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Greg Palast: We're Not Running Out of Oil, Just Cheap Oil


In this eighth video in the series “Peak Oil and a Changing Climate” from The Nation and On The Earth Productions, investigative journalist and author Greg Palast says the era of cheap fuel is over. Now energy companies are scouring the globe for oil, often extracting resources in more expensive and more environmentally sensitive conditions.

The problem, according to Palast, isn't really that we're running out of oil entirely. We've become addicted to cheap oil, Palast says, and we now accept the oil companies digging in sensitive areas, even though “there is a safer way to drill for oil."

President Obama and the Democrats should take their cues from world leaders who are taking on Big Oil in their own countries, Palast says. Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa has refused to go along with “the usual methods of oil companies.” He kicked Occidental Petroleum out of Ecuador and has agreed to support tens of thousands of Amazonian settlers in Ecuador as they sue Chevron for damages to their lives and their land. Only with these kind of bold moves can we hope to take back our environment from the major polluters.

Go here to view last week's video, Bill McKibben explaining how climate change is our most urgent challenge. Go here to learn more about "Peak Oil and a Changing Climate," and to see the other videos in the series.

—Kevin Gosztola

Editorial Notes: The latest in a series of interviews by the Nation about peak oil. As you can tell from the interview, Palast is more concerned with politics than resource depletion or climate change. What's striking is that in 2006 Greg Palast had attacked the concept of peak oil. Now he is on board with the idea of the "end of cheap oil." See An Open Letter to Greg Palast by Richard Heinberg. -BA

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