The Department of Energy oversees nuclear weapons sites and subsidizes conventional and alternative fuels. The department has a history of fiscal and environmental mismanagement. Furthermore, misguided energy regulations have caused large loses to consumers and the broader economy over the decades.
The department will spend about $39 billion in 2012, or about $330 for every U.S. household. It employs about 17,000 workers directly and oversees 100,000 contract workers at 21 national laboratories and other facilities across the nation.
- Energy Subsidies. The department has spent billions of dollars over the decades on dead-end schemes and dubious projects that have often had large cost overruns.
- A Brief History of Energy Regulations. Most federal intrusions into energy markets have been serious mistakes. They have destabilized markets, reduced domestic output, and decreased consumer welfare.
- Energy Intervention Today. The current arguments for energy intervention and energy subsidies fall short.