by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
In your book The Quest, you say you’re not worried about running out of oil. Why not?
This is actually the fifth time people have declared that the world will run out of oil. The first was in the 1880s, when it was said that there was no oil west of the Mississippi–and then they discovered a few wells in Oklahoma and Texas.
So are we all Chicken Littles?
People talk about peak oil, that we’re going to run out. But actually, I think that in the U.S., we’ve run into peak demand. Our oil consumption’s going to go down. We drive more efficient cars. The population is aging and drives less.
Yeah, but all those Indians and Chinese are going to start driving.
China now consumes more energy than the U.S. In 2000 there were 17 million new cars sold in the U.S. and about 2 million in China. Last year there were 17 million cars sold in China and 11 million in the U.S., but we’ve gotten better at finding oil.