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Energy Policy

  • By: Michael K. Heiman & Barry D. Solomon
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

The procurement and use of energy resources are defining characteristics of human society. Energy policy refers to the myriad collective public and private decisions taken to secure access to and conserve energy resources necessary for sustaining a society, including provision for social reproduction and economic expansion. For the modern nation-state, energy policy extends far beyond the obvious rules and regulations governing public intervention in energy markets. Whether overtly or indirectly, energy policy also involves financial, military, trade, industrial, environmental, transportation, housing, and many other spheres of public policy. While this entry focuses on public, particularly U.S., policy since World War II, a broader recognition of energy policy is suggested.

In the past century, energy policy for the industrialized world has focused on three interrelated areas of ...

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