PositiveThe New York Times Book ReviewPanic at the Pump is a thoughtful tour of an era we would rather not think about, carefully retracing the economics that made the United States dependent on oil imports, and the crises that made that dependence so painful, including the Arab oil embargo of 1973-74 and the fall of the shah of Iran in 1979. [Jacobs] chronicles the strutting and fretting of government figures who disagreed on how to cope with the shock. The political shift she observes actually happened, but causation is less certain. The 444-day seizure of American Embassy personnel by Iranian militants, the bitter aftertaste of Vietnam and stagflation certainly contributed. And missing completely is the role of technology, much of it driven by government: Along with a revolution in drilling, new cars now get twice as much work out of a gallon of gasoline, and that could double again.
PositiveThe New York Times Book ReviewSernovitz, a longtime oil industry expert (and the author of two novels whose modest success drove him back into employment in oil), brings a lively eye to the field of fracking — or, more properly, hydraulic fracturing in shale rock...He quotes Tolstoy, who is seldom heard from in energy books, on whether momentous events rise from individuals or from larger forces. (Tolstoy said forces; Sernovitz leans toward individuals.) But he observes that there was no single eureka moment in the shale revolution, and that the revolution may not be over.