4666 Votes By Drs. Robert & Sonia Vogl President and Vice President, Illinois Renewable Energy Association Our economy was built on cheap fossil fuels, which supported our economic and technological progress. As sources of conventional low-cost oil are depleted, we have turned to unconventional sources with higher extraction costs. With current oil prices around $80 to $85 per barrel, it has been estimated that new tar sands oil requires $95 per barrel to be extracted. If the oil is not extracted, prices could still rise, as competition for the existing oil would intensify. Energy economist Douglas Reynolds believes our economic malaise is a result of a decrease in energy supplies. He notes that the United States has a vast global military presence that we are unable to pay for, a decreasing standard of living, increased concentration of wealth, and a continuous energy crisis that began in 1973. He sees […]