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|I think "always" is a little short-sighted. We believe we might have a century or two of coal left. And maybe a century of natural gas. More, or less. Romans built aqueducts to last forever and many have lasted close to two thousand years. But Americans plan for the next financial quarter. That seems short-sighted to me. I hope I can be forgiven for thinking of "always" like the Indians of the Great Plains ... beyond the seventh generation to succeed us.
I think alternative energy forms make sense at the margins right now. Solar is great for peak shaving. Wind is financially attractive for base loading, or it would be if supply and demand were closer together. Who knows, maybe in three hundred years most of the Atlantic Ocean will be covered in algae farms?
As fossil fuels grow more scarce, alternative energy will grow ever more attractive. Eventually renewable sources will play a very significant role. Even the "evil" oil companies and their governmental minions need to adopt a sensible approach to renewable energy if they are to operate as primary energy companies well into the future.
As to the price of oil going down, it did in the early 1980s when Alaskan, North Sea, and Mexican sources of oil came on line. These fields were not OPEC fields, so OPEC lost some pricing leverage. I have heard it argued that the Reagan/Bush administration jawed the Saudis into pumping more oil in order to keep the price low (it fell from $20 to $10 per barrel in about 1984) and to keep the Soviets from making much money on the stuff, all in the service of breaking up the Soviet Union. The story makes sense, but I'm not sure how true it is.
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