chapter  10
22 Pages

Going with the flow: policy leadership, U.S. energy paradigm shift and policy displacement from 1975 to 2006


This chapter explores how the interaction between presidential initiative to address America’s thirst for oil and a well-entrenched policy regime determined to protect economic arrangements based on producing and consuming that oil has influenced a policy paradigm shift in energy. A policy strategy of energy conservation and finding substitutes for oil was initiated in the mid 1970s, but by the mid-1980s it had been displaced by a security policy that identified access to imported oil as a strategic imperative and recognized military engagement as a primary energy policy instrument. The international and military dynamics of this paradigm displacement

have been explored elsewhere (Klare, 2004a; Randall, 2005; Kaldor et. al., 2007) and will not be the primary focus here. Instead, the lessons of America’s energy policy adjustments from 1975 through 2006 will be considered for what they can suggest about the process of policy change itself.