Duccio Basosi

Between Myth and Reality: Jimmy Carter’s «Energy Transition», 1977-1980

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This essay takes a critical look at US President Jimmy Carter’s energy policy and high talk of «energy transition» in the late 1970s, which are sometimes depicted as anticipating more recent policies aimed at a post-carbon «ecological transition». Based on a wide array of both primary and secondary sources this essay shows that, while the President was indeed sensitive to environmental concerns, his priorities had little to do with present-day concerns with global warming. Premised on the belief that the high energy prices of the 1970s reflected an «impending scarcity» of oil and gas, Carter’s policies paradoxically helped relaunch the consumption of fossil fuels which characterized the 1980s.


  • Carter
  • US Energy Policy
  • US Environmental Policy
  • Energy Transitions


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