The Power Surge: Energy Opportunity, and the Battle for America’s Future

Michael Levi. Oxford Univ., $27.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-19-998616-3
Levi (On Nuclear Terrorism), a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, surveys the changing landscape of U.S. energy production. Well-worn political battles in the energy wars over policies to boost supply or curb demand of oil and gas, he thinks, no longer make sense. Based on site visits and packed with perspective, Levi ably covers fracking, climate change, fuel-efficient electric cars, and clean energy. He reviews the promise of plentiful natural gas and the potential of what he says are now expensive alternative energies. Observing reduced public fear of nuclear energy and “rising concerns about climate change,” Levi avoids partisanship and “greenthink” utopianism, relying on facts and data to make his case. He outlines current “energy revolutions” that could free the nation from oil dependence, reviewing substantial changes in geopolitics since the traumatic oil shortages of the 1970s. He is generally optimistic about the coming decades, while admitting the imprecision of forecasts and “wildcards facing the future of U.S. energy—peak oil, major war, deglobalization, a stalled economic recovery, and surprisingly high climate sensitivity.” Readers seeking to understand America’s energy policies and prospects will welcome this even-handed, smart, and accessible book on a topic of incomparable economic importance. Agent: Geri Thoma, the Markson Thoma Literary Agency. (May)
Reviewed on: 02/11/2013
Release date: 04/01/2013
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Paperback - 280 pages - 978-0-19-939002-1
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