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Power Hungry The Myths of "Green" Energy and the Real Fuels of the Future

By Robert Bryce
PublicAffairs 2010 ISBN: 9781586488536

About the Book

If you are looking for more of the conventional wisdom about energy, put this book down right now. In Power Hungry, Robert Bryce powerfully debunks many of the claims you’ve been hearing about America’s energy future.
Armed with a supertanker-load of fully footnoted facts and a panoply of revealing graphics, Bryce explains why most of the hype about renewable energy and “green” technology is just that—hype. Using elementary math and basic physics, Bryce shows why renewable sources like wind and solar are not “green” and why they cannot provide the scale of energy that the world demands. He goes on to eviscerate the notion that the United States wastes huge amounts of energy. Indeed, the facts show that over the past three decades the United States has been among the world’s best at reducing its energy  intensity, carbon intensity, and per-capita energy use.
Electric cars? Bryce explains why they are the Next Big Thing ... and always will be. T. Boone Pickens? Simple math shows that the Dallas-based billionaire and his much-ballyhooed Pickens Plan are all hat and no cattle. Denmark as a model for being “energy smart”? Despite huge increases in wind generation capacity, the numbers show that Denmark has not reduced its coal consumption or carbon dioxide emissions.
The United States has built a $14-trillion-per-year economy based on hydrocarbons: coal, oil, and natural gas. We cannot—and will not—quit using carbon-based fuels for this simple reason: they provide the power that we crave. Nine out of every ten units of energy we consume come from hydrocarbons.
Power Hungry proves that what we want isn’t energy at all—it’s power. Bryce masterfully deciphers essential terms like power density, energy density, joules, watts, and horsepower to illuminate the differences between political rhetoric and reality. Then he methodically details how the United States can lead the global transition to a cleaner, lower-carbon future by embracing the fuels of the future, a future that can be summarized as N2N: natural gas to nuclear. The United States sits atop galaxies of natural gas, enough to last a hundred years. By using that gas in parallel with new nuclear technologies, America can boost its economy while benefiting the environment.
Power Hungry delivers a smart, contrarian view of what America has “in the tank” and what will be needed to transform the gargantuan global energy sector.

About the Author

Robert Bryce is a senior fellow with the Center for Energy Policy and the Environment at the Manhattan Institute. He has been writing about energy for two decades and his articles have appeared in numerous publications ranging from The Wall Street Journal to The Nation and The Atlantic Monthly to The Washington Post.

Bryce’s first book, Pipe Dreams: Greed, Ego, and the Death of Enron, was named one of the best nonfiction books of 2002 by Publishers Weekly. In 2004, he published Cronies: Oil, The Bushes, and the Rise of Texas, “America’s Superstate.” In 2008, he published Gusher of Lies: The Dangerous Delusions of “Energy Independence.” A review of Gusher of Lies in the New York Times called Bryce “something of a visionary and perhaps even a revolutionary.”

His fourth book, Power Hungry: The Myths of “Green” Energy and the Real Fuels of the Future, was published in April 2010 by PublicAffairs. The Wall Street Journal called Power Hungry “precisely the kind of journalism we need to hold truth to power.” The Washington Times said Bryce’s “magnificently unfashionable, superlatively researched new book dares to fly in the face of all current conventional wisdom and cant."

An experienced and engaging public speaker, Bryce has spoken to numerous professional and civic groups including the Bakersfield Business Conference, Cato Institute, Houston World Affairs Council, American Petroleum Institute, National Association of Attorneys General, and the Bruno Leoni Institute in Rome. He has lectured at universities including the University of Tulsa, University of North Carolina, National Defense University, St. Edwards University, Howard College, and the University of Texas. He also appears regularly on television and radio programs ranging from the BBC and CNN to PBS and NPR.

Bryce received his B.F.A. from the University of Texas at Austin in 1986. An apiarist, he lives in Austin, with his wife, Lorin, and their three children, Mary, Michael, and Jacob.


Robert Bryce discusses Power Hungry: The Myths of "Green" Energy and the Real Fuels of the Future with Howard Husock.

•       C-SPAN Book TV, 5-30-10
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•       Dylan Ratigan Show, MSNBC, 3/31/2010

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•       Mike Rosen Show, KOA, 6/9/2010, (Denver, CO)
•      Tara Servatius Show, WBT, 6/7/2010, (Charlotte, NC)
•       Culture Shocks with Barry Lind, Genesis Communications Network, 6/7/2010, (National)
•       The Valley's Morning News, KURV, 6/1/2010, (McAllen, TX)
•       The Tony Conley Morning Show , WILS, 6/1/2010, (Lansing, MI)
•       San Antonio News with Charlie Parker, WOAI, 6/1/2010, (San Antonio, TX)
•       Porcelli's Morning Deli, WRPW, 6/1/2010, (Normal, IL)
•       Michael Berry Show, KTRH, 6/1/2010, (Houston, TX)
•       CNY Morning News with John Galuski, WSYR, 6/1/2010, (Syracuse, NY)
•       Bob Conners Show, WTVN, 6/1/2010, (Columbus, OH)
•       Ron Smith Show, WBAL, 5/28/2010, (Baltimore, MD)
•       Jefferson Exchange, Jefferson Public Radio, 5/28/2010, (Southern Oregon)
•       Midday with Dan Rodricks, WYPR, 5/26/2010, (Maryland)
•       On Point, WBUR, 5-17-10 (national)
•       Late Mornings with Jeff Schechtman, KVON, 5/17/2010 (local, Napa, CA)
•       Lars Larson Show, Compass Media Networks, 5/13/2010, (national)
•       America's Morning News, Talk Radio Network, 5/12/2010, (national)
•       Jim Bohannon Show, Westwood One, 5/12/2010, (national)
•       G.Gordon Liddy Show, Radio America, 5/12/2010, (national)
•       The Jason Lewis Show, Premiere Radio Networks, 4/30/2010, (national)
•       Financial Sense Newshour, Online, 4/28/2010, (national)
•       On Point, WBUR, 4/27/2010, (national)
•       Ron Smith Show, WBAL, 4/26/2010 (local, Baltimore)
•       The Takeaway, NPR, 4/23/2010, (national)
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In praise of natural gas and coal, Martin Sieff, Washington Times, 5-31-10
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Power Hungry; A great read ... unless you absolutely must have a happy ending, Ed Wallace, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 4-24-10
Differing shades of green, Warren Leon, Philadelphia Inquirer, 4-22-10

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