Saturday, December 16, 2006
There is no debate that middle eastern oil is a very influential political force. Witness the Saudi Royal influence on the Bush family by the fact that the Bin laden Family were the only people allowed to fly private planes in the U.S. for the three days after 9/11/01.
However, if oil wealth is influencing our foreign policy, it is only due to a lack of imagination on the part of the energy producers. A new book from the Rocky Mountain Institute, a an independent, entrepreneurial, nonprofit organization, claims that energy dependence is a choice, not a matter of fate.
"The only rule, is there are no rules." - Avory Lovens - CEO Rocky Mountain Institute, http://www.rmi.org/
New Book: "The Oil End Game"
Written by Amory B. Lovins, E. Kyle Datta, Odd-Even Bustnes, Jonathan G. Koomey and Nathan J. Glasgow; edited by Beatrice T. Aranow; designed by Ben Emerson.
Executive Summary (PDF-150k)
Table of Contents (PDF-188k)
Winning the Oil Endgame: Innovation for Profits, Jobs, and Security (www.oilendgame.org) offers a coherent strategy for ending oil dependence, starting with the United States but applicable worldwide. There are many analyses of the oil problem. This synthesis is the first roadmap of the oil solution—one led by business for profit, not dictated by government for reasons of ideology. This roadmap is independent, peer-reviewed, written for business and military leaders, and co-funded by the Pentagon. It combines innovative technologies and new business models with uncommon public policies: market-oriented without taxes, innovation-driven without mandates, not dependent on major (if any) national legislation, and designed to support, not distort, business logic.
Two centuries ago, the first industrial revolution made people a hundred times more productive, harnessed fossil energy for transport and production, and nurtured the young U.S. economy. Then, over the past 145 years, the Age of Oil brought unprecedented mobility, globe-spanning military power, and amazing synthetic products.
But at what cost? Oil, which created the sinews of our strength, is now becoming an even greater source of weakness: its volatile price erodes prosperity; its vulnerabilities undermine security; its emissions destabilize climate. Moreover the quest to attain oil creates dangerous new rivalries and tarnishes America’s moral standing. All these costs are rising. And their root causes—most of all, inefficient light trucks and cars—also threaten the competitiveness of U.S. auto-making and other key industrial sectors.
The cornerstone of the next industrial revolution is therefore winning the Oil Endgame. And surprisingly, it will cost less to displace all of the oil that the United States now uses than it will cost to buy that oil. Oil’s current market price leaves out its true costs to the economy, national security, and the environment. But even without including these now “externalized” costs, it would still be profitable to displace oil completely over the next few decades. In fact, by 2025, the annual economic benefit of that displacement would be $133 billion gross (or $70 billion net of the displacement’s costs). To achieve this does not require a revolution, but merely consolidating and accelerating trends already in place: the amount of oil the economy uses for each dollar of GDP produced, and the fuel efficiency of light vehicles would need only to improve about three-fifths as quickly as they did in response to previous oil shocks.
Published by Rocky Mountain Institute (2004). Softcover, 309 pages.
Winning the Oil Endgame is available through bookstores in the United Kingdom, British Commonwealth (except Canada), and European Union exclusively through Earthscan.