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Freeing America from the Tyranny of Fossil Fuels

by Gerald McNerney and Martin Cheek

Pub Date: April 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-8144-1372-2
Publisher: AMACOM

Comprehensive guide to America’s looming energy emergency, including suggested actions that the authors believe will avert a global crisis.

War, pestilence, starvation and the collapse of the global economy are just some of the consequences of not moving aggressively toward energy independence, assert Congressman McNerney—a member of House committees on Global Warming and Energy Independence and on Science and Technology—and science and technology journalist Cheek. They outline the many dangers of ignoring the Peak Oil Theory, which predicts that the world’s oil output will begin to decline in the near future. With growing economies like China increasing their fossil fuel use and developing strategic alliances with oil-rich countries that are not allies of the United States, the authors argue, there is no time to waste in implementing lower emission standards and greater use of alternative energy sources, including solar, wind, water, biofuel, geothermal and possibly nuclear power. Oil dependence affects citizens’ daily lives in myriad ways, impacting not just transportation but the manufacture of medicines, maintenance of the military and national security, preservation of agriculture and the food supply and the heating and cooling of homes and businesses. Unless tough standards are met in the next decade, the United States will assume an increasingly weak position within the global oil marketplace. The number of barrels of crude oil produced domestically is already far short of U.S. consumption rates, and progress in Washington has been hindered by recent administrations unduly influenced by the oil industry. The authors present a plan to reduce oil dependence from OPEC nations by 75 percent by the year 2020. If the incoming administration can immediately prioritize the development of clean, abundant, natural energy, they write, the United States can emerge victorious from this transition period and retain its reputation as the world’s most innovative and autonomous country, “the peace power of the twenty-first-century world.”

Expert and invigorating.