Summary of Energy and Climate: Black to Gold to Green

Memorandum to the President

Brookings Institution Press,

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Energy and Climate: Black to Gold to Green  summary
Can the United States exploit the growing demand for oil and gas and become a world leader in tackling climate change?


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Energy security experts Charles K. Ebinger and Kevin Massy appeal to President Obama to use America’s hydrocarbon resources to strengthen its geopolitical position and take a leading role in combating climate change. Though they propose a seeming contradiction, the authors advocate a “black-gold-green” approach to exploiting growing demand for oil and gas (the black) and using the resulting income (the gold) to ensure a more environmentally friendly future (the green). Although this memorandum is controversial and doesn’t offer the most innovative or eco-friendly way to tackle climate change, getAbstract recommends this brief contrarian text to anyone with an interest in energy security, resource technology, the environment and geopolitics.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How the United States can exploit its hydrocarbon resources to improve its geopolitical and economic position
  • How it can use this to become a global leader in green technologies


The developing world – China and India in particular – has a rapidly increasing thirst for oil and gas. Members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other hydrocarbon-producing nations have much to gain from developing states’ mushrooming energy needs. However, higher demand...
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About the Authors

Charles K. Ebinger is a senior fellow and director of the Energy Security Initiative at the Brookings Institution, a nonprofit public policy organization. Kevin Massy is an associate fellow and associate director of the Energy Security Initiative.

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