The jump at the pump got you down? While you’re paying through the nose for gas the oil companies are making record profits. In 2005, ExxonMobil recorded the largest net profit of any corporation in the history of capitalism: a cool $36 billion. But the gravy train may not last forever. The concept of peak oil is gaining more currency and veracity as scientists and geologists amass evidence of the decline of oil reserves. But the oilgarchy in Washington has the answer: drill for more oil in environmentally sensitive locations. The problem with that is that oil is deep underground and hence full of sediments and will be capital intensive to extract and refine.
Richard Heinberg is a leading expert on energy issues. He is Senior Fellow at the Post Carbon Institute. He is the author of The Party’s Over, Powerdown and Peak Everything.