American Energy: The Politics of 21st Century Policy


Walter A. Rosenbaum

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    Box, Table, and Figures


    Not too long ago, the mayor of a small Louisiana parish reflected upon the sudden prosperity that seemed almost miraculously to attend some of his neighbors. The lucky ones, he observed, “went to bed one night poor and woke up the next day rich, enabled to buy a Cadillac and pay cash … It was kind of like the show The Beverly Hillbillies. Parish homeowners, he said, could typically earn “signing bonuses of $350 to as much as $30,000 an acre from gas companies, as well as royalties that can last for decades.”i

    This prosperity has a name. It is shale oil “fracking,” a technology rapidly altering state and local economies across America, about which much will be said in coming chapters. Fracking is an example of what an increasing array of energy experts believe to be a remarkable and compelling change underway across the US energy economy. This book concerns this transformation and its impact upon America’s traditional governance of its vast energy resources. Because this change is forcing a rethinking and revision of American energy policy, this narrative has two interrelated themes. The discussion gives necessary attention to traditional foundations of national energy policy, such as energy taxes, subsidies, environmental and market regulation. The narrative also focuses in every chapter upon recent technological innovations and economic events reshaping, sometimes profoundly, the substance of current energy policy—technical innovations, such as fracking and wind farms, or economic transformations, such as the recent surge in US energy exports.

    There can be uncertainties, of course, when riding the wave of predictions about America’s changing energy future now increasingly frequent among energy professionals and policymakers—experts can miscalculate. However, the early evidence of many predicted changes in America’s energy economy is already apparent; it compels the attention of current energy policymakers and requires recognition in any interpretation of current US energy politics and policy.

    These important transformations in the American energy economy are “remarkable” in several respects. The change has been so recent that a book written about contemporary US energy policy only a few years ago would now be surprisingly outdated. The changes underway are also notable for the anticipated scope of their impact. The decision of the Obama administration in 2011 to move ahead aggressively with regulation of domestic CO2 emissions from electric utilities, for instance, is predicted to alter the long-term economic future and market competitiveness of the domestic coal and natural gas industries.

    The reader will note the interplay between themes of change and continuity in each of the following chapters, which focus upon American energy governance in different perspectives. The first chapter introduces institutions, actors, and settings essential to understanding the US energy policymaking process. Chapter 2 is a concise “primer” describing traditional policy instruments commonly encountered in energy governance. The following four chapters explore current politics and policy issues in four important energy domains: petroleum and natural gas, coal, nuclear energy, conservation and electric power. Each of these chapters has a common format:

    • The Energy Source: Its Significance and Changing Status
    • Currently Significant Resource Policies and Politics
    • Contending Issues
      • Flashpoints of Current Controversy
      • Policy Alternatives

    The final chapter, 7, explores important issues arising from US engagement in the global energy marketplace.

    I am indebted to my reviewers and editors for their very important contribution to the creation and writing of this book and herewith absolve them of any responsibility for mistakes of commission or omission which— alas!—are my own. My able reviewers include: Christopher Burdett, Virginia Commonwealth University; Fred Curtis, Drew University; Greg Gangi, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; Marjorie Randon Hershey, Indiana University; Susan Hunter, West Virginia University; W. Henry Lambright, Syracuse University; Robert Lifset, University of Oklahoma; Daniel Press, University of California, Santa Cruz; and Allan Stoekl, Pennsylvania State University. The very helpful editorial oversight and chapter preparation were provided by Charisse Kiino, Davia Grant, Stephanie Palermini, and Patrice Sutton. Oh, yes, a word of appreciation to my two cats, Karma and Dharma, who purred contentedly at my side, looking absolutely confident about my ability, while I struggled many an hour for the proper ideas and the right words for the following narrative.

  • Endnotes

    Chapter 1

    1. Quoted in Mara Liasson, “On Obama’s Team, Ex-Clinton Staffers Get Do-Over,” NPR News, December 23, 2008, accessed October 10, 2010,

    2.David Barstow, David Rohde, and Stephanie Saul, “Deep Water Horizon’s Final Hours,” New York Times, December 26, 2010, A1.

    3.U. R. Sumaila et al., “Impact of the Deepwater Horizon Well Blowout on the Economics of US Gulf Fisheries,” Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 2012; “Deepwater Disaster Could Have Billion Dollar Impact,” Science Daily, February 17, 2012,

    4.National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling, Deepwater: The Gulf Oil Disaster and the Future of Offshore Drilling (Washington, DC: National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling, 2011), 136, accessed January 3, 2013,

    5. Ibid.

    6. Ibid.

    7.Pew Research Center, Project for Excellence in Journalism, “100 Days of Gushing Oil: A Different Kind of Disaster Story,” August 25, 2010, accessed May 10, 2013,

    8. For this and numerous other public polls concerning the Gulf event, see Karlyn Bowman and Jennifer Marsico, Polls on the Environment, Energy, Global Warming and Nuclear Power (Washington, DC: AEI Public Opinion Studies, 2013), 93–97.

    9. For polling examples, see ibid., 100.

    10.Jennifer Weeks, “Gulf Coast Restoration: The Issues,” CQ Researcher, August 26, 2011, 21, no. 29, 685.

    11. The implications of “punctuated equilibrium” for energy management is explored in Jeff D. Colgan, Robert O. Keohane, and Thijs Van de Graaf, “Punctuated Equilibrium in the Energy Regime Complex,” Review of International Organization 7, no. 2 (July 2011): 117–143.

    12.National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling, Deepwater: The Gulf Oil Disaster and the Future of Offshore Drilling: Final Report (Washington, DC: National Commission on the BP/Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling Commission, 2011), vii.

    13. Polls found in James Lucier, “A Growing Season Gone,” Global Interdependence Center, August 16, 2010, accessed May 10, 2013,

    14.National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling, Deepwater: The Gulf Oil Disaster and the Future of Offshore Drilling: Final Report (Washington, DC: National Commission on the BP/Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling Commission, 2011); and National Academy of Engineering and National Research Council, Committee on the Analysis of Causes of the Deepwater Horizon Explosion, Fire, and Oil Spill to Identify Measures to Prevent Similar Accidents in the Future, “Summary,” in Macondo Well Deepwater Horizon Blowout (Washington, DC: National Academies Press, 2011), 3–9; see also Jonathan Simon and Jennifer Owen, “The Policy and Regulatory Response to Deepwater Horizon: Transforming Offshore Oil and Gas Leasing?,” Environmental Law Reporter, 40 (November 2010): 11084; and Brittan J. Bush, “Addressing Regulatory Collapse Behind the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill: Implementing a ‘Best Available Technology’ Regulatory Regime for Deepwater Oil Exploration Safety and Cleanup Technology,” Journal of Environmental Law and Litigation, 26 (2011): 535–568.

    15.Richard E. Neustadt, Presidential Power (New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1960).

    16.Charles Lindblom, “The Science of ‘Muddling Through,’” Public Administration Review, 19, no. 2 (Spring 1959): 86.

    17.James L. True, Bryan Jones, and Frank R. Baumgartner, “Punctuated-Equilibrium: Explaining Stability and Change in Public Policymaking,” in Paul A. Sabatier, ed., Theories of the Policy Process, 2nd ed. (Cambridge, MA: Westview Press, 2007), 136.

    18.Frank R. Baumgartner and Bryan D. Jones, Agendas and Instability in American Politics, 2nd ed. (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press), 11.

    19.Institute for Energy Research, Fiscal Revenues from Mineral Production on Federal Lands, accessed July 20, 2013,

    20. General Accounting Office (GAO), National Energy Policy, 11.

    21.Carl Hulse, “A Senator Whom Colleagues Are Hesitant to Cross,” New York Times, October 25, 2003, accessed November 20, 2011,

    22.Steven Mufson, “Democrats Struggling for Consensus on Climate Bills,” The Washington Post, June 15, 2009, A5.

    23. Information about DOE’s mission and organization can be found at the Department’s website, See also GAO, Major Challenges and Risks: Department of Energy (Washington, DC: General Accounting Office, 2011).

    24. On the DOE’s responsibilities for nuclear waste management, see Walter A. Rosenbaum, Environmental Politics and Policy, 8th ed. (Washington, DC: CQ Press, 2011), Chapter 8.

    25. About the Department of the Interior, see Jeanne N. Clarke and Daniel McCool, Staking Out the Terrain: Power Differentials among Natural Resource Management Agencies, 2nd ed. (Albany: SUNY Press, 2000); Paul J. Culhane, Public Lands Politics (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1981); Ross W. Gorte, Carol Hardy Vincent, and Marc Humphries, Federal Lands Managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Forest Service (FS): Issues for the 110th Congress (Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, 2008), Report RL33792; Martin A. Nie, The Governance of Western Public Lands: Mapping Its Present and Future (Lawrence: University of Kansas Press, 2009).

    26. “About the Department of the Interior,”

    27.Institute for Energy Research, “Fiscal Revenues from Mineral Production on Federal Lands,” accessed July 20, 2013,

    28. Ross W. Gorte, Carol Hardy Vincent, and Marc Humphries, Federal Lands, 3.

    29.U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Department of Agriculture, New Energy Frontier: Balancing Energy Development on Federal Lands (Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, 2011), 13.


    31. William Reilly, former EPA administrator. Quoted in John M. Broader, “E.P.A. Chief Stands Firm as Tough Rules Loom,” New York Times, July 5, 2011, A13.

    32.Mark Holt and Carol Glover, Energy Policy Act of 2005: Summary and Analysis of Enacted Provisions (Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, 2006), Document RL33302.

    33.Michael W. Grainey, “Energy Conservation: The Federal-State Nexus,” American University Law Review, 27 (1977): 611–634.

    34. Alaska Department of Natural Resources, Division of Oil and Gas Royalty Revenue, 2010,

    35. “U.S. News: States Vie for Share of Clean-Coal Cash,” Rebecca Smith, Wall Street Journal (Eastern Edition), March 23, 2009, A3.

    36.Chelsea Conaboy, “Regional Cap and Trade Is Working—and Maligned,” The Philadelphia Inquirer, October 4, 2010. See also Barry Rabe, “Racing to the Top, the Bottom, or the Middle of the Pack?: The Evolving State Government Role in Environmental Protection,” in Michael E. Kraft and Norman J. Vig, Environmental Policy: New Directions for the Twenty-First Century (Washington, DC: CQ Press, 2010), 27–50.

    37. See, for example, Karlyn Bowman and Jennifer Marsico, Polls on the Environment, 105–106.

    38.Scott Bittle, Jonathan Rochkind, and Amber Ott, The Energy Learning Curve (Washington, DC: Public Agenda, 2009), 5, or

    39.Jon Krosnick, “Energy, Environment, and Elections: Mapping Voter Behavior in 2008: A Conversation with Jon Krosnick,” Resources (Summer 2008),

    40.Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, Economy Dominates Public’s Agenda, Dims Hopes for the Future, January 20, 2011(Washington, DC: Pew Research Center), accessed May 7, 2013,; see also Karlyn Bowman, Andrew Rugg, and Jennifer Marsico, Polls on the Environment, Energy, Global Warming, and Nuclear Power (April 2013), accessed May 25, 2013,

    41. Karlyn Bowman and Jennifer Marsico, Polls on the Environment, 106–108.

    42. Environmental Law Institute, “Estimating U.S. Government Subsidies to Energy Sources: 2002– 2008,” 27–28.

    43.Paul Gilman, “Science, Policy, and Politics: Comparing and Contrasting Issues in Energy and the Environment,” Social Research, 73 no. 3 (Fall, 2006): 103.

    44.Stephen Power, “Dispute on Oil Spill Panel Flares Before First Meeting,” Wall Street Journal (Eastern Edition), July 10, 2010, A5.

    45.Yale Project on Climate Change Communication, Global Warming: Democrats, Republicans, Independents, and the Tea Party (Washington, DC: George Mason University, Center for Climate Change Communication, 2011), 3–4.

    46. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Technology Transfer Network, National Emissions Inventory Air Pollutant Emissions Trend Data, “1970–2011 Average Annual Emissions, All Criteria Pollutants in MS Excel,”; American Lung Association, “Electric Utilities,”

    47.GAO, Information on the Number of Hardrock Mines, Cost of Cleanup, and Value of Financial Assurances (Washington, DC: GAO, 2011), Document No. GAO-11–834T.

    48.Stephen Power, “Currents: In a Small Fish, a Large Lesson in Renewable Energy’s Obstacles,” Wall Street Journal (Eastern Edition), June 16, 2009, A11.

    49. Quoted at

    50. Center for Responsive Politics, “Energy and Nuclear Power,”

    51. Center for Responsive Politics, Energy/Natural Resources: Long-Term Contribution Trends, accessed May 12, 2013,

    52. Ibid.

    53. “About NPC: National Petroleum Council, Origins and Operations,” The Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) contains a data base of an average of 1,000 advisory committees at

    54.Thomas E. Cronin, The State of the Presidency, 2nd ed. (Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1980), 169.

    55.New York Times, May 4, 1985.

    56. See, for example, Daniel Yergin, “Ensuring Energy Security,” Foreign Affairs, 85, no. 2 (2006): 71: “The United States must face the uncomfortable fact that its goal of ‘energy independence’—a phrase that has become a mantra since it was first articulated by Richard Nixon four weeks after the 1973 oil embargo was put in place—is increasingly at odds with reality.”

    Chapter 2

    1.Neil King Jr., “Energy: A Past President’s Advice to Obama: Act with Haste—Jimmy Carter Says New Administration Needs to Harness the Benefits of a Crisis Mentality to Tame Energy Policy,” Wall Street Journal (Eastern Edition), December 11, 2008, A16.

    2. On the history of US energy policy, see Robert Engler, The Brotherhood of Oil (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1977); David E. Nye, Consuming Power (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1999); Richard H. K. Vietor, Energy Policy in American Since 1945 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1984), and Daniel Yergin, The Quest: Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World (New York: Penguin Press, 2011).

    3.Don E. Kash and Robert W. Rycroft, U.S. Energy Policy: Crisis and Complacency (Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 1984); Karen R. Merrill, The Oil Crisis of 1973–74: A Brief History with Documents (New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2007).

    4.Neil King Jr., “A Past President’s Advice to Obama: Act with Haste,” Wall Street Journal, December 11, 2008, A16.

    5. On the Reagan energy policies generally, see John L. Palmer and Isabel V. Sawhill, eds., The Reagan Record (Cambridge, MA: Ballinger Publishing, 1984), chapts. 1 and 5.

    6.Paul L. Joskow, “U.S. Energy Policy During the 1990s.” NBER Working Paper Series, vol. w8454 (2001),

    7. On the history of energy policy, see Colin Campbell, Bert A. Rockman, and Andrew Rudalevige, eds., The George W. Bush Legacy (Congressional Quarterly Press, 2007); John D. Graham, Bush on the Home Front: Domestic Policy Triumphs and Setbacks (Indiana University Press, 2010); Armin Rozencranz, “U.S. Climate Policy Under G. W. Bush,” Golden Gate University Law Review 32, no. 4 (December 2002): 479–491.

    8.Mark Holt and Carol Glover, Energy Policy Act of 2005: Summary and Analysis of Enacted Provisions (Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, 2006), Document RL33302.

    9.Fred Sissine, Energy Independence and Security Act of 2997: A Summary of Major Provisions (Washington, DC: Congressional Reference Service, 2007), Document RL34294.

    10.Neil King Jr., “A Past President’s Advice to Obama: Act with Haste,” Wall Street Journal, December 11, 2008, A16.

    11.Richard Simon and Jill Zuckman, “The Nation: Inauguration’s Theme: Green; Many Organizations Will Celebrate Their Pet Causes on Jan. 20. But It’ll Be the Environment That Cleans Up,” Los Angeles Times, January 11, 2009, A14.

    12. Concise, informative explanations of the difference between markets and governmental regulation can be found in Charles Wolf Jr., Markets or Governments: Choosing Between Imperfect Alternatives (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1990), especially chapters 1 and 8; and Deborah Stone, Policy Paradox: The Art of Political Decision Making, 2nd ed. (New York: W. W. Norton & Co, 2010), chapter 1.

    13. A list of federal agencies involved with energy policy would include at least the Department of Energy (DOE), Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement (BOEMRE), Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Office of Surface Mining, Reclamation, and Enforcement (OSM), and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

    14.Useful summaries of major federal energy regulations can be found in Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, “Introduction,” Energy Primer: A Handbook of Energy Market Basics (Washington, DC: Federal Energy Commission, 2012).

    15.Maeve P. Carey, “Counting Regulations: An Overview of Rulemaking, Types of Federal Regulations, and Pages in the Federal Register,” Congressional Reference Service Report R43056 (Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, May 1, 2013).

    16.Environmental Law Institute, Estimating U.S. Government Subsidies to Energy Sources: 2002–2008 (Washington, DC: Environmental Law Institute, 2010), 6.

    17. Estimates of total federal energy subsidies vary enormously, depending upon how a “subsidy” is defined. See, for example, US EIA, Direct Federal Financial Interventions and Subsidies in Fiscal Year 2010 (Washington, DC: Department of Energy, 2010).

    18.Maura Allaire and Stephen P. A. Brown, U.S. Energy Subsidies: Effects on Energy Markets and Carbon Dioxide Emissions (Pew Charitable Trusts, August 2012).

    19.US Energy Information Administration, “Executive Summary,” in Direct Federal Financial Interventions and Subsidies in Energy in Fiscal Year 2010 (Washington, DC: 2011), xiii. Also available online, accessed July 5, 2013,

    20. See, for example Doug Koplow, Nuclear Power: Still Not Viable Without Subsidies (Washington, DC: Union of Concerned Scientists, 2011).

    21.Yuki Noguchi, “Solyndra Highlights Long History of Energy Subsidies,” NPR Morning Edition, November 16, 2011, accessed January 27, 2012,

    22. This legislation was the Connally Hot Oil Act of 1935. For a brief, informative review of federal interventions in the domestic petroleum market, see Peter Van Doren, “A Brief History of Energy Regulation,” in Downsizing the Federal Government, Cato Institute (2009), accessed February 10, 2013,

    23.Department of Energy, Office of Fossil Energy, “Strategic Petroleum Reserve,” Petroleum Reserves, accessed February 20, 2013,

    24. See, for example, Executive Office of the President, President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, Report to the President on Accelerating the Pace of Change in Energy Technologies Through an Integrated Federal Energy Policy (Washington, DC: Exec Office Pres., November 2010), ix.

    Chapter 3

    1.Michael Winter, “U.S. Exported More Gasoline Than Imported Last Year,” USA Today, February 29, 2012, accessed April 5, 2013,

    2.Energy Information Administration (EIA), Energy in Brief, May 10, 2013, accessed May 14, 2013,

    3. Dennis Blair, former deputy secretary of state, quoted in Annie Snider, “War Game Preps for Unimaginable But Hits Close To Home,” Greenwire E&E Reporter, July 14, 2011, accessed December 11, 2011,

    4.Asiylyn Loder, “Fracking Pushes U.S. Oil Output to Highest Since 1992,” Bloomberg, July 10, 2013, at:–07–10/fracking-pushes-u-s-oil-output-to-highest-since-january-1992.html (accessed July 21, 2013).

    5.EIA, “How Dependent Are We on Foreign Oil?,” Energy in Brief, July 23, 2012, accessed September 17, 2012,

    6.David Frum, “‘Peak Oil’ Doomsayers Proved Wrong,” CNN, March 4, 2013.

    7. EIA, Annual Energy Outlook 2013: Executive Summary, at; see also, EIA AE02013 Early Release Overview: Executive Summary (Washington, DC: Energy Information Administration, 2013), 2–6.

    8.David Kocieniewski, “As Oil Industry Fights a Tax, It Reaps Subsidies,” New York Times, July 4, 2010, A1.

    9. “Report: Offshore Energy Development Could Create 6,700 Jobs and Bring North Carolina up to $577 Million Annually,” PR Newswire, July 27, accessed July 5, 2011,

    10.Mike Soraghan, “Drilling Regulators Pull Double Duty as Industry Promoters,” Greenwire E&E Reporter, November 20, 2011, accessed June 12, 2011, See also: Jason DeParle, “Minerals Service Had a Mandate to Produce Results,” New York Times, August 8, 2010, A1.

    11.Peter van Doren, “A Brief History of Energy Regulations,” Cato Institute. February 2009, accessed November 7, 2011,

    12.Environmental Law Institute, Estimating U.S. Government Subsidies to Energy Sectors, 2002–2008 (Washington, DC: Environmental Law Institute, 2009), 3.

    13.David Victor, “The Energy Trap: Why the United States Is Doomed to Be an Energy Outlaw,” Newsweek, March 3, 2008, accessed January 19, 2011,

    14.Marc Humphries, Outer Continental Shelf: Debate Over Oil and Gas Leasing and Revenue Sharing (Washington, DC: Congressional Reference Service, 2008), Document RL33493, “Summary.” Another 86 billion barrels of oil and 420 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of natural gas are classified as undiscovered resources.

    15. Ibid.

    16.Ted Barrett and Alan Silverleib, “Senate Rejects GOP Oil Drilling Plan,” CNN, May 18, 2011, accessed July 16, 2010,–05–18/politics/senate.oil.drilling_1_drilling-moratorium-oil-gas-prices/2?_s=PM:POLITICS.

    17.Defenders of Wildlife, “Arctic National Wildlife Refuge,” accessed May 1, 2007,

    18.Rachael D’Oro, “Alaska Environment, Development Co-Exist,” November 17, 2003, accessed May 1, 2007,

    19.Charli Coon, “Tapping Oil Reserves in a Small Part of the ANWR: Environmentally Sound, Energy Wise,” August 1, 2001, accessed April 14, 2004,

    20. For a legislative history of ANWR, see M. Lynne Corn and Bernard A. Gelb, “Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR): Controversies for the 108th Congress,” Report no. 1B10111, Congressional Research Service, Washington, DC, 2003; see also Lisa Demer and Richard Mauer, “U.S. House OKs Opening ANWR to Oil Drilling,” The Anchorage Daily News, February 17, 2012, accessed March 1, 2012,

    21.The National Academies, Energy: Emerging Technologies: Alternatives to Conventional Oil,” accessed November 19, 2010,

    22.Michael McDermott, “Oil Pipeline Work Near Finish, Augusta Gazette, September 24, 2010, accessed May 27, 2011, of Alberta. See also: Alberta’s Oil Sands: Opportunity, Balance (2008), accessed December 16, 2011,; and US Department of State, Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, Executive Summary: Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Keystone XL Project, August 26, 2011, accessed December 7, 2011,

    23.The National Academies, Our Energy Sources: Emerging Technologies Alternatives to Conventional Oil, accessed October 5, 2011,

    24.Erin N. Kelly, David W. Schindler, Peter V. Hodson, Jeffrey W. Short, Roseanna Radmanovich, and Charlene C. Nielsen, “Oil Sands Development Contributes Elements Toxic at Low Concentrations to the Athabasca River and Its Tributaries,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2010, accessed October 6, 2011,

    25.Tennille Tracy and Edward Welsch, “Keystone Poses ‘No Significant Impacts’ to Most Resources Along Path—US,” Wall Street Journal, August 26, 2011, retrieved August 27, 2011,

    26. “Obama Administration Delays Keystone XL Pipeline Approval,” PBS News Hour, accessed November 10, 2011,–10.html.

