Michael Leibreich.

The discussion around clean energy has long been clouded by ideology, so it’s been nice to see the growing size and influence of the independent market-research firm Bloomberg New Energy Finance, which takes the dynamics of cleantech markets seriously and produces credible data and analysis on them.

The firm was started in 2004 by entrepreneur and venture capitalist Michael Liebreich, who sold it to Bloomberg in 2009 and remains its chief executive. Liebreich is an energy polymath, a frequent speaker, commentator, and participant on more boards, panels, advisory groups, and foundations than I care to list. (Check out his official bio.) I don’t know of anyone who has a broader and more sensible view of the energy landscape. So I thought I’d chat with him! Our discussion was long, info-rich, and — I’m not gonna lie — a little technical, so I’m breaking it up into four digestible parts.

We kick it off today with a few questions about the much-ballyhooed recent oil and gas glut.

Q. What do you make of the notion, echoed by a recent report out of Harvard [PDF], that we’re entering a new age of plentiful oil?