The End of Energy traces more than forty years of energy policy incompetence—from the Nixon administration’s fumbled response to the OPEC oil embargo through the failure to develop alternative energy sources to the current political standoff over “cap and trade”—and argues that we must make better decisions for our energy future. Until the 1970s, we produced domestically all the oil we needed. Since then, we have had to import most of the oil we use, much of it from the Middle East. And we rely on an even dirtier fuel—coal—to produce half of our electricity. Rather than pushing policies that, over time, would produce the changes we need, we have searched for silver bullets and directed huge subsidies and tax breaks to favored constituents and contributors. Americans have never been asked to pay a price that reflects the real cost of the energy they consume, and until we face the facts about price, our energy incompetence will continue—and along with it the unraveling of our environment, security, and independence.
Michael Graetz is the Justus S. Hotchkiss Professor Emeritus of Law and Professorial Lecturer in Law at Yale Law School. He also holds an appointment at Columbia University where he is the Isidor and Seville Sulzbacher Professor of Law and Columbia Alumni Professor of Tax Law. His specialties include taxation, tax policy, health law and policy, and income security law and policy.
Daniel C. Esty is the Hillhouse Professor of Environmental Law and Policy, with appointments at both the Yale Law School and the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. His research has focused on "next generation" regulation and the relationships between the environment and trade, competitiveness, governance, and development. He served as an Obama campaign advisor on energy and environmental issues and was recently appointed by Governor Dan Malloy to serve as commissioner of Connecticut’s new Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.