Here’s yet another report cautioning that conventional oil can’t meet projected demand. This one, Facing the Hard Truths About Energy, is from the National Petroleum Council, an advisory group to the Secretary of Energy chaired by Lee Raymond (!), retired CEO of Exxon Mobil.
The report wisely recommends: “Moderate the growing demand for energy by increasing efficiency of transportation, residential, commercial, and industrial uses.” But it unwisely calls for promoting liquefied coal and oil from tar sands, especially counterproductive from a report that actually acknowledges the future of growing carbon constraints.
Ah well, after five years working at the Energy Department in the 1990s, I can safely say that these reports typically are not very discriminating because they have members from all forms of energy. This one looks to be no exception.
Still, the warning that our current energy path is not sustainable is one policymakers need to hear:
It’s a hard truth that the global supply of oil and natural gas from the conventional sources relied upon historically is unlikely to meet projected 50 to 60 percent growth in demand over the next 25 years.
Let’s just hope policymakers are wise enough to forego dirty, unconventional sources of liquid fuel (especially liquid coal) and instead aggressively pursue efficiency, cellulosic ethanol, and plug-in hybrids.