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Title: Keep Your Friends Close: Cold War Détente as a Lens into Energy Security During the Clean Energy Transition
Authors: Katz, Ethan
Advisors: Milner, Helen
Department: Princeton School of Public and International Affairs
Class Year: 2021
Abstract: This paper argues that in order to attain energy security during the clean energy transition, the United States should design an energy strategy that intentionally cooperates with China in bilateral energy trade and multilateral energy institutions. A case study of energy policy during the détente period of the Cold War (1969-79) between the United States and the Soviet Union is used to highlight the strategic importance of cooperation for domestic and regional energy security. In the 1970s, the Western bloc was dependent on oil controlled by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). Soviet oil and gas reserves were considered as alternative sources that could also be tied to energy trade to limit Soviet influence and advance American interests. However, energy negotiations were ultimately rejected in the United States due to congressional opposition. Today, the United States is dependent on Chinese rare earth elements critical for clean energy infrastructure, while its regional partners in Southeast Asia are dependent on regional power systems created and operated by China. While current rhetoric is against cooperation with China, these areas require energy diplomacy to realize strategic, economic, and political benefits. By investing in domestic supply lines for clean energy infrastructure and promoting regional energy projects between the United States and China, a more stable clean energy paradigm will emerge.
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Princeton School of Public and International Affairs, 1929-2021

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