Roberta W. Walsh
A review of the leading literature in energy policy over the past twenty years reveals a pattern not unlike energy policy itself, that is, emerging and fading, depending upon the sense of public urgency attached to the issue at any given time. Another characteristic that becomes apparent is a gradual diffusion of the literature into specialized areas of concern as a wide range of energy policy related topics began to fall within the purview of various interest groups and became more clearly associated with disciplines of the social and natural sciences. This essay, by describing some of the key titles that have contributed to an increasing awareness and understanding of the issues underlying energy efficiency, provides the reader with an overview of how the energy policy literature evolved.
The period immediately following the oil embargoes of the 1970s witnessed the publication of works like the Ford Foundation Energy Project's A Time to Choose: America's Energy Future ( 1974), Amory Lovins's Soft Energy Paths ( 1977), and Stobaugh and Yergin Energy Future ( 1979). These books are generally regarded as landmarks in the contemporary energy policy dialogue, having set the stage for the national debate that followed and, in several respects, remains ongoing. Their contribution lies in their ability to identify the origin of the U.S.