Energy and American Politics

A Documentary and Reference Guide

by Jerald Mast and Ronald Cronovich


Energy and politics: In the United States, the two have always been intrinsically connected.

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March 2019


Pages 325
Volumes 1
Size 8 1/2x11
Topics Current Events and Issues/General
  • Forthcoming!




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Authoritative and accessible, this book provides a balanced survey of the history of U.S. energy policies, political divisions over energy choices, and the pros and cons of various energy options in the 21st century.

In Energy and American Politics: A Documentary and Reference Guide, readers will find essential primary documents that illuminate historic turning points in American energy policy. It presents the background knowledge necessary to understand the ways in which politics have influenced—and continue to shape—America's energy choices. By examining these documents, users of this accessible guide can fairly assess the economic, environmental, and national security implications of all energy alternatives, including fossil fuels like oil, coal, and natural gas (especially from fracking) as well as so-called renewables such as solar, wind, and nuclear power.

The book spotlights documents such as President Eisenhower's "Atoms for Peace" speech (1953), Congressional speeches endorsing the interstate highway system (1955), President Nixon's announcement of the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency (1970), the Clean Water Act (1972), President Reagan's speech in support of nuclear power (1981), reaction to the end of the renewable energy tax credit and subsequent relocation of wind and solar industry to Europe (1985), the Exxon Valdez oil spill report (1989), congressional speeches and testimony advocating and opposing drilling in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge (late 1990s), energy security policy post-9/11, the Mountaintop Mining Rule (2002), the Obama administration's investments in clean energy (late 2000s to present day), and speeches from Democratic senator Sheldon Whitehouse (2013) and Republican senator Jim Inhofe (2015) on climate change and energy choices.


  • Frames the central arguments of lawmakers, activists, industries, and scientists arguing for and against various energy sources via informative primary documents
  • Presents authoritative and impartial information that provides vital context for readers to fully understand the circumstances under which the featured primary sources were created
  • Examines the implications of conventional and alternative energy sources, including oil, gas, coal, solar, wind, and nuclear
Author Info

Jerald Mast, PhD, is professor of political science at Carthage College in Wisconsin. He primarily teaches and researches in the field of public policy, particularly specializing in the public laws and policies dealing with the environment and natural resources. His most recent publications include Climate Change Politics and Policy in America: Historical and Modern Documents in Context, "International Environmental Politics" for Twenty-first Century Political Science: A Reference Handbook, and "Balancing management needs for conserving biodiversity in Grand Canyon National Park" with Joy Nystrom Mast for National Parks: Biodiversity, Conservation and Tourism. Mast has also conducted research on invasive species policies on the Great Lakes and on economic valuation methods for environmental aesthetics. He is a frequent analyst of state and national politics for Wisconsin Public Radio. He taught political science and political geography at Northern Arizona University before joining the Carthage faculty in 2002. Mast earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and his doctorate with distinction from Northern Arizona University.

Ronald Cronovich, PhD, is professor of economics at Carthage College. He was a member of the University of Nevada-Las Vegas economics faculty from 1994 to 2008 and a three-time selection as the outstanding teacher of the year in UNLV's college of business. He earned a bachelor's degree in economic theory from American University in 1988 and earned a master's degree and doctorate in economics from the University of Michigan. He joined the Carthage faculty in 2008.

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