Peak oil and echoes of premature anti-fascism

The idea that the world is fast approaching peak oil production is very controversial, but perhaps nowhere more so than with oil producers. During the run-up World War II, communists who opposed fascism were later labeled premature anti-fascists — an Orwellian sounding term which had ominous consequences for those who bore the label. Now, energy interests concerned about “the premature development of alternatives to oil.”

Bahree, Bhushan and Jeffrey Ball. 2006. “Producers Move to Debunk Gloomy ‘Peak Oil’ Forecasts: Saudis, Exxon Say Supplies Are Ample as Policy Makers Begin to Weigh Substitutes.” New York Times (14 September): p. A 2.

“Saudi Arabia, with a quarter of the world’s proven crude reserves, has an interest in countering developments that would reduce demand. “If you are sitting on the world’s biggest oil deposits, you would want to prevent the premature development of alternatives to oil,” said Herman Franssen, president of International Energy Associates, a consulting firm in Bethesda, Md.”

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