The End of Energy

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2011-03-04
  • Publisher: Mit Pr
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Americans take for granted that when we flip a switch the light will go on, when we turn up the thermostat the room will get warm, and when we pull up to the pump gas will be plentiful and relatively cheap. In The End of Energy, Michael Graetz shows us that we have been living an energy delusion for forty years. Until the 1970s, we produced domestically all the oil we needed to run our power plants, heat our homes, and fuel our cars. Since then, we have had to import most of the oil we use, much of it from the Middle East. And we rely on an even dirtier fuel-coal-to produce half of our electricity. Graetz describes more than forty years of energy policy incompetence-from the Nixon administration's fumbled response to the OPEC oil embargo through the failure to develop alternative energy sources to the current political standoff over "cap and trade"-and argues that we must make better decisions for our energy future. Rather than pushing policies that, over time, would produce the changes we need, presidents have swung for the fences, wasting billions seeking a technological "silver bullet" to solve all our problems. Congress has continually elevated narrow parochial interests over our national goals, directing huge subsidies and tax breaks to favored constituents and contributors. And, despite thousands of pages of energy legislation since the 1970s, Americans have never been asked to pay a price that reflects the real cost of the energy they consume. Until Americans face the facts about price, our energy incompetence will continue-and along with it the unraveling of our environment, security, and independence.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Prologue: The Journeyp. 1
A ˘New Economic Policy÷p. 9
Losing Control over Oilp. 21
The Environment Moves Front and Centerp. 41
No More Nuclearp. 61
The Changing Face of Coalp. 79
Natural Gas and the Ability to Pricep. 97
The Quest for Alternatives and to Conservep. 117
A Crisis of Confidencep. 137
The End of an Erap. 147
Climate Change, a Game Changerp. 155
Shock to Trance: The Power of Pricep. 179
The Invisible Hand? Regulation and the Rise of Cap and Tradep. 197
Government for the People? Congress and the Road to Reformp. 217
Disaster in the Gulfp. 249
Key Energy Datap. 265
Crude Oil Pricesp. 265
U.S. Petroleum Production and Net Importsp. 266
U.S. Petroleum Imports by Country of Originp. 267
U.S. Net Electricity Generation by Energy Sourcep. 268
Carbon Dioxide Emissions by Sector, 2008p. 269
Chronologyp. 271
Bibliographic Essayp. 279
Indexp. 355
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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