There are rapid, and sometimes radical, changes now transforming energy production and consumption in the United States. Utilizing contemporary examples throughout his narrative, Rosenbaum captures this transformation while analyzing how important actors, institutions, and issues impact American energy policymaking. With clear explanations of relevant energy technologies-from controversial fracking to mountain top mining to nuclear waste storage-the book first looks at the policy options available in governing the energy economy and then discusses specific resources (petroleum and natural gas, coal, nuclear power, electricity, renewable energy, conservation) and the global energy challenges associated with climate change. This is a perfect supplement for any environmental politics course.

Nuclear Energy

Nuclear energy

Misfortunes come on horseback, and go away on foot.

French proverb

The catastrophic tsunami that ravaged Japan’s northeast coast on March 11, 2011, left in its wake a disastrous succession of unprecedented emergency equipment failures, several reactor meltdowns, and significant radioactive emissions. It also devastated far more than the Fukushima Daiichi commercial nuclear facility. It may have shattered the American nuclear industry’s cherished vision of a “nuclear renaissance.” The Japanese disaster became the latest episode in the contentious development of the American commercial nuclear power industry, another chapter in the crisis-driven history of the domestic nuclear power policy.

A Rising and Fading “Renaissance”

After decades of economic stagnation, the domestic nuclear power industry seemed in 2010 about to revive. In 2000, statistics about commercial ...

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