The Future of Energy Policy

A sign meaning "Caution" is seen in front of a cooling tower of a German nuclear power plant in Essenbach, Germany, April 02, 2011. Michaela Rehle / Reuters


A century ago, Lord Selborne, the first lord of the Admiralty, dismissed the idea of fueling the British navy with something other than coal, which the island nation had in great abundance. "The substitution of oil for coal is impossible," he pronounced, "because oil does not exist in this world in sufficient quantities." Seven years later, the young Winston Churchill was appointed first lord and charged with winning the escalating Anglo-German race for naval superiority. As Daniel Yergin chronicled in The Prize, Churchill saw that oil would increase ship speed and reduce refueling time -- key strategic advantages -- and ordered oil-burning battleships to be built, committing the navy to this new fuel. Churchill's was a strategic choice, bold, creative, and farsighted. The energy choices the world faces today are no less consequential, and America's response must be as insightful.

Energy is fundamental to U.S. domestic

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