Tickell tracks the rising domination of the petrochemical industry – from Rockefeller's strategy to halt ethanol use in Ford's first cars, via the mysterious death of Rudolph Diesel at the height of his biodiesel engine's popularization, to the Bush administration's choice to declare war after 9/11, rather than wean the country from fossil fuel. Never minimizing the complexities of ending oil dependency, Tickell uncovers a hopeful reality pointing toward a decentralized, sustainable energy infrastructure.
Josh Tickell, a leading expert on alternative fuels, grew up in Louisiana, where members of his family suffered from diseases linked to pollution from oil refineries. After discovering biodiesel, he earned an MFA in film from Florida State University's School of Motion Picture, Television and Recording Arts to chronicle and vitalize the green-energy movement. He has been working on FUEL for 10 years. Tickell also authored a controversial companion book, Biodiesel America - How to Achieve Energy Security, Free America from Middle-East Oil Dependence, and Make Money Growing Fuel.