The End of the Oil Era is Now

Planet Earth has passed its peak of oil production


| September 26, 2003


In a stunning interview about world decline of hydrocarbon energy sources, Matthew Simmons, CEO of the world's largest energy investment bank, says, 'We may be finding out that we went over the peak in 2000.' This from a man who sits on the National Petroleum Council's Natural Gas Task Force, a man who runs Simmons & Company International -- a company that has financed or underwritten 18 transactions valued over $350 million since 1993. His message, if world oil and gas reserves have passed their peak, is that 'planet earth has passed its peak of production.'

For Simmons, the recent blackout on the East Coast represents 'a host of energy problems that are ultimately going to prevent any future economic growth.' The world economy is based on the consumption of hydrocarbon energy. As interviewer Mike Ruppert notes, there has been a 'a near perfect correlation between the growth in world GDP and the emission of greenhouse gases (i.e. the consumption of hydrocarbon energy).' And as Simmons says, 'All the big deposits have been found and exploited.' So while there may be more oil and gas in the ground, it is just too expensive to get it and use it. Thus comes the conclusion that the end of hydrocarbons basically means the end of economic growth.

Are there any solutions? Ruppert asks about windmills and solar. Simmons replies, 'There's no way they can replace even a portion of hydrocarbon energy.' Still, while renewable energy source may not provide a solution, Simmons argues that the possible peak of hyrdocarbon energy sources must become part of policy debate. His response to Alan Greenspan and others who claim that there is no basic problem with energy supplies is that 'they just don't get it.' The problem with just not getting it is the enormous potential shock to economic well-being and health, as Simmons puts it, 'greater than anyone could ever imagine.'
-- Joel Stonington

Go there>>Peak Oil Blues

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