Senior Fellow for Energy and Environment, Council on Foreign Relations
About the Speaker
American energy is changing more radically than it has in forty years, and people are grappling with the consequences. Michael Levi illuminates the whole picture like no one else can. He shows what changes from fossil fuels to clean energy mean for the economy, security, and the planet, and lights a new path that moves beyond stale ideological fights. A trusted voice, prominent commentator, and non-partisan advisor to government, business, and environmental advocates, Levi outlines the road that brought us to where we are today, the upheavals fundamentally altering the energy landscape, and the options available. Whether the topic of the day is fracking, Solyndra, or the Keystone XL pipeline, most of the battle lines and beliefs that hold true today stem from the aftermath of the first oil crisis in 1973. Levi shows how our old ways of thinking warp the way we understand the new energy world, revealing the real consequences of monumental changes in everything from oil drilling to solar power, and separating false battles from real tradeoffs to uncover opportunities in both fossil fuels and clean energy in new and intelligent ways. Writing about Levi's forthcoming book, The Power Surge: Energy, Opportunity, and the Battle for America's Future, acclaimed energy historian Daniel Yergin says that Levi combines thoughtful analysis and balanced independent judgment with vivid on-the-ground reporting to yield a timely field guide to today's fervent energy debates and compelling insight into the evolving mix of options that is shaping tomorrow's energy world. William Reilly, former EPA head and co-chair of the President's BP oil spill commission, writes that Levi cuts through vast barriers of suspicion and ideology to find common interests where the stakeholders do not. Levi's perspective is the rare combination of sensible, substantive, and engaging. He focuses on the problems that arise when we let ideology blind us to reality, and shows us how to work through difficult issues while taking everyone's interests seriously. Michael Levi is the David M. Rubenstein Senior Fellow for Energy and the Environment at the Council on Foreign Relations and Director of the CFR Program on Energy Security and Climate Change. The author of On Nuclear Terrorism and The Power Surge, he has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, WIRED, Foreign Affairs, The New Republic, Slate, and other publications. He was also a technical advisor to the second season of the TV drama 24.