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In: American Energy: The Politics of 21st Century Policy

Chapter 3: Carbon Policy: Petroleum and Natural Gas

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Carbon Policy: Petroleum and Natural Gas
Carbon policy: Petroleum and natural gas

On February 2, 2012, one of the most significant events in sixty-four years of American energy history was virtually ignored by the media, the public, and all but a small cadre of energy experts and policymakers. The Department of Energy reported that not since 1949 had the United States exported more refined energy products—gasoline, heating oil, and diesel fuel—than it had imported.1 And this, moreover, occurred in a remarkable year when US petroleum exports exceeded imports for the first time since 1989.2 These and similar data seemed prophetic to many energy experts, policymakers, and stakeholders: a gateway on the road to a new American “energy independence” had been passed. Others weren’t so ...

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