A Free-Market Energy Blog

Glenn Schleede: Some Tributes (A long energy career that history will judge sustainable)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- May 23, 2017

“Glenn took the time – time he could’ve chose to spend out on the golf course – to put together papers which served as tutorials to help all of us understand the complex terminologies and issues we would have to become familiar with if we were to be successful at deterring the industrialization of our respective regions via the industrial wind scam.”

– Mary Kay Barton (below)

“Glenn Schleede remains, along with Tom Tanton, a mentor first among equals. And he’s the most decent man I know.”

– Jon Boone (below)

“In the most trying debates, Glenn had an uncanny ability to focus on the big picture yet explain nuances to the novice and expert alike. He always shared his knowledge with compassion and passion. ”

– Tom Tanton (below)

Glenn R. Schleede (1933–2017) died earlier this month after a brief illness. A memorial service will be held June 3 (obituary here).

An indefatigable scholar and perfectionist, Schleede had little patience for energy illusionism, second-best proposals, or the ad hominem arguments his grasping opponents threw his way. He was always willing to educate (see his missive to a young DOE intern here and his answer to a random e-mail here). As Tom Tanton notes, he made a lot of us better in energy analysis and related public policy.

For nearly a half-century, from the 1970s energy-crisis era (federal price and allocation controls, he would tell you), until just months ago, Glenn was in the fight. As Mary Kay Barton writes, the giant energy misdirection known as industrial wind power kept Glenn from retiring to more leisurely pursuits.


The author of many papers and reports on energy matters, Schleede focused on wind energy in the last 15 years of his life. From 1992 until September 2003, Schleede consulted via Energy Market and Policy Analysis, Inc. (EMPA).

Prior to forming EMPA, Schleede was Vice President of New England Electric System (NEES), Westborough, MA, and President of its fuels subsidiary, New England Energy Incorporated.

Prior to this, He was Executive Associate Director of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (1981), Senior VP of the National Coal Association in Washington (1977) and Associate Director (Energy and Science) of the White House Domestic Council (1973). He also held career service positions in the U.S. OMB and the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission.

His papers (1971–74) are held at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library where he served as a Staff Assistant, Domestic Council to Michael Raoul-Duval. At the Domestic Council, Schleede provided policy formulation and coordination with energy, clean air, nuclear energy, science and spaceces activities.

Schleede’s papers are also housed at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library (1973–75) where he was Domestic Council Assistant Director for Natural Resources and Domestic Council Associate Director for Energy and Science.

Schleede received a BA from Gustavus Adolphus College and an MA from the University of Minnesota.  He is also a graduate of Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program. More information is given in the Appendix below.


Several energy scholars and activists present their tributes below. (A longer tribute by John Jennrich, the founding editor of Natural Gas Week, and recently retired from the government energy service, will be published tomorrow.)

Others are invited to share reminiscences in the Comments section, below.

“Patient Teacher” (Jon Boone)

Glenn was a gentleman in the finest sense. Speaks softly, with a nuanced sense of humor, he was greatly respected by his peers.

With any luck, his professional career would have profoundly affected energy policy for the better. But then Jimmy Carter eeked in and–what a mess since then, Ronald Reagan’s removal of those solar panels from the White House roof notwithstanding.

Fifteen years have passed since I first encountered what I came to call the wind mess and, as a lifelong environmentalist, I went through all the initial opposition phases: concern for viewshed and wildlife protection; noise and shadow flicker abatement; false claims of local tax contributions and jobs–everything except the fundamental issue.

Do the damn things actually work as advertised in providing “good, clean, green energy from the wind,” in the process justifying the “sacrifice” of things environmentalists should hold dear?

Glenn patiently gave me the material and advice that guided my understanding of how we get electricity–and why wind is so inimical to the process. He demanded I think critically. He introduced me to Tom Hewson, who explained the difference between energy and capacity. He was instrumental in my seminal paper, Less for More, which I, following Glenn’s lead, shared with thousands of people across the world, hoping that others would bootstrap their knowledge about electricity production much more quickly than I had done.

Glenn also was responsible for my trip to Palermo, where I gave a major presentation to many European leaders, including the president of Italy and a former president of France.

Glenn could have quietly settled into life after his government service, which is what his family wanted him to do. His compromise was to work mostly under the radar, writing letters, op ed pieces, and the occasional scholarly essay, while advising people around the world, many of whom have little knowledge of grid mechanics.

Glenn Schleede remains, along with Tom Tanton, a mentor first among equals. And he’s the most decent man I know.

All of us are better because of his informed, compassionate tutelage.

“A Man for the People” (Mary Kay Barton)

I first became aware of who Glenn Schleede was in 2004, after my hometown and county in Western New York State was targeted by the ‘Green Blobaka, the industrial wind industry. Their original greed-driven plans would have blighted our county with more than 2,000 industrial wind turbines.

I could not stand by and allow that kind of civil and environmental devastation to happen to our beautiful region without a fight.

As a novice when it came to both political activism and energy issues, I had a LOT to learn!  Glenn Schleede, though retired after a stellar life-long career in energy, patiently answered an onslaught of questions over many years that many of us had in this fight.

