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Perry Appointment Presents Opportunity for a Smarter Energy Policy

March 03, 2017

The recent confirmation of former Texas Governor Rick Perry to head the US Department of Energy presents an opportunity for a smarter, price-based energy policy, according to Dr. James Griffin, professor in the Bush School of Government and Public Service, Texas A&M University. 

Dr. Griffin has authored a new policy brief in The Takeaway, entitled “A Smart Price-Based Energy Policy,” where he argues that current US energy policy is overly reliant on ineffective solutions like tax credits, grants, and mandates, when what is needed are price-based policies encouraging technological innovation to keep energy reasonably cheap, but also reasonably clean and secure. Expanding on Perry’s comments during his confirmation hearing that he will commit to “helping provide stable, reliable, affordable, and secure sources of American energy,” Griffin discusses the need for a leveled field of competition in the energy market, left largely untouched by Congress. 

“A smart energy policy does use government research and development funds to stimulate advances in basic energy research and high-cost initial development projects,” Griffin writes. “[Research and development] funding decisions should be made by knowledgeable professionals in the energy department, not Congress.

Dr. Griffin is professor of economics and public policy and holds the Bob Bullock Chair at the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University. He is the author of A Smart Energy Policy: An Economist’s Rx for Balancing Cheap, Clean, and Secure Energy and the leading energy economics text, Energy Economics & Policy.

The Mosbacher Institute was founded in 2009 to honor Robert A. Mosbacher, secretary of commerce from 1989 to1992 and key architect of the North American Free Trade Agreement. Through the Institute’s three core programs–Integration of Global Markets, Energy in a Global Economy, and Governance and Public Services–the objective is to advance the design of policies for tomorrow’s challenges.


To read the full report, go to http://bush.tamu.edu/mosbacher/takeaway/.

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