Smart Energy Path: How Willie Nelson Saved the Planet

44 Pages Posted: 6 Feb 2008

See all articles by Joseph P. Tomain

Joseph P. Tomain

University of Cincinnati - College of Law


In examining the need to move away from traditional energy policy and toward Smart Energy, the article draws a connection between physicist Amory Lovins and singer Willie Nelson. Both believe that our country's century-old traditional energy policy no longer meets our needs. Rather, they feel that such an antiquated policy ignores the challenges that the country and the world face today. Smart Energy is not only a promising vision of the future, it is the only realistic vision. It is pro-growth, because it promotes the development of new industries and new technologies. Smart Energy is protective of the environment by promoting cleaner air, cleaner water, and sensitivity to climate change through the use of low-carbon and renewable energy resources. It is committed to competitive markets and government regulation to make those markets function. Responsive to energy security, Smart Energy promotes energy independence through multiple and distributed energy resources. Sensitive to national security, Smart Energy brings energy production back home from foreign ports. Furthermore, Smart Energy promotes democratic principles of accountability and transparency as it moves away from highly centralized energy firms. Finally, Smart Energy believes in maintaining the quality of life that we now enjoy.

Keywords: Energy policy, environment, resources

JEL Classification: K32

Suggested Citation

Tomain, Joseph P., Smart Energy Path: How Willie Nelson Saved the Planet. Cumberland Law Review, Vol. 36, p. 417, 2006, U of Cincinnati Public Law Research Paper No. 07-36, Available at SSRN:

Joseph P. Tomain (Contact Author)

University of Cincinnati - College of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 210040
Cincinnati, OH 45221-0040
United States
513-556-6805 (Phone)
513-556-6265 (Fax)

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