cover image Gusher of Lies: The Dangerous Delusions of ""Energy Independence""

Gusher of Lies: The Dangerous Delusions of ""Energy Independence""

Robert Bryce. PublicAffairs, $26.95 (371pp) ISBN 978-1-58648-321-0

In this often caustic and thought-provoking book, Bryce (Pipe Dreams, Cronies), a self-described ""charter member of the Disgusted Party ...a raging moderate who leans toward the libertarian,"" attempts to debunk the pervasive call for U.S. energy independence, arguing that despite continuous rhetoric from all sides to the contrary, energy independence is neither ""doable nor desirable."" The book gives a short history of oil, delineating the gradual shift of power from Texas to OPEC to foreign markets and the escalating U.S. militarization of the Persian Gulf to try to maintain energy security. Bryce contends that ""energy demand will almost surely continue rising"" and the proposed alternatives-biofuels, wind and solar energy-are chimeras, preventing Americans from confronting the reality that we ""will be relying on fossil fuels for years to come."" The book argues that, rather than try to militarily control oil-rich nations to secure our energy needs, the US should accept that energy trading is global and pursue diplomatic routes to assure open, healthy and efficient markets. Despite the wisdom and lucidity of his analysis, Bryce's arguments are undermined by his curmudgeonly attacks on environmental activists on the left and right, and his stance as apparently one of the last remaining global warming skeptics somewhat cripples his credibility.