High Altitude Energy: A History of Fossil Fuels in Colorado

By Lee Scamehorn | Go to book overview

10

Beyond the Energy Crisis

The drive for national energy self-sufficiency faltered and was abandoned in the 1980s. After having supported a wide range of initiatives in the 1970s, politicians adopted the view that public programs stifled, rather than encouraged, energy production. Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan campaigned in 1980 on a promise to dismantle much of the federal bureaucracy, including the Department of Energy and the energy- related central planning agencies that had been created with the blessings of Presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and Jimmy Carter.

The new administration hoped to bow out of energy programs, leaving to the private sector and a free-market economy the task of seeking a proper balance between consumption and production. After some equivocation, Reagan endorsed one exception by continuing his predecessor's policy of stockpiling oil in a Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Advocates of Reaganomics predicted that higher prices would stimulate the output of energy resources, and at the same time encourage conservation in their use. Furthermore, private programs, unlike their public counterparts, would not expand the federal bureaucracy or enlarge the national debt.

In spite of reduced government activities, there were no long-term advances in domestic oil production. Consumption of energy, particularly petroleum, after declining for a time, increased as the price of foreign oil 188

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High Altitude Energy: A History of Fossil Fuels in Colorado
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • High Altitude a History of Fossil Fuels in Colorado Energy *
  • Contents *
  • Illustrations *
  • Preface *
  • Acknowledgments *
  • 1 - King Coal 1860—1930 *
  • 2 - Smelter Fuel 1877—1930 *
  • 3 - Lamp Oil to Motor Fuel 1860—1930 *
  • 4 - Lighting and Heating with Gas 1870—1930 *
  • 5 - Coal from Bust to Boom Again, 1930 —1973 *
  • 6 - Fuel for the Car Culture 1930—1973 *
  • 7 - Natural Gas 1930—1973 *
  • 8 - Synthetic Fuels 1917—1973 *
  • 9 - Energy Crisis 1973—1985 *
  • 10 - Beyond the Energy Crisis *
  • Bibliographical Essay *
  • Index *
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