The Public Interest

The wrong war? The case against a national energy policy

David A. Stockman

Fall 1978

WHEN President Carter declared the energy crisis so serious for the future political, economic and security interests of the nation that it required a response amounting to the “moral equivalent of war,” his call to arms was met with nearly universal acclaim. To be sure, there was much disagreement about the tactics of battle. But the twin tenets of Carters declaration-that the world was running out of energy and that the U.S. faced grave peril unless it cured its “energy alcoholism” and consequent dependence upon imported oil-became axiomatic in all subsequent debate.

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