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Hydrocarbons in North America

David Hughes

January 24, 2011

The sheer scale of our dependency on nonrenewable, energy-dense “fossilized sunshine” is often lost on those who believe that renewable energy sources can supplant hydrocarbons at anything like today’s level of energy consumption. Thus it is prudent to examine the prognosis for fossil fuels within North America, as they will make up the bulk of our energy consumption for many decades to come.

This is a chapter from The Post Carbon Reader: Managing the 21st Century’s Sustainability Crises (2010).

See also our follow-up report series with David Hughes, Shale Reality Check.