Energy news and outlook: Meet the new year, same as the old year

Michael Giberson

A handful of energy news stories and commentary on the energy outlook:

  • John Tierney’s energy resource optimism and James Hamilton’s response at Econbrowser. I like the response of the first commenter, Ricardo, to Hamilton: “It is not that crude oil will be with us forever but that energy sources will always give us more and better sources of energy.” (Reading “energy sources will always give us” in a Julian Simon-esque manner, which is to say human creativity will likely continue to accommodate energy demands over the long run.)
  • Paul Krugman sees a finite world. Krugman says, “the rapid growth of emerging economies is placing pressure on limited supplies of raw materials, pushing up their prices.” Krugman remains an economist; he projects adjustment rather than a “Mad Max-syle collapse” of civilization: “It will require that we gradually change the way we live, adapting our economy and our lifestyles to the reality of more expensive resources.”
  • Fereidoon Sioshansi sums up the changing U.S. natural gas supply story at the EU Energy Policy BlogGame Changer: Plentiful Domestic Natural Gas Supplies.
  • The Top 5 overlooked energy stories from last year, according to The Hill reporter Andrew Restuccia. Expect that rare earths will be more in the news in the coming year. Off-shore wind and power lines also mentioned.
  • North Dakota oil production is surging. Among U.S. states North Dakota is already the fourth largest producer, but it may jump to second (behind Texas) within a few years. The story indicates that among the reasons for increased production are “refinements in drilling technology.”
US EIA: North Dakota Field Production of Crude Oil (Thousand Barrels)

Meet the new year, same as the old year. Same Cornucopian vs. age of scarcity debates and all they all agree upon is that they don’t want us to be fooled again.

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One thought on “Energy news and outlook: Meet the new year, same as the old year

  1. Seems that Krugman is missing the impact of technological substitution over time. We no longer need to cut down forests to read our favorite books and periodicals or use massive amount of hydrocarbons to listen to our favorite music. The entertainment shows we watch are shown on TVs and other devices with lighter environmental footprints, and commutes to work will eventually be powered by renewable power stored in the cars we drive (or can be avoided by working at home by telecommunting).

    Redistributionists and “top-down” advocates are always looking for excuses to limit economic growth. The late Julian Simon had it right.

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