Amory B. Lovins is the research CEO at Rocky Mountain Institute. Longtime adviser to the energy industry and the U.S. Departments of Energy and Defense, he is the co-author of Natural Capitalism (with L. Hunter Lovins and Paul Hawken) and 26 other books.
The world is dangerous. America's energy policy
more so. In 1981 we wrote for the Pentagon what is still the definitive
unclassified study of domestic energy vulnerability. We found, and government
and industry experts later confirmed, that a handful of people could shut down
three-quarters of the oil and gas supplies to the eastern states overnight
without leaving Louisiana. A similar group could cut electric power to any
region or kill millions by sabotaging a nuclear power plant or crashing an
airliner into it. Little has changed since then. Most existing U.S. energy
supplies--and the additional ones proposed in the current House energy bill--are
highly vulnerable to attack.
For an annotated version of this article, go to www.rmi.org
America is at war. The economy is down. Global prosperity, stability, and environment are at risk. Domestic politics is reverting to gridlock, driven by the coming battle for both houses of Congress. And energy policy, strongly polarized, is back on the agenda.