Saturday, November 26, 2005

US Government Discovers Peak Oil

Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman has asked a high-level advisory board to answer one of the toughest questions dogging the U.S. economy: Can world oil production meet steadily rising demand?

In a previously unreleased Oct. 5 letter to ExxonMobil CEO Lee Raymond, chairman of the National Petroleum Council, Bodman asked for a study of the industry's ability to produce enough oil and natural gas at prices that won't cripple the economy.

"He's asked them to take a big-picture look out several years. ... He wants to get some definitive information," says Craig Stevens, an Energy Department spokesman.

The most noteworthy aspect of Bodman's request is a reference to the "peak oil" debate. At issue: the claim by a vocal minority of energy experts that the world is at, or near, maximum oil production.

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