Freedom from Oil: How the Next President Can End the United States' Oil Addiction

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Widespread Acclaim for

Freedom from Oil

“When David Sandalow writes about energy and the environment, we should all pay close attention.”-Al Gore

“Freedom from Oil is a compelling analysis of one of the great challenges of our time. David Sandalow draws upon his extensive White House experience and offers a powerful vision of a clean energy future.”-William J. Clinton, 42nd President of the United States

“David Sandalow's Freedom from Oil should be required reading for all concerned citizens and elected officials.”-U.S. Senator Richard G. Lugar(R-IN), from the Foreword

“One of the clearest, most innovative approaches to energy that has been written. A superb combination of policy and politics, cast in highly readable government policy and memo format. Every American should read David Sandalow's book.” -General Wesley Clark

“Superb analysis and recommendations that show how we can break our dependence on oil without further dithering. The next Administration, or this one, could do no better than to go with Sandalow's package.” -R. James Woolsey, Vice President Booz Allen Hamilton; former director, Central Intelligence Agency

“Freedom from Oil should be at the top of the reading list for America's next president . . . This is an important book for anyone concerned about the most pressing threat to our security, our economy and our environment.” -Frances Beinecke, President, Natural Resources Defense Council

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780071489065
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Companies, The
  • Publication date: 9/21/2007
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.97 (d)

Meet the Author

David Sandalow is Energy Environment Scholar and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. He is a former assistant secretary of state and senior director on the National Security Council.

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Table of Contents

Foreword   Senator Richard Lugar     xi
Introduction     1
The Problem     7
Memorandum from the President     9
Memorandum from the Counselor     12
Memorandum from the Secretary of Energy: Ten Facts about Oil     14
National Security
Memorandum from the National Security Adviser     21
"General Fights for Renewable Energy" (Profile: Gen. Richard Zilmer)     26
Memorandum from the Chair, Council on Environmental Quality     28
Memorandum from the Administrator, Environmental Protection Agency     33
"Messenger from the North" (Profile: Sarah James)     36
Memorandum from the Chair, National Economic Council     39
"Fred Smith on the Move" (Profile: Frederick W. Smith)     46
Trapped in the 1970s
Note from the President     48
Memorandum from the Secretary of Energy     49
Solutions     57
Plug-In Cars
Memorandum from the Secretary of Transportation     59
Note from the President     74
"From Showroom to the Big Screen" (Profile: Chelsea Sexton)     75
"Electric Entrepreneur" (Profile: Martin Eberhard)     79
Memorandum from the Secretary of Agriculture     82
Memorandum from the U.S. Trade Representative     97
Note from the President     100
"I Am Indy" (Profile: Buddy Rice)     101
"From High Tech to Ethanol" (Profile: Vinod Khosla)     103
Fuel Efficiency
Memorandum from the Secretary of Transportation     106
Note from the President     118
"Man with a Mission" (Profile: Jerome Ringo)     119
Memorandum from the Chair, Council of Economic Advisers: Gasoline Tax     122
Memorandum from the Secretary of Energy     130
Note from the President     137
"Jon Tester, Senator-Farmer" (Profile: Jon Tester)     138
Memorandum from the Secretary of Energy     141
Note from the President     148
Smart Growth
Memorandum from the Secretary of Transportation and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development     149
Note from the President     157
"A Visit to Biotown, USA" (Profile: Reynolds, Indiana)     158
Strategic Petroleum Reserve
Memorandum from the Secretary of Energy     162
Diplomatic Strategy
Memorandum from the Secretary of State     167
Decision     175
Memorandum from the Chief of Staff     177
Role of Government
Note from the President     184
Memorandum from the Secretary of Energy     185
A Scarce Resource
Memorandum from the Counselor     189
Speech Language
Note from the President     191
Memorandum from the Director, Office of Speechwriting     192
Final Choices
Memorandum from the Vice President     195
Note for the President from the Chief of Staff     200
White House Press Release     201
The President's Speech to the Nation     204
Notes     217
Index     273
Acknowledgments     283
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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2008

    A powerful book.

