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Federal regulation of oil as an energy source currently has three principal aspects: regulation of drilling, especially off-shore drilling on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS); review of a proposed pipeline to bring oil from Canadian tar sands to U.S. refineries; and regulation of consumption of motor vehicles to limit tailpipe emissions of greenhouse gases. The policies emerging from these stovepipes are only loosely coordinated. The outcomes depend upon the unique politics of each policy area, which factor in the public’s strong aversion to high gasoline prices.

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