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Yergin’s ‘The New Map: Energy, Climate, and the Clash of Nations’ (some quotations)

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Daniel Yergin’s tomes are fun reading and great cliff notes to the sweep of energy history. With hundreds of energy books on my shelf, I find myself pulling down The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money & Power (1990), The Commanding Heights (1998), and The Quest: Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World (2011). I also peruse his edited/coauthored Energy Future (1979) to note Yergin’s incorrect embrace of the soft energy path when it was ‘the thing.’

Some quotations of note follow from Yergin’s latest, The New Map (2020).

“America’s new map” tells the story of the unanticipated shale revolution that is transforming America’s place in the world, upending world energy markets, and resetting global geopolitics. (p. xiv)

Though targeted for bans by some politicians, the shale revolution has fueled America’s economic growth, enhancing its trade position, generating investment and job creation, and lowering utility bills for millions of consumers. The supply chains supporting shale reach all across the United States, into virtually every state, creating jobs even in New York State, which prohibits shale development within its borders, owing to environmental opposition. (xv)

Starting with the energy crises of the 1970s, Americans became accustomed to thinking the country was vulnerable because of U.S. dependence on imported sources. But the geopolitical consequences for the United States, now that it is almost self-sufficient, are apparent in new dimensions of influence, increased energy security, and greater flexibility in foreign policy.” (p. xv)

Between the end of the Great Recession, in June 2009, and 2019, net fixed investment in the oil and gas extraction sector represented more than two-thirds of total U.S. net industrial investment. In another measure, between 2009 and 2019, the increases in oil and gas have accounted for 40 percent of the cumulative growth in U.S. industrial production.” (p. 27)

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