Daniel Yergin

  • Aired:  09/21/11
  •  | Views: 19,150

Author Daniel Yergin discusses hydrofracking, alternative energy sources and America's decreasing demand for oil. (5:54)

>> Stephen: WELCOME BACK,

EVERYBODY.

MY GUEST TONIGHT BELIEVES 50

YEARS FROM NOW WE'LL ALL BE

USING SOLAR POWER.

POLAR BEARS, HOW LONG CAN YOU

TREAD WATER?

PLEASE WELCOME DANIEL YERGIN.

[CHEERING AND APPLAUSE]

HEY, MR. YERGIN.

THANKS SO MUCH FOR COMING ON.

ALL RIGHT, SIR, YOU'RE ONE OF

THE MOST INFLUENTIAL VOICES IN

THE WORLD OF ENERGY, AND YOUR

NEW BOOK IS "THE QUEST: ENERGY

SECURITY AND THE REMAKING OF THE

MODERN WORLD."

OKAY.

WILL WE REMAKE THE MODERN WORLD

WITH NEW FUELS OR NEW FORMS

BECAUSE THERE'S PLENTY OF OIL

OUT THERE, ISN'T THERE?

>> WELL, THERE IS OIL.

WE'RE NOT RUNNING OUT OF OIL.

PEOPLE TALK ABOUT PEAK OIL AND

SAY IT'S GOING TO RUN OUT, BUT

IN FACT WE'VE RUN OUT OF OIL AT

LEAST FIVE TIMES.

THE FIRST TIME IS THE 1880s.

NOW HERE WE ARE IN THE 21st

CENTURY.

>> Stephen: THERE'S PLENTY OF

OIL.

WHY WOULD WE CHANGE THE GAME?

IF IT AIN'T BROKE, DON'T FIX IT.

>> BECAUSE WHAT'S HAPPENING IN

THE REST OF THE WORLD, ONE TENDS

TO JUST THINK ABOUT THE UNITED

STATES.

>> I DO.

>> I KNOW YOU DO, BUT YOU HAVE

THE LOOK BEYOND OUR BORDERS.

IF YOU LOOK AT THE COUNTRY OF

CHINA, THAT'S WHERE DEMAND IS

REALLY GROWING INCH THIS COUNTRY

OUR DEMAND FOR OIL IS ACTUALLY

GOING TO GO DOWN BECAUSE WE HAVE

MORE EFFICIENT CARS AND THE

POPULATION IS AGING, A WHOLE

BUNCH OF REASONS.

>> Stephen: IF OUR DEMAND FOR

OIL IS GOING DOWN AND THERE IS A

LOT OF OIL IN THE WORLD, RIGHT,

THERE'S A LOT OF OIL OUT THERE.

>> THERE'S A LOT OF OIL.

>> Stephen: WHY IS IT SO

EXPENSIVE IN

>> BECAUSE THE COST OF

DEVELOPING IT HAVE GONE UP, AND

ALSO BECAUSE YOU HAVE THIS WHOLE

NEW DEMAND.

IN 2004, THE GENERAL VIEW WAS

OIL WOULD BE $20 A BARREL

FOREVER.

NOW WE SEE IT'S AROUND $100 A

BARREL.

>> Stephen: SO WE'LL NEVER GET

BACK TO $1 GASOLINE.

I USED TO LOVE THAT.

HOSE EACH OTHER DOWN.

>> IF YOU CORRECT IT FOR

INFLATION YOU'D FIND THAT $1

GASOLINE IS NOT A LOT CHAPPER

THAN GASOLINE PRICES TODAY, BUT

WE ARE AROUND $3.60.

BUT THERE... THE WORLD IS...

ENERGY DEMAND WILL GROW 30% OR

40%.

WE'RE GOING THE NEED OIL, BUT

WE'RE ALSO GOING TO NEED ALL

THESE OTHER ENERGY SOURCES, SOME

OF WHICH ARE NEW.

IS IT GOING TO BE WIND?

>> WIND WAS KIND OF A FREAKY

THING IN THE 1980s.

TODAY IT'S KIND OF A

CONVENTIONAL PART OF THE

ELECTRICITY SUPPLY NOW.

>> BUT EVENTUALLY WE COULD RUN

OUT OF WIND, OR IT WOULD SLOW

THE PLANET DOWN.

>> WELL, WE HAVE...

>> PIN WHEELS ARE LIKE BRAKES.

THEY'RE LYING PUTTING YOUR HAND

OUT THE CAR WINDOW.

EVENTUALLY IT STOPS THE CAR.

>> I HAVEN'T HEARD MUCH ABOUT

PEAK WIN, BUT THERE IS THAT

THREAT WE HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT.

THE OTHER THING LONGER TERM IS

SOLAR POWER.

>> Stephen: REALLY?

