Nobuo Tanaka to be Next Executive Director of International Energy Agency


nobuo tanaka.jpgA close friend of mine, Nobuo Tanaka, is the Executive Director-elect of the International Energy Agency. I didn’t know much about the agency until I flipped through its website and found quite a number of useful resources on global energy use and climate change related data.
I’ll be meeting him tonight for dinner in Washington and will pass on what I learn about the agency’s role on the energy/climate change policy front. Perhaps others want to post comments on what they know of the IEA and its international role.
For those who follow internal politics of the Ministry of Economy Trade and Industry in Japan, Nobuo Tanaka’s ascendancy to this position — even though it is outside the Japanese government — is a clear win for the modernist/reformist faction inside METI, which had lost many of its champions. There are still serious struggles inside the Ministry over both the broad policy questions of economic reform in Japan as well as reform of the bureaucracy they work in. Tanaka is one of the few willing to stir things up and to shake up the internal dynamics at METI.
When at the METI think tank, the Research Institute of Economy Trade and Industry, Tanaka borrowed not only the “brown bag lunch” format of meetings I was hosting at the New America Foundation — and was an early fan of our institution — but he brought the “free-wheeling style” of these BBLs to Tokyo. When he departed for the OECD, however, the anti-reform METI “habatsu” (faction) undermined the program by adding layers of protocol and political correctness to the environment. The seminars are still going on, but the conservatization of topics and style has pretty much stifled them.
He’s a very good guy. It will be interesting to see what he does at and to the International Energy Agency.
— Steve Clemons


7 comments on “Nobuo Tanaka to be Next Executive Director of International Energy Agency

  1. CKR says:

    Just a small clarification: this is the International Energy Agency that Steve is talking about, not the International *Atomic* Energy Agency, of which Mohamed ElBaradei is the head.
    Big difference. Steve, you might have made this clearer.


  2. DonS says:

    POA, next you’ll be telling us that the tobacco industry intentionally has been addicting generations of smokers!
    BTW, in my former life in DC I worked in the policy shop of the federal transit admiistration (UMTA at that time). Talk about an uphill battle. There never was, or is, any will to confront the subsidization of the automobile in Congress or throughout the government, albeit we were all aware of it. That subsidization, in sync with the myriad interests that coalesced around it and, poof, we’ve got ourselves locked into the urban form we love to hate and that is a nightmare for the environment,not to mention the soul.


  3. Pissed Off American says:

    BTW, the book pretty much illustrates why it is ridiculous to dismiss “conspiracy theories” out of hand, without employing research or common sense.
    The next time you get a chance, absent the fearmongering and lies that launched Bush’s GWOT, watch a film of the collapse of both World Trade Center towers, and ask yourself how two of the tallest buildings in the world both fell straight down into their own footprints.
    After these last six years, is there really any doubt about the depth of criminality, corruption, and evil that the Bush Administration is willing to stoop to?


  4. Pissed Off American says:

    On this subject, I saw a seemingly great book previewed on C-Span a couple of nights ago entitled “Internal Combustion”. The author was interviewed, and it was a real eye opener. Of particular interest was the history discussed about how the very early efforts, (in the 20’s) to discard the internal combustion engine for electric power were derailed by the oil and tire companies, among others. Edison actually had designed efficient batteries, and street side chargers that resembled modern day parking meters. But every time he shipped batteries, they were hijacked and tampered with, so when they arrived at their destinations they were no longer functional. When he designed a tamperproof version of the batteries, his research facilities burnt to the ground mysteriously.
    The author also outlined the criminal conspiracy that GM launched, through a ghost corporation, in which this ghost corporation purchased the urban electric rail systems in key American cities, and dismantled the rails and destroyed the trolley cars. GM was subsequently indicted and convicted. The company was fined a few thousand dollars, and the executives were fined as well. Their fines? $1.00 each. (And the sleazy bastards appealed. They lost the appeal)
    Can you imagine what our world might be like today had Edison’s efforts not been sabotaged, or had we of pursued mass transit instead of individual automobile ownership?
    I am surrounded here by wind farms, and every week that goes by I see fresh turbines being added to the turbine fields. It is my understanduing that N’Dakota has a consistent wind energy potential to supply 40% of the electric energy needs of the United States. Why aren’t we doing it, quicker, and more enthusiastically? Is the creation of nuclear bombs the only kind of effort that warrants the urgency of a “Manhatten project”?
    Brazil is 100% self reliant now in regards to fuel. They use a sugar cane ethanol that is truly “green”. Corn ethanol, such as that produced here, requires oil to produce. Lots of oil. So the implication that it is “green” is pure bullshit. The oil copmpanies love corn ethenol, because the federal government gives them 50 some odd cents a GALLON to produce it, and it STILL creates a market for oil in its refinement process. (The “green” claims are more fucking lies and bullshit from these bastards leading this country, and the environment, to ruin. Can’t these scumbags EVER tell us the truth?)
    Oh, and BTW, Brazil can’t export its sugar cane Ethanol to the United States because of insurmountable tariffs. Suprise suprise.
    If you are buying Bush’s crap about “alternative energy”, than you are woefully ill-informed.
    “Internal Combustion”. Sounds like a good read.


  5. DonS says:

    Easy E, well we know what Junior thinks of El Baradei (and the reverse), so this is like the kiss of death. No matter which way Junior plays the possible Russia/Iran initiative, the train has left the station. Baker and company offered a fig leaf and we know what came of that. To me, its just another opportunity for Junior to game.
    Sorry to be OT and so full of cutesie analogies today; too much time to think about just how desperate the situation is and how despicable is dear leader.


  6. Easy E says:

    Russia supports “time-out” option proposed by IAEA


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