Back in the 1930s, when “wildcatters” poked holes in Kansas and Texas, the resultant oil wells gushed so forcefully that the wells “ran wild” for a few days before they could be capped.
In 2012, the Bakken field in North Dakota contains oil at a depth of 10,000 feet, which won’t move on its own. The surrounding rock has to be “fracked” and chemicals and water must be forced into the drill holes to make the oil come up.
This is an enormous difference and it makes clear that Earth is at least halfway through the oil epoch, despite grandiose claims that the United States now has no further worries and will surpass Saudi Arabia in production.
The price of gasoline will never return to $2.50 per gallon as Newt Gingrich, Michelle Bachmann and others have promised; that is a total “pipe dream.”
All alternative energy sources for transportation have poor energy density compared to oil; batteries particularly. Therefore, the consumptive “lifestyle” so heartily defended by these wishful thinkers will not continue.
The only ultimate solution to the crunch is to use less energy. In other words, the USA needs a new “lifestyle,” suited to the 21st century.