Oil historian Daniel Yergin. Image courtesy of McKinsey & Company/Youtube.

The Obama administration awarded the first U.S. medal for energy security to oil historian and businessman Daniel Yergin.

Yergin, 67, was awarded the Schlesinger Medal for Energy Security by energy secretary Ernest Moniz in a ceremony Wednesday.

The new annual award is named after James Schlesinger, the first U.S. energy secretary who served from 1977 to 1979.

Yergin served as an advisor to Schlesinger during the oil crisis in the 1970s caused in part by the Iranian revolution.

He has advised every administration since then including Obama’s.

In 1982, Yergin co-founded the consulting firm Cambridge Energy Research Associates and wrote books on the history of energy including the Pulitzer Prize winning book “The Prize.”

“Energy to me combines everything from geopolitics and how nations behave to technological innovation and entrepreneurship,” Yergin told Reuters.

Yergin is now urging U.S. policymakers to lift the four decades long ban on exporting crude oil in order to preserve the momentum of the current U.S. shale boom.

Creating a cheap and reliable way to store energy generated through alternative methods such as wind and solar is the next area Yergin sees as a potential game changer for the energy sector.

“The next prize could be the person who cracks electricity storage,” Yergin said.


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