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Energy in America
A Tour of Our Fossil Fuel Culture and Beyond
Ingrid Kelley

2008 • 288 pp. 27 illus. 6 x 9"
Ecology & Environmental Studies / Urban Studies / Resource Management

$29.95 Paperback, 978-1-58465-640-1

“Ingrid Kelley's extraordinarily ambitious book aims to help ‘give us the freedom to make radical new choices’ about our energy future. She succeeds because of the depth of her understanding... [continued in Reviews below]”—Ralph Cavanagh, Energy Program Co-Director, Natural Resources Defense Council,

Presents a broad, cultural view of America’s energy sector—traditionally the domain of engineers and policy makers—for nonscientists involved in creating sustainable communities

Scientists tell us we need to cut carbon emissions immediately to forestall effects of global warming. Reducing fossil fuel use is the key, and energy experts are hard at work devising solutions. Engineers create remarkable clean energy technologies. Energy policy analysts invent carbon credits and renewable portfolio standards. Fossil energy industrialists promise new, “clean” technology. Renewable energy industrialists compete to develop the magic bullet for transportation fuel or power generation. Every idea is designed to change the nation’s energy sector to one that is clean and sustainable for the future.

But what is this energy sector we have and how did it come about? Design professionals, planners, elected officials, and community leaders are under tremendous pressure to find solutions to climate change. They need a broader view of America’s relationship with energy to gain perspective on how new ideas might work. Energy in America tells this story, emphasizing that energy use has always been based on cultural factors as well as technology.

Energy in America relates how coal, oil and natural gas built the nation from its beginning and created today’s consumer culture. It continues with the rise of the electric utility industry and its influence on American society. Finally, it explores the 1970s, when America woke to conservation and efficiency, and the renewable energy industries were born. It concludes with a look at the future possibilities for community energy planning and current trends in sustainable energy policy. The book features a comprehensive energy timeline from 1775 to the present. Each chapter provides primary web sources, and the book contains a complete index.

Click here for TABLE OF CONTENTS

Reviews / Endorsements

"Ingrid Kelley's extraordinarily ambitious book aims to help ‘give us the freedom to make radical new choices’ about our energy future. She succeeds because of the depth of her understanding of our energy history, her refusal to be shackled by choices already made, and her deep understanding of our boundless opportunities to get more work out of much less electricity, natural gas and oil.”—Ralph Cavanagh, Energy Program Co-Director, Natural Resources Defense Council

"In Energy in America: A Tour of Our Fossil Fuel Culture and Beyond, Ingrid Kelley delivers a concise yet comprehensive explanation of the key intersections of energy, the environment, the economy, and sustainability. Kelley describes how our power is generated and delivered, how to cut our still profligate use of it, what renewable energy options are open to us, and - most important to this audience - how planners can apply the lessons of sustainability in their communities . . . the chapter titled "Community Energy and Sustainability" is a goldmine for planners . . . I plan to use Kelley's book this spring as a text in my graduate school class
on climate change. In fact, I think it should be on every planner's shelf."
Planning Magazine

"The chapters on energy efficiency and conservation, and on community energy and sustainability, are especially good and well worth reading. Particularly important are the discussions of how ordinary citizens or community groups can participate in decision-making and affect energy policy as it might impact their communities or regions." Centre Daily Times, PA

"The prose is well written and easy to read. No special background knowledge of science or mathematics is needed to read and understand this book. Persons interested in energy issues, community involvement, and actions that can be taken at a local or personal level will certainly profit from reading this book. "Harold Schobert, Professor of Fuel Science in the Department of Energy and Mineral Engineering, Penn State University

“Kelley provides a much-needed wake-up call for municipalities across the country. She confronts our reliance on fossil fuels and advocates for greater collaboration and willingness to change our current approaches. Energy in America is a valuable resource for planners as we increase our own knowledge and address the growing challenges of climate change in our communities."—W. Paul Farmer, FAICP, Executive Director and CEO, American Planning Association

Author Photo

INGRID KELLEY has promoted renewable energy, energy efficiency, permaculture, and sustainable community design for over twenty years. She has a Masters in Community and Regional Planning, and is a LEED Accredited Professional. Currently a project manager at the Energy Center of Wisconsin, she serves as chair of the Environment, Natural Resources and Energy Division of the American Planning Association.

Mon, 18 Jun 2018 11:56:05 -0500