"Peak Oil Is Not a Theory" - Tom Udall
"The theory of Peak Oil states that, like any finite resource, oil will reach a peak in production after which supply will steadily and sharply decrease. In 1956, Shell Oil geologist M. King Hubbert predicted that oil production in the contiguous United States would peak in about 1970 and be followed by a sharp decline. At the time, many dismissed his predictions as false, but history shows they were remarkably accurate. A growing number of geologists, economists and politicians now agree that the peak in the world’s oil production is imminent; predicted to occur within one or two decades. Some disagree with this prediction, calling it a doomsday scenario and say that technological advances will buy us more time before we reach peak production. Theirs, however, is not the consensus view and even they agree that a peak in the world’s oil production is inevitable. "
"Some say that market forces will take care of the peak oil problem. They argue that as we approach or pass the peak of production, the price of oil will increase and alternatives will become more competitive. Following this, consumers will act to replace our need for non-petroleum energy resources. This philosophy is partly true. However, the main problem with this argument is that current U.S. oil prices do not accurately reflect the full social costs of oil consumption. Currently, in the United States, federal and state taxes add up to about 40 cents per gallon of gasoline. A World Resources Institute analysis found that fuel-related costs not covered by drivers are at least twice that much. The current price of oil does not include the full cost of road maintenance, health and environmental costs attributed to air pollution, the financial risks of global warming from increasing carbon dioxide emissions or the threats to national security from importing oil. Because the price of oil is artificially low, significant private investment in alternative technologies that provide a long-term payback does not exist. Until oil and its alternatives compete in a fair market, new technologies will not thrive. "
Full speech: http://www.tomudall.house.gov/pdf/Peak_Oil_hearing_testimony.pdf