Twenty-one years ago, I stepped off a plane in Prince William Sound, Alaska, to begin one of the most difficult, yet rewarding jobs of my career with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). I was there to provide scientific support for the cleanup of the Exxon Valdez spill. Today, I am overseeing NOAA’s response to the Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico. These events remind us that there are human and environmental risks to producing and delivering energy. They also help shake the world to look for new ways of creating energy.