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We Have Entered the "End Game" for Oil—With "Permanent Demand Destruction"

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/07/31/we-have-entered-end-game-oil-permanent-demand-destruction

Even though demand for fossil fuels is diminishing, we cannot wait for market forces to reduce their extraction and combustion. A substantial and progressive reduction in fossil fuel extraction must be agreed to and enforced by the international community. If there is to be ANY hope of avoiding a 4 -7 degree (Celsius) rise in global temperature, we need to tell everyone to make sure their seatbelts are buckled because we are going to hit the brakes HARD and NOW. Oil wells cannot be hidden, they cannot run, they are easy targets to put out of commission if their owners refuse to comply.

Ironically, this will drive the market price of oil exponentially higher, which will help the corporations survive while transitioning to some new form or existence, or non-existence.

Andy Rowell you were negligent in not pointing out who one of Biden’s key advisors is----Ken Salazar.

This should be mentioned every time an article about the catastrophic consequences burning/extracting fossil fuels is written.

In February: “Former Vice President Joe Biden will be in Denver on Monday for a private fundraiser. It will be hosted by former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.”


"Ken Salazar, the Obama administration’s first-term interior secretary (“Big Oil’s Ally In The Obama White House”) took a job at an industry law and lobbying firm just months after leaving office.

There, he refashioned himself as an oil champion and avoided disclosing the companies that paid him to lobby."



Salazar has a history of supporting fossil fuel interests going back to his Senate vote for George W. Bush’s infamous 2005 energy bill, which exempts fracking from the Underground Injection Control provisions of the Safe Drinking Water Act. As interior secretary, Salazar opened the Arctic for drilling and helped to implement a plan to move wild horses out of Colorado to free up land for oil and gas extraction. Upon returning to the private sector, he vocally advocated the Keystone XL pipeline and against restrictions on fracking.

He’s been a particularly good friend to Anadarko. As a report by the International Business Times and MapLight noted, in 2010, “Salazar’s department waived environmental rules for an Anadarko offshore drilling project after the Deepwater Horizon spill even though Anadarko partially owned the well involved in that disaster.” In 2012, it approved a plan to allow the company to “develop as many as 3,600 new gas wells in eastern Utah.” This deal was celebrated as a “victory for the economy, U.S. government, and environmental groups,” the report explains, adding that “both the Bureau of Land Management and the Utah Dept. of Environmental Air Quality have raised concerns about air pollution from wells in the region.” Salazar is even quoted multiple times in Anadarko’s promotional materials.

Now Salazar has a new role: adviser to Democratic presidential candidate, Joe Biden.

People need to know this!

Ask your basic “vote blue no matter who” (which is Biden) voter if they even know who Ken Salazar is let alone where he gets his money . . . and why he is supporting Biden.
My prediction is you will get blank stares and a shrug.


I began receiving Common Dreams in my email inbox about a year ago. Been enjoying the opinion pieces since then. I don’t always read the comments but I’m often taken aback when I do.

The reader comment about Ken Salazar is a good example. Our choice in November is Biden or Trump - there’s no one else. Let’s do all we can to ensure a Biden vistory.

People who stayed home in 2016 because Hillary wasn’t pefect enough helped cause our current situation. Now is not the time for ideological purity. Now is the time for pragmatism.

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All that remains is to identify the most efficient, Earth-healing, “Gaiatherapeutic” process for repairing the atmosphere, while generating clean energy. Cannabis hemp can do that. Cellulosic hydrogen made from hemp stalks is the only option for tying energy production to maximum healing of the atmosphere.

“renewables gets cheaper and cheaper”

Oh come on, that’s ridiculous. Please hire someone to proofread.

In the Bill Moyers article:
the very week a killer pandemic maybe reaching its peak?

There’s something distracting and discouraging in about every other article. This many typos makes us all look dumm.

while fossil fuel companies will take a hit, it seems to me there is a lot of wishful thinking here. The movement our of the cities cities due to the virus means more per-person energy use, more driving and less walking, less transit. Truck and SUV sales are booming. Europeans are needing to buy air conditioning. The population is growing by over 80 million more people per year. All this is increasing demand. Greta might want to use electric passenger trains to get around but I know few others who will

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Exactly. In my area, the pandemic has been an utter catastrophe for public transit and the local roads are full of more and larger SUV’s - probably a quarter of them huge pickup trucks.

But population numbers are not the problem. People in India and Africa are not driving profligate fossil fuel consumption, and large population declines are projected for the global north by 2060 - and their fossil fuel consumption has vary little to do with their population. My area has lost large amounts of population since the 1980s de-industrialization, yet gasoline usage yet gasoline consumption has only gone higher.

Her is the latest news on global population and its much sooner that previously projected peak and decline:


Let me welcome you to our community by pointing out that “Now” is actually always when it comes to the d-party. And let me add that this is the reason that pretty much every d-party accomplishment over the last 30 years is an r-party dream-come-true.

Welfare reform
Crime bill
NAFTA and other trade bills

Um, no:


The energy drop during Covid is given as 14% according to the article. Population alone is expected to still go to 11 billion (an increase of 40%) and quite a few studies estimate world energy demand as growing more than just population (as @Trog says, as people come out of poverty, many of them want more energy).

But Covid gave people in LA the chance to see what clean air looks like briefly (it sucks again now either because we are all driving as much as before which is hard to believe or because of fires).

The use of oil dropped by 5% during the Great recession of 2008-2010 and never recovered.
Gens X and Z drive less.
Every new car replaces one that got worse gas mileage.

This pandemic and related drop in driving and energy use will last many more months.

I’m not trying to portray myself as an optimist on this. Climate chaos is baked in.
But gas prices are extremely low because of a 2-pronged over supply issue – low demand, big supply.
The demand side doesn’t look as though it’s going to pick up any time soon.

An anecdote: I leased a hybrid in February. I’ve only filled it three times and it’s 3/4 full now.

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The game has BEEN up for a while, but “thanks” to Covid-19, the transition has just been accelerated – thank Gawd for small favors, I suppose…

One does wonder, though, that the Oil Giants “didn’t” (as if I believed that) see this coming a LOOOONG time ago (of course they saw it, and crafted their Daily Lies to hide the fact that oil is now a DEAD FUEL)?

See? No reason to doubt the fact that that transition WILL indeed happen… only who will be able to profit from it happening. Seems the Oil Giants are far too late to this party… entirely through their own fault, too.

When Shell, BP, Exxon and the rest are just the shadows of history, no one at all will regret starving them to death.