Posted by: Rob | July 14, 2008

Peak Oil, Crude Oil Price, and Fast Money

Not long after I added the Stumble Upon add-on to my Firefox, I came across a little blog on blogger called “Peak Oil Premonitions“.  The blog has a couple of contributors and they mostly post news items that are related to or in support of Peak Oil Theory.  The posted pieces are intermittent and typically not that long and I’ve had the site on my Bloglines ever since I set it up.

On the weekend, Bloglines informed that a new post was up over there so I dutifully went and checked it out.  Titled only “Oil at $150 Next Week?”, the piece is a link to a youtube video clip from CNBC’s Fast Money show.  There is a panel of talking heads and one guest on the phone.  The phone guest was Matthew “Matt” Simmons, an energy investment banker, author and one time energy advisor to George W. Bush.

The talking heads on CNBC, I think, were looking for Simmons’ take on the current highs for crude oil, but the looks on their faces when they heard Simmons’ replies and comments were priceless.  Honestly, my guts were hurting from laughing so hard, though the matter is surely not a laughing one.

Some of the better comments ol’ Matt laid on them:

Dylan Ratigan: “…if you were the Energy Czar in this country, what would you do?”

Matt Simmons: “Well, you’d need to be Energy Czar in the world to make an impact and…”

Ratigan: “I…I…I anoint you as such.”

Simmons: “Oh, okay.  What I would do is I would put a floor under oil prices today and as soon as they go higher, I’d put a new floor to make sure that everyone has the confidence that this is not gonna collapse, cuz it’s not gonna collapse.  If everyone thinks it’s gonna collapse we won’t do any of the steps to get out of this enormous hole we’re in.”  (Watch panel guest Joe Terranova’s eyes and eyebrows through this part. – Rob)


Ratigan: “…What will be done…in your opinion…what…what do you think actually is…forget what you think should be done…is the probable scenario for energy in America…uh…over the next six months and then over the next six years for that matter?  Ten years.”

Simmons: “I think, unfortunately, the probable scenario is that we’re gonna basically keep dropping our inventories and feeling good about it hoping that basically that’ll bring around a price collapse assuming that might actually be demand declining when it’s not and then we’re gonna have a shortage.  And if we have a shortage we’ll have a run on the banks [sic – he probably meant “pumps” – Rob] so fast your eyes’ll spin.  This is basically where everyone tops up their tank.  And we haven’t run out of oil but we could literally run out of useable diesel and gasoline and then we would have the great American disaster because within a week we’d run out of food.”

Ratigan: [Splutter.  Splutter!]  […]

(Watch the panel’s facial expressions and eye movements through this comment by Simmons – Rob)

Simmons: “…let’s basically you know take a lock step and beat a hasty retreat from our heavy addiction to oil and gas use because we don’t have enough and we start living in villages again and we go back to … we eliminate long distance commuting by liberating the work force and paying by productivity and growing food locally and we start embracing an enormous amount of R&D into some things we’re not really doing much about today like ocean energy and geothermal then we could actually within five to seven years get ourselves out of a very deep hole but we gotta do it real quick.”

Watch the video for yourself:


  1. This is not news to me. The solution, unfortunately, is to go back 28 years and re-elect Jimmy Carter. We might actually be in pretty good shape if our country had continued with some of the programs started in that era. And yes, gas and diesel are too cheap on the North American continent, even in Canada.

  2. […] One of the gloomiest predictions for this upcoming week came courtesy of James Kunstler, the author of The Long Emergency and A World Made By Hand. His blog post paints a picture not unlike the one depicted by Matthew Simmons . During one of his visits to CNBC’s Fast Money back in July of this year, Simmons talked about how a gasoline/diesel shortage would bring about a total restructuring of our culture. […]


    To own a lot of useless junk
    And kill the climate for it,
    Betokens myths time to debunk,
    It too late to ignore it.

    What is the use of drilling all
    The world´s petroleum for
    Obtaining plastic goods to sprawl
    On your linoleum floor?

    To set the turbines at full gear
    That heat the planet up,
    All for some nonsense–nor a tear
    Yet falling in the cup

    Of sympathy for those displaced
    Because the waters rise,
    Or those who starve so you may taste
    Red beef that bloats your size.

    Let us observe there is a good
    In economic shrinkage,
    Because such commerce never should
    Usurp the greater linkage.

    A world of life upon the planet
    Did not deserve this plunder,
    And, while it might be God began it,
    It is not man´s to sunder.

    A life is not made meaningful
    By things that you possess,
    And, even without hardship´s pull,
    One can get by on less.

    Consumption in excess, and travel
    Beyond the means of foot,
    Invite the climate to unravel,
    Man´s sustenance to cut.

    There is no need to bloat and glut
    Upon one´s entertainment:
    Spectacle does the mind´s eye shut,
    Bring conscience to arraignment.

    Enough, there is no need for more–
    Use at a minimum
    And save the world, worth at the core
    More than all pleasure´s sum.


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