The Sunday Read: “How a restaurateur transformed America’s energy industry”

It was a long-term investment in liquefied natural gas, but it produced good results – and made the US a leading exporter of fossil fuels.

Journalist Jake Bittle delves into the story of Charif Souki, the Lebanese-American entrepreneur whose ability to take risks changed the course of the American energy industry.

The article outlines how Mr. Souki rose from being a restaurant owner in Los Angeles to becoming the co-founder and CEO of Cheniere Energy, an oil and gas company that specialized in liquefied natural gas, and provides insight into his thought process: ” As Souki Sees that,”[ads1]; Mr. Bittle writes, “offset the short-term need to energize the world against the long-term need to act on carbon emissions.”

At a time of acute climate anxiety, Mr. Souki’s reasoning may strike some as outmoded, even crass. The world may be facing energy and climate crises, Souki told The New York Times, “but one is going to happen this month, and the other will happen in 40 years.”

“If you tell someone, ‘You’re going to run out of electricity this month,’ and then you talk to that same person about what’s going to happen in 40 years,” he said, “they’ll tell you: ‘ What will I care about 40 years from now?'”

Additional production for The Sunday Read was contributed by Emma Kehlbeck, Parin Behrooz, Anna Diamond, Sarah Diamond, Jack D’Isidoro, Elena Hecht, Desiree Ibekwe, Tanya Pérez, Marion Lozano, Naomi Noury, Krish Seenivasan, Corey Schreppel, Margaret Willison, Kate Winslet and Tiana Young. Special thanks to Mike Benoist, Sam Dolnick, Laura Kim, Julia Simon, Lisa Tobin, Blake Wilson and Ryan Wegner.

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