Robert Bryce is a Texas-based freelance journalist and the current managing editor of Energy Tribune. His most recent book,Gusher of Lies: The Dangerous Delusions of Energy Independence (2008) has been heralded as "visionary, even revolutionary" by The New York Times. In 2004, he published Pipe Dreams: Greed, Ego, and the Death of Enron, which told the story of how the energy's corporations unraveling. His work has been published in numerous magazines and newspapers, including The New York Times, Slate, and The Atlantic Monthly. He resides in Austin, Texas.
Question: Which candidate is best equipped to deal with the energy sector?
Robert Bryce: I don’t think any of the candidates have a realistic approach to the energy sector, all of them the major candidates, John McCain, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama are saying the very same things about Ethanol. That we need to increase biofuels production, I was looking at Hillary Clinton’s campaign website the other day and she is saying we need 60 billion gallons of bio fuels by 2030. Well, it is just not possible, it is craziness to assume that, John McCain was opposed to ethanol and now he is in favor, Barack Obama has been firmly in favor of ethanol all along and yet were finding the science is showing that ethanol, when you consider all the different impact is far worse for the environment than gasoline, who would have thought it that we are producing a motor fuel that is actually worse than the one we are using when you consider all the side effects, so I mean, to be honestly only candidate that I have heard say some thing that I think it is reasonable in terms of energy was Ron Paul when he said we have to let the market work and fact is that is the case. We cannot mandate changes in the energy market by government [inaudible] and it is clear when you look at the ethanol scam and the damage that has been done by the congress mandating the huge amounts of ethanol being put into the market place that too much government intervention in the energy sector is ruins, either increases the prices or lowers supply or does both.
Question: There will be no oil man in the White House come 2009. What does that mean for American oil companies?
Robert Bryce: I think that the idea of Bush is an oil man in the White House is been over sold, George W Bush was not a successful oil man, let’s be clear, okay. Dick Cheney was not a successful CEO at Halliburton, his tenure at the Halliburton was a dismal failure, well there has been a lot of rhetoric about the fact that these guys have ties the industry, I can’t find necessarily any thing that they have done that has really helped the industry, that much now you could argue I think if you are a cynic and I am not opposed to cynicism that in fact the Iraq war has met huge profits for the oil companies because the one of the effects I think of the Iraq war has been instability in the oil markets that has driven up the price. Now am I cynical enough to say they declared war just to make the drive up the price of oil and make the oil companies richer, even I am not that cynical but I think with Bush and Cheney leaving the rhetoric that we hear particularly from the democratic candidates is that they want, they want to impose substantial taxes on the oil industry and they can do that but that is what they think as good policy, I think it’s probably bad policy because the oil companies are going to absorb that tax for themselves, they are going to pass it on to the consumers, so it is just going to be further increase the price of energy.
Date Recorded: 03/20/2008