ON-Lion Letter

"Now may seem an odd time to emphasize the importance of increasing U.S. oil and gas production," begins a July issue brief from the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research by Oren Cass.  "Domestic output has reached an all-time high, prices have plummeted, and drilling activity is slowing in response.  Job cuts in the industry are approaching 100,000.  Headlines announce that the boom has already gone bust.  Observers concerned about output typically worry that it is too high; that drilling will damage local environments; that cheap, abundant fossil fuels will frustrate progress on limiting carbon emissions; and that prospects for electric cars and wind turbines, which had enough difficulty becoming economically viable before fuel costs fell by half, will further dim.

"Yet failing to press America's current energy advantage would be an enormous mistake," continues Cass in "Step on the Gas!:  How to Extend America's Energy Advantage."  "Demand forecasts indicate that any oil and gas glut is temporary.  Further, U.S. energy policy, still based on an assumption of resource scarcity, is ill equipped to manage the new abundance.  Indeed, America's private sector has driven an oil and gas revolution in the face of, at best, ambivalent federal policy.  This paper suggests 11 reforms to help craft a smarter U.S. energy policy, one that will amplify the current boom and extend it far into the future ...."

A Manhattan Institute senior fellow, Cass is a former domestic-policy advisor to a presidential campaign and has worked as a management consultant for Bain & Company in the firm's Boston and New Delhi offices.

His first five reforms would change federal regulations to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of U.S. energy markets.  His other six reforms would open federal land and waters to energy development to replicate the extraordinary growth of tight oil.

The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee substantially supports the Manhattan Institute and its Center for Energy Policy and the Environment.

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