The so-called ""energy crisis,"" Ridgeway maintains, is by and large a bogey invented by the fuels industry to panic the public and government regulatory agencies into accepting rate increases with minimum fuss, to head off any challenge to the industry's monopolistic trend, to explain away lack of adequate safety standards, to rationalize widespread environmental pollution, to justify international exploitation of the land and sea, to undercut criticism that aggressive multinational penetrations are creating a new colonialism in underdeveloped areas of the world, and to cover up inept planning and errors. In much the same vein as William Rodgers (see Brown-out, p. 1082), Ridgeway quietly goes about the business of puncturing the energy barons' facile propaganda, providing a searching inquiry into the politics and economics of fuel policy determinations. The main thesis -- concentration of ownership not only permits unwarranted industry profits but makes public accountability extremely difficult -- is supported with recent cases and unassailable data. ""This private government of energy"" must be stopped, but like Rodgers he is pessimistic about prospects for a coherent public policy -- he recommends establishment of a federal energy board ""which could supervise overall energy policy within the country,"" a reasonable proposal as far as it goes (Ridgeway avoids the more complex issue of controlling supranational corporate activity). The latter half of the book is a country-by-country, company-by-company guide to fuel resources and ownership, information which will he of value to citizen and government watchdogs. Utilitarian rather than compulsory reading.