Energy Policy


Units: 6

Description: This seminar will provide an introduction to modern U.S. energy policy. Our goal will be to understand, from a practical perspective, how economics, , technology, politics, public opinion, national security, and environmental / climate considerations all influence the development and implementation of policy. Questions that we will address include: How has U.S. energy policy changed over the years and what lessons have we learned from past initiatives? How much influence does government really have? How have new technologies changed the energy landscape? What priority do national leaders give to energy policy? And how does energy policy impact our relationships with other countries? The class will begin with an overview of the energy sector and the related government structure. After covering some historical context, we will discuss Presidential initiatives and legislative activity, with a particular focus on more recent activities. We will then consider some case studies, such as the Keystone Pipeline, EPA's Clean Power Plan, and the development of the Marcellus Shale, that demonstrate conflicting viewpoints about appropriate energy policy. The class will also explore international energy issues like exports of liquefied natural gas and crude oil exports, as well as the Paris Climate Agreement. This course is a seminar class; I will provide a framework and then guide a discussion among the students. Depending on the particular class session, we will have individual or group presentations. Your preparation and participation is essential. Each session will begin with a short review and discussion of current events in the energy sector. We will also hear from guest speakers, including a number of current and former senior government officials.

Learning Outcomes: By the end of this class, students should have a solid understanding of the issues and the players involved in the development and implementation of U.S. energy policy. Students should be able to articulate the relevant policy considerations and the trade-offs associated with various energy initiatives. You should be able to draw upon historical examples and develop recommendations for current and future energy policy in the U.S.

Syllabus: 90-808_Energy_Policy_Syllabus_F18.pdf