Peak Oil News: Congressional peak oil caucus responds to CERA study

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Congressional peak oil caucus responds to CERA study

By Roscoe Bartlett and Tom Udall

Congressmen Roscoe G. Bartlett (R-MD) and Tom Udall (D-NM), cofounders and cochairmen of the Congressional Peak Oil Caucus, said that a new report released today by Cambridge Energy Research Associates (CERA), Why the Peak Oil Theory Falls Down: Myths, Legends, and the Future of Oil Resources, confirms the urgency for the United States government to adopt a crash program to mitigate the devastating consequences of peak oil.

Congressman Bartlett said, "The CERA report agrees that world oil production will peak and projects it will occur within 20-25 years. However, world demand is growing exponentially - faster than production so the CERA report confirms the likelihood of future shortages of liquid fuel and much higher and volatile prices. A major flaw in the CERA report is its reliance upon questionable assessments of global reserves by the USGS. USGS estimates of future world reserves equate a 50 percent probability with a 50th percentile or mean. That is a bizarre and totally inaccurate use of statistics. It almost doubles the amount of projected reserves compared to the 95 percent probable estimate. Actual discoveries are tracking the 95 percent probable trend. That means world oil production will peak much sooner than CERA projects in this report."

Congressman Udall said, "CERA's report is one of the most optimistic predictions for the peak in global oil production to date, and it still underscores the need to address this problem immediately. Whether it is Peak Oil, global warming, or the fact that some of the money we send overseas to support our oil addiction comes back to us in the form of terrorism, the U.S. cannot wait any longer to develop sensible and sustainable alternatives to oil."

Congressman Bartlett added, "The February 2005 'Hirsch' report by the U.S. Department of Energy and a September 2005 report by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers both note that it would take a minimum of 20 years to avoid devastating consequences from peak oil. The CERA report supports the urgency and necessity for the U.S. government to adopt a crash mitigation program. A crash program will need the total participation of the American public like we had with WWII Victory Gardens, the technological focus of the Apollo Moon program and the urgency of the Manhattan project."

"I look forward to two forthcoming reports about peak oil to move this policy debate forward," said Congressman Bartlett. "A report that I requested from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) is expected in early 2007."

Department of Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman commissioned a report by the National Petroleum Council (NPC) expected to be released in mid-2007.


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