Diamonds, it is said, are created under great pressure. In the 1.26 decades since the oil embargo of 1973 and the beginning of the energy crisis, Congress has endured enough pressure to have created a great number of diamonds.

Some of the pressures came from advocates of increasing the supply of fossil fuels. An equal counterforce was exerted by conservationists who advocated restraints on demand. Congress chose a mixture of both: improving supply through supply incentives including the easing of environmental restrictions and dampening demand through the regulation of consumption and offering of conservation incentives.

I was present at the creation -- and frequently participated in the creation -- of the legislation which, in the latter half of the 1970s, came to be known as "national energy policy." That policy has been articulated in an alphabetic concatenation of legislative solutions -- EPCA, ECPA, EECA, NECPA, NEES, PMPA, PIFUA, ESECA, ESA, FERC, DOE, CAFE and more. Somewhere in there, there is concealed more than one jewel. Some of them, however, may require a considerable degree of polishing. Together they constitute a national energy policy crafted with great political acumen, in a reasonable bipartisan fashion and they work fairly well.

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