The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) opposes passage of the Energy Policy Modernization Act (S. 2012), which is on the Senate floor this week. The bill addresses a wide range of energy issues regarding efficiency, infrastructure, supply, accountability, and conservation.
Despite several useful provisions that CEI supports, S. 2012 as a whole does not advance the goals of more abundant and more affordable energy for American consumers. In particular, CEI opposes the provision in the bill that would permanently re-authorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund of 1965 (LWCF).
“Regardless of what improving amendments are adopted during the floor debate, CEI opposes passage of S. 2012 as long as it contains permanent re-authorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund,” said Myron Ebell, director of CEI’s Center for Energy and Environment. “The extent of socialized land in the United States is unprecedented in democratic countries and threatens our individual freedom, undermines our prosperity, and harms our environment. The Congress should be working to reduce the amount of federal land, which is currently 27% of the country, rather than moving to enact a bill that will increase the extent of federal lands in perpetuity.”
Congress has appropriated over $10 billion under the LWCF in its fifty-year history to purchase over 5 million acres of private land and turn it into federal land. Over 27 percent of the United States is currently federally owned and managed by the four federal land agencies. In the Western States and Alaska, the federal government owns more than 50% of the land.
CEI strongly supports adoption of Senate Amendment 3127 (or the identical 3022), offered by Senator Mike Lee, which would strike the language in Title V of S. 2012 that permanently re-authorizes the LWCF.
CEI also supports Senate Amendment 3126 (or the identical 3023), also offered by Senator Lee, which would require that future presidential designations of National Monuments be approved by Congress or the relevant State.