James Katz evaluates the implications to the American political system of Congress's struggle over the formulation of a national energy policy during the last decade. He makes an original contribution by analyzing the policy in a wider theoretical and historical context. This combination of history, description, analysis, and theory building makes the book highly informative and useful.
Katz shows that although energy supply is one of the greatest problems facing our generation and a key factor in the competition among world powers, Congress has often been unable to form effective energy policies.
By examining Congress's reaction to the energy policy initiatives of recent administrations, the organizational and sociological limitations of the nation's ability to grapple with the development of a comprehensive energy policy, and the attempts to build a governmental organization to administer it, Katz provides new insight into Congress as an organization as well as into the proclivities and dynamics of the U.S. policy system. He also applies his own theory of organization to Congress to help predict and explain Congressional behavior.