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Peak Oil Expert, Renewable Energy Advocate Dies at 67

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Matthew Simmons, investment banker, former energy adviser to George W. Bush, author of the 2005 book “Twilight in the Desert: The Coming Saudi Oil Shock and the World Economy,” and founder of The Ocean Energy Institute, died yesterday of a heart attack at his home in North Haven, Maine.

“Twilight in the Desert" argued that the world was approaching peak oil production.

The Kennebec Journal  describes The Ocean Energy Institute as "part of the consortium led by the University of Maine that has received millions of dollars from the federal government to research and develop offshore wind turbines. [Gov. John E.] Baldacci...recognized Simmons’ leadership during his State of the State address delivered earlier this year."

“Matt Simmons was an innovative thinker who pushed ideas that have the potential to yield a more environmentally and economically sustainable future for Maine and the world,” Baldacci said. “I visited Matt and his team last month and thanked them for their partnership with the state as we aggressively build an independent energy future for Maine."

U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree had this to say:

"Matt was a neighbor and a friend and the news of his passing is profoundly sad. Matt was a visionary, a man of ideas and an outspoken advocate for the things he believed in. He was dedicated to making Maine a leader in offshore wind energy and made significant contributions to life in the midcoast."

In addition to being one of the most prominent voices in the peak oil debate, Simmons also maintained that the BP video feed of the spewing Gulf of Mexico pipe was a diversionary tactic--that the actual pipe doing the damage was miles away and BP was presenting a rosier picture to the public than actually existed. And the video we saw was not pretty, to say the least.

Bill Simmons was 67 years old.

POSITION:  No positions in stocks mentioned.