It’s fascinating to see how frequently people have said we were running out of oil.
It even happened before the first oil well was drilled in Pennsylvania.
At the time, oil oozed out of the ground and people scooped it up to use it for lighting.
In 1855, Kier’s Rock Oil advised consumers to “hurry, before this wonderful product is depleted from Nature’s laboratory.”
Then in 1874, after the first well was drilled in Titusville, Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania state geologist warned that there was only enough oil left in the U.S. to last for four years.
Then in 1914, the U.S. Bureau of Mines declared that the United States would run out of oil in 10 years.
In 1919, the automobile industry warned that it could not ignore the “fact” that oil would run out in twenty years.
In 1926, the Federal Oil Conservation Board estimated that only 4.5 billion barrels remained.
In 1932, the Federal Oil Conservation Board estimated that only 10 billion barrels of oil remained.
In 1939, the Department of the Interior predicted that oil reserves would last only 13 more years.
In 1950, the Department of the Interior said the oil age would end by 1963.
Then in 1956, Hubbert predicted that the peak in US oil production would be by 1970.
Thus was born Hubbert’s curve, which used the history of Texas’ oil production as the basis for predicting when the peak in world oil production would occur.
Hubbert’s curve provided a quasi scientific rationale for predicting the end of the oil age. (See earlier article, Peak Oil Discredited.)
Hubbert’s curve allowed the magazine Scientific American in 1998 to publish an article “End of the Age of Oil” predicting that oil production would peak in 2002 and that we would soon face the “end of the abundant and cheap oil on which all nations depend.”
Why people accept Malthusian type predictions when they have always proved false, is a testament to human gullibility.
Fortunately, once again an expert has stepped forward to show that the end of oil is not nigh.
Daniel Yergin, chairman of Cambridge Energy Research Associates, in his latest book, The Quest, skewers Hubbard, as rightly he should.
Rather than running out of oil, the United States is locking it away so it can’t be used. Our policies prevent the development of our oil supplies, causing the U.S. to import oil and pay dearly for it.
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