Americans take for granted that when we flip a switch the light will go on, and when we pull up to the pump gas will be plentiful and relatively cheap. Here, Michael Graetz shows us that we have been living an energy delusion for forty years. Until the 1970s, we produced domestically all the oil we needed. Since then, we have had to import most of the oil we use, and we rely on an even dirtier fuel--coal--to produce half of our electricity. Graetz describes decades of energy policy incompetence--from the Nixon administration's fumbled response to the OPEC oil embargo to the current political standoff over "cap and trade"--And argues that we must make better decisions for our energy future. Until Americans face the facts about price, our energy incompetence will continue--and along with it the unraveling of our environment, security, and independence.--From publisher description. The journey -- A "new economic policy" -- Losing control over oil -- The environment moves front and center -- No more nuclear -- The changing face of coal -- Natural gas and the ability to price -- The quest for alternatives and to conserve -- A crisis of confidence -- The end of an era -- Climate change : a game changer -- Shock to trance : the power of price -- The invisible hand? : regulation and the rise of cap and trade -- Government for the people? : Congress and the road to reform -- Disaster in the Gulf -- Key energy data. Crude oil prices ; U.S. petroleum production and net imports ; U.S. petroleum imports by country of origin ; U.S. net electricity generation by energy source ; Carbon dioxide emissions by sector, 2008 -- Chronology.