ENERGY POLICY IN THE U.S.

THE ENERGY SHORTAGE IN THE U. S. WAS PREDICTABLE TWO YEARS AGO WHEN THE DOMESTIC SUPPLY OF FUELS BEGAN TO FALL SHARPLY BEHIND THE RISING TOTAL DEMAND FOR ENERGY. DOMESTIC PRODUCTION OF NATURAL GAS AND CRUDE OIL REACHED AN ALL-TIME HIGH IN 1972 AND HAS BEEN FALLING SINCE. GRAPHS ARE PRESENTED WHICH ILLUSTRATE THE U. S. DEPENDENCE ON IMPORTS AND THE AVAILABILITY OF LIMITED QUANTITIES OF SYNTHETIC GAS AND OIL AND HYDROELECTRIC POWER. IN ANY ATTEMPT TO FIND SOLUTIONS TO FIND SOLUTIONS TO THE PROBLEM, THE NEED IS INDICATED FOR AN OVERALL TAXONOMY OF ENERGY. THIS MUST CONSIST OF A LISTING OF THE OPTIONS IN A LOGICAL HIERACHY, SO THAT NATIONAL DEBATE LEADS TO PUBLIC ILLUMINATION AND EVENTUALLY TO SATISFACTORY CHOICES. THE ANALYSIS OF ALTERNATIVE SOLUTIONS TO TECHNICAL PROBLEMS IS REVIEWED AND THE PROCESS OF TECHNOLOGICAL DISCUSSION IS CONSIDERED. THE COMPARISON OF VARIOUS NUCLEAR METHODS FOR GENERATING NUCLEAR POWER IS CONSIDERED AS AN EXAMPLE. IMBALANCES IN THE FISSION PROGRAM ARE DETAILED. THE SERIOUS IMBALANCE IN THE BREEDER-REACTOR PROGRAM (WITH ITS BUDGET OF $320 MILLION) IS DISCUSSED. SIMILAR ASSESSMENTS ARE MADE WITH RESPECT TO ELECTRIC POWER AND SOLAR ENERGY. THE ALLOCATION OF PRIMARY ENERGY RESOURCES AMONG USERS IS CONSIDERED IN DETAIL. POSSIBLE INTERNATINAL IMPACTS ARE REVIEWED. ENERGY PROVISION VERSUS ENERGY UTILIZATION AND CONSERVATION IS NEXT DISCUSSED AND SEVERAL SUGGESTIONS ARE MADE FOR AMELIORATING FUTURE ENERGY DIFFICULTIES.

Media Info

  • Features: Figures;
  • Pagination: p. 20-9
  • Serial:
    • Scientific American
    • Volume: 230
    • Issue Number: 1
    • Publisher: Scientific American Incorporated
    • ISSN: 0036-8733

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00202436
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 19 1974 12:00AM