Originally published in Flourishing February 2012.
Here and elsewhere over the last forty years, I’ve discussed the nonsense theory of “peak oil”, formerly promoted by newsletter writer, Stephen Leeb, and others. In case you missed it, “peak oil” means we’re running out of oil. We aren’t, and a new report, North American Energy Inventory*, dated December 2011, provides more incontrovertible evidence.
Based on data from the U.S. Geological Survey and the Energy Information Administration, the Energy Research Institute concludes, “The massive supply of available resources means that North America’s access to affordable energy is limited only by the government policies we choose to adopt.”
The report provides data on oil, natural gas, and coal, but for this article, I’ll restrict myself to oil.
North America has 1.79 trillion barrels of recoverable oil. That’s almost twice the combined reserves of all the OPEC nations, and more than six times the proved reserves of Saudi Arabia. It’s also more oil than the entire world has consumed since the first domestic oil well was drilled in Titusville, Pennsylvania more than one hundred and fifty years ago.
Based on those figures, Kansas could continue its current rate of oil consumption for another 23,358 years. However, you should probably be told that those greedy oil people in Texas will run out in only 1,570 years, and when they do, they’ll come after our share. Okay, however unfunny our government’s energy policies are, that last remark was a joke. mh
* North American Energy Inventory, Institute for Energy Research, December, 2011. Available in PDF at http://energyforamerica.org/.