Towards a Philophy and Practice of Energy Policy Making

  • C.A. Hooker


Public policy formation in the energy sector is dominated by liberalism and the assumption that the primary aim of p o l i q is the correction of market failure. Such a policy framework does not sufficiently account for the inter- connectedness of the energy system and the role it has in determining characteristics of society and the environment. The author proposes an alternative approach to public policy that is objective in content and process. Content is objective if its truth conditions are independent of what humans happen to believe or want. The policy process is objective if it is designed to eliminate ignorance; bias and error. This leads the author to propose that policy formation should be based on "backcasting" from possible objectives. He concludes that such a policy framework is more effective in a complex world which is itself evolving in response to human decisions and that it reinforces our capacity for participative democracy.