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U.S. Energy Policy: New Mindset Needed (‘energy security’ narrative must go)

By Peter Grossman -- July 26, 2013

“Government energy programs have been arrogant and, in many respects, irrational as well. Policymakers have often assumed that technological breakthroughs would occur simply because a law said they would happen. Of course, in reality, presidents, members of Congress, bureaucrats in the Department of Energy, or the EPA could not and cannot legislate, mandate, or decree technological advance.”

The U.S. will never have useful energy policies unless and until it abandons a 40-year-old half-truth: We consume more energy (particularly oil) than we produce and thus are “dangerously” dependent on world markets.

The story—what I call the U.S. energy narrative—was created in the 1970s, and was widely accepted because it superficially explained the energy crises.

In the story, the U.S. was the victim of big oil companies who wanted our money and Arab oil sheikhs who not only wanted our money but also sought to use oil as a weapon to affect a change in our international policies.