Promote Robust Competition

The role of government in energy production should be limited to promoting robust competition in the market by leveling the playing field, removing barriers to trade and investment, and funding basic research that leads to new technologies in the market. Instead, this Administration favors a disjointed and uneven set of favored technologies and fuels that provides no long run incentives for technological advancement.

Solyndra is just one (albeit dramatic) example of failed government policy. No amount of spending will find us a shortcut to American dominance in a solar- or wind-powered world.

Tax credits, loan guarantees, and other subsidies undercut market competition and substitute opaque bureaucratic processes, and limit opportunities for private investors to support ground-breaking discoveries that will change our energy future. If the Administration wants renewable energy technologies to succeed, it should reduce barriers to private investment and push the market to innovate on its own.

This article originally appeared in National Journal on September 27, 2011.