- Insider asked portfolio manager and energy expert Rob Thummel for his top book picks for more on Europe’s energy crisis.
- Among them are books by journalists on energy and climate from Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal.
- “These underscore how essential energy is in the big picture, from turning on your lights to heating your home.”
Europe’s worsening energy crisis stems from multiple factors, including Russia’s war in Ukraine, dwindling supply, soaring prices, politics and weather.
To better understand how all of these variables interact, Insider asked a portfolio manager at an energy investment firm to share his top book recommendations.
“These books basically highlight how essential energy is, big picture,” Rob Thummel of Tortoise told Insider. “Whether it’s turning on your lights, heating your home, or driving your car, you take the importance of energy for granted.”
The World for Sale: Money, Power, and the Merchants Who Barter Earth’s Resources by Javier Blas and Jack Farchy
One of the book’s authors, Bloomberg columnist Javier Blas, is a leading authority on all things energy markets, Thummel explained, and the book provides excellent background on how markets work. and the interactions between the different trades that occur on the world stage.
“This book, like the others, shows how lucky we are to have had low-cost energy for so long, especially in the United States,” Thummel said.
The New Map: Energy, Climate and the Clash of Nations by Daniel Yergin
Thummel recommended this book by the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist because it provides details on energy markets in the context of how nations and climate battles are reshaping the map of the world.
The book covers the “shale revolution” in U.S. oil and gas, rising energy conflicts with Russia and China, and broader geopolitical scenarios and implications.
The Moral Case of Fossil Fuels by Alex Epstein
“It’s the most controversial book,” Thummel said. “But it raises some very interesting arguments.”
Epstein’s book argues that typically only one side of the story is made public when it comes to the energy debate.
For Thummel, he presents “some good points” that can help bring in new insights and provide context for how Europe found itself in its current, worsening energy dilemma.
“It says that oil and natural gas are quite important,” he said. “There is a lot of time and effort to develop low-cost energy, and oil and gas are going to play an important role for some time.”
Putin’s Oil: The Yukos Affair and the Struggle for Russia by Martin Sixsmith
This book, according to Thummel, paints a portrait of Vladimir Putin and his approach not only to energy markets, but also his leadership style.
“It really shows you the Russian oil sector, it really shows Putin’s character and provides a history of how things worked years ago,” Thummel said.
Superpower: One Man’s Quest to Transform American Energy by Russell Gold
Thummel noted that it is a “great book” by former Wall Street Journal reporter Russell Gold on the development of wind and solar energy.
It covers the United States’ energy transition to renewable resources and how it is taking steps to become less dependent on fossil fuels.
Coupled with Epstein’s book, it provides additional context on how clean energy initiatives are impacting and changing today’s energy markets.