Bill Tucker, a longtime journalist and editor who wrote expertly on a wide range of transportation issues for Fuel Freedom’s Over a Barrel blog, died last week. The foundation mourns the loss of a thoughtful, curious person who excelled at breaking down complex material with incisive and thorough analysis.
Tucker passed away Feb. 3 in New York City after a long illness, according to an obituary on Real Clear Energy, the energy-and-policy website, of which Tucker was founding news editor upon its launch in 2011.
Tucker wrote dozens of blog posts for Fuel Freedom, paying close attention to the ethanol industry and electric vehicles. He often questioned the long-term strategy of Tesla Motors and its founder, Elon Musk. Tucker’s last Over a Barrel post, published Jan. 4, was titled “Can Tesla sell enough cars until the Model 3 arrives?”
Whenever Bill would e-mail me the copy for one of his posts, he’d attach a small note, usually only a sentence. He’d describe an “interesting development” he’d learned, about EVs or alternative fuels. One time he remarked: “Now I know what Red Smith was talking about when he said the way to write a regular column was to sit down and work until you sweated blood.” His entries arrived regularly even after he’d become ill and needed medical treatment.
His work ethic and attention to detail helped readers arrive at the heart of the matter, whatever that matter was, even if this required grasping highly technical concepts. His post describing the differences between cellulosic ethanol and corn-based ethanol is the best such explanation I’ve read anywhere on the topic. He also introduced readers to innovations like home CNG fueling technology and making batteries out of beach sand, two posts that are still connecting with audiences years after he wrote them.
To read more of Bill’s posts, visit his author page.
Bill also was an accomplished author: His books include Terrestrial Energy: How Nuclear Power Will Lead the Green Revolution and End America’s Energy Odyssey (2008), and The Excluded Americans: Homelessness and Housing Policies (1991). His work appeared in many respected magazines and newspapers, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, Harper’s, National Review and The American Spectator. As RCE notes, from 2009-12 he worked as a speechwriter for U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee.
Our thoughts are with Bill’s wife Stephanie, three children, his friends and the many loyal readers who were informed by his work.