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American Energy Supplies: Now for the Bad News

Loren Steffy pours cold water on the IEA report noting America's growing energy production:

One paragraph above the prediction about the U.S. and Saudi, the IEA lays out a far more disturbing scenario, highlighted in boldface type: “The world is still failing to put the global energy system onto a more sustainable path.”

It goes on to outline a future in which consumer demand continues to rise faster than production as nations fight for ever bigger pieces of the same pie.

Even its projection of U.S. oil dominance has an important qualifier. The IEA estimates the switch would happen “around 2020″ but noted that the U.S. would remain the biggest oil producer only “until the mid-2020s.” Our reign as the world’s oil king, if it ever happens, probably won’t last more than five years....

Taken as a whole, the report outlines a world in which we face a shrinking supply of oil, rising prices and a growing toll on the environment.

If Washington had the capacity for sensible long-term planning, it would use its new found energy wealth to position itself for an era of tighter oil. But what are the odds of that happening?