The official Saudi government news agency announces:
WASHINGTON – Saudi Arabia has stopped exploration missions of new oil fields to save the wealth and pass it on to future generations, King Abdullah, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, said here Thursday.
King Abdullah, who expressed hope that oil will last for a long time, said that when recent exploration for underground resources started, he ordered that it be ended because the oil should be left for future generations. The King said once in a meeting of the Cabinet he asked the ministers to repeat a prayer after him “May Allah prolong its life.” “What is it?, the ministers replied,” the King said.
“It is the oil wealth,” he answered them. “Just leave the underground wealth for our sons and their sons,” the King said as he continued his response to the ministers.
Bloomberg reports that is unclear whether Abdullah's comments can be taken literally, but whether or not the Saudis are halting all exploration or merely curtailing it, it is striking to hear the Saudi King discuss oil as a finite resource that must be preserved.
As BP's oil disaster illustrates, it is now riskier and more expensive than ever to tap into new sources of oil and natural gas. Yet even as we begin running into the limits of easily accessible fossil fuels, demand for energy continues to grow -- even in Saudi Arabia, which has previously warned that in coming years it will retain a larger chunk of its oil and gas production for domestic usage.
With demand going up and the stockpile of easily accessible fossil fuels going down, it makes all the sense in the world for us to finally launch a massive national effort to end our reliance on hydrocarbons to power our economy and way of life. The idea that we need to find clean, affordable, and renewable sources of energy isn't a radical conspiracy based on a scientific hoax. It's simple common sense based on observation of reality. And the time has come that we do something about it.