Oil has transformed the six Gulf monarchies from isolated hermit kingdoms into some of the most cash- and technology-saturated countries on Earth. But in his latest book, “Energy Kingdoms: Oil and Political Survival in the Persian Gulf,” energy fellow Jim Krane asks whether the Gulf is becoming a victim of its success: two dilemmas created by oil wealth now threaten the region’s economies and political systems.
First, government subsidies have driven domestic oil and gas consumption to unprecedented heights, leading Gulf leaders to try to curb domestic use and preserve oil exports — the source of their economic and political power. At the same time, fossil fuels are contributing to climate changes that will make life in the region difficult within the current century. But climate action could threaten energy exports, which also serve as the region’s source of strategic security provided by the United States.
At this event, Krane outlined the history of oil's influence on governance in the Gulf and discussed the region's current energy conundrum and struggle to remain viable in a climate-stressed world. A book signing followed the presentation. Copies of the book were available for purchase courtesy of Brazos Bookstore.
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5:30 p.m. - Reception
6:00 p.m. - Presentation
Jim Krane, Ph.D. is the Wallace S. Wilson Fellow for Energy Studies at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy. He specializes in energy geopolitics, with a focus on oil-exporting countries and the challenges they face from energy subsidies, internal demand and climate change. In a prior career, Krane spent nearly 20 years as a journalist, six of them in the Middle East. He is the author of two books. His acclaimed 2009 volume, “City of Gold: Dubai and the Dream of Capitalism,” is widely recognized as the seminal work on the iconoclastic city-state, while his 2019 book, “Energy Kingdoms: Oil and Political Survival in the Persian Gulf,” is the definitive study of energy demand in the region. He was a longtime correspondent for the Associated Press and has written for The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times and many other publications. He is the winner of several journalism awards, including the 2003 AP Managing Editors Deadline Reporting Award, received for his coverage of Saddam Hussein’s capture in Iraq. Krane earned a bachelor’s degree from City College of New York and a master’s from Columbia University prior to receiving his Ph.D. from Cambridge University.