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You Visit Tour. Webb Lion Fountain. June 1 2017. Photo David B. Hollingsworth

Yetiv Busts Myths of U.S. Oil Boom in New Book

In "Myths of the Oil Boom," his latest book on the global politics of oil, Old Dominion University political science professor Steve Yetiv examines what the American oil boom (or era of dramatically heightened U.S. oil production) means for American and global security. And, in the process, he challenges a range of myths and misconceptions about the role of oil in world politics and offers a panoramic view of the global impact of the most politicized commodity in history.

"The American oil boom, while yielding some important benefits, is no replacement for sustainable energy practices," Yetiv said in an interview regarding his timely eighth book, published by Oxford University Press. "We cannot have long-term energy independence by just producing more oil. . . . While pursuing the oil boom makes sense so long as the world is so dependent on oil, there is a danger that the oil boom will make us complacent about pursuing sustainable energy practices."

The Louis I. Jaffe professor of international relations at Old Dominion, Yetiv is a recognized voice on oil and global security. He has consulted for the U.S. departments of state and defense as well as the U.S. General Accounting Office.

Yetiv, honored three years ago for his research, teaching and service by the State Council of Higher Education of Virginia, also is a prolific author and contributor of op-ed pieces on energy security.

This is his first book since, "National Security through a Cockeyed Lens: How Cognitive Bias Impacts U.S. Foreign Policy," which was released in 2013.

Yetiv said he was motivated to write by the exaggerated positive portrayal of ramped-up American oil production on global energy and security.

"For example, many thinkers and leaders believe that the oil boom will significantly protect the U.S. from oil disruptions," Yetiv said. "That would be very important since most of America's recessions have been related to such disruptions.

"While there is some truth to this view, it is exaggerated because the U.S. and the world have become much better at deterring and containing oil disruptions, and this evolution occurred before the oil boom. The oil boom is just one more shock absorber against oil disruptions," he continued.

Yetiv has produced a "very readable book (that) dispels myths" and will fascinate analysts as well as a general audience, wrote Harvard University's Joseph S. Nye, Jr., a former assistant secretary of defense and former director of the national intelligence council, in his editorial review of the book on Amazon.com.

Wrote Steven David, political science professor at Johns Hopkins University: Yetiv's book is "an eye-opening account of the impact of increased American oil production on international politics by one of America's foremost oil analysts. ("Myths of the Oil Boom" is) a timely and invaluable work for anyone who wants to understand how oil shapes our lives."

"Myths of the Oil Boom" is available for purchase in the University Village Bookstore, on Monarch Way.