Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 08/2014

The China Model and U.S. Energy Policy

Lee Lane

September 2012

Hudson Institute


Americans are right to be dismayed with U.S. energy policy. For forty years, presidents of both parties have backed a series of fanciful “breakthrough technologies.” From synfuels to Solyndra, these schemes have turned out to be costly disappointments and the source of a recurring political drama. After failures become clear, Congress sometimes conducts oversight hearings. But it welcomes each new scheme as a pretext for pork barrel politics. Neither the executive nor the legislature ever learns from past failures.