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Lack of a U.S. energy policy drives up gas prices by creating uncertainty, says energy expert


The following ran in the May 7, 2012, edition of West Michigan Business. Economist Bernard Weinstein provided expertise for this story.

May 10, 2012

By Jim Harger

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Energy expert Bernard Weinstein had good news and bad news for the business leaders who gathered for his speech at the Economics Club of Grand Rapids today.

“There’s a lot we could be doing, there’s a lot we should be doing and Michigan could be a player,” said Weinstein, associate director of the Maguire Energy Institute at Southern Methodist University’s Cox School of Business.

Now all we need is an energy policy, said Weinstein in an interview with prior to his luncheon speech at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel.

With new technology and new discoveries in the U.S. and Canada, the U.S. is much less dependent on foreign oil while making natural gas more abundant and affordable.

“There’s no reason we can’t become a natural gas exporter, “ said Weinstein, who specializes in the economics of energy production and consumption.

Meanwhile, Americans have reduced their energy consumption from its peak in 2005, a trend that could continue for the next generation, Weinstein said.

The problem is a lack of energy policy in the U.S., said Weinstein. “If we do, it’s very ad hoc,” he said, noting the debate re-ignites only when gasoline prices reach $4 a gallon at the pump....