The Past, Present, and Future of Energy Regulation
Richard J. Pierce Jr.
George Washington University Law School
October 1, 2010
GWU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 513
GWU Law School Public Law Research Paper No. 513
This essay is a contribution to a symposium at University of Utah. It begins with a summary of the history of energy regulation from 1960 until 2011. It then makes three arguments. First, the essay argues that the US should abandon pursuit of the goal of energy independence and pursue exclusively the goal of global warming mitigation. Second, it argues that the US should replace its present reliance on expensive and ineffective subsidies and mandates to mitigate global warming with a single mechanism to attain that goal – a large carbon tax. Third, the essay recognizes that, while a carbon tax offers the best prospect of mitigating global warming, that task is so difficult that it might not be attainable through any means.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 15
Keywords: Energy Regulation, Global Warming, Carbon Tax, Oil, Natural Gas, Electricity
JEL Classification: H40, H73, K23, L90, L97, L98, N70, O33, Q48
Date posted: October 5, 2010