Yes, when it comes to energy policy there is a huge gap between private interest and public interest, not only in the US, but all throughout the world. Public want cheap energy but the bulk energy producers need a hike in the prices, to justify their production cost and expansion plans. Conflicts in these interests are the main reasons why countries could not devise an efficient energy policy.
The conflict is more prevalent in countries which have abundance of natural resources and an energy driven economy. For countries having extensive resources, like Russia, the energy policy aims at extracting the maximum out of the available resources. And the countries like Japan which do not have sufficient resources, the energy policy concentrates more on having efficient use of energy and conserving the available energy. But according to stone this gap can be bridged by influence, loyalty and co-operation.
Any government should devise a policy which is influenced by successful ideas followed by other countries (like Japan).The government, to introduce any effective policy particularly ones with conflict of interests, should have the co-operation of its allies(politicians, businessmen and NGOs) to successfully handle opposition and it should ensure it has complete loyalty from its allies.
An ideal energy policy is one that significantly boosts domestic energy provisions while decreasing energy prices and at the same time ensures environmental protection. To achieve this government has to reward those organizations and individuals who have implemented energy efficient production plans and use alternative sources of energy such as biomass, nuclear, wind and solar.
Governments across the globe have tried varied methods of funding or regulatory measures to encourage such activities with limited success. This has paved way for increased emphasis on introductions of rewards and punishments to ensure energy efficiency. Incentives are mostly introduced through tax rebates and funding for research and innovative production methods. And penalties are usually in the form of fines and higher taxes. But today certain companies include these fines in their cost of production and continue to ignore laws concerning energy savings. So, the evidence that exists today reveals that individuals and businesses respond more to incentives. But these measures can help or hinder the enhanced effort only if it is well designed and impeccably implemented.
Deborah Stone (March 30, 2012). Policy Paradox: The Art of Political Decision Making. Retrieved from http://www.scholaries.com/42-Summary_Policy_Paradox_The_Art_of_Political_Decision_Making
Robert. E. Hall. The conflicting goals of national energy policy. Retrieved from