Energy in the Second Debate

The debate last night was a disheartening display of misinformation on energy policy. One questioner asked whether the DOE should be helping to lower gasoline prices. Neither candidate answered this question. Here’s the answer: The price of oil and gasoline is basically set on the world market and there is nothing the U.S. government can do about it in the short-run. What the Obama Administration has done is to lower the cost of driving in the future by raising fuel economy standards, which is more relevant to people than the price of a gallon of gasoline. They are also encouraging use of electric vehicles which take away the need for gasoline.

Both candidates trumpeted a drill baby drill policy – for oil, gas and coal. Not a word about environmental policy to reduce the externalities we still suffer from these fuels, not the least of which is CO2. Obama could have said that the go slow policy for natural gas on public lands is a consequence of wanting to get the regulation of gas exploitation right for sustainable development in the face of such a rapid growth in gas drilling. Instead both candidates defended aggressive fossil development policies without any reference to the environment.

About Alan J. Krupnick

Alan Krupnick is co-director of Resources for the Future’s Center for Energy and Climate Economics (CECE) and a senior fellow at RFF. As co-director of CECE, Alan works with the full complement of Center researchers to establish and carry out the Center’s research agenda.

Views expressed above are those of the author. Resources for the Future does not take institutional positions on legislative or policy questions. All information contained on Common Resources is intended for informational and educational purposes and may only be used for these purposes. Please see RFF's Terms of Use for further information.

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  1. […] by both parties: Director of RFF’s Center for Energy Economics and Policy Alan Krupnick laments misinformation about gas prices, RFF Senior Fellow Joel Darmstadter revisits the perpetual call for energy […]

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