Matt Simmons passed away today from a heart attack at the age of 67. Matt was the founder of Simmons and Company -- one of the leading energy investment banks in the world. Based in Houston, he was a well-respected member of the oil and gas community having brokered hundred of key transactions in the sector.
His book Twilight in the Desert detailed his research into the planet's actual remaining oil reserves concluding that we are soon to reach the peak of oil production. He encouraged policy makers to move away from oil dependence.
Last month he officially launched the Ocean Energy Institute http://www.oceanenergy.org/ which will focus on maximizing energy from the ocean including offshore wind and wave energy.
Matt was a man not afraid to speak his mind, even when it did not gel with the view of many of his traditional clients. He was the first to point to the lack of transparency of Saudi and other oil reserves in the hands of national oil companies.
Recently, Matt was outspoken on the BP oil disaster. He pointed to the strong possibility of several leaks, not just the one BP showed in the videos. He predicted BP may eventually have to declare bankruptcy from the spill aftereffects.