Remember Peak Oil, the theory that global crude oil supplies have peaked and are in irreversible, long-term decline? The concept got a lot of media play but never really passed the smell test, since it didn’t account for the impact of technological change or rising oil prices.
In any case, the notion of Peak Oil seems amusingly quaint now that it’s been relegated to the same ideological trash bin as Y2K. Thanks to such innovations as horizontal drilling and fracking (hydraulic fracturing), the U.S. is currently producing more oil than it has in 20 years. U.S. output now exceeds seven million barrels a day, and that has enabled the world’s biggest oil consuming nation to cut its imports to the lowest level in 16 years.