    27. “Obama Administration Delays Keystone XL Pipeline Approval,” PBS News Hour, accessed November 10, 2011,–10.html.

    28. “Obama Administration Delays Keystone XL Pipeline Approval,” PBS Newshour, November 10, 2011, accessed November 14, 2011,–10.html.

    29. Steve Hargreaves, “Keystone Oil Sands Pipeline Rejected, for Now,” available at

    30.Mark Holt and Carol Glover, Energy Policy Act of 2005: Summary and Analysis of Enacted Provisions (Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, 2006), Document No. RL33302.

    31.Frank Morris, “Ethanol Industry Torn Over Losing Subsidy Billions,” NPR Morning Edition, July 21, 2011, accessed September 10, 2011,

    32. However, near-term barriers to the marketing of E15 may slow the transition to higher blends due to concerns over potential mis-fueling, associated liabilities, and other issues.

    33.Max Borders and H. Sterling Burnett, “The Environmental Costs of Ethanol,” Brief Analysis, National Center for Policy Analysis, August 2, 2007, accessed August 9, 2011,

    34. Frank Morris, “Ethanol Industry Torn.”

    35. “U.S. Ethanol Industry to Launch First-Ever National TV Ad Campaign, Growth Energy, April 12, 2010, accessed August 4, 2011,

    36. Proved reserves of natural gas are estimated quantities that analyses of geological and engineering data have demonstrated to be economically recoverable in future years from known reservoirs.

    37.EIA, Annual Energy Outlook, 2011 With Projections to 2035, accessed July 23, 2011,

    38.Rebecca Smith, “Progress to Shutter 11 Plants Using Coal,” Wall Street Journal, December 2, 2009, B4.

    39.Clifford Krauss, “Drilling Boom Revives Hopes for Natural Gas,” New York Times. (Late Edition, East Coast), August 25, 2008, A1.

    40. A comprehensive discussion of the environmental issues associated with fracking can be found in US Government, Environmental Protection Agency, US Geological Survey, Risks and Rewards: The Controversy About Shale Gas Production and Hydraulic Fracturing, Ground Water Pollution, Toxic and Carcinogenic Chemical Dangers, Marcellus Shale, Hydrofrac and Fracking (E-publisher: Progressive Management Publications, 2011), Amazon Digital Service [Kindle e-reader].

    41. The Energy Policy Act (2005), passed during the Bush Administration, specifically exempts fracking operations from EPA regulation under the Clean Water Act or the Safe Drinking Water Act.

    42.Caterine Tsai, “Halliburton Exec Sips Fracking Fluid at Conference,” Huffpost Green, August 22, 2011, accessed September 18, 2003,

    Chapter 4

    1.Lorelei Scarbro, “Coal River Activist: ‘We Are All Being Used,’” CNN, accessed April 7, 2010,–04–07/opinion/scarbro.coal.mine.tragedy_1_coal-river-mountain-coal-mining-coal-industry?_s=PM:OPINION.

    2.Christa Marshall, “Coal Country: W. Va. Ponders Its Mining Future Amid Hills and Valleys of Climate Debate,” E&E Climate Wire, accessed April 6, 2010,

    3.Rebecca Smith and Stephen Power, “After Washington Pulls Plug on FutureGen, Clean Coal Hopes Flicker,” Wall Street Journal (Eastern edition), February 2, 2008, A7.

    4.David Mercer, “Illinois Town Backs Out of FutureGen: Mattoon Says Changes in ‘Clean’ Coal Plant a Deal Breaker,” Huff Post Chicago, August 11, 2010, accessed September 16, 2010,

    5.Clifford Krauss, “Coal Industry Pins Hopes on Exports as U.S. Market Shrinks,” New York Times, June 14, 2013, A1; Lisa Palmer, “Facing Tough Market at Home, U.S. Coal Giant Pushes Overseas,” Environment360, accessed July 29, 2013,

    6.U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Clean Energy, accessed February 19, 2011,

    7.Paul Billings, Emissions of Hazardous Air Pollutants From Coal-Fired Power Plants (Needham, MA: Environmental Health and Engineering, 2011), 11; American Lung Association, Toxic Air: The Case for Cleaning Up Coal-fired Power Plants (Washington, DC: American Lung Association, 2011); EPA, Air Emission Sources, accessed August 27, 2010,

    8.United States Geological Survey, News Room: Mining-Related Contaminants Persist in Some Appalachian Coal Region Water Wells, Released December 28, 2006, accessed August 13, 2010,; see also World Coal Association, Coal Mining & the Environment, available at

    9.Union of Concerned Scientists, Clean Energy, accessed April 12, 2011,

    10.Wendy Koch, “Study: Drinking Water Polluted by Coal-Ash Dump Sites,” USA Today Greenhouse, accessed November 11, 2010,

    11.World Coal Association, Climate Change, accessed January 20, 2011,; see also U.S. EPA, Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks,1990–2009 (Washington, DC: Environmental Protection Agency, April 2011), Document 430-R-11–005.

    12.Energy Information Administration, Major U.S. Coal Producers, Report No. DOE/EIA-0584, February 3, 2011, accessed March 18, 2011,

    13. The National Mining Association’s official website,, offers an informative overview of the NMA’s economic and political agenda.

    14.Dan Eggen, “Mining Interests Are Heavily Invested in Capitol Hill,” Washington Post, April 8, 2010, accessed December 28, 2011,

    15. However, other regions are starting to mine coal more efficiently and at lower prices, and that’s shifting production to other parts of the country. Central Appalachia accounted for roughly 18 percent of all US coal production in 2009, but that share is expected to decline to 11 percent by 2015, and 8 percent by 2035, see Annalyn Censky, “Coal ‘Ghost Towns’ Loom in West Virginia,” CNN Money, accessed May 26, 2011,

    16.Christa Marshall, “W. Va. Ponders Its Mining Future Amid Hills and Valleys of Climate Debate,” The New York Times, April 6, 2010,

    17.Rick Reis, “Appalachian Dems Seek Distance From Obama on Coal, Climate,” E&E Reporter, August 26, 2010, accessed September 1, 2010,

    18.National Academy of Sciences, Committee on Health, Environmental, and Other External Costs and Benefits of Energy Production and Consumption, National Research Council, Hidden Costs of Energy: Unpriced Consequences of Energy Production and Use (Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 2009), 4.

    19. “Coal Forum: West Virginia Coal Forum Seeks Middle Ground Between Environmentalists, Producers,” accessed August 20, 2008,

    20.White House, “Energy and Environment Latest News: Blueprint for a Secure Energy Future,” accessed September 18, 2013, at

    21.Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, Surface Mining Law, accessed December 13, 2011,

    22.U.S. Department of the Interior, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, “Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation: Update on the Reclamation of Abandoned Mine Land Affected by Mining That Took Place Before the Surface Mining Law Was Passed in 1977,” (Washington, DC, 2003), 20,

    23.U.S. Department of the Interior, Office of Surface Mining, References and Guidance: Children’s Workbook, accessed November 23, 2011,

    24.Manuel Quinones, “Regulators, Advocates Weigh Merits of Merging Mining Agency, BLM,” E&E Daily, October 26, 2011.

    25.David Biello, “Mountaintop Removal Mining: EPA Says Yes, Scientists Say No,” Scientific American Observations, January 8, 2010,–01–08. See also Margaret A. Palmer et al., “Mountaintop Mining Consequences,” Science, 327 (January 8, 2010): 148–149.

    26.Jennifer Weeks, “Coal’s Comeback,” CQ Researcher, October 5, 2007, 825.

    27. Ibid.

    28.Uday Desai, “Assessing the Impacts of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act,” Policy Studies Review 9 (autumn 1989): 104–105.

    29.David A. Fahrenthold, “Still Unresolved, Tennessee Coal-Ash Spill Only One EPA Hurdle,” Washington Post, December 22, 2009, A1.

    30. “Toxic Metals From Coal Ash Found in Groundwater at TVA Power Plants,” Fairwarning, July 26, 2011, accessed October 17, 2011,

    31.Shaila Dewan, “Huge Coal Ash Spills Contaminating U.S. Water,” New York Times, January 7, 2009, accessed September 5, 2009,

    32.Center for American Progress, Coal Capture and Sequestration, 101, accessed June 18, 2011,

    33. Mountaineer was to employ so-called chilled ammonia technology, which relies on ammonium carbonate chemistry to pull CO2 out of the exhaust gases … Mountaineer takes the captured CO2 and compresses it to at least 2,000 pounds per square inch, liquefying it and pumping it roughly 8,000 feet down into the ground. That deep, the liquid CO2 flows through the porous rock formations, adhering to the tiny spaces, slowly spreading out over time and, ultimately, chemically reacting with rock or brine. David Biello, “Burying Climate Change: Efforts Begin to Sequester Carbon Dioxide From Power Plants,” Scientific American, September 22, 2009,

    34.David Biello, “Advanced CO2 Capture Project Abandoned Due to ‘Uncertain’ U.S. Climate Policy,” Scientific American, July 14, 2011, accessed January 11, 2012,

    35.Rebecca Smith and Stephen Power, “After Washington Pulls the Plug on Future Gen, Clean Coal Hopes Flicker,” Wall Street Journal, February 2, 2008, A7.

    36. For example, Summit Power has estimated that to build a CCS facility for its use near Odessa, Texas, would cost about $1.6 billion, about ten times as much as a modern gas-fired power plant. Rebecca Smith, “States Vie for Share of Clean-Coal Cash,” Wall Street Journal (Eastern edition), March 23, 2009, A3. See also: GAO, Climate Change: Federal Actions Will Greatly Affect the Viability of Carbon Capture and Storage as a Key Mitigation Option, 1 (Washington, DC: Government Accountability Office, 2008), Document No. GAO-08–1080, September 2008, “Highlights.”

    37.Robynne Boyd, “Obama Looks to Clean Air Act as Inspiration for Tackling Climate,” Scientific American, June 25, 2013,; Justin Gillis, “Taking a Risk Over Climate,” New York Times, June 26, 2013, A1. See also: Executive Office of the President, The President’s Climate Action Plan, June 2013,

    38.Pew Center on the States, Climate Change 101: Cap and Trade (Washington, DC: The Pew Center, 2008), 1–4.

    39. Ibid.

    40. See also, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Office of Air and Radiation, “Cap and Trade,” January 18, 2010,; Eileen Claussen and Robert W. Fri, A Climate Policy Framework: Balancing Policy and Politics (Queenstown, Md.: The Aspen Institute, 2004); A. Denny Allerman, Paul L. Jaskow, and David Harrison Jr., Emissions Trading in the United States (Arlington, Va.: Pew Center on Climate Change, 2003), Pt. III.

    41.Committee on Energy and Commerce, “Climate Change Legislation Design White Paper: Appropriate Roles for Different Levels of Government,” Washington, DC, February 2008,–22.pdf.

    42. Adapted from “State Legislation from around the Country,” Pew Center on Global Climate Change, accessed February 12, 2010,

    Chapter 5

    1. See, for example, Matthew W. Wald, “After 35-Year Lull, Nuclear Power May Be in Early Stages of a Revival,” New York Times (Late Edition, East Coast), October 24, 2008, B3; Mark Williams, “The Renaissance of Nuclear Power Appears Inevitable: Nuclear Power Renaissance Faces Serious Obstacles,” Huffpost Green, February 2, 2010,; Sally Adee and Erico Guizzo, “Nuclear Reactor Renaissance,” August 2010,

    2.U.S. Department of Energy/Nuclear Power Industry, “Strategic Plan for Light Water Reactor Research and Development,” (Washington, DC: USDOE, February 2004), Executive Summary.

    3. World Nuclear Power Association, “Nuclear Power in the USA.”

    4.Jeffrey M. Jones, “Support for Nuclear Energy Inches Up to New High, Majority Believes Nuclear Power Plants Are Safe,” Gallup, March 20, 2009, accessed June 14, 2009,

    5.Hannah Northey, “NRC Approves Construction of First New Reactors Since 1978,” E&E Reporter, February 9, 2012.

    6.Marcia Clemmitt, “Nuclear Power: Can Nuclear Energy Answer Global Power Needs?,” CQ Researcher 21, no. 2, accessed December 12, 2011,, 507.

    7.Christopher Joyce, “Commission: U.S. Must Make Nuclear Plants Safer,” NPR, August 19, 2011,

    8.Near-Term Task Force Review of Insights From the Fukushima Dai-Ichi Accident, Recommendations for Enhancing Reactor Safety in the 21st Century (Washington, DC: Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 2011).

    9. U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Briefing on NRC Response to Recent Nuclear Events in Japan, March 21, 2011, accessed October 8, 2011,…/tr/…/20110321.pdf

    10. Christopher Joyce, “Commission.”

    11. There are 69 pressurized water reactors (PWRs) with combined capacity of 66,697 megawatts electricity (MWe) and 35 boiling water reactors (BWRs) with combined capacity of 33,885 MWe—for a total capacity of 100,582 MWe. World Nuclear Power Association, Nuclear Power in the USA Appendix 1: US Operating Nuclear Reactors (Washington, DC: World Nuclear Power Association, 2010). Almost all the US nuclear generating capacity comes from reactors built between 1967 and 1990.

    12. “The performance of the 104 U.S. nuclear plants since 2003 has been excellent. The total number of kilowatt hour (kWh) produced by the reactors has steadily increased over those five years. The fleet-averaged capacity factor since 2003 has been maintained at about 90%.” John M. Deutch et al., Update of the MIT 2003 Future of Nuclear Power (Cambridge, MA: Massachusetts Institute of Technology), 5.

    13.World Nuclear Association, “Nuclear Power in the USA,” accessed March 24, 2011,

    14.Union of Concerned Scientists, Nuclear Power: A Resurgence We Can’t Afford (Cambridge, MA: Union of Concerned Scientists, 2009), 1; Jeff Donn, “How Long Can Nuclear Reactors Last? US, Industry Extend Spans,” Environment on,

    15.Irvin C. Bupp and Jean-Claude Derian, The Failed Promise of Nuclear Power (New York: Basic Books, 1978), chapter 5.

    16. Estimates of federal nuclear power subsidies vary greatly because of different methods of calculation. The conservative estimate is based upon Doug Koplow, “Nuclear Power in the US: Still Not Viable Without Subsidy,” Earth Track, Inc. (Cambridge, MA: Earth Track, Inc., 2005); see also Marshall Goldberg, “Federal Energy Subsidies: Not All Technologies Are Created Equal,” Renewable Energy Policy Project Research Report No. 11 (Washington, DC: Renewable Energy Policy Project, 2000). See also Doug Koplow, Nuclear Power: Still Not Viable Without Subsidies (Washington, DC: Union of Concerned Scientists, 2011).

    17. Doug Koplow, Nuclear Power, 1.

    18.Congressional Budget Office, Nuclear Power’s Role in Generating Electricity (Washington, DC: Congressional Budget Office, May 2008), Publication No. 2986.

