March 25, 2005

"What Happens Once the Oil Runs Out?"

Kenneth Deffeyes, a geologist and author of Beyond Oil, writes in today's New York Times that the desire to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is a distraction from the real issue of oil's decline. He points out that even the very productive Prudhoe Bay fields did not add much to our supply of oil, and that nobody knows if oil will be found at all in the Refuge, much less save us in our continuing thirst for an ever-dwindling supply.

A paragraph at the end suggests what can be done as oil production declines, notably more efficient transport and conservation. But he also calls for a greater reliance on wind and nuclear power. Surely he knows that these are sources off electricity, of which less than 2.5% is generated by burning oil. The issue of wind and nuclear power is irrelevant to the issue of oil.

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