This paper marks the third in a series of reports that we will be releasing 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 ideas and policy prescriptions put forth by prominent politicians and their supporters were actually adopted. We’re calling it the Energy Accountability Series.
Certainly, one doesn’t need to look far these days to find platforms or outlets that claim to be definitive “fact-checkers” of all manner of utterances candidates make on the campaign trail. On that, the Energy Accountability Series will not seek to reinvent the wheel. What we are much more interested in – and what we think will be much more valuable to voters, as well – 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 offered up merely to “appeal to their base.” This is incredibly cynical, and it needs to change. A candidate’s views and the things he or she says and does to win the support of interest groups have a real impact on how policy is shaped, and ultimately implemented.
That is especially true on energy issues today, 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 clear, global competitive advantages that increased energy development here at home have made possible. Accordingly, candidates and public opinion leaders should be taken at their word, and this series will evaluate what those words would mean for America.
The Energy Accountability Series will ask the tough questions and provide quantitative, clear-eyed 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 this fall to make the right choices for themselves and their families.