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Gasoline is advertised for $1.99 per gallon at an On Cue station and $2.03 per gallon at the nearby 7-11 in south Oklahoma City, Dec. 5, 2014 (AP photo by Sue Ogrocki).

Falling Energy Prices Offer New Strategic Opportunities for the U.S.

Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014

The dramatic fall in global energy prices over the past several months provides the United States with a window of opportunity to push new solutions to several pressing domestic and foreign policy challenges—if Washington is focused and prepared to act quickly.

I proposed one such solution several weeks ago: a reverse-windfall tax to set a “price floor” on domestic energy consumption. Doing so would take advantage of falling prices at the pump to raise funds to sustain the infrastructure that has been constructed over the past decade in the North American nonconventional energy fields, without damaging the U.S. economic recovery. That in turn would protect the potential these new sources offer the U.S. for genuine energy self-sufficiency. Others have advocated using the revenue from such measures as a way to help reduce the deficit and make modest contributions to paying down the national debt, or as a way to jumpstart the rejuvenation of America’s ageing infrastructure. Although such an opportunity was lost with the passage of the so-called Cromnibus bill, which set U.S. government spending priorities through the end of 2015, some members of Congress are still holding out for consideration of such a proposal in the waning days of the current legislative session, with the hope that the idea might be revived in January. ...

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