Synopses & Reviews
needs a plan for moving toward energy independence. Gyrating gasoline prices, fiery explosions on nightly broadcasts from the oil-rich Persian Gulf
, and warming of the planet from the burning of carbon fuels remind us almost daily about the negative impact of our current energy system on our lives. Yet the debates in Washington
are disquieting to the careful observer. Economic mythologies (of the right and the left) replace factual analysis and science as the basis of decision making. The right believes the lesson of the 1970’s: that government controls disrupt energy markets and we need to get the government out of energy. The left believes that the government needs to impose its will on private interests, but that the special interests (particularly the greedy oil companies) are always able to thwart the national interest. Neither of these simplifications stands up to careful economic analysis. The vast array of energy choices baffles average citizens trying to figure out the right thing to do. This is a book on how America
can become energy independent.
Part of this book explains the successful and unsuccessful ways Americahas tried to solve its last energy crisis, when the gasoline lines of the 1970’s paralyzed the nation, boosted energy for a time to the top of the national agenda, helped topple three presidents, and provoked the most vigorous debate about what to do about energy in the country’s history. The fervent attempts of the period to resolve the nation’s fuel emergencies show realistic, economically and politically viable solutions to our current and growing energy and oil crises.
Part I of the book answers the key questions:
- After all these years, why do we still rely on fuels from hugely expensive and unstable parts of the globe?
- What are the roots of current American relations with countries like Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Iraq?
- How economically viable are alternative technologies that can lead to a better future?
- Are there economic lessons from the failures or successes of the past that might inform our current debates?
Part II gives an 8-point plan for a “Declaration of Energy Independence.”
If you’ve wondered about how America can break links between oil consumption, terrorism, and the war in Iraq, A Declaration of Energy Independence: How Freedom from Foreign Oil Can Improve National Security, Our Economy, and the Environment will show you how our country can gain energy independence and solve its energy crisis. Written by a top energy expert, this book outlines seven economically and politically viable ways America can more efficiently use and produce energy. Find out how carbon fuels negatively impact our lives and understand the political framework of the energy crisis.
Between rising oil prices, global instability, and environmental deg-radation, most Americans acknowl-edge the need for energy independence. Yet our political dialogue tends to focus more on rhetoric than substance, leaving citizens scratching their heads about what they and the country can do to break free from energy dependence.
A Declaration of Energy Independence takes a nonpartisan, honest approach to energy issues and answers fundamental questions like whether the price of oil will ever go down; whether global warming is a real threat; and whether ethanol and other biofuels make sense in the long run.
As the former head of the Energy Information Administration at the U.S. Department of Energy, author Jay Hakes had an exclusive, inside look at America'senergy problems. Now, combining un-disputed facts and solid science with historical and political context, Hakes offershis expert insight on the situation and presents viable solutions for a more stable political, economic, and military future for America.
America's addiction to oil isn't just a pocketbook problem; in fact, it represents a grave security threat with even greater long-term consequences than the Iraq War. Far beyond the rising price of gas, our oil addiction puts dollars in the hands of foreign despots and funds international terrorism. In addition, any severe disrup-tion in the flow of oil can leave our military virtually crippled and unable to respond to crises around the world.
America can break out of the energy trap if we approach the issue honestly, intelligently, and with the political will to create a better future. A Declaration of Energy Independence offers a real-world look—without the ideological blinders of the right and the left—at how we got into this mess and, more importantly, provides effective solutions to get us out of it.
About the Author
"Hakes’s insights into the politics of energy make the book especially relevant this voting season, and it would be a good addition…" (Library Journal
, September 2008)
"Evenhanded and insightful history…a compelling tutorial for anyone seeking to understand the geopolitical forces that have America over a barrel of oil." (Atlanta Journal-Constitution, August 10, 2008)
"...an outpost of sanity in the mostly absurd babble surrounding the 'energy crisis'" (E & P, September, 2008)
Table of Contents
Introduction: Why Energy Independence Matters More Than Iraq
PART ONE: The Problem of America’s Energy Dependence.
Chapter 1: America’s Plunge into Reliance on Foreign Oil.
Chapter 2: A Forgotten Victory Gives Hope: How America Solved Its Last Energy Crisis and Cut Oil Imports in Half.
Chapter 3: Lapsing Back into Oil Addiction: Retreating from Battle under Presidents Reagan, Bush, Clinton, and Bush.
Chapter 4: Blood and Treasure: The Heavy Cost of Dependence on Middle East Oil.
Chapter 5: Fossil Fuels and Global Warming: A Dangerous Experiment with the Planet.
Chapter 6: The Magic and Limits of Market-Based Solutions.
Chapter 7: Seeing through the Ideological Blinders (of the Right and the Left).
PART TWO: Seven Economically and Politically Viable Paths to Energy Independence.
Chapter 8: Solution One: Store Massive Emergency Reserves.
Chapter 9: Solution Two: Drive the Car of the Future.
Chapter 10: Solution Three: Bring Alternative Fuels to Market.
Chapter 11: Solution Four: Plug into an Electric Future.
Chapter 12: Solution Five: Adopt Energy Taxes Liberals and Conservatives Can Like.
Chapter 13: Solution Six: Make Energy Conservation a Patriotic Duty.
Chapter 14: Solution Seven: Throw Some "Hail Marys".
PART THREE: Securing Our National Future.
Chapter 15: What We Need from National Leaders (and from Voters).