The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels

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The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels
The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels.jpg
Cover of the first edition
AuthorAlex Epstein
CountryUnited States
SubjectFossil fuels
PublisherPortfolio Hardcover
Publication date
November 13, 2014
Media typePrint
Pages256 pages

The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels is a 2014 book by American energy theorist Alex Epstein, in which the author argues that, although sometimes labeled as "immoral," the use of fossil fuels dramatically improves the overall progress of humanity, and improves life expectancy and income.[1] The book was a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller.[2][3]


The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels outlines the benefits that the development of coal, oil, and natural gas have had on mankind, including improved health, increased lifespan, and expansion of material welfare.[4][5]

The book also covers the topics of climate livability, the effects of carbon emissions, the nature of the environmental movement, and the role fossil fuels play in everyday life.[6][7] Epstein writes that alternative energy sources like wind, solar, and biofuels are inferior to fossil fuels because they are more expensive and less reliable.[8] He also examines trends in storm energy, global temperatures, and sea level changes and concludes that any changes are minor and do not justify alarmist predictions.[9]


Positive reviews of the book were published by The Wall Street Journal,[1] Barron's,[10] National Review,[11] Reason,[12] The Washington Free Beacon,[13] and The Morning Sun.[14] Several blogs also featured positive reviews,[15][16][17][18][19] including those of the Independent Institute[20] and The Heartland Institute,[21][22] two conservative think tanks.

Critical reviews were published by Inside Higher Ed,[23] The Huffington Post,[24] The Guardian,[25] and Our World, a publication of the United Nations University.[26] Jason Wilson of The Guardian alleged that Epstein has a close association with conservative advocacy groups and receives funding from the Koch brothers and that "Epstein's work has been popular and influential on the right because it is a particularly fluent, elaborate form of climate denialism."[25]

In 2014, Epstein was interviewed by Peter Thiel at an event hosted by the energy startup Tachyus. Thiel also provided a blurb for the book.[27]

In December 2014, political commentator John McLaughlin called Epstein "most original thinker of the year" for his book during McLaughlin's yearly The McLaughlin Group roundup.[28]


  1. ^ a b Broughton, Philip Delves. "Making 'The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels'". The Wall Street Journal.
  2. ^ "Best Selling Science Books". The New York Times.
  3. ^ White, Andrew. "Author Epstein makes the moral case for fossil fuels". Retrieved October 15, 2017.
  4. ^ "Making the Case for the Benefits of Fossil Fuels". Bloomberg.
  5. ^ Stossel, John. "Fossil fuels are no catastrophe. They have made our lives better". Fox News Channel.
  6. ^ Edward Hilboldt, John. "Book Discussion on The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels". CSPAN.
  7. ^ Foster, Peter. "Peter Foster: Don't trust the global warming doomsters and their moral outrage". Financial Post.
  8. ^ Veer, PeerGuy The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels: A Bold Humanist Statement The Blaze. February 9, 2015
  9. ^ Evans, Andrew Burn Baby Burn The Washington Free Beacon. February 9, 2015
  10. ^ Epstein, Gene. "The Polymath Entrepreneur". Retrieved June 27, 2017.
  11. ^ Zubrin, Robert. "Fossil Fuels and Morality". Retrieved June 27, 2017.
  12. ^ Bailey, Ronald. "Fight Poverty—Use Fossil Fuels". Retrieved June 27, 2017.
  13. ^ Evans, Andrew. "Burn Baby Burn". Retrieved July 1, 2017.
  14. ^ Walker, Bruce Edward. "Walker: The Moral Triumph of Fossil Fuels". Retrieved July 1, 2017.
  15. ^ Briggs, William M. "The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels Reviewed". Retrieved July 1, 2017.
  16. ^ Heller, Peter. "The Moral Case For Fossil Fuels - Alex Epstein's Rebuttal to the Papal Encyclical". Retrieved July 1, 2017.
  17. ^ Connors, Erin. "Fossil Fuels Industries: Time to Stand Tall! (book review of Alex Epstein's The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels)". Retrieved July 1, 2017.
  18. ^ Veer, Pierre-Guy. "Fossil Energy: A Humanistic and Daring Choice". Retrieved July 1, 2017.
  19. ^ Meyer, Tom. "Fuel For Humanity". Retrieved July 1, 2017.
  20. ^ Tao, Aaron. "Fossil Fuels Are the Lifeblood of Modern Civilization". Retrieved June 27, 2017.
  21. ^ Lehr, Jay. "Book Review: The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels". Retrieved July 1, 2017.
  22. ^ Burnett, H. Sterling. "Using coal, oil, and gas, the moral choice". Retrieved July 1, 2017.
  23. ^ "Higher Education Blogs | Blog U". Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved April 19, 2016.
  24. ^ "Fossil Fuel Immorality". The Huffington Post. December 17, 2014. Retrieved April 19, 2016.
  25. ^ a b "There is no 'moral case for coal' in Australia, just an imported PR line". The Guardian. October 22, 2015. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved April 19, 2016.
  26. ^ "Review: "The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels" — Really? - Our World". Retrieved April 19, 2016.
  27. ^ The Moral Case Rising Archived 2015-02-09 at the Wayback Machine “Center for Industrial Progress”. January 16, 2014
  28. ^ "The McLaughlin Group 12/26/14".