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The Grand Energy Transition: The Rise of Energy Gases, Sustainable Life and Growth, and the Next Great Economic Expansion


Praise for The Grand Energy Transition

"In The Grand Energy Transition, Robert Hefner makes a compelling and persuasive case that our country's economic, environmental, and national security demands the rapid transformation of the global economy from a high-carbon model to a low-carbon one. Drawing on a wealth of firsthand experience in the national energy policy debate and in the energy industry itself, Hefner traces the history of the world's energy use, points us toward where we need to go next, and demonstrates how natural gas and clean renewable sources of energy can play critical roles in getting us there."
—John Podesta, President and CEO, Center for American Progress

"If you care about the future, you must read this book."
—Ted Turner, founder, CNN, and Chairman, Turner Enterprises

"The Grand Energy Transition offers a compelling yet practical vision for solving the world's energy problems. Robert Hefner has broken the mold of conventional wisdom by arguing that the road to a low-carbon future is lined with natural gas—and by persuasively refuting the widely-held assumption that 'clean' coal will prove an economically viable alternative."
—Christopher Flavin, President, Worldwatch Institute, Washington, D.C.

" For years, Robert Hefner challenged the conventional wisdom in industry and government regarding natural gas reserves and production potential. His position was treated with skepticism, when it was not dismissed out of hand. Yet, time has proved him right, particularly as shale gas has contributed to a 9% jump in domestic production in just this last year. He was proved right on the Fuel Use Act. Some of his propositions regarding the (unavoidable) energy transition will be questioned, but they surely should no longer be dismissed out of hand."
—James R. Schlesinger, Economist and former U.S. Secretary of Energy, former U.S. Secretary of Defense, and former CIA Director

"This work, written by someone with a long and distinguished career in the energy business, is a very thoughtful and practical account of how the world can move to abundant energy which is clean and sustainable. It shows that low-carbon growth across the world can become a reality in the next few decades. This is a very important book."
—Nicholas Stern, Lord Stern of Brentwood, KT, FBA, IG Patel Professor of Economics and Government, London School of Economics

"As a successful businessman and international real estate developer, I know the economic and environmental importance of energy. Robert Hefner, with over fifty years of hands-on experience in the complex world of energy production, consumption, and politics has written a groundbreaking book that cuts through the confusion and shows us a clear, common sense path forward. His concept that The Grand Energy Transition is choosing the energy winners is critically important. America does not have time for energy losers."
—Donald J. Trump

Robert A. Hefner III is founder and owner of GHK Exploration (, a private natural gas exploration and production firm. He pioneered ultradeep natural gas exploration and production, led the development of innovative technology needed to successfully drill and produce many of the world's deepest and highest pressure natural gas wells, and was a leader in the industry's successful efforts to deregulate the price of natural gas. Hefner is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society of London, a Fellow National of the Explorers Club, a member of Singapore's International Advisory Panel on Energy, and a member of the International Council at the Belfer Center at Harvard University. He is an Advisory Director of the Center for a New American Security. Hefner and his wife, MeiLi, initiated and support the Hefner China Fund, which has brought rising young Chinese government officials to study in the fields of energy, culture, and foreign policy at the National University of Singapore's Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy and Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. Hefner holds a petroleum geology degree from the University of Oklahoma.

Introduction: The Inextricable Link between Energy and the Economy.

Chapter 1 The Beginning.

Chapter 2 The Grand Energy Transition.

Chapter 3 The Conception of the GET and How It Works.

Chapter 4 Rise of the Age of Energy Gases, Decarbonization, and Slowing of the GET.

Chapter 5 How the 1970s Misconception of Natural Gas Scarcity Changed America’s Energy Mix for Decades.

Chapter 6 Natural Gas—The Bridge Fuel to Our Sustainable Future.

Chapter 7 Natural Gas Abundance.

Chapter 8 My Historical Grounds for Natural Gas Abundance.

Chapter 9 The Real Inconvenient Truth.

Chapter 10 Our Energy and Climate Challenge—Los Angeles, A Case Study.

Chapter 11 What Won’t Work; What Will Work.

Chapter 12 Policies to Accelerate the GET.

Chapter 13 The Age of Energy Gases: America’s and China’s Opportunity.

Chapter 14 Crisis and Opportunity.



Recommended Reading.

About the Author.