    19. Notes the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences, “The handful of plants that could be built in the United States before 2020, given the long time needed for licensing and construction, would need to overcome several hurdles, including high construction costs, which have been rising rapidly across the energy sector in the last few years, and public concern about the long-term issues of storage and disposal of highly radioactive waste. If these hurdles are overcome, if the first new plants are constructed on budget and on schedule, and if the generated electricity is competitive in the marketplace, the committee judges that it is likely that many more plants could follow these first plants. Otherwise, few new plants are likely to follow.” National Research Council, 447; see also Union of Concerned Scientists, Nuclear Power: A Resurgence We Can’t Afford.

    20. John Gilbertson, Managing Director, Goldman Sachs. Statement of John Gilbertson. Hearing of the Clean Air and Nuclear Safety Subcommittee of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. Subject: Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s Licensing and Relicensing Processes for Nuclear Plants. Available from

    21.Rebecca Smith, “New Wave of Nuclear Plants Faces High Costs,” Wall Street Journal, May 12, 2008, 1; Michael Grunwald, “Nuclear’s Comeback: Still No Energy Panacea,” Time, December 31, 2008,,9171,1869203–1,00.html.

    22. Cited in Union of Concerned Scientists, Nuclear Power, 2.

    23.Energy Information Administration (EIA), Annual Energy Outlook for 2011 (Washington, DC: Energy Information Administration, 2010), 75.

    24.EIA, Annual Energy Review 2002 (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 2002), 254. See also Max Schulz, “Nuclear Power Is the Future,” Wilson Quarterly (autumn 2006): 98–107.

    25.Matthew L. Wald, “As Nuclear Reactors Show Age, Owners Seek to Add to Usable Life,” New York Times, June 22, 1989, A1.

    26.“Safety Rating for Nation’s Biggest Nuclear Plant Lowered,” Associated Press, February 22, 2007,

    27. A concise, comprehensive discussion of reactor safety and related issues is found in Marcia Clemmitt, “Nuclear Power: Can Nuclear Energy Answer Global Power Needs?,” CQ Researcher, 21, no. 2, accessed December 12, 2011, See also David Lochbaum, The NRC and Nuclear Power Plant Safety in 2010: A Brighter Spotlight Needed, Union of Concerned Scientists, March, 2011,;nuclear_power/nrc-2010-full-report.pdf.

    28.David Lochbaum, Nuclear Tightrope: Unlearned Lessons of Year-plus Reactor Outages (Washington, DC: Union of Concerned Scientists, 2006), 1.

    29. The federal government, in fact, gave surprisingly little attention to the whole problem of reactor waste disposal. See Robert J. Duffy, Nuclear Politics in America (Lawrence, KS: University of Kansas Press, 1997), 184–189.


    31. Among the major Yucca Mountain problems, the uranium in the fuel waste “in SNF is not stable under the oxidizing conditions in Yucca Mountain and would convert rather rapidly to more soluble higher oxides. Substantial amounts of water exist in the pores and fractures of the volcanic tuff. The geologic complexity of the Yucca Mountain site, including seismicity and relatively recent volcanism, and the proposed reliance on engineered barriers, notably titanium drip shields to protect the casks from water, make the safety analysis complicated and less than convincing.” Rodney C. Ewing and Frank N. Von Hippel, “Nuclear Waste Management in the United States—Starting Over,” Science, July 10, 2009, 151, accessed May 18, 2011,

    32.US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Decommissioning Nuclear Power Plants,

    33.US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Fact Sheet on Dry Cask Storage of Spent Nuclear Fuel, 2009. accessed June 20, 2010,; see also National Academy of Sciences, Committee on the Safety and Security of Commercial Spent Nuclear Fuel Storage, National Research Council, Safety and Security of Commercial Spent Nuclear Fuel Storage: Public Report (2006), accessed January 14, 2010,

    34.Abby Luby, “As U.S. Moves Ahead with Nuclear Power, No Solution for Radioactive Waste,” Inside Climate News, March 3, 2011, accessed December 18, 2011,

    35.Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Office of Public Affairs, Fact Sheet on Decommissioning Nuclear Power Plants (Washington, DC: Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 2011).

    36.Lisa Song, “Decommissioning a Nuclear Plant Can Cost $1 Billion and Take Decades,” Reuters, June 13, 2011, accessed December 12, 2011,

    37. Ibid.

    38. Doug Koplow, Nuclear Power, 93.

    39.U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, “The Commission,” accessed March 5, 2011,

    40. Robert J. Duffy, Nuclear Politics in America, 171.

    41. GAO, NRC Has Made Progress in Implementing Its Reactor Oversight and Licensing Processes but Continues to Face Challenges (Washington, DC: Government Accountability Office, 2007), Report No. GAO-08–114T, “Summary.”

    42.Stephen Tetreault, “NRC Staff Blasts Bid to Shutter Yucca Project,” Las Vegas Review Journal, June 24, 2011, accessed July 15, 2011,

    43. On continuing concerns about oversight of existing commercial reactors, see Near-Term Task Force Review of Insights From the Fukushima Dai-Ichi Accident, Recommendations for Enhancing Reactor Safety in the 21st Century (Washington, DC: Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 2011) vi, vii.

    44.Energy Information Administration, “Levelized Cost of New Generation Resources,” Annual Energy Outlook 2011, 21, no. 2, 505–528,

    45. Near-Term Task Force Review of Insights From the Fukushima Dai-Ichi Accident, Recommendations for Enhancing Reactor Safety in the 21st Century.

    46.Union of Concerned Scientists, Position Paper: Nuclear Power and Global Warming (Cambridge, MA: Union of Concerned Scientists, 2007), 2.

    47.Greenpeace, Open Letter and Questions Concerning the Relevance of Nuclear Power in Addressing the Problem of Global Warming, April 26, 2007, accessed November 8, 2011,…/climate/…/Open_Letter_to_Lovelock.pdf.

    48. The six utilities: South Texas (TX), Limerick (PA), Vogtle (GA), Byron (IL), Braidwood (IL). Science News, “Carbon Dioxide Emissions From Power Plants Rated Worldwide,” Science Daily, November 14, 2007,

    49.World Nuclear Association, “Nuclear Energy: Meeting the Climate Change Challenge,” accessed May 10, 2012,

    50.Robert W. Fri, “The Technological Challenge of Climate Change,” The Bridge, Fall 2010, accessed May 10, 2012, See also, National Academy of Engineering, Limiting the Magnitude of Future Climate Change (National Academies Press, 2009); G8+5 Academies’ Joint Statement, Climate Change and the Transformation of Energy Technologies for a Low Carbon Future, 2011, accessed May 12, 2012,; and Lisbeth Gronlund, David Lochbaum, and Edwin Lyman, Nuclear Power in a Warming World (Cambridge, MA: Union of Concerned Scientists, 2007).

    51.Jeffrey M. Smith, “The Pro and Cons of Nuclear Power,” The Daily Green, accessed May 20, 2012, See also Kurt Kleiner, “Nuclear Energy: Assessing the Emissions,” Nature Reports: Climate Change, October 2008, no. 10, accessed May 14, 2012,

    52.World Nuclear Association, Advanced Nuclear Power Reactors, accessed November 19, 2011,

    53. See, for example, James and Anniek Hansen’s letter to Barack Obama and his wife concerning global warming, quoted at Weather Underground, Climate Change Research, accessed August 28, 2011,

    54. Many of the newer, near-term reactor projects, such as the Westinghouse AP1000 and the GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy Advanced Boiling Water Reactor, are based upon designs developed by collaboration between US and foreign manufacturers, such as the General Electric-Hitachi and Mitsubishi-Arveda; they have also received domestic Design Certification from the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission. At least nine additional, longer-term Generation IV designs are under development through the same corporate collaboration. Domestic nuclear manufacturers continue to envisage Generation IV reactors, but the United States has so far been far less assertive than many foreign countries in providing credible incentives for their development. Many of the present US companies with current COL filing, for instance, appear to be creating “place holders” to satisfy state requirements to keep the “nuclear option” open but not necessarily to construct Generation III and III-plus reactors.

