Monday, January 4, 2010

New Book on Energy:

A New Take on Energy Policy

Some months ago, I met with John Hofmeister, a former Shell executive who was in the process of writing a book on energy policy. I recently received a message from him saying the book was with the publisher. It has the provocative title: "Why We Hate the Oil Companies: Straight Talk from an Energy Insider."

The publication date is May 25, 2010. The book can be pre-ordered through Amazon. (See sidebar)

According to John: "I've held nothing back. The book tackles the industry, the special interests and our government. It demonstrates the ineffective policies of the past forty years and points out the flaws in current policies, decries the misinformation and disinformation that's kept us from knowing what we need to know, and offers permanent solutions to guarantee affordability and availability of energy in sustainable ways forever without making promises that can't be kept. It's going to attract a lot of attention and stir considerable controversy in front of next year's elections, at about the same time that we're all suffering from higher gas and electricity prices. We'll keep you posted on the publication date."

John is also the CEO and founder of Citizens for Affordable Energy, a group committed to "educating citizens and government officials about pragmatic, non-partisan affordable energy solutions, environmental protection, energy alternatives, efficiency, infrastructure, public policy, competitiveness, social cohesion, and quality of life."

Although I have not yet seen the book, I spoke to him about 6 months ago while he was writing it, and his views seemed balanced and rational. We discussed the nuclear option and some of what I saw ahead, and he seemed to believe, as I do, that we needed to promote a mix of energy technologies for the future.

I contacted John to ask him how his coverage of nuclear power turned out. He said that at the end of the book, "I describe a future where we have standardized on sizes and designs, simplified permitting, established liability reforms, have doubled the nuclear fleet to over 200 plants by 2060 and suggest it should double again. My described future energy system beyond 2060 and into the 22nd century relies primarily on nuclear and (much advanced) solar for the vast electricity requirements of the future. I also bring up the need for education of the grassroots regarding nuclear and criticize public officials who slander nuclear for political purposes."

He also sent me a Table of Contents. I won't list all his chapters, but some of the more interesting ones are:

• There is an shortage, but there is no shortage of energy
• Inconvenient or not, the truth is that climate change is not the issue
• Beware the reckless right and ludicrous left
• Forget the free market

Again, I haven't read the book, but he's certainly captured my attention. I anticipate a buzz when this book is published, and thought some of you might be interested.


1 comment:

  1. Gail:

    I look forward to reading the book. One of my favorite books of all times is Daniel Yergin's "The Prize: The Quest for Oil, Money and Power" published soon after the first Gulf War in 1992. I always wished that he had published a sequel.

    One theme that runs through the commentary that comes from many oil interested people is that nuclear is the energy source of the future - sometime after they have wrung all of the profits that they can out of the world's current oil, coal and gas addiction.

    Just think, the nuclear industry was once well on its way to completing and operating a fleet of more than 200 reactors in the US by 2000, not 2060. Think about how different today's economic picture would be if we had not stopped building.