Peak oil fringe group gains mainstream attention
Even if we don't run out of oil, the federal government admits it may become phenomenally expensive. "Will the world ever physically run out of crude oil? No, but only because it will eventually become very expensive in absence of lower-cost alternatives," the EIA report said.
To avoid a peak oil crisis, analysts said more conservation will be needed, especially in the United States. Accounting for only 5 percent of the world population, America currently uses a quarter of the world's oil, according to the EIA.
"The U.S. government should consider the possibilities raised by the peak-oil people. We have to be prepared to deal with all plausible situations, and it has to be reflected in policy," said Rodgers.
No one from the Department of Energy was available to comment, but analysts agreed the peak movement's warnings have not been widely reflected in domestic energy policy. Most politicians will be loathe to tackle the issue, analysts said.
"People don't want to face this reality," said Rodgers. "Once you accept it as a possibility -- not even as a certainty, but just as one of many possible scenarios -- then you have to make all sorts of changes (in the way you live), because it would not make sense not to."