Promoting an All of the Above Approach or Pushing (Oil) Addiction and Abuse?: The Curious Role of Energy Subsidies and Mandates in U.S. Energy Policy

Environmental & Energy Law & Policy Journal, 7:2, (The University of Houston Law Center)

WVU Law Research Paper No. 2013-2

30 Pages Posted: 14 Mar 2013 Last revised: 29 Aug 2014

See all articles by Joshua P. Fershee

Joshua P. Fershee

West Virginia University - College of Law

Date Written: February 11, 2013

Abstract

President Bush declared America “addicted to oil” in his fifth State of the Union address, uttering what is now a common refrain used to urge the development of alternative fuel sources. Before progress can be made to modernize the U.S. fuel mix, though, it is important to consider how and why the current fuel mix came to be. To do so, this article first considers whether the United States is, in fact, addicted to oil. The article looks to the medical definitions of addiction and analyzes the U.S. relationship with oil to assist in analyzing the potential effectiveness of U.S. energy policies apparently designed to modify the current fuel mix. Next, the article explains the role of energy subsidies and mandates as part of U.S. energy policies enacted to implement an “all of the above” energy approach and argues that current U.S. policies run the risk of entrenching the status quo rather than significantly altering the current energy sources used in the United States. Finally, the article concludes by providing suggestions for developing a more effective energy policy by combining energy and environmental policies into a single evaluation, thus leading to a more transparent and understandable way forward.

Keywords: oil addiction, oil, energy, environment, law, energy subsidies, subsidies, gasoline, fuel

JEL Classification: Q70, Q4, Q40, Q41, Q42, Q43, Q48, N50, Q13, H2, H23

Suggested Citation

Fershee, Joshua Paul, Promoting an All of the Above Approach or Pushing (Oil) Addiction and Abuse?: The Curious Role of Energy Subsidies and Mandates in U.S. Energy Policy (February 11, 2013). Environmental & Energy Law & Policy Journal, 7:2, (The University of Houston Law Center); WVU Law Research Paper No. 2013-2. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2231671

Joshua Paul Fershee (Contact Author)

West Virginia University - College of Law ( email )

101 Law School Drive
Morgantown, WV West Virginia 26506
United States
304-293-2868 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://law.wvu.edu/faculty/full_time_faculty/joshua-p-fershee

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