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Course Details

Course Number: 90-808

U.S. Energy Policy

Units: 6

This seminar will provide an introduction to modern U.S. energy policy,

What lessons have we learned from past initiatives? How much influence does government really have? How have new technologies changed the energy landscape and our interactions with other countries?

The class will begin with a discussion of the U.S. policy reaction to Arab oil embargoes of the 1970s -- which resulted in the creation of the U.S. Energy Department and the first significant attempts to move the country from dependence on (imported) oil. Besides describing the U.S. and state government components that play a role in the development and implementation of energy policy, we will also analyze many of the relevant policy levers: economics, technology, politics, public opinion, and national security.

The class will then turn to more recent developments – studying significant energy legislation as well as the dramatic increase in domestic oil and gas production. We will consider some case studies, such as the Keystone Pipeline and the development of the Marcellus Shale, that demonstrate conflicting viewpoints about appropriate energy policy. We will also focus on the U.S.– Asia energy relationship, exploring current issues like liquefied natural gas exports and climate change.

There is no textbook; instead, we will read a variety of original sources – reports, studies, and articles. We will also have a number of guest lecturers, including senior government officials.

Jeffrey Kupfer