Let's set aside the political and environmental reasons for getting off oil to make a statement that focuses just on the ability to predict the price of gasoline: if we knew how much black gold was left in the ground, things sure would be a lot easier. This point is emphasized by two recent articles, one from the Sydney Morning Herald that says that we have a lot less oil reserves underground than we've been led to believe and the other directly from Shell that says that a whole bunch more oil was just discovered in the Gulf of Mexico. We don't know how to read oil company press releases to ferret out BS, but Shell says that, the company's workers drilled to a depth of "7,643 metres (25,077 feet) and encountered approximately 162 metres (530-feet) of oil pay." Do they really call oil deposits "oil pay." Wow, that's descriptive.

The more critical view comes from Sir David King, Britain's former chief scientist, who says that the official estimates of how many barrels of oil remain in the earth are "inflated because member countries of the oil cartel, OPEC, over-reported reserves in the 1980s when competing for global market share," as the SMH puts it. Instead of somewhere between 1,150 and 1,350 billion barrels, Kind thinks there are more like 850 to 900 billion barrels.

When it comes to energy insecurity questions like this, we can't help but think that plug-in vehicles offer a smart and stable alternative. Pull politics and the environment back into the picture, and you've got to wonder why anyone keeps pushing for more liquid fuels. Oh, right, oil pay.

[Source: Sydney Morning Herald, Shell via Green Car Congress | Image: Stig Nygaard - C.C. License 2.0]