Editorial comment ///

In the Western film genre, the climactic scene typically takes place at high noon when the town’s good guys in white hats shoot it out with the bad guys in black hats. In the energy debate, we seem to be nearing high noon, when proponents of competing resources battling to determine how the world will fulfill its galloping demand for energy. Unfortunately, the energy confrontation is not taking place in black and white, but in multiple shades of grey. Recent natural calamities (nuclear fallout after the earthquake in Japan), human errors (Gulf spill, coal mining accidents) and policy errors (high food prices due to biofuel subsidies and mandates) have combined to reveal risks associated with several energy resources. Additionally, high oil prices have set the stage for a contentious global policy debate that will affect the energy mix for decades to come.

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