Energy Policy, 40 Years Later: Meeting Challenges — Both Old and New

The IHS Energy Daily, Vol. 41 Issue 185 pp.1

September 26, 2013

In conjunction with The Energy Daily’s 40th Anniversary, Bob Nordhaus, partner in Van Ness Feldman’s electric practice, penned an insightful overview of the developments in the United States’ energy policy over the past 40 years. 

IHS The Energy Daily’s 40th anniversary, by no coincidence, is also the 40th anniversary of the Arab oil embargo. The embargo, which doubled crude oil prices and triggered fuel shortages and gasoline lines, also marked the beginning of energy policy and energy law as we know them today (and, of course, energy journalism).

Before the embargo, individual statutes dealt with different energy and environmental issues—the Natural Gas Act, the Federal Power Act, the Atomic Energy Act, federal lands legislation. We had oil import quotas and Nixon’s price controls on oil. We were in the early stages of implementing the Clean Air Act. Energy efficiency, non-hydro renewables and fuel economy policies were not part of the mix.

More importantly, Congress and the White House had little understanding that energy markets were so closely interconnected that regulatory constraints, technology choices or supply interruptions in one sector could spill over to other sectors or to the economy as a whole...

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A copy of the article can be accessed here.