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By Iowa Kendall and Hunt Publishing


Despite its obvious economic and social importance, energy (broadly understood) is an understudied field. True, among academics, one can find several engineers and geologists, along with some economists, geographers, legal scholars, and political scientists, who devote much of their research efforts to devising and/or analyzing various energy-related technologies, supply sources, markets, and institutions. By and large, however, very few individuals have tried to understand how all the various parts of the energy puzzle fit—or not—together, and much—if not most—of the public discussion of the issue is agenda-driven and ignorant of basic physical and economic principles. One part of the problem is, of course, the sheer scope of energy-related issues. Another is the fact that, despite often significant regulatory obstacles and ill-advised policies, energy markets have functioned rather smoothly over the last two centuries and have provided consumers with an ever growing, affordable and reliable supply of fossil fuels and electrical power. Indeed, widespread popular and academic interest in “big picture ” energy studies has historically been limited to short-lived crisis episodes

Year: 2011
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