The Political Economy of World Energy: A Twentieth-Century Perspective

By John G. Clark | Go to book overview
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term goals, thus precluding the possibility of formulating even intermediate-term plans. Thus, in western Europe and in the USA, the coal industry was allowed to deteriorate even though it was the largest and most valuable internal source of energy. In the USA, artificially low natural gas prices harmed the coal industry while speeding the depletion of gas reserves and discouraging exploration.Interventionist and non-interventionist nations had all tumbled into the same empty barrel by 1973 when oil import dependence reached high levels. Western countries neglected to formulate policies protective of domestic energy resources or to foster the development of renewable energy. Aside from very controversial and costly nuclear technology, no substitute energy forms appeared on the horizon. New oil and gas finds in the North Sea and Alaska promised a few nations temporary amelioration of energy import dependence. As the oil producing states of OPEC gained control of production and prices in 1970-1, western consuming nations observed, lethargically. Professional politicians, whatever their personal beliefs, were quick to spot a non-issue.
Notes
1. For the above see: W. W. Rostow, The World Economy: History and Prospect, Austin: University of Texas Press ( 1978); P. F. Chapman and F. Roberts , Metal Resources and Energy, London: Butterworths ( 1983); W. M. Scammell, The International Economy Since 1945, 2nd edn, London: Macmillan ( 1983).
2. W. W. Rostow, The Stages of Economic Growth: A Non-Communist Manifesto, 2nd edn, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press ( 1971); J. K. Galbraith , The Affluent Society, Cambridge, Mass.: The Riverside Press ( 1958); D. Riesman, Abundance for What? And Other Essays, New York: Anchor Books ( 1965); D. Bell, The Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism, New York: Basic Books ( 1976).
3. OECD-Europe included: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, West Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, and Britain. Other members include: Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, and the United States. Yugoslavia is an associate member. In 1960, OECD superseded the Organization for European Economic Cooperation which was established in 1948. The original members of OEEC included all of the above excepting those in italics.
4. The points alluded to in the above four paragraphs are treated in greater detail in subsequent sections. A few of the studies dealing with these matters are: P. F. Cowhey, The Problems of Plenty: Energy Policy and International Politics, Berkeley: University of California Press ( 1985); R. L. Gordon, The Evolution of Energy Policy in Western Europe: The Reluctant Retreat from Coal, New York: Praeger ( 1970); L. E. Grayson, National Oil Companies, New York: Wiley ( 1981); M. T. Hatch, Politicsand Nuclear Power: Energy Policy in Western Europe

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