Climate change presents the United States – and the world – with regulatory problems of a magnitude, complexity and scope unseen before. The United States, however, particularly after the mid-term elections of 2010, lacks the political will to aggressively address climate change. Ending Dirty Energy Policy argues that the United States will not adequately address climate change until it transforms its fossil fuel energy policy. Despite persistent political resistance to climate change legislation, there are signs that the country will support the transformation of its century-old energy policy from one that is dependent on fossil fuels to a low-carbon energy portfolio.
A transformative energy policy – one that favors energy efficiency and renewable resources – can occur only after the United States has abandoned the traditional fossil fuel energy policy, redesigned regulatory systems to open new markets and promote competition among new energy providers, and stimulated private-sector commercial and venture capital investment in energy innovations that can be brought to commercial scale and marketability.
In his latest book, Ending Dirty Energy Policy: Prelude to Climate Change, published by Cambridge University Press, CPR Member Scholar Joseph Tomain explores these issues, offering what one reviewer calls, "a remarkably clear, cogent, and insightful assessment of our options and a plausible path forward."
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What the Experts Say about Joseph Tomain's Ending Dirty Energy Policy
"Tomain's is that rare monograph on a subject as complex and even arcane as energy regulation, which is at once lucid, informative, and compelling in its explication and argument. The book reveals and integrates the wide range of technical, policy, and political issues that together make up the U.S. approach to energy."
- John S. Applegate, Indiana University
"Written by one of the nation's foremost authorities on energy regulation, Ending Dirty Energy Policy takes a clear-eyed look at the history of how law and policy have led to the dominance of fossil fuels, and it lays out a path - admittedly mountainous and bumpy - to a transition to more (though certainly not total) reliance on efficiency and renewables. Many readers will agree; all will be provoked." - Michael Gerrard, Columbia Law School
"Ending Dirty Energy Policy is a cogent, careful, and - perhaps best of all - hopeful argument in favor of transforming our energy policy from dirty to clean."
- Lisa Heinzerling, Georgetown Law School
"One of the preeminent experts in U.S. energy law, Professor Tomain has written a powerful critique of antiquated 'hard path' approaches to energy regulation and offered an accessible introduction to the 'soft path' approaches that this nation will have to adopt to ensure an economically and environmentally sustainable future." - Thomas O. McGarity, University of Texas, Austin
"Energy policy is the largest failure in U.S. history and the make or break issue for our future. Joseph Tomain offers a remarkably clear, cogent, and insightful assessment of our options and a plausible path forward." - David W. Orr, Oberlin College
"Joseph Tomain presents a carefully researched, clearly written, and persuasive account of how the United States can reform energy policy. While the challenge is daunting, Tomain points the way forward by revealing how law, policy, and politics contributed to the creation of our carbon-based economy, and how these forces can be mobilized to achieve a new energy future." - Sidney Shapiro, Wake Forrest University