“The United States of America cannot afford to bet our long-term prosperity, our long-term security on a resource that will eventually run out, and even before it runs out will get more expensive to extract from the ground.”
– Barack Obama, 2011.
A century and a half ago, in August 1859, on the eve of the Civil War, Col. Edwin Laurentine Drake completed the first commercial oil well in the U.S., at Oil Creek just outside of Titusville, Pa. Over the next 155 years, oil and gas companies have drilled tens of billions of barrels of oil from the ground, from California to New York and nearly everywhere in between.
Over that time period, one thing has been constant: Doomsayers and declinists have predicted that America would soon drill its last barrel of oil. Famously, in the 1920s, the U.S. Department of Interior projected less than a few decades’ worth of recoverable oil remained in the U.S. Jimmy Carter declared in 1980 that, by 2000, we’d be nearly out of oil – running on empty.
Last month, the Department of Energy reported that the U.S. hit a new energy milestone: We produced 9.52 million barrels a day. That was the most in recorded history. So much for running out.
Something else has happened in recent weeks that almost no one – least of all President Obama – would have predicted. The price of oil fell below $40 a barrel. Adjusted for inflation, that makes oil cheaper today than almost at anytime in history. Adjusted for wages, we work less today than ever before to get gasoline and oil.Continue reading this opinion piece by clicking here.
There have been many similar opinion pieces over the past few years, pointing to the failed predictions of peak oil proponents as shale drilling has led to increased oil and gas production. Of course, the argument of fossil fuel opponents doesn't center solely around the availability of more supply, but the wisdom of using that supply instead of shifting to renewable or cleaner forms of energy.
Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter!