Charles Komanoff


Oil, Before & After 9/11

The posts and reports listed here were written early in the new century, making them interesting only for archivists, with perhaps one exception: my report, "Ending The Oil Age," which is listed first.

Ending the Oil Age was my 2002 call-to-arms for the United States to achieve large-scale "overnight" oil savings after 9/11. The subtitle, "A Plan To Kick The Saudi Habit," said it all. Here was a blueprint by which, I wrote, "the U.S. can cut its oil use easily by 5%, and, with greater effort, by 10%, virtually overnight, thus improving national security by reducing the importance of our network of oil-producing client states — the “assets” that put America in the line of fire on September 11 and still keep us there."

"These savings," I argued, "exceeding U.S. imports from Saudi Arabia, can occur immediately by tapping Americans’ desire, expressed repeatedly in recent months, to collectively change individual behavior so as to reduce our dependence on oil and the nation’s exposure to future attacks." The report included a hefty tax on gasoline and jet fuel that, in my telling, could replace the patriotic impulse to conserve petroleum as the murderous, petro-dollar-fueled attack on the World Trade Center began to recede into the past.

Alas, the report received little or no attention, in part because the national environmental group that had agreed to sponsor it backed out on the eve of publication. Re-reading it today, Sept 10, 2021, drives home to me what a missed opportunity this was.

The other posts and articles about oil are for the most part superseded by my work for bicycle transportation, road pricing and carbon taxes, which may be found on other pages on this site and at the Carbon Tax Center web site.

Energy Taxes - Rebutting the Myths (PDF)

PowerPoint presentation on the indispensability of carbon taxes (2006)

My review of Daniel Yergin's book, THE PRIZE: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money and Power, published in NRDC's Amicus Journal (1991)

"Soft Energy Stasis" - A Compatriot Critiques Amory Lovins (Fall 2005)

My Letter in American Prospect (2002) critiquing the Lovinses on oil conservation

How Many Barrels (PDF) - a dialogue with Amory Lovins on proper "crediting" of gasoline savings

My Feb. 2000 op-ed in Washington Post (with Michael Smith), "Refueling OPEC"

"To Move Mountains, Fix Markets -- An Economist's Agenda for Sustainable NYC" (2006)

U.S. Gasoline Usage (Excel Spreadsheet)