.S. legislature pass the Energy Exploration to Achieve National Demand Act (H.R. 3895) (EXPAND Act) to increase energy production, as proposed by Senator Jeff Duncan (R-South Carolina)?
On January 16, 2014, Senator Jeff Duncan’s Energy Exploration and Production to Achieve National Demand Act (EXPAND Act) was assigned to a congressional committee for reconsideration after it failed the first time in 2012. The full title being ‘To renew America's founding principles by freeing Americans to produce more energy in the United States from all sources and contribute to the strength of American national security through North American energy independence’ (Duncan, 2014). Basically the EXPAND Act is an all-of-the-above energy plan that creates a market based energy strategy for the United States and ultimately allowing the energy sector to operate more freely with minimal or no federal interference.
In a recent press release Duncan states the purpose of the bill and how it is suppose to help our nation by saying, “First and foremost this is a jobs bill,” and claiming that “domestic energy production creates jobs, lessens our dependence on Middle Eastern sources of oil, and helps families and industries through lower fuel costs” (Duncan, 2014). Other than creating more jobs Duncan claims “One of the main goals of EXPAND is to eliminate excessive regulations and allow wind, solar, oil, natural gas, nuclear, biofuels, hydro, and other sources of energy to fairly compete and thrive in the open market” (Duncan, 2014). By loosening regulations on energy production and limiting federal involvement will the EXPAND Act actually lessen our dependence on foreign oil and if so will the environmental repercussions be worth it?
Policy Alternative 1: Do not pass the bill.
The EXPAND Act was introduced two years but the congressional committee didn’t pass it on to the House and Senate. With the reintroduction of the bill recently the...