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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    

Ten Reasons Why a Severe Drop in Oil Prices is a Problem

Not long ago, I wrote Ten Reasons Why High Oil Prices are a Problem. If high oil prices can be a problem, how can low oil prices also be a problem? In particular, how can the steep drop in oil prices we have recently been experiencing also be a...

Posted December 10, 2014    

Eight Pitfalls in Evaluating Green Energy Solutions

Does the recent climate accord between US and China mean that many countries will now forge ahead with renewables and other green solutions? I think that there are more pitfalls than many realize.Pitfall 1. Green solutions tend to push us from one...

Posted November 21, 2014    

Oil Price Slide: No Good Way Out

The world is in a dangerous place now. A large share of oil sellers need the revenue from oil sales. They have to continue producing, regardless of how low oil prices go unless they are stopped by bankruptcy, revolution, or something else that gives...

Posted November 7, 2014    

Eight Pieces of Our Oil Price Predicament

A person might think that oil prices would be fairly stable. Prices would set themselves at a level that would be high enough for the majority of producers, so that in total producers would provide enough–but not too much–oil for the world economy....

Posted October 25, 2014