The U.S. economy depends heavily on oil, particularly in the transportation sector. World oil production has been running at near capacity to meet demand, pushing prices upward. Concerns about meeting increasing demand with finite resources have renewed interest in an old question: How long can the oil supply expand before reaching a maximum level of production, a peak from which it can only decline?
On Thursday, the U. S. Governmental Accountability Office released a report urging attention to the looming problems posed by a finite oil supply, the unpredictability of sustained production at current levels, and the potential for severe consequences, including a worldwide recession. The report recommends a strategy to coordinate and prioritize federal agency efforts to reduce uncertainty about the likely timing of a peak and to advise Congress on how best to mitigate consequences.
Read a summary of the report: GAO: U.S. needs a peak oil strategy.