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January 10, 2012

NEW CAMPAIGN: Shut Down the Energy Department

Media Alert: Downsize DC President Jim Babka guests hosts a radio show tomorrow. Details in the P.S.

Quote of the Day: “Doing away with DOE turned out to have very little support within the business community. This was because DOE is a significant source of corporate welfare and also because the energy industry sees the energy secretary as its representative at Cabinet meetings.” – Chatterbox in Slate Magazine, 2001

DownsizeDC.org would like to close down several Cabinet Departments. Our latest target is the Department of Energy. Presidential candidates Rick Perry and Ron Paul agree.

As the letter below explains, DOE has no reason to exist. That’s why DownsizeDC.org has a new campaign to abolish it.

We invite you to participate by sending a letter to your Representative and Senators. Through our quick and easy Educate the Powerful System, you write or paste the letter once, and it will be transmitted to all three offices.

The hard-wired message says,

Please shut down the Department of Energy. End subsidies and cumbersome regulations. Allow a free market in energy.

You may borrow from or copy these additional comments…

The Department was created in 1977 to “do something” about gas prices and develop alternative energy. And yet…

* Foreign oil imports kept increasing until 2005 (http://www.eia.gov/energy_in_brief/foreign_oil_dependence.cfm).
* Wind and solar power production is still very expensive and is but a tiny percentage of U.S. energy output.
* It has no authority over oil drilling permits in areas like the Arctic Wildlife Refuge.
* Decisions on projects like the trans-national Keystone XL Pipeline are in the hands of the Secretary of State, not Energy.
* Other key regulations or policies are implemented by the Interior Department or the EPA, not Energy.
* Over 60% of the Department’s budget is devoted to nuclear weapons storage, maintenance, and cleanup; these functions should be under the Defense Department.

Much of the rest of the Energy budget goes to corporate welfare: research grants, subsidies and loan guarantees to promote “green” energy and nuclear power. One such beneficiary was the solar power company Solyndra, which received over $500 million in taxpayer-backed loan guarantees, yet promptly went bankrupt.

As Nicholas Loris explains, subsidies are harmful because… (http://bit.ly/qpJXZt)

* they give the beneficiaries an unfair price advantage and reduce their incentive to become cost-competitive.
* energy providers shift from competitive technologies to uncompetitive (subsidized) technologies; this means waste for taxpayers AND consumers.
* perverse incentives are created, where more and more industries lobby for their “fair share” of handouts.

Finally, the very existence of a Department of Energy sends the wrong message: That the Federal Government should have the authority to control energy production and distribution.

Markets provide a more efficient, less-costly method of producing and distributing the energy needs of producers and consumers. You wouldn’t want The State to ration your food, clothing, or shelter, would you? If not, then why should The State control energy supplies?

Ending the Department of Energy will send the RIGHT message: Our energy needs are too important to be left up to the whims of political favor and unelected bureaucrats.

END LETTER

You may send your letter using DownsizeDC.org’s Educate the Powerful System.

Jim Babka
President
DownsizeDC.org, Inc.

P.S. Tomorrow (Wednesday), once again, Jim Babka will be guest-hosting Straight Talk w/Jerry Hughes.

You can listen live at 2:07 PM Eastern (1:07 PM Central, 12:07 PM Mountain, and 11:07 PM Pacific).

To hear the show on the web, or to find a local station, visit the network’s website. http://accentradionetwork.com/

Affiliates can be found in Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Missouri, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Utah, and Oregon.

I will monitor my Twitter account for comments and questions during the broadcast. @JimBabka

If your comment is off-topic for this post, please email us at feedback@downsizedc.org

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