For the past twenty years, the energy picture in the United States has been colored largely by the oil shortages of the 1970s. The next twenty years are likely to be framed by an increasingly difficult clash between economic growth and environmental protection. This report recommends scientific study to better estimate the health and environmental effects of energy production methods and use, including a reevaluation of nuclear energy; public debate on the alternatives, and taxes to compensate for adverse environmental effects. Moreover, to ensure the global effectiveness of these measures, we suggest treating them as national issues first. We propose a concentration of federal research and development in basic energy research and development in basic cnergy research with greater international collaboration; and we urge government to discontinue the strategic petroleum reserve and accelerate the deregulation of natural gas and electricity. Finally, we suggest alternative strategies for supplying the nation's defense energy needs.
ICAF Industry Studies 1997