Oil depletion

As a geophysicist and Fellow of the American Geophysical Union, I don't qualify to be a "Flat-Earth Economist"—to use Colin Campbell's terminology. Just the same, in this debate about imminent oil depletion I come down squarely on the side of economist Michael Lynch. But Campbell is at least half-right. Low-cost oil will gradually be depleted and prices will rise as even Arabian oil becomes more costly to lift. However, higher prices will bring forth new discoveries in frontier provinces, unconventional oil, and of course, increased efforts of conservation. Hybrid-electric cars running at 40 to 80 mpg will soon take over, and Albertan tarsands are already commercial—wi...

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