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March 22 2013

Will Fossil Fuels Be Able to Maintain Economic Growth? A Q&A with Charles Hall


“Drill, baby, drill” has become a slogan of those who want to produce more oil and gas and who scoff at alternatives to petroleum. But rarely mentioned is the expense required to get that oil and gas—and still more rarely mentioned is the energy required to access those resources.

Charles Hall, an ecologist at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, has spent most of his long career trying to get fellow researchers and the public to take a serious look at the energy required to get the energy we use. He is given credit for creating a measure known as the energy return on investment, or EROI—the ratio of energy output over energy input.

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