    The USA is spending $2 trillion per year on foreign oil. We must find liquid fuels to replace gasoline if our economy is to survive. However, I think that Robert Zubrin's Energy Victory is more immediately practical.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2008

    A reviewer

    ¿I plan to deliver an address from the Oval Office one month from today. The topic will be oil dependence.¿ I tend to steer clear and far away from any type of political book. My disinterest stems from the obvious bias and propaganda that these types of political figures tend to bring into their views and writing. The viewpoint and rambling on and on bores my racing mind. ¿Freedom From Oil¿ was written from a completely different perspective and point of view that it took me by surprise. I was fully engrossed throughout the entire book and often referenced previous views and opinions as I read through Sandalow¿s ideas. The format of this book was written as fairly short, but highly detailed documents written to the next President of the United States by the various Director¿s and Secretary¿s within the President¿s office. Each perspective detailed the pros and cons of how to eliminate the United States¿ addiction to oil. The forward thinking approach brings in thinking from all factors which would affect the people and corporations of the US. These views facing the problem of oil addiction include memorandums from the President, his Counselor, the Secretary of Energy, the National Security Advisor, the Council on Environmental Quality, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Economic Council, with several articles profiling American viewpoints. Solutions to the oil addition problems are presented by the Secretary of Transportation, the Secretary of Agriculture, the US Trade Representative, the Council of Economic Advisors, the Secretary of Energy, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, and the Secretary of State. Additional viewpoints include profiles and ideas presented by American citizens. The range of solutions presented include Biofuels, Plug-in Cars, Fuel Efficiency, Coal, Hydrogen, Smart Growth, Strategic Petroleum Reserve, and Diplomatic Strategy. Finally, a compilation of all the problems, solutions and discussion is provided via a press release and ¿The President¿s Speech to the Nation.¿ The format presented in this book not only held my attention but strengthened my belief that all Americans should work toward finding solutions to our current energy crisis and work toward using cleaner fuels and be willing to sacrifice convenience for what is best for not only the United States, but also the world.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2008

    Readable, insightful and convincing

    I just completed this book and believe it makes a great case and provides excellent support for it's conclusions.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 10, 2007

    Every car buyer should read this book before buying a car

    What did you do last summer to reduce our country¿s dependence on oil? David Sandalow, a policy analyst from the Brookings Institution, had lunch with Newt Gingrich and Howard Dean. The question he put to both men was the same one that advocates of a post-oil economy have asked since the OPEC embargo of October 1973: ¿What should the United States do about its dependence on oil?¿ Surprise: The answer from both Dean and Gingrich was essentially the same. Sandalow `s book is a work of sheer imagination: Organize a book around the next President¿s first major policy speech. Imagine that it¿s April or May 2009, all of the appointments to cabinet positions have been confirmed and the first task facing these new Secretaries is a memo from the President: Four impacts Sandalow begins his analysis by noting that our policies aimed at reducing oil dependence have failed because the focus was on reducing dependence on FOREIGN oil. Duh. Big surprise. We should have been looking at ways to reduce dependence on oil in general. He captured on five pages the four points that I failed to summarize in 30 minutes of video (that currently sits on youtube in an account labeled ¿Mistermath¿). If there is just one portion of this book that future car buyers should be forced to read, it should be pages 21 to 25. One point is central to the drumbeat that electric car enthusiasts have been repeating for three decades: our dependence on oil strengthens oil-exporting nations. The second, that oil dependence helps Al Qaeda, is a new extension of this theme. The third comes from a military analyst: dependence on oil leads to deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan. In fact, anywhere there are troops deployed in the field, the dependence of armed forces on oil puts personnel involved in transportation of fuel supplies in jeopardy. Sandalow¿s point is emphasized with a profile of General Richard Zilmer (who deserves a medal of honor for pushing solar-powered generators to replace the need for gasoline or diesel powered generators). Nine additional profiles are sprinkled through the text, making the executive summaries more digestible. Sandalow is not just a policy wonk adept at summarizing talking points. His imaginative selection of advocates has introduced me to the complex variety of skills that will be needed to move into the post-petroleum era. His fourth point should be displayed on every gasoline pump: ¿oil dependence undermines democracy and good governance around the world.¿ Sandalow¿s key points (push more batteries, use the federal buying power to jumpstart demand for plug-in hybrid vehicles that run largely on batteries, change zoning to encourage compact development, reduce highway subsidies) will attract detractors, but some candidate could gain a bump in the polls by driving in an all-electric vehicle now and avoid using any gasoline for the next year of campaigning. (Ha!) The book ends with the text of the major policy speech, which could in fact turn into both a stump speech for current candidates and a major segment of the next inaugural address to the nation. Can you imagine the next president saying the following sentences on January 2009? The federal gasoline tax will be increased 10 cents per gallon per year for the next five years. Within six months, every car I drive in will be a ¿plug-in¿ hybrid vehicle. When U.S. automakers invest in energy savings and higher fuel efficiency, then the federal government will cover health care for retired autoworkers (the proposed ¿great bargain¿ with carmakers) The book correctly focuses on the need to increase the number of lithium-ion batteries in use. Why wait for the federal government to buy 100,000 vehicles? Why not call now for economic patriots to convert their vehicles to battery power?

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