For the first time since 1973, the good ol' US of A is the world’s largest producer of crude oil.
People in places like Texas, the Dakotas and Alaska are cranking out oil faster than Paul Reuben at a late night adult movie theater.
But this does beg an important question... What ever happened to "peak oil" ?
Peak oil is the hypothetical point in time when the global production of oil reaches its maximum rate, after which production will gradually decline. It’s the same kind of philosophy that Thomas Malthus spouted in the 18th century—pretty soon there would be too many humans and not enough food. Same thing for a bunch of “scientists” in the 60s like Paul Erlich. Too many people, not enough resources, we’re all gonna die unless you put us in charge.
Back in the 1980s when REO Speedwagon was king and big hair was the coolest thing you could have, we were told we'd reach peak oil by the early 21st century. In fact, the man who developed the peak oil theory, King Hubbert, said that US production would peak in 1969, and demand would peak by 2010.
At that point, we'd all drown because of rising sea levels, and oil would be too expensive for the middle class to afford.
Now we've reached that point in time and for some strange and peculiar reason we have not yet come anywhere close to reaching "peak oil".
What the heck happened? Why doesn't gasoline for my car cost $5000 a gallon?
Every so-called "expert", who happened to be a critic of fossil fuels, said the world would eventually run out of oil and we'd destroy our planet in the process if we don't start to decrease our carbon footprint.
But the exact opposite happened - we used twice as much oil and the world is a significantly better place: the environment is fine, fuel and medicine (both of which are provided by oil and gas) are plentiful and affordable, and people in 3rd world countries are using fossil fuel technology to get out of poverty. It's remarkable!
BP’s Chief Economist Spencer Dale sums it up nicely. “For every barrel of oil consumed over the past 35 years, two new barrels have been discovered.”
There is no Peak Oil. This is what these doomsday scientists always predict—we are going to run out of X and we are all going to freeze to death in the dark, or drown, or die of starvation. But all these predictions do not come to pass. Because all these prophets of doom forget about the ingenuity of human beings, and the immutable laws of economics.
Humans always figure out better ways to do something, and if one good becomes too expensive, the market will find an acceptable substitute.
In the mean time, President Obama said the nation would soon be devoid of coal-related blue collar jobs, and now there are more than ever. He was wrong!
The point is: oil and gas aren't bad for the Earth. Not even close. And every prophet of doom is wrong. Every. Single. Time.
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