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Daniel Howard Yergin (born February 6, 1947) is an American author, speaker, and economic researcher. Yergin is the co-founder and chairman of the Cambridge Energy Research Associates, an energy research consultancy that is now part of IHS Markit Inc. He is best known as author of The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money, and Power (1991) and The Quest: Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World (2011). He received his PhD from Cambridge University as a Marshall Scholar.

Daniel Yergin
Daniel Yergin - World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2012.jpg
At the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, 2012
Born (1947-02-06) February 6, 1947 (age 70)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Residence Washington, DC
Alma mater Yale University
Trinity College, Cambridge
Occupation Author, Energy analyst
Awards Pulitzer Prize


Early life and educationEdit

Born in Los Angeles, California, to a Chicago Tribune reporter father and a mother who was a sculptor and painter, Yergin attended Beverly Hills High School.[1] He received his BA from Yale University in 1968, where he served on the board of the Yale Daily News, and was a founder of The New Journal. He earned his PhD in International Relations (1974) from Cambridge University where he was a Marshall Scholar. He has honorary doctorates from Colorado School of Mines, University of Houston, and the University of Missouri.


From 1978 through 1980, he was a lecturer at the Harvard Business School and, until 1985, a lecturer at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. He founded Cambridge Energy Research Associates (CERA) in 1982 with the purchase of a $7 file cabinet from The Salvation Army.[2][3][not specific enough to verify] In 2004, CERA was acquired by the information company IHS Inc., of which he is now vice chairman.[4]

In December 2016, Yergin joined a business forum assembled by then president-elect Donald Trump to provide strategic and policy advice on economic issues.[5]


Yergin's first book, Shattered Peace: The Origins of the Cold War and the National Security State (1977), partly based upon his PhD dissertation, focused on the origins of the Cold War. It was named "best book of the year" by the National Historical Society.

He co-authored and co-edited with Robert B. Stobaugh, Energy Future: The Report of the Energy Project at the Harvard Business School (1979), which was a New York Times bestseller.[6]

External video
  Booknotes interview with Yergin on The Prize, C-SPAN

Yergin is best known for The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money, and Power (1991), a number-one bestseller that won the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction in 1992 and the Eccles Prize for the best book on economics for a general audience.[7] The book was adapted into a PBS/BBC mini-series seen by more than 20 million viewers.[citation needed] Yergin was awarded the 1997 United States Energy Award for "lifelong achievements in energy and the promotion of international understanding.”

His next book was Russia 2010 and What It Means for the World (1993), written with Thane Gustafson, which provided scenarios for the development of Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union. This was followed by The Commanding Heights: The Battle for the World Economy (2002), written with Joseph Stanislaw, which started out as a 60,000-word essay and described in narrative form the struggle over the "frontier" between governments and markets and the rise of globalization.[3] It was made into a prize-winning six-hour PBS/BBC television series. Yergin was executive producer and host of the series. Yergin interviewed many high-profile people including Bill Clinton, Dick Cheney, Gordon Brown, Newt Gingrich, and Robert Rubin, as well as prominent economists.

Yergin's The Quest: Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World (2011) continued his history of the global oil industry but also addressed energy security, natural gas, electric power, climate change and the search for renewable sources of energy.[8]

All of Yergin's books were drafted in long-hand.[9]


In 2014, the Prime Minister of India presented Dr. Yergin with “Lifetime Achievement Award” and the U.S. Department of Energy awarded him the first “James Schlesinger Medal for Energy Security.”[10] In 2015, the University of Pennsylvania presented him with the first Carnot Prize for “distinguished contributions to energy policy.”[11]

Peak oil controversyEdit

Yergin has criticized predictions of imminent peak oil, noting in 2011 that the early 21st century is the fifth period of widespread predictions that world oil production was about to fall. The four previous times when experts commonly predicted that oil production would soon decrease were: first in the 1880s, then after each of the World Wars, and again in the 1970s. He wrote that Hubbert peak theory ignores the effects of economics and technological advances. Instead of a peak, Yergin predicts future oil production will be more of a plateau, as increasing prices moderate demand and stimulate production.[12][13][14][15] He also addressed peak oil in a chapter in The Quest entitled “Is the World Running Out of Oil?”

