Fracking, OPEC, and The Future of Energy

Published on
January 27th, 2021
76 minutes

Deflation and Insolvency Risks: Gold and Bonds’ Moment to Shine

Fracking, OPEC, and The Future of Energy

The Interview ·
Featuring Kenneth Hersh and David Salem

Published on: January 27th, 2021 • Duration: 76 minutes

Kenneth Hersh, CEO of the George W. Bush Presidential Center and distinguished energy investor, joins David Salem, managing partner of Windhorse Capital Management, for a conversation on the history and the future of energy. Hersh shares with Salem his journey as the founder of energy investment firm Natural Gas Partners (NGP). Hersh catalogues five pivotal forces that have shaped energy markets: the rise of fracking, China’s expanding presence in global trade and commodities markets, OPEC’s evolving capacity to control global oil supplies and prices, nuclear power’s changing fortunes, and the growing influence of ESG mandates on capital flows and energy pricing. Hersh argues that natural gas has been the primary driver in the reduction of coal usage, which objectively is the most pollutant fossil fuel by a considerable margin. Hersh describes his efforts with the Global Adaptation Institute to mitigate the effects of climate change, as well as his ongoing stewardship of the George W. Bush Presidential Center. Salem closes with a “lightning round” where he asks Hersh about everything from Elon Musk’s carbon capture award to Saudi Arabia’s investment in Softbank to baseball. Filmed on January 25, 2021.

Key learnings:
Hersh argues that fracking is key to decarbonization as it lessens the reliance on coal, which emits the most pollutants by far. He sheds light on the cartel dynamics of OPEC, which have been flipped on their head—U.S. production of oil has more than doubled, and the total supply of oil is (in effect) infinite. Also, the situation China finds itself in can further undermine OPEC’s influence as China has an abundance of supply oil from their investments in oil fields around the globe.



