Economic Policy Lecture Series 1

Meeting America's Future Energy Needs"

by Dr. Murray Weidenbaum
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Murray Weidenbaum, a noted economist and the Mallinckrodt Distinguished University Professor at Washington University presented a litany of ideas to meet the nations energy needs in the inaugural Economic Policy Lecture Series on October 4, 2002. The lecture was co-hosted by the Institute for Study of Economics and the Environment and the Division of Management.

“I think [energy policy] it goes to the heart of our national security, our political independence and our economic well-being”, Weidenbaum said. “If we don’t do it right, the U.S. is in trouble in the future”.

Weidenbaum said he was cynical about the wisdom of promoting conservation alone. “People don’t turn down their air conditioners in the middle of August”, he said. Weidenbaum also said getting rid of coal, as a source of electricity was not a viable option without finding a way to replace a resource that produces 52 percent of the nation’s electricity.

Among the ideas Weidenbaum discussed were to:
· Provide more information about the power efficiency of appliances, products and services.
· Subsidize new fuel cell vehicles for a while
· Spend more money on roads and bridges
· Extract petroleum from a part of the Artic National Wildlife Refuge
· Eliminate or reform the Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards
· Find solutions to the problems with nuclear power plants such as where to store spent fuel rods
· Promote market forces in conserving energy
· Build natural gas pipelines from Canada into the United States
· Accelerate spending on research and development of energy sources

Students Applaud Speaker Dean Jay Hardman, Dr. Weidenbaum, President Spellmann, and Dr. Chilton

Excerpted from: Shane Anthony, “Economist Offers Ideas to Help U.S Conserve, Boost Energy”, St. Charles County Post, October 8, 2002