The Energy Security Dilemma : US Policy and Practice book cover
1st Edition

The Energy Security Dilemma
US Policy and Practice

ISBN 9780415890557
Published April 13, 2016 by Routledge
232 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This book analyzes the energy security of the United States – its ability to obtain reliable, affordable, and sufficient supplies of energy while meeting the goals of achieving environmental sustainability and protecting national security. The economic and national security of the United States is largely dependent upon fossil fuels, especially oil. Without significant changes to current practices and patterns of energy production and use, the domestic and global impacts – security, economic, and environmental – are expected to become worse over the coming decades. Growing US and global energy demands need to be met and the anticipated impacts of climate change must be avoided – all at an affordable price, while avoiding conflict with other nations that have similar goals.

Bernell and Simon examine the current and prospective landscape of American energy policy, from tax incentives and mandates at the federal and state level to promote wind and solar power, to support for fracking in the oil and natural gas industries, to foreign policies designed to ensure that markets and cooperative agreements — not armies, navies and rival governments — control the supply and price of energy resources. They look at the variety of energy related challenges facing the United States and argue that public policies designed to enhance energy security have at the same time produced greater insecurity in terms of fostering rising (and potentially unmet) energy needs, national security threats, economic vulnerability, and environmental dangers.

Table of Contents

1. Energy Security as a Concept

2. Values, Choices and Needs

3. Private Property Rights and the Public Good

4. Domestic Policy and Energy Transformation: Fossil Fuels

5. Domestic Policy and Energy Transformation: Renewables

6. The International Dimensions of US Energy Security

7. Conclusion

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David Bernell is Associate Professor of Political Science at Oregon State University. He also consults for the renewable energy firm, Think Energy, and has served in the federal government as Advisor on Trade and Environment to the US Department of The Interior, and Special Assistant to the Associate Director for the US Office and Management and Budget, where he worked to develop the federal budget for solar and renewable power, climate change, and energy efficiency.

Christopher A. Simon is Professor of Political Science and a former Director of the MPA Program at The University of Utah.  He conducts research in alternative energy policy; civic community and volunteerism; education policy; criminal justice policy; Homeland Security policy; land use policy; public administration; and military sociology.



A major contribution to the energy security literature. Bernell and Simon are rare boundary-spanners who have been operating at the intersection between the worlds of practice and the academe (Bernell), and between the worlds of science and engineering and social science policy studies (Simon) for over two decades. Energy security policy necessitates a broad range of knowledge and experience, and this book captures the insights generated from this truly collaborative work reflecting a remarkable scope of familiarity with the political, economic and scientific dynamics of energy security.

-- Nicholas Lovrich, Washington State University, USA

An articulate and novel take on energy security both as an analytical concept and as a lens through which to examine the complex dynamics and values affecting energy trends in the United States. Important reading for anybody seriously interested in the future of energy security in the United States, especially those striving to make America’s energy system more environmentally friendly, renewable, and truly secure.

-- Benjamin K. Sovacool, University of Sussex, UK

Bernell and Simon have crafted an engaging and thoughtful examination of energy security that both captures the 20th-Century geopolitical roots of the topic and ties them to the emergent needs of the globalized 21st-century. It’s a brave volume that isn’t afraid to tackle incongruence and contradiction, with candor and insight, in one of the central political conflicts of our era.

-- Adam L. Reed, University of Colorado-Boulder, USA