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US Energy Policy and the Pursuit of Failure

$42.99 (P)

  • Date Published: March 2013
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521182188

$ 42.99 (P)

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About the Authors
  • U.S. Energy Policy and the Pursuit of Failure is an analytic history of American energy policy. For the past forty years, the U.S. government has tried to develop comprehensive policies on energy, yet these efforts have failed repeatedly. These failures have not resulted from a lack of will or funds but rather from an inability to differentiate between what could be undertaken and what could actually be accomplished. This book explains how and why various policy efforts have come about, shows why politicians have been eager to back them, and analyzes why they have inevitably failed. Over the past four decades, U.S. energy policy makers have pursued not just policies that have failed but also a policy process that leads to failure.

    • Challenges the notion that there is such a thing as an energy crisis
    • Explains the dynamics of the energy policy process and shows why we get grandiose-seeming - but unsuccessful and wasteful - energy legislation
    • Identifies and explores 'the energy policy conundrum', which is that the American people seek two energy goals that are in fact mutually exclusive
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'U.S. Energy Policy and the Pursuit of Failure is exactly the kind of analysis that more economists should do. It brings in political transaction costs to explain how policies can go astray, endure, and reduce welfare. Given the plethora of policy recommendations for climate change mitigation, economists should take pause and be careful in what they call for.' Gary Libecap, University of California, Santa Barbara

    'For four decades, politicians have promised a solution to the 'energy crisis' that will bring Americans 'energy independence'. Fusion, wind, solar, switch grass, or algae, the salvation technologies have changed but the promises remain the same and broken. In this important and entertaining book, Peter Grossman documents the history of energy policy failure. Most importantly, [he] explains why policy has failed. Crisis-mentality thinking has promoted quick fixes and single-shot 'solutions' that ignore market and technology realities. What we need is not a solution in the style of the Manhattan project but stable rules that support basic research while leaving plenty of scope for American entrepreneurship and innovation. Professor Grossman's careful history and insightful analysis is the key guide to a more modest but a more successful energy policy.' Alex Tabarrok, Director, Center for Study of Public Choice, and Bartley J. Madden Chair in Economics, George Mason University

    'Peter Grossman's definitive documentation of the failures of energy policy is a must-read for every policy analyst.' Murray Weidenbaum, Edward Mallinckrodt Distinguished University Professor, Washington University, St Louis, and former Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors during the Reagan Administration

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2013
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521182188
    • length: 416 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 x 22 mm
    • weight: 0.57kg
    • contains: 10 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Crisis
    2. Failure
    3. Fuels
    4. EIA
    5. Morality
    6. Apollo
    7. Collapse
    8. Crisis 2.0
    9. Modesty.

  • Author

    Peter Z. Grossman, Butler University, Indiana
    Peter Z. Grossman is the Clarence Efroymson Professor of Economics at Butler University. He is co-author, with Edward S. Cassedy, of Introduction to Energy (Cambridge University Press, 1999) and co-editor, with D. H. Cole, of The End of a Natural Monopoly: Deregulation and Competition in the Electric Power Industry. His scholarly articles have appeared in journals such as Energy Policy, Economic Inquiry, The Journal of Legal Studies and the Journal of Public Policy. For seven years, Professor Grossman was a regular columnist on economic issues for the Indianapolis Star and he has contributed commentary to many magazines and newspapers, including The Wall Street Journal and The Christian Science Monitor.

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