The End of the Oil Era is Now

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

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Oil Blues

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