From the Blog’s Ranking of the
Top Energy Movies of All Time

APRIL, 2017

Recently, Adam Mckinnie (Chief Regulatory Economist for the PSC), Alex Antal (my newly-hired personal advisor), and I were having a “discussion” on the best energy movies of all time. We couldn’t come to an agreement. It was the beginning of March and the NCAA basketball tournament was starting, so we decided it would be best to settle this “discussion” in a Sweet 16 bracket style tournament to put to rest the debate over the “Best Energy Movie of All Time.” The following week we met again, each with a list of our top energy movies. We recorded our debates and created a podcast of the bracket tournament. If you want the full experience STOP READING and click here to listen to the podcast. SPOILER ALERT, if you keep reading you’ll learn which movie won “Best Energy Movie of All Time.”

Participants: Commissioner Scott Rupp, Adam Mckinnie, Alex Antal


  1. Each participant adds one movie at a time until the 16 bracket spots are full.
  2. No documentaries, only feature films released in theaters nationwide.
  3. Nothing by Al Gore.
  4. The participant placing the movie in the bracket must explain their choice.
  5. Taunting, debate, and commentary is encouraged.
  6. The movies will be randomly assigned to the bracket.
  7. The turn would rotate each match up.

After a rousing, controversial, and lengthy placement, we completed the bracket and began the quest for the “Best Energy Movie of All Time.”

After seeing our bracket, you might be a little confused or have some questions. Allow me to explain up front.

  • Zoolander: Placed by Alex Antal. Immediately I started to question if hiring him as my personal advisor was a smart decision. He explained his logic in the podcast, but I think he may have had a concussion from his rugby game the prior weekend.
  • Deliverance: Another addition from Alex. Apparently there’s ONE line in the movie that states they’re going on the river since it is going to be dammed off by a new hydroelectric dam that’s being built. (Personally, I think he is just a big fan of Jon Voight since Voight used to own the car that Alex drives.)
  • Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: They are trying to get electricity by restarting a generator at a hydroelectric dam.
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens: The Star Killer Base drew its power from the sun (solar power)
  • The Matrix: Battery Storage of Electricity
  • Captain America: The First Avenger: Renewable power of the Tesseract
  • Quantum of Solace: Water as a resource for power, commodity (it was my addition, and in retrospect, I would not have added that to the list)
  • October Sky: Yet another of Alex’s additions. Apparently, the dad in the movie works in a coal mine. (It must have been a rough rugby game.)
  • Monsters, Inc: The premise of the movie is that they were running out of energy, which was gathered by scaring children.

After the first round, we pared it down to the Elite 8.


It was interesting that there were such strong movies in the upper left bracket (Iron Man vs China Syndrome), and yet on the opposite side were very weak energy movies (Captain America vs. Quantum of Solace).



And then there were four: China Syndrome, Back to the Future, Captain America, and The Matrix. This is where things got difficult. China Syndrome takes place in a nuclear plant and nuclear power is the premise of the movie. Back to The Future is about generating enough power to time travel (1.21 Gigawatts), and it also introduced Mr. Fusion. TOUGH DECISION!

On the other side of the bracket it seems that The Matrix had the easiest brackets to work through.  Battery storage of human beings to create electricity and the blocking of solar power by machines are strong energy issues against the renewable energy of the Tesseract in Captain America.

And the final two movies are . . .

Back to the Future vs The Matrix. There was one vote for Back to the Future and one vote for The Matrix, and it came down to me to break the tie and crown the victor.

And the winner is . . .’s winner of “Best Energy Movie of All Time.”

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