Yergin's skepticism toward peak oil has in turn been criticized by the theory's defenders.[16][17] For example, Jean Laherrère contended in 2011 that Yergin's predictions on energy production and prices omitted key facts, leading Yergin to draw incorrect conclusions.[18] Another industry observer criticized Yergin's statement in September 2007 that the price of crude oil was then higher than justified by fundamentals.[16] At the time of Yergin's statement, the price of West Texas Intermediate oil was US$79 per barrel. The price peaked nine months later at US$145 per barrel before dropping dramatically to US$30 in the 2008 financial crisis and fluctuating widely in subsequent years.[19]

Books by Daniel YerginEdit

Books co-authored by Daniel YerginEdit


  1. ^ Redburn, Tom. "'Energy Future' Goes Beyond Ivory Tower", Los Angeles Times, August 19, 1979. Retrieved December 15, 2007. "Fifteen years ago, Daniel Yergin left Beverly Hills High School to attend Yale University and, except for summer jobs and brief visits, he hasn't been back here since."
  2. ^ "Dan Yergin at IHS Investor Day - Slide 88 at 01:30:15". Retrieved 2016-06-23. 
  3. ^ a b Ringle, Ken (April 9, 1998). "Daniel Yergin, Turning a Prophet; How a Historian Became a Market Guru And Hit the Jackpot". The Washington Post. Retrieved March 4, 2012. 
  4. ^ "IHS Executives". IHS Inc. Retrieved March 4, 2012. 
  5. ^ Bryan, Bob (2 Dec 2016). "Trump is forming an economic advisory team with the CEOs of Disney, General Motors, JPMorgan, and more". Business Insider. Retrieved 1 June 2017. 
  6. ^ Klemesrud, Judy (November 18, 1979). "Energy Future". The New York Times. Retrieved March 4, 2012. 
  7. ^ "1992 Pulitzer Prize Winners and Their Works in Journalism and the Arts". The New York Times. April 8, 1992. Retrieved March 4, 2012. 
  8. ^ Cohen, Joel E. (April 26, 2012). "What Will It Take to Save the Earth?". The New York Review of Books. 
  9. ^ Khan, Chris (October 27, 2011). "Yergin: Only politics can threaten energy supplies". The Associated Press. Retrieved March 4, 2012. 
  10. ^ "U.S. grants first medal on energy to oil historian Yergin". Reuters. 2017-10-01. Retrieved 2017-05-11. 
  11. ^ "Penn's Kleinman Center for Energy Policy Awards the Inaugural Carnot Prize to IHS Vice Chairman Daniel Yergin". Retrieved 2017-05-11. 
  12. ^ Yergin, Daniel. "There will be oil", Wall Street Journal, September 17, 2011.
  13. ^ "Daniel Yergin on Fox Business". Fox Business News. 
  14. ^ Gross, Daniel. "U.S. incentives for renewable energy raise questions". The New York Times. Retrieved May 29, 2012. 
  15. ^ Yergin, Daniel. "The Perils, Prizes and Pitfalls of a Post-Gaddafi Era of Oil". Financial Times. Retrieved May 29, 2012. 
  16. ^ a b "Holding Daniel Yergin and CERA Accountable". The Oil Drum. 
  17. ^ Tverberg, Gail (September 29, 2011). "Is Yergin Correct about Oil Supply? (an Opinion the WSJ did not run)". Our Finite World. 
  18. ^ "Peak Oil : Laherrère responds to Yergin". Le Monde. 
  19. ^ WTI Spot Price, US Energy Information Administration. Retrieved January 31, 2017.
  20. ^ The Quest: Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World

Articles and interviewsEdit

External linksEdit