1st Edition

Energy Capitol The Waning of Regulatory Form

By Arthur Mason Copyright 2025
    264 Pages
    by Routledge

    264 Pages
    by Routledge

    Energy Capitol explores the waning of regulatory politics surrounding large-scale energy systems in the United States at the turn of the millennium.


    Throughout the twentieth century, large-scale energy systems in North America and Europe were highly regulated by a national political community whose decision-making authority relied on positions of bureaucratic and capitalist-led industry organization. After restructuring in energy markets such as natural gas and electricity during the 1980s, the culture of power surrounding political decision-making began to decline. Against this backdrop, Authur Mason examines the struggle by oil companies and federal state to deliver natural gas from Alaska and Canada’s Mackenzie Valley to markets in mid-continental United States, highlighting that they often reverted to regulatory collusion to advance their plans. Mason employs perspectives from anthropology, political science, sociology, and science and technology studies to analyse ethnographic data gathered at the Alaska State Legislature and in the Office of the Alaska Governor in Washington DC. This focuses on plans for building a 20-billion dollar 3,500-mile pipeline to transport natural gas from the Arctic to the United States. By illuminating key aspects of federal-state political decision-making processes on energy transportation infrastructure, Mason highlights the activities of economists, lawyers, lobbyists and other regulatory intellectuals. Their accumulated work impeded Arctic pipeline proposals through its reliance on judgments that no longer reflected the conditions in which large-scale projects were determined.


    Written by a leading expert in the field, this book will be of great interest to students and scholars of energy policy, environmental politics and governance and regulation and risk. It will also be relevant to industry professionals working in environmental NGOs and government departments in energy and climate forecasting.





    Preface: Millennial Energy

    List of Abbreviations


    1. Waning Reflection of Status and Collusion

    2. Submission and Involvement

    3. Events Collective

    4. Governor and the New Gas Paradigm

    5. Kitchen Cabinet

    6. Observation Work

    7. Wealth of Knowledge

    8. Mexican Standoff




     Arthur Mason is a political anthropologist specializing in energy politics, ecological vulnerability, and expertise, aesthetics and futurity. His publications include two edited volumes titled Arctic Abstractive Industry: Assembling the Valuable and Vulnerable North and Subterranean Estates: Life Worlds of Oil and Gas.