Before reading the report summary below, please note that:
A. The US Department of Energy (not to mention Interior, EPA, etc.) is spending billions of our tax dollars each year on energy R&D, "policy," "programs" and subsidies. Additional billions are passed out in tax breaks that attempt to force Washington-selected energy technologies into the marketplace. Dozens of Washington-develop regulations have the same objective.
B. DOE and its predecessors' energy R&D spending (over $100 billion in 2010$*) and policies rely on two assumptions that remain unproven for the technologies they have selected for subsidies:
1. More spending on energy R&D will produce the advances needed to move the selected idea to a commercially viable product or service (i.e., feasible, economic and environmentally acceptable).
2. Economies of scale will reduce the cost of the selected technologies.
C. During the last 45 years, the list of Washington-selected technologies has grown.** So has the list of failures. So has the list of failures and the cost that Washington has loaded on taxpayers and consumers.
Recognizing the above, what if DOE were abolished and the White House merely contracted out US energy policy to the Irish Academy of Engineering which, as shown below, seems to have an uncanny ability to substitute common sense for government planning, spending and dictates?
* The $100+ billion includes only the "energy R&D," NOT the cost of all the direct and indirect tax breaks and subsidies
** Each Administration from Nixon on, except for Reagan, has had its favorites. Check the record.