Friday, May 02, 2008

The high cost of energy

This morning you balanced your checkbook with an automatic withdrawal of over $400 for natural gas and electricity to heat or cool your 4,000-square-foot home. On your way to the airport, you filled up your SUV for over $70. You are spending a lot more than you spent last year for your morning cornflakes, the rib-eye steak you had last night, and the corn squeezens from your local moonshiner.

You’re mad as hell and want to know what’s going on. Are you being gouged? After all, you already paid for today’s energy. It is really all about being able to plan for the future. Do the energy companies really earn obscene profits? And what’s with a new energy policy coming out of Congress every year?

John Tobin's new book Confessions of an Energy Price Forecaster - A 12-Step Program to Enlightenment (Outskirts Press 2008) gives some answers, but more importantly it helps you understand where these prices are going. Mr. Tobin has authored numerous papers on energy price, the investment decision process, reserve estimation and public energy education.

Click here to listen. to the interview...

John Tobin is the Executive Director of the Energy LITERACY Project, Inc. This program is attempting to address the public perception of the energy industry by promoting balanced educational and informational programs that are based on the irreversible, interlocking nature of Energy in all of its forms, including conservation and energy efficiency, the role energy plays in fueling the Economy and the impact our choices of energy has on the Environment.

He has been a Distinguished Lecturer for the Society of Petroleum Engineers, speaking on public energy education and policy issues. The mainstream media often calls on John as an expert on energy price and policy.

He has been an adjunct (or more appropriately “a junk”) instructor at the Colorado School of Mines, Department of Petroleum Engineering, teaching energy economics and project evaluation techniques emphasizing the investment decision process in light of the many uncertainties faced in any business. As a consultant he specializes in explaining uncertainty and probabilistic energy price forecasts and in aiding the corporate culture in accepting concepts that run counter to conventional wisdom.

His 43 years of experience includes in addition to the above activities positions with ARCO, Scientific Software Corp., Martin Marietta and Eastman Kodak. He has BS (1964) and MS (1966) degrees from the University of Rochester in Mechanical and Aerospace Sciences. He is a recovering engineer and believes that he is eminently qualified as an energy economist in that he has no academic biases to screw up his views.

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