Legislative Forum on Peak Oil and Its Consequences
Representative Ellen Story of Amherst is hosting an informational session on Peak Oil and its consequences in Conference Room A-1, at the State House in Boston, on Monday, February 28, 10:30am to noon.
The purpose of the session is to inform Massachusetts' legislators, staff, and the public about the implications of the imminent decline in global petroleum production. The session is titled “Cheap Oil; Gone Forever”.
The presentation is being given by Alex von Braun of the Karl Davies Energy Resources Task Force, a group based in the Pioneer Valley that has been researching and educating the public about Peak Oil since 2003. He is a member of the Massachusetts Energy Efficiency Partnership and a Master’s candidate at the University of Massachusetts/Amherst in Mechanical Engineering, specializing in energy efficiency.
By 2010, many energy resource experts predict that global oil production will peak and start to decline. As production begins to decrease, oil prices will soar with dramatic repercussions on local, national, and global economies.
The issue of Peak Oil has been gaining national attention. The magazine The Economist proclaimed the End of the Oil Age in a recent issue. National Geographic had a cover story in June 2004 entitled “The End of Cheap Oil” and a recent issue of the New Yorker explored the connections between resource depletion and war – past, present and future. Other extensive reports have appeared in The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.
Energy expert Steven Strong of Solar Design Associates in Harvard, MA notes "No region of the United States is more dependent on petroleum than the Northeast. On top of the direct uses for transportation, agriculture and industry, our region has the highest consumption of oil per capita for heating and electrical generation of any in the country. It is fair to say that our regional economy is currently tied in ‘lock-step’ to the availability of oil and oil-derived energy."
"Every informed analysis of the future of petroleum leads to the same conclusion", said David Ahlfeld, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. "The United States should be dramatically reducing its reliance on energy-intensive housing, transportation and food supplies and moving rapidly towards transition to new energy sources."