Drilling for Clean Energy Innovation
In a bid to check the administration’s power to tap into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, House Republicans recently passed a measure requiring further drawdowns to trigger more drilling on federal lands, writes Stefan Koester for Inside Sources. Senate Democrats should now see that bid and raise it by proposing a second requirement: A portion of all new federal royalties from oil and gas drilling leases should go into a dedicated clean energy innovation fund.
Many environmentalists will balk at any idea that doesn’t limit drilling because they believe limiting oil and gas production also limits consumption. But they’re wrong. The only politically viable way to limit oil and gas consumption is to make clean alternatives more affordable — and to do that, we need to accelerate research, development and commercialization of new breakthroughs. Hence, the beauty of siphoning a modest, clean energy innovation fee off the top of federal drilling royalties.