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Energy Crisis and Policy in the United States

The energy-climate crisis is a serious problem all over the world that needs to be addressed. Energy is associated with security, which is critical to each state’s safety and independence. At the same time, a number of factors have shaped society’s view of the global energy industry. Currently, countries of the world face an energy crisis due to climate change, population growth, increased demand, and dependence on fossil-based fuels, which imply the need for change in terms of energy policy. According to Hite and Seitz (2016), nations cannot rely on a plentiful supply of energy from traditional sources, known to contribute to greenhouse gas emissions and pollute the environment. While the economic growth of the second half of the 20th century was primarily enabled by cheap energy, it was followed by oil shocks and the associated financial circumstances which contributed to the energy crisis. Besides, international politics and trade can impact power supplies in the world, which determines different countries’ national security.

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The U.S. energy industry still largely depends on coal and oil and lacks a comprehensible energy strategy. Even though natural gas and renewable energy sources are being increasingly promoted, the country has struggled to implement an effective policy to handle the problem. As reported by Hite and Seitz (2016), the primary reason for this issue is the difficulty associated with changing the “oil- and coal-intensive infrastructure” and switching to alternative strategies (p. 138). The nation’s value of comfort, abundance, and material goods complicates the creation of a new, environmentally conscious mindset. Moreover, Hite and Seitz (2016) emphasize the economic interest of oil companies that impact the governmental energy policy through financial instruments. For instance, they participate in elections and support certain candidates, which results in altered legislation with regard to the U.S. energy strategy.

A potential energy disaster in the United States is another critical issue that needs to be considered. According to the article by Burnett (2018), McConnell states that “the U.S. electric power grid is being stretched to the brink of failure from a major weather event or terror attack” (para. 2). Such risks are associated with current climate-change policies, as well as numerous renewable energy mandates and subsidies that promote alternative energy sources and force nuclear and coal-fired power plants to close. At the same time, such power stations are characterized by higher reliability in case of an emergency (Burnett, 2018). In contrast to power plants based on clean energy, such as wind, solar, or natural gas energy, nuclear and coal-fired stations can provide secure electricity under various circumstances. Hence, their closure increases the risk of an energy crisis in the country.

Electricity cannot be stored in a reliable and inexpensive way without being converted to other energy forms. Hence, as Burnett (2018) claims, it must be available on-demand, which is complicated with regard to solar and wind power since they are not always accessible. Instead, such a power supply is primarily based on natural conditions. In turn, natural gas can be viewed as an alternative source to coal and nuclear energy. The competition between natural gas and coal-fired and nuclear plants contributed to the mass closure of the stations based on traditional fuels. At the same time, renewable energy sources remain less reliable in comparison to coal, whose value and ability to provide electricity on demand should be recognized.


Burnett, H. S. (2018). Climate policies are creating an energy crisis. The Heartland Institute.

Hite, K. A., & Seitz, J. L. (2016). Global issues: An introduction (5th ed.). Wiley-Blackwell.

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