Ok so there is a raging peak oil debate out there. The Peak oil pundits say we are in real trouble, the oil industry say that there is enough oil for the meantime not to worry.
But now the US Government Accountability Office has waded into the controversy. It has undertaken a Peak Oil study (pdf) that has concluded that not only is the amount of oil remaining in the ground highly “uncertain” but also there is “great uncertainty about the amount of oil that will ultimately be produced, given the technological, cost, and environmental challenges”.
The uncertainty is because OPEC controls most of the estimated world oil reserves, but its estimates of reserves are not verified by independent auditors. In addition, any parts of the world have not yet been fully explored for oil. Other important sources of uncertainty about future oil production are potentially unfavorable political and investment conditions in countries where oil is located.
The GAO concludes that whilst “the consequences of a peak would be felt globally, the United States, as the largest consumer of oil and one of the nations most heavily dependent on oil for transportation, may be particularly vulnerable”.
No where is this vulnerability going to be more vulnerable than with transport. Although alternative transport technologies exist “development and widespread adoption of alternative transportation technologies will take time and effort”.
Given how crucial oil is the American economy you would have thought that someone in the Administration would have started looking into the what to do about it.
However, according to the Department of Energy (DOE), “there is no formal strategy for coordinating and prioritizing federal efforts dealing with peak oil issues, either within DOE or between DOE and other key agencies.”
Don’t say you weren’t warned Mr Bush…
“Given how crucial oil is the American economy you would have thought that someone in the Administration would have started looking into the what to do about it.”…
They have…Iraq, anyone?
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