The Public Interest

Is there an energy crisis?

Marc J. Roberts

Spring 1973

THE “energy crisis,” as an object of media attention, is rapidly becoming this year’s equivalent of the hoola hoop or the miniskirt. There have been grave pronouncements from “responsible business leaders.” High-level studies have been ordered by “concerned public officials.” Many Americans no doubt now believe that electricity brownouts, apparent shortages of natural gas and home heating oil, recent environmental protection measures, and the nation’s high rate of economic growth are all part of a single complex, confused, policy problem. When liberal magazines and Southern Congressmen, radical ecologists and oil company presidents, government officials and MIT professors all concur, how can one refuse to accept the reality of the “energy crisis”?

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