NewsHour Interview With 'Quest' Author Daniel Yergin

Noted energy expert Daniel Yergin has written "The Quest" as an update to his landmark 1991 book, "The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money, and Power" to capture changes in the oil industry. Full transcript and video of NewsHour interview available.

2 minute read

December 25, 2011, 11:00 AM PST

By Irvin Dawid

"Author and analyst Daniel Yergin tackled the history of oil in 1991 in his Pulitzer Prize-winning book "The Prize." Now he's updated the story and widened the lens further in a new book, "The Quest: Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World." Yergin is the chairman IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates, which does consulting work for the industry. He has also served on government panels looking energy use."

Yergin explains to NewsHour anchor Jeffrey Brown why concerns of 'peak oil' are overstated, explaining that oil production goes in cycles, and now there is "expansion of production in, of all places, the United States in ways that were not expanded even a couple of years ago...(N)o one expected North Dakota to be the fourth largest oil-producing state in the United States five years ago. And yet it is today."

Yergin emphasizes the role of"state regulation, which most people don't realize, but it's really the states that regulate oil and gas production."

JEFFREY BROWN: Now, inevitably comes the question of the impact of our energy use on the planet, right, in the form of climate change, something you address here.

Is it possible to continue our focus on fossil fuels and still protect the planet?

DANIEL YERGIN: I ended up writing six chapters on it because it's such a fascinating story...But I think that so much of the book is really about what I call the great revolution, about technology and finding technologies that provide answers. We have been doing that for two-and-a-half centuries. And I don't see why we will stop.

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