The U.S. first became a net importer of oil in 1948. The intervening decades have led Americans down a steady path of price spikes, shortages, and compromised foreign policy decisions. Imported fuel means expensive gasoline, lost jobs, and hobbled industries, while climate change poses risks as dramatic as they are difficult to assess. So how do we fix our fuel and energy problems? To answer that question—the first in a quarterly series called Fix This—Bloomberg Businessweek Chairman Norman Pearlstine gathered BP Capital Management’s T. Boone Pickens; Bob Shapard, chairman and chief executive officer of Oncor Electric Delivery and chairman of GridWise Alliance; Carol Browner, former director of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy for President Obama and EPA administrator for President Clinton; Jigar Shah, CEO of the Carbon War Room; and Thomas Kuhn, president of Edison Electric Institute. Their conversation has been condensed and edited.

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