Robert Bryce is a Texas-based freelance journalist and the current managing editor of Energy Tribune. His most recent book,Gusher of Lies: The Dangerous Delusions of Energy Independence (2008) has been heralded as "visionary, even revolutionary" by The New York Times. In 2004, he published Pipe Dreams: Greed, Ego, and the Death of Enron, which told the story of how the energy's corporations unraveling. His work has been published in numerous magazines and newspapers, including The New York Times, Slate, and The Atlantic Monthly. He resides in Austin, Texas.
Question: When will we run out of oil?
Robert Bryce: Well, I get asked about the question about peak oil a lot and the question is well we have a limited amount of oil yes, we do have a limited amount of oil, we have a limited amount of television cameras and Rolex watches and light bulbs and you name it there is finite number of every thing, my response is the peak oil arguments are okay so what yes we are going to hit a peak oil production at some point in the future when there is no one can predict but the point is that is the prize of oil rises entrepreneurs, innovators are going to come up with new ways to find oil and get it out the ground and further that the issue as that price raises, demand has to stay in balance will supply you can’t have more demand than the supply. The price eventually will crush demand at a certain point and they will stay in balance. The good news for the US which I think is people may not say it is good news but we can afford higher oil prices more easily then can say Pakistan or India we are wealthier country, we have more disposable income and so we are going to see as oil or natural gas or any commodity becomes more expensive Rolex watches they are rationed by price and in fact we have rationing by price today on virtually every commodity not every one can eat at 21club, not everyone wears a Rolex. Every thing is rationed by price as energy prizes raise we will see more pronounced rationing by price of energy commodities. And I think that that’s inevitable, the good news is that has the price rises will see more innovation and more alternatives come in to the market what ever that may be whether it is batteries and cars or some other liquid fuel not ethanol that may come in to the market.
Date Recorded: 03/20/2008