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A more immediate threat than climate change, the energy shortage dilemma inspires reclusive multi-billionaire Lyman Dysart, called “The Stockholder” by his solely owned comany's numerous employees, to forward the development and advent of controlled nuclear fusion power generation. One plasma constituent of the patented fusion process, an ultra-scarce helium isotope found in quantity only in Luna, necessitates expensively strip-mining the lunar regolith. Semi-panic ensues in the minds and wallets of OPEC and other members of the petroleum cartel led by Vonex International Chairman Belkin Reichert, who employs behind-the-scenes political influence to suborn the increasing usage of fusion technology by promoting solar energy, and then urges the U.S. to nationalize the adolescent fusion industry. The battle of wills, tactics and counter-tactics climaxes when Dysart attempts to defeat the congressional effort to nationalize the fusion industry by holding hostage his lunar mining venture. His propaganda message to the voting public poetically describes fusion as, "A plasma containment shell, at its heart a dervish burning so furiously as a semi-vacuum that it emulates temperatures reigning at the center of the Sun, yet gives forth no light, but presumes to light the world in a beneficent, utopian glow."

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