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HSBC Bombshell: Oil Will Run Out in 50 Years

This isn't your typical peak oil nut job. The world's second largest bank is warning that there could be as little as 50 years of oil left.

The senior global economist at the world's second largest bank warned that the global oil supply might run out in under 50 years.

"Energy resources are scarce," wrote Karen Ward, HSBC's senior global economist in a research report that was obtained by CNBC. "Even if demand doesn’t increase, there could be as little as 49 years of oil left."

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Jeff Bingaman Is the Only Politician Speaking Truth About Gas Prices

The New Mexico senator is the only one in Washington, D.C. who will tell the uncomfortable truth about gas prices and oil supply and demand.


Gasoline prices have everything to do with the international price of crude oil, and pretty much nothing to do with with our domestic policy. (We have only 2 percent of the world's total reserves.) That doesn't stop plenty of politicians and other know-nothings from crowing on about how Democrats and U.S. environmentalists are to blame for the current high (relatively) gasoline prices. Except Jeff Bingaman, the Democratic Senator from New Mexico, who delivered some honest-to-goodness truth about oil supply and demand in a speech last week.

But what can Congress do to help ease the burden of high prices for U.S. consumers, when oil prices are determined mostly outside our borders? I think a realistic, responsible answer has to be focused on becoming less vulnerable to oil price changes over the medium- and long-term. And we become less vulnerable by using less oil.

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Map: See Where the Proposed Keystone XL Pipeline Would Funnel Filthy Tar Sands

A proposed pipeline would cart the dirtiest of dirty fuels through America's heartland.

From extraction to processing to shipping to combustion, tar sands are far and away the dirtiest form of all fuels. It demands enormous amounts of energy to simply extract and then process into crude that can move through a pipeline. It has a 20-percent larger carbon footprint (PDF) than plain old dirty oil. And it leaves toxic wastelands wherever the sands are removed.

Right now, there's a proposal sitting at the State Department for a giant pipeline that would transect the country, carrying dangerous, toxic tar sands oil 1,661 miles from Alberta, Canada, all the way down to refineries on the Texas and Louisiana coasts. It's called the Keystone XL pipeline, and it's obviously enormously controversial. We'll be following the Keystone XL story very closely, over coming months, so consider this just an introduction.

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