Gas and coal are cheap. They are cheap because the U.S. government subsidizes their production. The result is that the marketplace does not recognize the true cost of fossil fuels. Without the subsidies, Americans—for the first time in nearly a hundred years—would experience the cost of unsubsidized fossil fuels. In a newly competitive marketplace, renewable sources of energy would be in a better position to compete. Without gas and coal subsidies, clean energy producers, who have not been able to compete with the low price of fossil fuels, might be more willing to invest in “clean, renewable, and more energy efficient technologies.” This Comment first provides a brief history of U.S. energy policy over the last 100 years. Next, this Comment discusses how past free market reforms have failed to change the energy marketplace. Third, this Comment proposes that two provisions of the U.S. tax code that give preferential treatment to oil and gas producers be eliminated.

Citation Note

This Comment was originally cited as Volume 2 of the University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform Online. Volumes 1, 2, and 3 of MJLR Online have been renumbered 45, 46, and 47 respectively. These updated Volume numbers correspond to their companion print Volumes. Additionally, the University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform Online was renamed Caveat in 2015.