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BP Data Suggests We Are Reaching Peak Energy Demand

Some people talk about peak energy (or oil) supply. They expect high prices and more demand than supply. Other people talk about energy demand hitting a peak many years from now, perhaps when most of us have electric cars.Neither of these views...

Posted June 24, 2015    

Why EIA, IEA, and BP Oil Forecasts are Too High

When forecasting how much oil will be available in future years, a standard approach seems to be the following:Figure out how much GDP growth the researcher hopes to have in the future.“Work backward” to see how much oil is needed, based on how much...

Posted June 12, 2015    

Why We Have an Oversupply of Almost Everything, From Oil to Labor to Capital

The Wall Street Journal recently ran an article called, Glut of Capital and Labor Challenge Policy Makers: Global oversupply extends beyond commodities, elevating deflation risk. To me, this is a very serious issue, quite likely signaling that we...

Posted May 9, 2015    

Overview of Our Energy Modeling Problem

We live in a world with limits, yet our economy needs growth. How can we expect this scenario to play out? My view is that this problem will play out as a fairly near-term financial problem, with low oil prices leading to a fall in oil production....

Posted May 2, 2015    

Putting the Real Story of Energy and the Economy Together

What is the real story of energy and the economy? We hear two predominant energy stories. One is the story economists tell: The economy can grow forever; energy shortages will have no impact on the economy. We can simply substitute other forms of...

Posted April 17, 2015    

The Oil Glut and Low Prices Reflect an Affordability Problem

For a long time, there has been a belief that the decline in oil supply will come by way of high oil prices. Demand will exceed supply. It seems to me that this view is backward–the decline in supply will come through low oil prices.The oil glut we...

Posted March 13, 2015    

Role of Wages of the Common Worker in Oil Prices, Collapse

In their book Secular Cycles, Peter Turchin and Surgey Nefedof point out the important role falling wages of the common workers played in early collapses. I got to thinking that this might be an issue with our current situation as well, including...

Posted February 27, 2015    

A New Theory of Energy and the Economy, Part 3: The Problem of Debt as We Reach Oil Limits

(This is Part 3 of my series – A New Theory of Energy and the Economy. These are links to Part 1 and Part 2.)Many readers have asked me to explain debt. They also wonder, “Why can’t we just cancel debt and start over?” if we are reaching oil limits...

Posted February 13, 2015    

A New Theory of Energy and the Economy, Part 2: Showing the Long-Term GDP-Energy Tie

In Part 1 of this series, I talked about why cheap fuels act to create economic growth. In this post, we will look at some supporting data showing how this connection works. The data is over a very long time period–some of it going back to the Year...

Posted February 6, 2015    

A New Theory of Energy and the Economy, Part 1: Generating Economic Growth

How does the economy really work? In my view, there are many erroneous theories in published literature. I have been investigating this topic and have come to the conclusion that both energy and debt play an extremely important role in an economic...

Posted January 24, 2015    

Oil and the Economy: Where are we Headed in 2015-16?

Editor's note: Join Energy Collective contributors and energy experts Jesse Jenkins, Elias Hinckley, Jared Anderson, Robert Rapier, Jim Pierobon, and Geoffrey Styles on Monday 1/12/15 at 12pm Eastern for a live Twitter #...

Posted January 8, 2015    

How Increased Inefficiency Explains Falling Oil Prices

Since about 2001, several sectors of the economy have become increasingly inefficient, in the sense that it takes more resources to produce a given output, such as 1000 barrels of oil. I believe that this growing inefficiency explains both slowing...

Posted January 1, 2015