In one of our earliest exchanges, Glenn informed me that he was originally from Western New York State, with relatives still living in Brockport, New York.  Though one might think that was part of his motivation in being so helpful to all of us here in Western New York State, Glenn’s work was geared at helping everyone in our nation.

Glenn Schleede despised the waste, fraud and abuse that occur when the government is allowed to pick and choose the winners and losers in the energy marketplace. He understood the importance of maintaining  free markets in order to supply reliable, affordable electricity to everyone in our nation. Glenn Schleede has always been on the side of consumers – an exceedingly rare commodity today indeed.

Glenn took the time – time he could’ve chose to spend out on the golf course – to put together papers which served as tutorials to help all of us understand the complex terminologies and issues we would have to become familiar with if we were to be successful at deterring the industrialization of our respective regions via the industrial wind scam. Glenn continued to answer questions, write Representatives, and submit articles as his health would allow as the years passed.

I could never thank Glenn Schleede enough for all that he has done to help all of us over the years! If there were more men of integrity who were truly interested in the welfare of ALL of the people in our nation today – men like Glenn Schleede we wouldn’t be stuck dealing with the destructive consumer fraud that is industrial wind, as we still are today.

Glenn Schleede is A HERO – a true man for the people! I consider myself to be truly blessed to be able to call him a friend.

“Determined Nemesis” (Mary Hutzler)

Glenn was my nemesis for years before we became friends out of a mutual understanding of each other’s position. And it was Glenn who told Rob Bradley of the Institute for Energy Research (IER) that I might be interested, having retired from government, in doing some work for IER. I still am today, some ten years later.

I met Glenn when I was in charge of the energy forecasts for the Energy Information Administration (EIA). He became a thorn in our side, challenging the natural gas price forecasts in the Annual Energy Outlooks.

Since one cannot know in advance whose forecasts are the most accurate compared to real life, it became a battle of assumptions and methodology. Memorandum after memorandum detailing our methodology versus his made us both come partway and a bond of mutual respect grew between us.

The nation has lost a great man who was willing to stand up for what he believed to be correct no matter how much hard work and negotiation it took.

“Hubris Not” (Tom Tanton)

In everybody’s life there is at least one person who makes a positive and lasting impression. One to strive to be like.

In my life, Glenn is such. Sharing his knowledge and perspective taught me much about energy economics, and a bit of humility. In the most trying debates, he had an uncanny ability to focus on the big picture yet explain nuances to the novice and expert alike. Always well intentioned and humble, he never succumbs to the hubris easily justified by his vast knowledge and experience. He always shared his knowledge with compassion and passion.

I am blessed to have known Glenn. America is blessed he shared his knowledge about energy so widely.


Appendix: Glenn R. Schleede Biography

1933 Born in Lyons, New York

1950 Graduated from Brockport High School, Brockport, New York

1950-1952, 1958-1959 Attended Brockport State Teachers College, Brockport, New York

June 1952-June 1956 U.S. Air Force

1956-1960 B.A. Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, Minnesota

1961 University of Minnesota, Summer School

June 1968 M.A. Industrial Relations, University of Minnesota

1962-1965 Industrial Relations Officer, U.S. Atomic Energy Commission

September 1965-March 1972 Bureau of the Budget [BOB], Science and Technology, Natural Resources Environmental Branch [On July 1, 1970, BOB became Office of Management and Budget]

September 1965-January 1966 Detail, White House Task Force on Manpower for State and Local Governments

March 1972-March 1973 U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, Division of Environmental Affairs

March 1973-May 1974 Appointed to Domestic Council, assistant to Michael Raoul-Duval, associate director for natural resources

May 1974-January 1977 Assistant Director, Domestic Council

1981 Member of Reagan administration transition team, Associate Director of Office of Management and Budget




  1. Ed Reid  

    May he rest in peace. Condolences to his family.


  2. Tom Stacy  

    I am deeply saddened by this news, although I emphatically agree with the sustainability by-line and the tributes. Thanks to those who contributed, friends all. I will only add here that I met him only once although we spoke on the phone dozens of times and exchanged hundreds of emails over the past ten years. In that one meeting we enjoyed a meal at an old establishment restaurant in downtown Arlington. I think he said it was his favorite restaurant. His manner was patient, mellow and kind, in sharp contrast to his pen. I remember feeling enveloped in a sense he had a deep love of humanity. My sympathies and prayers go out to his family and friends.


  3. John Droz, jr  

    Glenn had a skill at writing about complex topics in a simple way.

    He also had no aversion to calling a spade, a spade.

    As the article states, he was a citizen advocate, who will be sorely missed.


  4. dennis barnes  

    Glenn Schleede invited me to work with him on the Domestic Policy Council of President Ford for what turned out to be its last 9 months. In that short time Glenn showed himself to be a model professional, devoted family man and a wonderful friend.

    Notably he patiently encouraged me to express myself in short declarative sentences rather than in my less disciplined, qualified style as a university administrator. I like to think his efforts were at least partially successful.

    He and Sandra remained loyal friends after I returned to Charlottesville and his thoughtful, articulate opinion pieces were always a pleasure to receive and ponder.
    The country benefited greatly from his tireless service as did anyone who got to know him.


Leave a Reply