The Energy and Enterprise Initiative (E&EI) is a campaign to unleash the power of free enterprise to deliver the fuels of the future.
America needs a long-term, stable energy policy to achieve energy security and avoid the unnecessary risks of a changing climate. E&EI promotes conservative alternatives to big-government mandates and fickle tax incentives: set the economics right and get the government out of the way.
Conservatives can take the lead on energy and climate by embracing solutions that are true to conservative principles. Conservatism is not about passing problems and costs down to the next generations; conservatives want to solve problems efficiently while protecting liberty. E&EI is a campaign rooted in conservative principles. We are a:
Campaign for Limited Government:
We believe that an energy policy should not expand the size or scope of government; indeed, an energy policy should shrink government by getting politicians out of the business of picking technology winners.
Campaign for Growth:
Economic growth fuels American power and prosperity. Growing the pie is a critical part of protecting the American way of life for future generations. We believe in igniting growth by stopping anti-growth taxes on income.
Campaign for Free-Enterprise:
Markets work. Risk and reward under free competition drives invention and innovation. We believe the proper role for government in our free-enterprise system is fixing market distortions and then moving out of the way.
Campaign for Liberty:
Free enterprise is about liberty. We know that markets work, but more importantly we trust in markets because free enterprise is the essence of our unalienable right to freely pursue happiness. We believe that an energy policy should not advantage the liberty of some Americans over other Americans. No one should be forced to bear the costs of another’s economic decisions.
Campaign for Accountability:
As a corollary to liberty, we believe that all production of energy should be accountable for its cost – including health costs, productivity costs, and environmental costs. Anything less than full cost accountability forces taxpayers and posterity to bear the burden, and that’s an unfair and inefficient redistribution of wealth.
Campaign for Reasonable Risk Avoidance:
We don’t subscribe to apocalyptic visions of climate change. We do believe, however, that the best science available indicates that America faces substantial risks in a changing climate. We believe that conservative energy policy should mitigate those risks.
A Free-Enterprise Solution
Taking stock of our conservative principles and America’s energy and climate challenges, E&EI believes that the solution is an energy policy which:
> Eliminates all subsidies for all fuels;
> Attaches all costs to all fuels; and
> Ensures revenue neutrality to prevent the growth of government
A sensible solution is a revenue-neutral tax swap, accompanied by a phase-out of all energy subsidies. A tax swap would, dollar for dollar, ratchet down anti-growth income taxes and shift the tax onto carbon pollution: Tax the bad, quit taxing the good, and let the free-enterprise system deliver the fuels of the future.
The Energy and Enterprise Initiative is based at the Center for Climate Change Communication (4C) in the Department of Communication, College of Humanities and Social Sciences at George Mason University, in Fairfax, Virginia.