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Environmental Sciences - Environmental Management | Energy and American Society – Thirteen Myths

Energy and American Society – Thirteen Myths

Sovacool, Benjamin K., Brown, Marilyn A. (Eds.)

2007, XIV, 372 p.

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Current events related to energy policy – skyrocketing gasoline prices, the 2003 Northeast Blackout, the Kyoto Protocol’s enactment, passage of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, and the influence of recent Gulf Coast hurricanes on energy supplies and prices – demand innovative approaches towards conceptualizing the relationship between energy and American society.

This book takes on a central quandary in the study of energy and environmental policy: What myths continue to exist in American culture concerning energy, the environment, and society? It enrolls twenty-four of the nation’s top experts working on energy policy in industry, government laboratories, utilities, nonprofit organizations, and universities to debunk and contextualize thirteen energy myths relating to electric power, renewable energy, energy efficiency, transportation, and climate change.

While the book focuses on the American experience, it will be of interest to those working in the fields of energy policy, energy and the environment, and technology assessment worldwide.


‘This is a brilliant, bold, and fascinating book …that should be read by anybody even remotely concerned about energy, the environment, or the future of American society.’

                                          Art Rosenfeld, Commissioner, California Energy Commission and recipient of the 2006 Enrico Fermi Award


‘…This work is a must-read for anyone interested in American energy policy.’

                                                          Kateri Callahan, President, Alliance to Save Energy


‘…By collecting the best minds to debunk the greatest of these myths, Sovacool and Brown have brought us a step closer to finding a national energy policy based on common sense.’

                               Chris Cooper, Executive Director, Network for New Energy Choices


‘… Sovacool and Brown provide a bold and imaginative way forward.’

                                         John A. "Skip" Laitner, Visiting Fellow and Senior Economist, American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy

Content Level » Research

Keywords » Climate Policy - Electric Power - Energy and environment - Energy efficiency - Government - Transport - non-governmental organizations - organization

Related subjects » Energy Technology - Environmental Management - Environmental Sciences - Policy, Economics, Management & Transport - Political Science

Table of contents 

About the Authors.- Introduction – The Compelling Tangle of Energy and American Society.- Energy Myth One – Today’s Energy Crisis is 'Hype'.- Energy Myth Two – The Public is Well Informed about Energy.- Energy Myth Three – High Land Requirements and an Unfavorable Energy Balance Preclude Biomass Ethanol from Playing a Large Role in Providing Energy Services.- Energy Myth Four – The Hydrogen Economy is a Panacea to the Nation’s Energy Problem.- Energy Myth Five – Price Signals are Insufficient to Induce Efficient Energy Investments.- Energy Myth Six – The Barriers to New and Innovative Energy Technologies are Primarily Technical: The Case of Distributed Generation (DG).- Energy Myth Seven – Renewable Energy Systems Could Never Meet Growing Electricity Demand in America.- Energy Myth Eight – Worldwide Power Systems are Economically and Environmentally Optimal.- Energy Myth Nine – Energy Efficiency Improvements Have Already Maximized Their Potential.- Energy Myth Ten – Energy Efficiency Measures are Unreliable, Unpredictable, and Unenforceable.- Energy Myth Eleven – Energy R&D Investment Takes Decades to Reach the Market.- Energy Myth Twelve – Climate Policy will Bankrupt the U.S. Economy.- Energy Myth Thirteen – Developing Countries Are Not Doing Their Part in Responding to Concerns about Climate Change.- Conclusions – Replacing Myths with Maxims: Rethinking the Relationship Between Society, Energy, the Future, and Sustainability.- Acronyms.- Index.

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