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Managing Energy: A Policy Primer
Managing energy: A policy primer

“It was like gnawing on a rock.”

Former president Jimmy Carter on his efforts to regulate the US energy economy 1

President John F. Kennedy liked to remind Americans that the essence of public policymaking is choice. Ultimately, he reflected, for the policymaker, the “responsibility is one of decision—for to govern is to choose.” Governing the energy economy involves a multitude of policy options—always an array of competing and contentious alternatives creating the fabric of national energy management. This policy abundance, however, is created by variations on a relatively limited agenda of basic policy strategies that constitute the foundation of American energy governance. These policy fundamentals will appear in different variations throughout the succeeding chapters.

This chapter—a ...

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