Matthew Simmons, prominent 'peak oil' backer, dies
Matthew Simmons, 67, one of the most prominent and outspoken believers in 'peak oil,' the theory that the world's crude-oil production is cresting (or has already crested), died yesterday at his home in North Haven, Maine.
His body was found in his hot tub. The Associated Press reports that an autopsy "concluded Monday that he died from accidental drowning with heart disease as a contributing factor."
Mr. Simmons was a successful energy investment banker who founded the Houston-based Simmons & Co. and served as an advisor to President George W. Bush.
Increasingly concerned about what he said were clear signs that the world was not prepared to deal with an inevitable dropoff in crude oil production, he laid out his arguments in the 2005 book "Twilight in the Desert: The Coming Oil Shock and the World Economy."
"What the people that get into the peak oil debate often don't think about is that peak oil is not the maximum amount of oil you could produce in a single day, it's realistically the amount you could produce per day for at least a half decade," Mr. Simmons wrote in a 2005 chat session on washingtonpost.com. "Therefore it could already be happening. And we'll never know that until we get better data."
Since then, he has been an advocate for sustainable and alternative energy. In 2007, he founded The Ocean Energy Institute to promote wind-energy development.
In recent months, he had been critical of BP's efforts to deal with the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
August 9, 2010; 3:55 PM ET
Categories: Emma Brown | Tags: gulf oil spill, matt simmons died, matthew simmons bp, matthew simmons died, matthew simmons dies, matthew simmons obituary, matthew simmons peak oil, ocean energy institute, simmons and co, simmons george bush
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