    55.National Research Council, Committee on Nuclear Engineering Education, U.S. Nuclear Education: Status and Prospects. (Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1990), accessed May 20, 2010,

    56.Enterprise Informatics, Solving the Brain Drain of the Nuclear Power Industry, accessed June 23, 2010,…/nuclear…/white-paper-solving-the-brain-drain-of-the-nuclear-industry-1812.aspx.

    57.Engineering Trends, Degrees Since 1945, accessed December 30, 2011, 2010.

    58.Energy Information Administration, “Levelized Cost of New Generation Resources,” Annual Energy Outlook, 2011, accessed March 15, 2011, www.eia/gov/olaf/aeo/pdf/20161evelized_costs_ae02011.pdf.

    59. Ibid.

    60. One alternative investment, for example, would accelerate the construction of new combined-cycle turbines that rely upon what appears to be an unexpected increase in natural gas reserves.

    61.Rebecca Smith, “Atomic Waste Gets ‘Temporary’ Home,” Wall Street Journal, June 1, 2010, accessed September 22, 2013,

    62.Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future, Report to the Secretary of Energy (Washington, DC: Department of Energy, 2012), accessed July 7, 2013,

    Chapter 6

    1.Alli Gold, “The Case for Optimism About a Renewable Energy Future,” MIT News, May 1, 2013, accessed July 10, 2013,

    2.Stephen Power, “Gen. Jones Bemoans ‘A La Carte’ Energy Policy,” Wall Street Journal Washington Wire, April 21, 2011, accessed May 5, 2011,

    3.Market Watch, “Text of President Barack Obama’s Speech on Energy,” April 22, 2009, accessed December 3, 2009,

    4.Committee on America’s Energy Future; National Academy of Sciences; National Academy of Engineering; National Research Council, America’s Energy Future: Technology and Transformation: Summary Edition 2009, 2 (Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 2009).

    5.Center for Sustainable Systems, U.S. Renewable Energy (Ann Arbor, MI: Center for Sustainable Systems, 2011).

    6. See Energy Information Administration, “Renewable Energy Explained,” 2012,

    7.Janet L. Swain et al., American Energy: The Renewable Path to Energy Security (Washington, DC: Worldwatch Institute, 2006), 30.

    8.National Geographic, Wind Power, accessed October 24, 2011,

    9. Ibid.

    10.American Wind Energy Association, Clean, Affordable, Homegrown: American Wind Power (Washington, DC: American Windpower Association, 2011), accessed March 22, 2011,

    11.US Department of Energy, 20% Wind Energy by 2030 (Washington, DC: National Renewable Energy Laboratory, 2008), also available at

    12.PR Newswire, “Republic Services’ McCarty Road Landfill to Begin Sending Biogas to Anheuser-Busch Brewery in Houston,” June 24 (no year), accessed January 3, 2012,

    13.Energy Information Administration, Renewable Energy Sources: A Consumer’s Guide, n.d., accessed December 20, 2011,

    14.Amanda D. Cuellar and Michael E. Webber, “Policy Incentives, Barriers and Recommendations for Biogas Production, Paper presented at the 2009 3rd International Conference on Energy Sustainability,” ASME Digital Library, accessed January 2, 2012,

    15.Fred Sissine, “Renewable Energy R&D Funding History: A Comparison With Funding for Nuclear Energy, Fossil Energy, and Energy Efficiency R&D,” CRS Report to Congress, April 9, 2008, 1, Document RS22858.

    16.David G. Victor and Kassia Yanosek, “The Crisis in Clean Energy,” Foreign Affairs, 90, no. 4, July/August 2011, 114–115.

    17. For a summary explanation of research and development funding, see Kirstin R. W. Matthews, Neal Lane, and Kenneth M. Evans, U.S. Scientific Research and Development 202: A Critical Look at the Federal Research and Development Funding System, Center for American Progress, July 21, 2011, accessed January 4, 2011,

    18. Adapted from Lynn J. Cunningham and Beth A. Roberts, “Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Incentive Resources,” CRS Report to Congress, March 23, 2009 (Washington, DC: Congressional Reference Service, 2009), Document R40455; and Richard J. Campbell, Lynn J. Cunningham, and Beth A. Roberts, “Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Incentives: A Summary of Federal Programs,” CRS Reports (Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, 2009), Document 7–5700.

    19.Union of Concerned Scientists, State Policies Fact Sheet: Renewable Energy Standards at Work in the States (Cambridge, MA: Union of Concerned Scientists, 2009); see also DOE, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy: States With Renewable Portfolio Standards, accessed December 10, 2011,

    20.Quadrupled Renewable Energy on Public Lands,, accessed January 5, 2012,

    21.Susan Culver-Graybeal, “Obama Administration Approves New Renewable Energy Products,” accessed January 5, 2012,

    22.Dept. of Energy, Office of Chief Financial Officer, FY 2012 Congressional Budget Request: Budget Highlights, February 2012, 26, accessed January 5, 2012,

    23.Executive Office of the President, The President’s Climate Action Plan, June 2013, at:

    24. David G. Victor and Kassia Yanosek, “The Crisis in Clean Energy,” 120.

    25.Russell Gold, “Clean-Energy Doldrums,” January 5, 2012, accessed January 5, 2012,…/cccleanenergyndustryintheddoldrums.pdf.

    26.Kate Galbraith, “Dark Days for Green Energy,” New York Times, February 4, 2009, B1.

    27.Sam Newman et al., “Accelerating Solar Power Adoption: Compounding Cost Savings Across the Value Chain,” Rocky Mountain Institute, 2009, accessed January 6, 2012,–03_AcceleratingSolarPowerAdoption.

    28.Jim Tankersley, “Offshore Wind Turbines Get Further Boost From Obama Administration,” Los Angeles Times, April 22, 2009, B1.

    29.Cape Wind Associates, “Frequently Asked Questions,” 2012, accessed January 9, 2012,

    30. See Robert Kennedy, Jr., “An Ill Wind off Cape Cod,” New York Times, December 16, 2005, accessed March 5, 2010,; “Save Our Sound,” accessed January 10, 2012,; and Beth Daly, “Cape Wind Backers Blew Right by Cost,” Boston Globe, October 10, 2010, accessed December 14, 2011,

    31.Beth Daley, “Wampanoag Tribe Sues Over Cape Wind,” Boston Globe, July 11, 2011, accessed August 10, 2011,–07–11/lifestyle/29761941_1_cape-wind-wind-farm-horseshoe-shoal.

    32.Henry Fountain, “Growing More Corn for Ethanol Makes Pest Control Harder,” New York Times (Late East Coast Edition), December 23, 2008, D3.

    33.Bryan Walsh, “Tallying the Real Environmental Cost of Biofuels,” Time, October 23, 2009, accessed February 27, 2010,,8599,1931780,00.html.

