New Books on Energy Politics | "Struggling for Air" and "Panic at the Pump"
The Institute for Public Knowledge invites you to join us for the launch of two exciting new books: Struggling for Air: Power Plants and the 'War on Coal', by Richard Revesz and Jack Lienke, and Panic at the Pump: The Energy Crisis and the Transformation of American Politics, by Meg Jacobs on Wednesday, April 13, 6:00-8:00PM at 20 Cooper Square, Room 503. For more info and to RSVP, please visit the event page.
Struggling for Air. Opponents of the Obama administration’s environmental policies frequently accuse the president of waging a “war on coal.” In their new book, Revesz and Lienke debunk that narrative, explaining how the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s recent restrictions on pollution from coal-fired power plants fit within the broader historical context of our nation’s five-decade struggle to achieve clean air in every American community. The authors argue that the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, and the Clean Power Plan are the latest in a long line of efforts by presidential administrations of both parties to compensate for a tragic flaw in the Clean Air Act of 1970—the "grandfathering" that spared existing power plants from complying with the sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides emissions limits applicable to new plants.
Panic at the Pump. Beginning with the 1973 Arab oil embargo, Meg Jacobs shows how a succession of energy crises in the 1970s prompted American politicians to seek energy independence, and shows how their failure to do so shaped the world we live in. When the crisis hit, the Democratic Party was divided, with older New Deal liberals who prized access to affordable energy squaring off against young environmentalists who pushed for conservation. Conservative Republicans challenged both, arguing that there would be no energy crisis if the government got out of the way and let the market work. The result was a stalemate in Washington and panic across the country. Jacobs argues that the energy crises of the 1970s became, for many Americans, an important object lesson in the limitations of governmental power. Washington proved unable to design a national energy policy, and the inability to develop resources and conserve only made the United States more dependent on oil from abroad. As we face the repercussions of a changing climate, a volatile oil market, and continued unrest in the Middle East, Panic at the Pump is a necessary and instructive account of a formative period in American political history.