Energy Policy in America since 1945: A Study of Business-Government Relations

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In the political economy of energy, World War II was a significant watershed: it accelerated the transition from dependence on coal to petroleum and natural gas. At the same time, mobilization provided an unprecedented experience in the management of energy markets by a forced partnership of business and government. In this 1985 book, Vietor covers American policy from 1945 to 1980. For readers convinced that big business contrived the energy crisis of the 1970s, this story will be disappointing, but enlightening. For those committed to theories of regulatory capture or public interest reform it should be frustrating. More than a history of government policy making, this book provides us with an innovative and insightful approach to the study of business-government relations in modern America. For managers, bureaucrats, and anyone interested in seeing a more effective national industrial policy, this history should put the relationship of business and government in a critical new perspective.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'Professor Vietor gives us a lucid and detailed description of America's energy policy since the end of World War II. He not only presents us with an authoritative history, but he also presents a new view of the interactions between business and government under changing conditions. This book should be read by anyone who is interested in energy policy, business history, or business–government relations - which means everyone.' Robert B. Stobaugh, Harvard Business School

'Anyone seriously interested in understanding the uncertain development of America's energy policy since the end of World War II will find Mr. Vietor's book essential reading. It graphically demonstrates the difficulty of developing a sound and sensible energy policy for a nation which is both a major consumer and major developer of energy, with a divided public and strong interest groups on every side. I heartily recommend it as well to those interested in the infinitely fascinating relationship between business and government in the development of national policy, for it illuminates this area so well.' Stuart E. Eizenstat

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Product Details

Table of Contents

List of charts and figures; List of tables; Editors' preface; Acknowledgments; List of abbreviations; 1. Introduction: the political economy of energy; Part I. The Transition to Peace and Fluid Fuels, 1945–58: 2. The foundations of postwar policy; 3. 'Stepping right out' with synthetic fuels; 4. Regulating natural gas in the absence of economics; 5. Oil imports: the failure of voluntarism; Part II. Managing Surplus Through the Politics of Stasis, 1959–68: 6. Oil import quotas; 7. Formula for shortage: natural gas price controls; 8. Sunfuels revisited: nostrum for the coal industry; Part III. The Second Energy Transition: Adjustment to Depletion, 1969–80: 9. Energy crisis and structural change; 10. Equity versus efficiency: oil price controls; 11. Natural gas: the dilemma of regulatory transition; 12. Natural gas: the consequences of scarcity; 13. National energy management; 14. Business, government, and public policy; Index.

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