The Republican Who Dared Tell the Truth About America’s Looming Oil Disaster
By Andrew Nikiforuk
Matt Simmons didn’t let the money, bullshit or arrogance surrounding the oil industry cloud his judgment.
“A call to arms may be wrong. We may not even know who the enemy is. And maybe the enemy is us.” — Matt Simmons
After criticizing the reckless conduct of BP in the Gulf of Mexico most of the summer, 67-year-old Matt Simmons eased into his hot tub at his home in North Haven, Maine on Aug. 8. For a short while the famous oil analyst might have pondered his grandiose plans for the world’s largest $25-billion offshore wind farm. But Simmons then suffered a heart attack and drowned.
The New York Times duly observed the passing of “the noted energy banker” while Forbes called him “the crazy uncle of the oil patch.” And that he was. Gadfly. Visionary. Contrarian. Educator. “Crude Cassandra.” Conservative. Together with millions of Americans and Europeans, I dearly miss the life-long Republican and let me tell you why.
Not too many people in the oil patch speak honestly about the world’s most powerful industry, but Simmons did. He didn’t let the money, bullshit or arrogance cloud his judgment. Or his basic reading of geology for that matter.