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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