In August 2012, I interviewed James Schlesinger over the phone as part of research for my upcoming book, The Oracle of Oil , the first biography of maverick geologist M. King Hubbert. Schlesinger and Hubbert shared a deep interest and concern in the issue of peak oil —specifically, the question of when world oil production might reach an all-time high, and then begin to decline, marking a turning point between an era of plenty to an era of scarcity. During Schlesinger’s time in office as the United States’ first Secretary of Energy—a post President Jimmy Carter created specifically for Schlesinger —he’d spoken about this issue of peak oil. He saw that such a peak of world oil production would have profound effects on the U.S. and the world. (Before becoming Secretary of Energy, Schlesinger had held various positions in the Nixon and Ford Administrations, including Director of Central Intelligence […]