Environmental & Energy Law & Policy Journal
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Fershee, Joshua P.
President Bush declared America “addicted to oil” in his fifth State of the Union address, uttering what is now a common refrain used to urge the development of alternative fuel sources. Before progress can be made to modernize the U.S. fuel mix, though, it is important to consider how and why the current fuel mix came to be. To do so, this article first considers whether the United States is, in fact, addicted to oil. The article looks to the medical definitions of addiction and analyzes the U.S. relationship with oil to assist in analyzing the potential effectiveness of U.S. energy policies apparently designed to modify the current fuel mix. Next, the article explains the role of energy subsidies and mandates as part of U.S. energy policies enacted to implement an “all of the above” energy approach and argues that current U.S. policies run the risk of entrenching the status quo rather than significantly altering the current energy sources used in the United States. Finally, the article concludes by providing suggestions for developing a more effective energy policy by combining energy and environmental policies into a single evaluation, thus leading to a more transparent and understandable way forward.
Joshua P. Fershee, Promoting an All of the Above Approach or Pushing (Oil) Addiction and Abuse?: The Curious Role of Energy Subsidies and Mandates in U.S. Energy Policy, 7 Envtl. & Energy L. & Pol’y J. 125 (2012).