A tank of gas, a world of trouble

July 29, 2006

What does it take to quench America’s mighty thirst for gasoline? Pulitzer-winning correspondent Paul Salopek traced gas pumped at a suburban Chicago station to the fuel’s sources around the globe. In doing so, he reveals how our oil addiction binds us to some of the most hostile corners of the planet—and to a petroleum economy edging toward crisis.

Story: Paul Salopek, Tribune correspondent
Research: Brenda Kilianski, Tribune researcher
Photos: Kuni Takahashi, Tribune photographer


Travelogue of Addiction – Online video (Flash)
EB editor: Well-produced thoughtful documentary covering multiple aspects of the oil crisis. Kunstler and Simmons are among the many experts interviewed. The segment on “Oil and Urban Sprawl” goes beyond what typically has been covered in the mainstream media.

Oil Safari (TV program)
What’s the future of global oil production? And just where does our oil come from? In “Oil Safari”, the Chicago Tribune presents a novel travelogue, showing the world in what could be the waning days of cheap oil in America and across the globe.
Thursday, August 03, 2006 7:00 PM on WYCC (Chicago)
Not sure if this is the same program as is available online (see above).

Online Articles

About the project :
Paul Salopek and photographer Kuni Takahashi traveled to the distant sources of the South Elgin Marathon’s gas.

Chapter 1: The pay zone
A Marathon station in South Elgin, Ill., serves as an ideal prism to examine the coming end of the oil age.

Chapter 2: The frontier
Americans have hitched their 210 million autos to Africa, forcing the planet’s last superpower to rattle its half-empty oilcan at the world’s poorest continent.

Chapter 3: The war
The hidden costs of our oil addiction include everything from U.S. job losses to the medical bills of American troops wounded in Iraq.

Chapter 4: Last call
An energy cold war over oil threatens to become the defining struggle of the 21st Century. An early flash point: the United States and Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela.


Sidebar: Peak oil theory takes center stage :
…with crude prices hitting record highs since 2004, global oil demand outstripping supplies like never before and major discoveries stagnant for 20 years, peak oil has migrated from the fringe to the center of the global energy debate.

Sidebar: Is the Saudi bonanza peaking?:
Saudi Arabia’s epic oil reserves are a global insurance policy: a supply of crude so plentiful it can always be counted on, in a pinch, to ease almost any conceivable energy crisis. Or so experts used to think. But today, some energy analysts are warning that the oil kingdom’s fabled bounty may no longer be reliable–a stunning development that, if true, would have sobering implications for the world economy.

Sidebar: The nature of oil:
Petroleum is civilization’s lifeblood. So goes the cliche. But although it is one of the most studied substances on Earth, it remains essentially mysterious, elusive.

Copyright © 2006, Chicago Tribune

Tags: Energy Policy, Fossil Fuels, Oil, Transportation