Sunday, September 05, 2004

A Decade to Go 

Imagine the establishment of a federal crash program to develop alternative energy sources -- what Kerry has called "a Manhattan project of energy independence." Do you foresee it happening in a nation stewarded, for a second four-year term, by a pair of unprincipled Texas oilmen? No? Then you had better be prepared to grin 'n' bear it when they set about toppling the rest of those terrorist-sponsoring dominoes in the Middle East -- because ten years from now, when worldwide hell breaks loose (and there's real money to be made), we are certainly going to want American hands on the oil spigots, now aren't we? As David Lazarus reports, the Washington consulting firm PFC Energy is about to present its global oil-production forecast to the nonpartisan Center for Strategic and International Studies, and according to their crystal balls rocky times are just around the corner:
[Market analyst Jamal] Qureshi said PFC's analysts ran projections for a variety of scenarios extending to 2020. By and large, they all pointed to a similar conclusion.

"By the time you get to about 2015," Qureshi said, "you reach the point where demand is far outstripping production, by several million barrels a day."

He added: "Prices will go through the roof, and this will absolutely kill economies in the process."

This is inevitable?

"It's inevitable," Qureshi replied with the certainty of someone who has spent weeks combing through reams of data. "The only question is how much the world will come together to manage the transition" . . . .

Qureshi at PFC Energy said new oil reserves will become available within the next six years from deepwater wells off West Africa and Brazil.

"After that, we see a real problem on the horizon," he said. "Nobody's making big, huge finds anymore. They're just not there."

By 2010, Qureshi warned, governments and companies throughout the world will have to be focused on developing alternative energy sources like hydrogen and solar power.

Or else.

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