    34.Sam Pearson, “Desert Storm: Battle Brews Over Obama Renewable Energy Plan,” National Geographic Daily News, July 24, 2013, accessed August 1, 2013,

    35. See, for example, Desert Watch, accessed January 10, 2012,; and Peter Maloney, “Solar Projects Draw New Opposition, New York Times, September 24, 2008, accessed January 9, 2012,

    36.Union of Concerned Scientists, “Environmental Impacts of Renewable Energy Technologies,” Clean Energy, accessed January 6, 2011,

    37.Jennifer Weeks, “Modernizing the Grid,” CQ Researcher 20, no. 7 (2010), 147, accessed January 10, 2012,

    38.Jennifer Weeks, “Modernizing the Grid,” CQ Researcher 20, no. 7 (2010), 147, accessed January 10, 2012,

    39. “No centralized authoritative body or organization currently exists to develop and enforce standards for renewable electricity resource assessment methodologies and assumptions used to calculate estimates. Renewable electricity resource estimates come from multiple organizations. As a result, renewable electricity generation potential estimates are derived using different methodologies and different assumptions which, in turn, produce different estimates.” Philip Brown and Gene Whitney, U.S. Renewable Electricity Generation: Resources and Challenges (Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, 2011), Publication R41954.

    40.GAO, Renewable Energy: Wind Power’s Contribution to Electric Power Generation and Impact on Farms and Rural Communities (Washington, DC: GAO, 2004), Report No. GAO-04–756, 1.

    41. “Connecting renewable electricity generation facilities to the electric power grid can raise potential technical challenges. In particular, a high percentage penetration of variable sources—such as solar and wind—can cause serious power quality and reliability problems. The power system requires constant, 24/7 minute-by-minute monitoring and control. The introduction of variable electricity generation may pose power system reliability challenges associated with moment-by-moment balancing of electricity supply and demand.” Brown and Whitney, U.S. Electric Power Generation, 34.

    42.The Regulation of Shareholder-Owned Electric Companies, accessed May 24, 2012,…/KeyFacts-Regulation.pdf.

    43.Paul L. Joskow, “American Economic Policy During the 1990s,” paper prepared for the Conference on American Economic Policy During the 1990s, sponsored by the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, June 27 to June 30, 2001, accessed May 24, 2012,

    44.Karlynn Cory, Toby Couture, and Claire Kreycik, Feed-in Policy: Design, Implementation, and RPS Policy Interactions (Washington, DC: National Renewable Energy Laboratory, 2009), Report NREL/TP-6A2–45549.

    45.Kate Galbraith, “Feed-In Tariffs Contemplated in the U.S.,” New York Times, February 9, 2009, accessed January 20, 2012,

    46.Energy Information Administration, AEO2013 Early Release Overview, Figure 12: “Electricity Generation By Fuel, 1990-2040,” accessed June 16, 2013 at; for more optimistic projections, see National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Renewable Electricity Futures Report, “Key Findings,” at accessed July 10, 2013.

    Chapter 7

    1.Richard Thaler, “Why Gas Prices Are Out of Any President’s Control, New York Times (New York Edition), April 1, 2012, BU3., “Problems and Priorities,” accessed January 20, 2012,

    3.Daniel Yergin, “The Globalization of Energy Demand,” CNBC Megatrends, June 3, 2013, accessed July 12, 2013,

    4. Ibid.

    5. The evolving US scientific and political controversy over climate change is summarized in Walter A. Rosenbaum, Environmental Politics and Policy, 9th ed. (Washington, DC: CQ Press, 2013), chapter 10. See also Jill Jaeger and Tim O’Riordan, “The History of Climate Change Science and Politics,” in Politics of Climate Change, ed. Tim O’Riordan and Jill Jaeger (London: Routledge, 1996); Eileen Claussen and Robert W. Fri, A Climate Policy Framework: Balancing Policy and Politics (Queenstown, MD: The Aspen Institute, 2004); and Mike Hulme, Why We Disagree About Climate Change (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2009).

    6.Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, “Climate Change 2007: Working Group I: The Physical Science Basis, IPCC Assessments of Climate Change and Uncertainties,” 2007, accessed May 15, 2010,–6.html.

    7. A full profile of Obama’s 2013 energy proposals is found at “Climate Change and President Obama’s Action Plan,” The White House, June 25, 2013, accessed July 2, 2013,; and John Miller, “Can Obama’s Climate Change Policy Reduce Carbon Emissions?,” The Energy Collective, July 2, 2013, accessed July 2, 2013,

    8.Committee on Energy and Commerce, “Climate Change Legislation Design White Paper: Appropriate Roles for Different Levels of Government,” (Washington, DC, February 2008),–22.pdf.

    9. A useful summary of this approach is found in Pew Center on the States, Climate Change 101: Cap and Trade (Washington, DC: The Pew Center, 2008), 1–4.

    10. Quoted in Susan Lyon, Rebecca Lefton, and Daniel J. Weiss, “Growing Global Oil Demand Harms U.S. Security and Economy,” April 23, 2010, accessed July 10, 2013,; see also a useful summary of the vulnerability issue in Rand Corporation, Does Imported Oil Threaten U.S. National Security? (Santa Monica, CA: Rand Corporation, 2009)., FAQs: Oil; see also Kevin Bullis, “Shale Oil Will Boost U.S. Production, But It Won’t Bring Energy Independence,” MIT Technology Review, November 15, 2012, accessed February 20, 2013,

    12. A thorough summary of the important economic and environmental issues associated with fracking can be found in US Government Accountability Office, Oil and Gas: Information on Shale Resources, Development, and Environmental and Public Health Risks (Washington, DC: Government Accountability Office, 2012), Publication GAO-12–732.

    13. Executive Office of the President, President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, ibid. [ibid. in text]

    14.National Science Foundation, “Nanotechnology Definition,” (February 2000), accessed January 28, 2012, National Nanotechnology Initiative, accessed December 14, 2011,

    16.Vandana Prakash, “Nanotechnology to Aid the Commercial Viability of Algae Bio-Fuel Production,” QuantumSphere, April 23, 2009, accessed February 2, 2012,

    17.Renewable Energy, “Hydrogen Energy,” accessed October 15, 2011,

    18.International Energy Agency, Technology Roadmap: Smart Grids (Paris, France: International Energy Agency, 2011), 6, accessed February 1, 2012,

    19. Title XIII of EISA (2007) authorized the Department of Energy to initiate new programs to coordinate and improve national grid modernization. President Obama repeatedly urged Congress to authorize and fund an aggressive program of national conversion to a “smart grid” to be completed before the end of the century. Additionally, the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act created $3.4 billion in grants to states and communities to begin development of smart grids.

    20.The Barker Institute, Energy Forum, “Energy and Nanotechnology,” accessed February 3, 2012,; see also: Neal Lane and Thomas Kalil, “The National Nanotechnology Initiative: Present at the Creation,” Issues in Science and Technology, Summer 2005, accessed November 10, 2011,; and Robert W. Fri, “From Energy Wish Lists to Technological Realities,” Issues in Science and Technology, Fall 2006, accessed January 10, 2012,

    21. On hydrogen cell potential, see: The National Academies, “Emerging Technologies: Hydrogen Fuel Cells,” accessed October 3, 2011,; and Daniel Sperling and Joan Ogden, “The Hope for Hydrogen,” Issues in Science and Technology, 20, no. 3 (Spring 2004), accessed February 6, 2012, For the debate over hydrogen technologies, see also Joseph J. Romm, “The Hype About Hydrogen,” Issues in Science and Technology, 20, no. 3 (Spring 2004), accessed February 7, 2012,

    About the Author

    Walter A. Rosenbaum is professor emeritus of political science at the University of Florida and director emeritus of the University of Florida’s Bob Graham Center for Public Service. His recent activities include an analysis of the EPA’s capacity for climate change regulation, prepared for the Brookings Institution; an examination of the data requirements for a new Federal Environmental Legacy Act; and preparation of an energy policy text for CQ Press. He has also served as a staff member of the US Environmental Protection Agency and an adjunct professor in the School of Public Health, Tulane University Medical College. In addition to his teaching and research, he has been a consultant to the EPA, the US Department of Energy, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the South Florida Ecosystem (Everglades) Restoration Project. He is currently the editor-in-chief of the Journal for Environmental Studies and Sciences.

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