Before the advent of twentieth century industrialism with its previously unforeseen levels of energy consumption, the necessity for a centrally conceived and coordinated national energy policy was not generally apparent. By the beginning of this century Communist theoreticians in Russia had conceived of energy policy as one of the principal instruments in creating a socialist society. Its central importance in the structure of command economies has not faltered since that period as successive socialist societies have asserted their control over this vital artery in the industrial state. Unsurprisingly, it has become closely associated with an emphasis on central planning. Yet the evidence now available, corroborated by the evidence of the next chapter, suggests that all contemporary industrial societies have adopted national energy policies. The vital question is have they adopted certain emphases in energy policy with or without forethought of their short, medium and long-term consequences?
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