POLS Final Reading Notes

POLS Final Reading Notes - Reading Notes CH. 5 Energy and...

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Reading Notes CH. 5 Energy and Environmental Policies: Policy Complacency Energy Policy Complacency best describes the attitude of the American public toward the development of a national energy policy and environmental protection strategies. An abundance of cheap energy and economic prosperity has made people not care and feel like everything would be ok. Policy makers and the American public thought that because the U.S. had vast natural resources available, regulatory and protective environmental policies were unnecessary. ENERGY POLICY ISSUE BACKGROUND: COMPLACENCY AND CRISIS 1973 marked a change in U.S. energy history when the Arab Oil Embargo happened. The years following the embargo were a period of crisis, uncertainty, an finally renewed complacency. Traditional Energy Policy Before 1973 we believe that the private sector would provide the nation with an unlimited supply of inexpensive energy governed policy. There was an abundance of fossil fuels provide by the private sector: coal, oil, and natural gas. U.S. energy policy was unprepared for the events of 1973 that threatened the nation’s energy supply. Policy Values The Mineral Leasing Act of 1920 designed government leases to encourage energy exploration and production. There was a dispute over offshore mineral rights, it was resolved in 1953 when the states were given mineral rights to their traditional boundaries (3 to 10 ft. offshore) then the federal government had the rest. Taxation Government had to change its tax policies on minerals after 1973, original policies resulted in increased production. Government started prorationing which involves using government regulations to impose production quotas on private companies in order to reduce supply and balance the economy.
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Decentralization No single regulatory body or level of government had responsibility for establishing energy policies. Coal Before 1920’s coal was primary source of energy, 75% of nations consumption, abundant coal supply provided cheap energy but depresses prices, which resulted in low profits for companies and low wages for miners. Government tries to protect the coal industry from oversupply. Late 1920’s oil became the energy of choice for home and industry. Coal industry began a gradual slide into depression. Oil Basic to the long history of oil policy was government protection of the industry. Government limited production to create a balance between supply and demand. Natural Gas Natural Gas also has a long history of regulation. Natural gas production is not labor intensive, because it requires very little refining before commercial use. An unintended consequence of natural gas was waste, since the low price structure did not encourage efficiency or conservation. Nuclear Power
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This note was uploaded on 04/17/2008 for the course POLS 2301 taught by Professor Arwine during the Spring '08 term at Texas Tech.

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POLS Final Reading Notes - Reading Notes CH. 5 Energy and...

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