Vijay Vaitheeswaran – India & USA

Linked with Kicking the Oil Habit.

He says: “It has been seen as political suicide to use the word “tax.” But I am very encouraged to see public discourse changing. You now see a range of voices supporting environmental taxation and similar mechanisms, such as Thomas Friedman of the New York Times and the magazines Forbes and Fortune. Senator Richard Lugar, the powerful head of the Foreign Relations Committee, is now pushing for action to get off of oil. There are different motivations for different people. But the way to get the United States to embrace eco-taxation is to form alliances”. (read the whole interview on

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Vijay Vaitheeswaran – India & USA

Listen to his 7 minutes video on Big-Picture, recorded in June 2004.

Vijay V. Vaitheeswaran is The Economist’s Environment and Energy Correspondent, covering developments in politics, economics, business, and technology as they relate to energy issues. He has received awards for his journalism, and previously wrote about Latin America as the magazine’s regional bureau chief in Mexico City. Born in Madras, India, he grew up in Cheshire, Connecticut and graduated from MIT with a degree in mechanical engineering. He now lives in New York.

He joined The Economist’s staff as the London-based Latin America Correspondent in 1992. Two years later, he opened its first bureau in that region in Mexico City. He wrote about political, financial and cultural developments in that part of the world until 1997, when he returned to the editorial headquarters in London. As the newspaper’s Global Environment & Energy Correspondent, he covered the politics, economics, business and technology involved in those topics from 1998 to 2006. Vijay is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He has lectured at Stanford, Yale and Oxford, and is an adjunct faculty member at New York University. He is a commentator on NPR and Marketplace radio, and a regular guest on the BBC, PBS’s NewsHour, ABC’s Nightline and other television programs. He is also the author of a book on the future of energy, “POWER TO THE PEOPLE: How the Coming Energy Revolution will Transform an Industry, Change our Lives, and Maybe Even Save the Planet”. Harvard’s John Holdren, reviewing the book in Scientific American, called it “by far the most helpful, entertaining, up-to-date and accessible treatment of the energy-economy-environment problematique available.” Vijay holds a degree in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He lives in New York. (Read on the Economist).

You can reach him on his e-mail.

Excerpt: … The America’s – transmission grid, it’s amazing in one sense. It makes our modern society possible. But in another sense, we’ve neglected it for a couple of decades. In the last 10 years or so, we spent less investing in updating and upgrading our grid than a small country like Britain did during the same time, after adjusting for the smaller size of that country. And the reason, you ask well, why is that? And the reason is that when Britain did electricity deregulation, thanks to Margaret Thatcher, they got it right. They got the clear rules of the road. And investors were told, look, you invest in the grid, we’re going to give you incentives to make lots of money back and to innovate. And reliability was given a special premium. In the U.S., we did it exactly the opposite. As California and the power crisis showed, we have sort of a halfway house, where the rules aren’t very clear. And investors and utilities don’t have a very strong incentive to put money into upgrading the grid. And that’s the problem. It’s a political problem. We’re caught in kind of a halfway house in terms of deregulation … (Read the rest of the transcription of this interview on CNN).

Read his article: Why the World Is Not About to Run Out of Oil, May 05, 2006.

Book review: POWER TO THE PEOPLE, How the Coming Energy Revolution will Transform an Industry, Change our Lives, and Maybe Even Save the Planet. Excerpt: … (He) explains the great opportunities in the energy realm today. He argues that there are three interrelated forces reshaping the world of energy:

1) The global move toward the liberalization of energy markets. Around the world, governments are liberalizing their energy markets and opening their borders to cross-border trade in gas and electricity. (The result is an outpouring of entrepreneurship, financial capital, and innovation).

2) The emergence of a new generation of market-friendly environmental activism. Concern about local air pollution and climate change is leading to intervention in favor of cleaner power and transport.

3) An explosion of technological innovation based on hydrogen energy and fuel cells.
He goes on to explain how shifting to the use of hydrogen energy will turn the energy industry—as well as the green debate—on its head. News about the environment doesn’t usually inspire optimism, but Vaitheeswaran’s multi-disciplinary experience allows him to imagine an energy industry and a world in which contentious parties work together—and in their own best interests—toward a brighter tomorrow. Most importantly, he lays out the practical steps we’ll take to get there. He cuts through the rhetoric of the right and the left and finds the ideas he believes will really work—such as free markets working together with environmental goals—and profiles quirky and visionary players from all sides. The planet-saving ideas he reports on are far from idealists’ whims. They are supported by the likes of Ford, GE, Motorola, Shell Oil, BP, the US Army, and Presidents Bush and Clinton, as well as environmentalists. (Read the whole review on vijay to the people).

See this book on amazon.


Super Markets;

The great race;



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