The Challenge is Real
The U.S. is standing at an energy crossroads. The easy path leads in a direction where the "status quo" is maintained – continued dependence on overseas energy sources, little technical innovation, and whimsical investment and commitment. The second path, a much more difficult route with numerous obstacles, leads to a radically new approach – a long-term, diverse, and committed strategy to secure the nation's future energy independence.

The path the U.S. should take is clear. There is little argument that actions need to happen now and should have been started many decades earlier. There are unquestionable fact-based trends pointing to a U.S. (and global) energy crisis, one that we may very well be in the middle of today. These trends center around the future supply and demand of energy, geopolitical instability, and the environment.

According to the 2006 International Energy Agency annual report, the world’s rate of energy consumption is at a record pace. These trends are expected to continue as the global population continues to boom and global GDP flourishes, predicted to reach 8.1 billion and double through 2030, respectively. During this same period it is predicted there will be a 50% increase in primary energy demand, with over 70% of this demand coming from developing countries like China and India. China is expected to balloon by 7 times and the U.S. expects a 40% increase in petroleum. With almost 1/3 of the world's population still not having access to electricity and 2006 per capita GDP at just $7,400, these energy demand forecasts seem quite plausible.

These demands will put enormous new pressure on conventional fuels that can't possibly be met entirely by traditional energy sources. For example, the facts point to the very real possibility that the world has reached or is close to reaching its pinnacle of petroleum production. Many of the world's major oil fields – the North Sea, Kuwait's Burgan Field, and Mexico’s Cantarell Field – are all on the decline. Most forecasts, including M. King Hubbert (who created the theory of Peak Oil), conclude that the long-term trends for petroleum supplies look bleak. At home, the supply issues are similar – the U.S. has been a net importer of petroleum for over 50 years, continues to experience a dwindling of domestic production, and has not opened a new refinery in over 30 years.

The global and U.S. energy supply and demand challenges are being further exacerbated by on-going geopolitical instability and environmental concerns. Most of the world's currently retrievable petroleum supplies happen to lie in regions ripe with conflict, tension, and future political and economic uncertainty. These supply sources cannot be guaranteed. Coupled with this is strong evidence pointing to traditional energy production and utilization techniques as being detrimental to the environment.

The facts speak for themselves. A crisis is upon us.

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