Recommended: The Power Surge

Books and recommendations from Scientific American

Oxford University Press

The Power Surge: Energy, Opportunity, and the Battle for America's Future
Michael Levi
Oxford University Press, 2013 ($27.95)

The U.S. is in the midst of a transformation in the way the country produces and uses energy. Blasting deep shale formations with water—also known as fracking—and the ability to drill wells horizontally as well as vertically have freed a bonanza of previously untapped oil and natural gas. At the same time, government programs have mandated more efficient vehicles and helped to jump-start the development of alternative sources of energy, such as solar and wind power. President Barack Obama calls this an “all of the above” strategy, and that's a plan Levi, who is an energy expert at the Council on Foreign Relations, endorses in this engaging and illuminating book. He also argues that we'll need oversight and regulations to ensure that activities such as fracking are done right.

This article was originally published with the title "The Power Surge."

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