SOLAR POWER, ISN'T THAT JUST

HIPPY DIPPY DREAMING?

SOLAR POWER?

JIMMY CARTER PUT IN SOLAR PANELS

IN THE WHITE HOUSE AND REAGAN

HAD THEM RIPPED OUT IMMEDIATELY,

WHICH WAS CLEARLY THE RIGHT

THING TO DO.

>> LET'S PUT IT THIS WAY, IT'S A

VERY LONG LEAD TIME.

SOLAR POWER REALLY BEGAN WHEN

ALBERT EINSTEIN IN HIS SPARE

TIME IN 1905 WROTE A PAPER THAT

HE GOT A NOBEL PRIZE FOR ABOUT

DESCRIBING IT.

IT TOOK THE 1950s TO START

TURNING INTO A TECHNOLOGY AND

PUTTING I ON SATELLITE.

BY THE 1980s, PEOPLE GROWING

MARIJUANA WERE USING IT AS A WAY

TO DISCONNECT FROM THE ELECTRIC

POWER SYSTEM OSO NO ONE WOULD

KNOW THEY WERE USING

ELECTRICITY.

NOW IT'S ANOTHER GROWING

INDUSTRY.

STILL SMALL.

>> Stephen: SO YOU ADMIT SOLAR

POWER IS A DOPE DREAM.

[LAUGHTER]

>> IN THE 1980s IT WAS VERY

POPULAR FOR...

>> Stephen: BUT HOW ARE WE

GOING TO GET ALL THIS DONE?

WHO IS GOING TO DRILL FOR THAT?

>> FORTUNATELY THE SUN NORMALLY

RISES IN THE MORNING AND WE'LL

BE ABLE TO...

>> Stephen: FOR NOW.

WHAT ABOUT FRACKING?

I HEAR A LOT ABOUT FRACKING.

SOME PEOPLE ARE VERY UPSET ABOUT

SHOOTING HIGH-PRESSURE HOT WATER

AND CHEMICALS INTO THE GROUND

AND EXPLODING ROCKS.

>> WELL, THIS HAS ACTUALLY BEEN

USED SINCE 194, AND SOME OF THE

GASOLINE THAT YOU'RE PUTTING IN

YOUR CAR AS A RESULT OF PEOPLE

USING FRACKING.

IT'S NOW BEING USED... YOU KNOW,

SHALE GAS IS A BIG THING THAT'S

DEVELOPED.

>> Stephen: PEOPLE GET UPSET

BECAUSE IN THE AREAS WHERE THEY

DRILL, SOMETIMES THE WATER TURNS

FLAMMABLE.

BUT THESE DAYS MOSTLY WE BRUSH

OUR TEETH WITH MOUNTAIN DEW

ANYWAY, SO IT DOESN'T REALLY

MATTER.

>> LET'S GET THE WHOLE

PICTUREMENT I'M ON A COMMISSION

FOR PRESIDENT OBAMA THAT WAS

SPECIFICALLY CHARGED TO LOOK AT

THESE ENVIRONMENTAL QUESTIONS

AROUND SHALE GAS.

AND WE CAME TO THE CONCLUSION

THERE ARE ISSUES THAT HAVE TO BE

MANAGED ABOUT WATER AND ABOUT

AIR.

IT HAS TO BE DONE IN AN

ENVIRONMENTALLY PROPER WAY.

ALSO IN TERMS OF COMMUNITY

IMPACT.

SO WITH THAT SAID, THESE ARE ALL

MANAGEABLE, AND THE OTHER SIDE

IS THAT WE WOULD BE... IT'S NOW

30% OF OUR NATURAL GAS IS FROM

SHALE GAS.

WE WOULD BE IMPORTING HUGE

AMOUNTS OF NATURAL GAS FROM

COUNTRIES IN THE MIDDLE EAST AND

NIGERIA AND ANGOLA AND TENS AND

TENS OF BILLIONS OF DOLLARS, AN

WE'RE CREATING A LOT OF JOBS.

SO IF IT'S DONE IN THE RIGHT

WAY, IT'S A TREMENDOUS RESOURCE

FOR THIS COUNTRY AND MAKES US

STRONGER.

>> Stephen: SO MY TAKE AWAY

FROM THIS IS WE ARE NOT RUNNING

OUT OF OIL, RIGHT?

>> RIGHT.

>> Stephen: AND BASED UPON

YOUR 800-PAGE BOOK, I GUESS

WE'RE NOT RUNNING OUT OF TREES

EITHER.

[APPLAUSE]

>> WAIT.

FIRST OF ALL... NO, NO, E-BOOK,

EMBOOK.

>> Stephen: SIR, WE HAVE

REACHED PEAK INTERVIEW.

THANK YOU SO MUCH, DANIEL

YERGIN.

THE BOOK IS "THE QUEST."

WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK.