Thursday, August 12, 2010

More about Matt Simmons

From the Houston Chronicle's NewsWatch: Energy blog:
Newspaper obituaries are never enough to capture the full measure of a person, so I thought we'd come back to more on the reaction to the death of energy banker/prognosticator Matt Simmons.
Generally people tend to be effusive in their praise of the recently deceased, but I could personally agree with some of the comments about Simmons' personal friendliness (despite his willingness to make some cutting comments).
Attorney Tom Kirkendall over at Houston's Clear Thinkers used to have an office near Simmons and enjoyed running into him in the building:
Matt was a joy to talk with -- witty, intelligent and interesting. That's one of the reasons why, over the past decade or so, he became a media favorite for providing his provocative opinions about the energy industry. Matt enjoyed his new role as one of the media's energy industry pundits, but that wasn't the best fit for the chairman of a company that was often advising companies that could be affected by his controversial opinions.
Reporter and author Robert Bryce mentioned his personal warmth, too, in a piece we reprinted:
Matt Simmons was always incredibly kind toward me. I first interviewed him in early 2001 about the potential for energy shortages in California. In 2008, he wrote a highly favorable blurb for my third book, Gusher of Lies. I last interviewed him in April 2009, at his office in Houston. He was excited about the possibilities offered by energy harvested from the ocean and about his new venture, the Ocean Energy Institute. When the interview was over and I stood to leave, he wished me luck, and asked me to keep in touch.
Nick Snow at Oil & Gas Journal noted an incident soon after Simmons' brother took a stake in a trade publication where Snow worked:
... the two of them tracked me down during the Offshore Technology Conference because I had cited a Simmons & Co. International report in one of my stories. They weren't satisfied until I assured them I'd used the material because it was good, and not because it came from a company run by the brother of one of the newspaper's new owners.
Even Christopher Helman at Forbes, who called Simmons "the crazy old uncle of the oil patch" for his recent BP oil spill theories, admitted he'll miss talking to him....MORE