  • MM
    Michael M.
    2 February 2021 @ 01:38
    This was an interesting interview on the "big picture" of energy that was probably more appropriate of 60 minutes than Real Vision. I didn't get any actionable investing ideas but did pick up on some mild political jabs at Trump and left wing progressives who don't understand the damage the Paris accord will cause.
  • mk
    munira k.
    31 January 2021 @ 10:45
    Excellent interview. Kenneth and David are both excellent, lots of valuable insights from real gentlemen. Thank you very much!
  • GA
    Greg A.
    30 January 2021 @ 23:55
    excellent interview. A refreshing and honest discussion on energy.
  • SS
    Sam S.
    30 January 2021 @ 15:54
    In Idaho, test nuclear facility was built that required no humans to shut it down in the event of an accident. Once certain negatives took place, it shut itself down. Test models showed this same result, no matter the reason for the shutdown. It basically pulled itself apart. CO2 levels tested in 2020 after months of the world being locked down produced no measurable change, even though worldwide traffic of most all types down 66%. Ice core samples 7000 years ago had higher CO2 levels, yet man and the industrial machine didn't even exist. Eating meat-----estimates of billions upon billions of dinosaurs roaming the earth over millions of years They ate each other, just like ocean creatures. Age of our planet before mankind, oil and gas bubbling up all over the planet and on fire from lightning strikes burning for decades. Solar minimus, sun not expanding, creates less solar flares, increases volcanic activity and earthquakes. this is how glaciers have a life cycle of expansion and contraction, like everything in life. The Artic is floating ice while Antarctica is a mountain range. More ice on the south pole than ever recorded, which is why penguins have a hard time reaching the water and back again to their nesting ground. One volcano produce more sulfur dioxide poison than man produces in years. CO2 is food for plants and more. Can't go "true" green without it. Good bacteria is 94% of all life giving bacteria, yet man is wiping (literally) it out. Plant and animal waste creates compost for healthy food & plant production and regenerate the health of grasslands, marshes, rice fields, on and on. Gravitational forces of our Solar System rotating around the Milky Way Galaxy, which takes 28,000 years to make one revolution, creates the real changes in weather, temperature, volcanoes, solar flares and more. Man is nothing but a speck of sand on the planet and we have no ability to control any of it. We can control pollution and we should. I'm not a scientist, but I can read, study and digest these very important issues and put the puzzle pieces together to make up my own mind. All though they mean well, we do not need the influence of Gore, Kerry, Gates, Green New Deal, or the Paris Accords. We need to truthfully educate the worlds population and as Mr. Salem said, smartly adapt to our ever changing world. Excellent interview and conversation diving into the facts of energy and more. Lifetime of learning.
    • SS
      Sam S.
      30 January 2021 @ 16:03
      My comment "Mr. Salem", sorry meant Mr. Hersh.
  • RC
    Rafael C.
    29 January 2021 @ 19:31
    Great interview - brilliant minds
  • MA
    Matthew A.
    27 January 2021 @ 20:34
    Lol at the straw man argument... about oil comparing it to steel. Whatever helps you feel better I guess. Methane still leaks as a byproduct of fracking. Clean energy is has the potential to be better for society. That's the real thing that matters.
    • MA
      Matthew A.
      27 January 2021 @ 20:50
      Listening to the rest of the podcast, some other points did resonate. For one fracking and oil seems to be better for the environment than coal. Then two nuclear power to generate electricity is what I cross my fingers for. I put some of my money and my hope on uranium.
    • mw
      michael w.
      29 January 2021 @ 07:07
      You didn't listen to his argument. The are more pressing things that need to be addressed to solve this problem.
  • RL
    Ruby L.
    28 January 2021 @ 13:08
    Excellent interview! It is frustrating to see the expansion of coal in the US, Alberta, and China instead of shutting down those high emissions and using oil, NG, nuclear, renewables... climate change mitigation is key, most of The Netherlands is under seas level yet is one of Europe’s most successful economies... Munger, Gates, Buffett and Becky Quick had an interesting conversation about this is 2011 (?) and Munger pushed we need to adapt ASAP.
    • AC
      Andrew C.
      29 January 2021 @ 06:49
      You forgot coal in Germany. What a bloody joke that is.... shut nuclear, destroy a village to mine the coal underneath ...
  • JU
    John U.
    27 January 2021 @ 20:41
    Thank you to Mr. Hersh. This was tremendous. There is a giant, glaring need for energy education worldwide. ***Side Note to Real Vision*** ... Ken briefly touched on climate but it would be amazing to expound on the topic. Under the assumption he would do an interview, I would highly recommend Michael Shellenberger.
    • LS
      Lemony S.
      28 January 2021 @ 20:07
      Yup, MS has reported on the lie of "Green" which further proves that warming and then climate change are central power hoaxes.
  • PB
    P B.
    28 January 2021 @ 16:02
    Great interview. Isn’t the timing now ideal for your adaptation fund?
  • RI
    R I.
    28 January 2021 @ 01:52
    I would vote for this guy.
  • IH
    Ian H.
    28 January 2021 @ 01:19
    fantastic convo
  • WS
    William S.
    27 January 2021 @ 22:53
    Great discussion and focus on the "segments" of energies future....this analysis is worth the RV subscription 10x
  • ES
    Edward S.
    27 January 2021 @ 21:18
    Absolutely a grand conversation. Two top shelf men.
  • CB
    C B.
    27 January 2021 @ 18:36
    Really insightful perspective on carbon emissions that rises above politics and hype.
  • SH
    Steve H.
    27 January 2021 @ 18:16
    Excellent interview. However, I have to take issue with the statement that, "The US no longer needs to have troops in the Middle East to protect its oil supplies." US troops are still present in Eastern Syria to protect the active looting of that country's principal oilfields, and their number increased materially the day after Biden's inauguration. Furthermore, whilst not strictly 'troops', the US has hundreds of billions of dollars worth of naval and airborne assets prowling around the Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea. Presumably they are there to 'protect' something - and there's not much in that neighbourhood apart from oil.
  • MK
    Mark K.
    27 January 2021 @ 18:05
    High quality discussion. Thanks. (Would have loved to hear a short discussion regarding direction of US Energy Industry in this environment.)
  • rr
    rlw r.
    27 January 2021 @ 17:58
    Yep, outstanding discussion. Thank you Gentlemen.
  • SW
    Suzanne W.
    27 January 2021 @ 17:44
    This interview highlights all that is so very good about Real Vision. Interviewers and guests with valuable take aways for all those who are willing to take the time to watch. In particular, Ken Hersh tells his story of luck, good timing, chutzpah and, yes, razor-sharp intellect that was the making of one of the great American business stories of our era. This is a must see interview! David Salem asked smart questions, and I learned so much about energy investing from these two experts. And parents, there's even a life lesson woven into Hersh's story. "Think big," he says, a message we want all our kids to hear. Bravo Real Vision, this was a winner!
  • CG
    Christine G.
    27 January 2021 @ 16:24
    Inspiring interview. I would like to hear more discussions of climate change and its impact on planning and investing.
  • TT
    Timo T.
    27 January 2021 @ 14:05
    Very interesting. Thank you!
  • JL
    Jacob L.
    27 January 2021 @ 08:58
    Phenomenal interview easily worth a year's RV subscription.
    • JF
      Jack F. | Real Vision
      27 January 2021 @ 10:44
      Thank you, Jacob, I'm glad to hear you enjoyed the interview!