This paper marks the fourth in a series of reports produced by the Energy Institute being released this fall, each taking a substantive look at what might have happened in the past – or could happen in the future – if certain energy-related comments and policy prescriptions put forth by prominent politicians and their supporters were actually adopted. We’re calling it the Energy Accountability Series.
One doesn’t need to look far these days to find platforms or outlets that claim to be definitive “factcheckers” of all manner of utterances candidates make on the campaign trail. On that, the Energy Accountability Series is not reinventing the wheel. What we’re much more interested in – and what we think will be much more valuable to voters – is taking a step back to better understand (and quantify where possible) the real-world, economy-wide consequences of living in a world in which candidates’ rhetoric on critical energy issues were to become reality.
Too often, there is a temptation to dismiss statements made by candidates as things said “off the cuff” or in the “heat of the moment,” or perhaps offered up merely to “appeal to their base.” This is incredibly cynical, and it needs to change. A candidate’s views and the things they say and do to win the support of interest groups have a real impact on how policy is shaped and implemented. That is especially true on energy issues, as groups continue to advance a “Keep It In the Ground” agenda that, if adopted, would force our country to surrender the enormous domestic benefits and global competitive advantages that affordable energy development have made possible.
The Energy Accountability Series asks the tough questions and provides clear-eyed, data-driven answers on the full impacts and implications of these policies, and it will do so irrespective of which candidates, groups, or political parties happen to support or oppose them. Our hope is that these reports help promote and inform a fact-based debate of the critical energy issues facing our country. Armed with this information, voters will have the opportunity to make the right choices for themselves and their families.