World Faces a Peaking Petroleum Problem
WHILE Congress is consumed with such pressing matters as the use of steroids in Major League Baseball, an economic crisis looms on the horizon that could dwarf any that this world has seen since the Great Depression.
If you listen to the growing number of geologists and executives at petroleum corporations that advocate a theory known as "peak oil," the recent rise in gas prices could signal the beginning of chronic petroleum shortages that will shackle the world with debilitating levels of inflation and unemployment for decades to come. Because this issue could have such grave consequences, Congress must lead the world into a comprehensive survey of the long term prospects for growth in petroleum production, and take action to correct the problem if the survey determines that the world's oil-fuelled economy is unsustainable.
The central problem in the view of peak oil theorists is that the world's finite supply of oil cannot keep pace with its skyrocketing demand. Indeed, a Department of Energy report released in 2004 stated that demand for oil will rise from 77.1 million barrels a day in 2001 to 120.9 million barrels a day in 2025.
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