Peak Oil is You

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Page added on September 29, 2007

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Got $100 to burn? Here are your energy options

Energy bargains are a thing of the past. Oil prices are at record highs of more than $80 a barrel, competition for gas is heating up and $100 won’t even buy you a tonne of coal anymore.

After coughing up for their fossil fuels, European users now have to pay extra for the right to pollute with it, and even the cost of that is on the rise.
During the panic buying triggered by the Arab oil embargo and supply disruptions of the early 197Os, oil still cost less than $50 a barrel in today’s money and you could get a pair of them for under $100. Fifty dollars doesn’t even buy two-thirds of a barrel at the moment and supplies are relatively healthy.

Strength in oil markets, driven by rising demand in rapidly industrializing countries like China and India, is dragging up other energy costs with it.

“Oil is the leader of the pack,” Leo Drollas of the Centre for Global Energy Studies in London said. “The other fuels are influenced by it.”

Ten years ago you could buy at least five tonnes of coal for $100, providing a cheap but dirty source of energy for power plants and factories across the world.

Coal buyers, fearful of further price rises going into winter, paid up to $102 for just a tonne earlier this week.


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