Chicago Tribune Discusses Peak Oil
The Chicago Tribune talked about Peak Oil and quoted Matthew Simmons in an article that was part of a series in which the reporter tracked the gasoline in a station back to its original source, along the way discussing America's ridiculous dependence on oil. Here is the excerpt:
"I truly think we're at one of those turning points where the future's looking so ugly nobody wants to face it," said Matthew Simmons, an energy investment banker in Houston who has advised the Bush administration on oil policy. "We're not talking some temporary Arab embargo anymore. We're not talking your father's energy crisis."
What Simmons and many other experts are talking about is a bleak new collision between geology and geopolitics.
Below ground, the biggest worry is "peak oil"--the notion that the world's total petroleum endowment is approaching the half-empty mark, a geological tipping point beyond which no amount of extra pumping will revive fading oil fields. Peak oil theory is controversial. Many think it alarmist. Yet even Big Oil is starting to gird itself for possible fuel shortages: Chevron, the nation's second-largest oil company, has bluntly declared that "the era of easy oil is over" and is warning energy-hungry Americans that "the world consumes two barrels of oil for every barrel discovered."
Aboveground, things look little better. Most of the world's petro-states, aware that crude supplies are growing increasingly valuable, have limited drilling rights to their own oil companies.
In the meantime, humanity's thirst for petroleum continues to run wild. Producing nations are pumping at maximum capacity. Yet the competing energy demands of America and rapidly industrializing China and India now threaten to outstrip global oil output. China has displaced Japan as the No. 2 oil importer, after the United States. Chinese oil imports are projected to double to 14 million barrels a day over the next 20 years. Many credible analysts foresee a new "energy cold war" as the U.S. and China square off over the planet's last reserves."