Depression Looming: Economic Contractions Continue Unabated

6 OCT 2010

Contact: Alan Dechert, 916-209-6620
Safe Energy Association
P.O. Box 2754 Granite Bay, CA 95746

GRANITE BAY, CA – “We are faced with an unprecedented set of circumstances, which our government is failing to address and does not understand,” says Alan Dechert, president of the Safe Energy Association. Dechert has presented a detailed explanation of the situation in a 30-page article just published by Safe Energy Association. The article also outlines corrective action.
Dechert continues, “There are some people in the government, especially the federal government, who understand what is going on with energy. A 2007 US GAO report warned of ‘severe economic damage’ if we are unprepared for declining oil production. It is understandable that officials have kept quiet about it for fear raising a false alarm. However, at this point, there is no longer a need to worry about the false alarm. The decline is here and we are not prepared. People need to hear the alarm just as people in a burning building need to hear the fire alarm. People need to get moving or get burned.” Every job has an energy budget with which to do the work. When the energy budget is eliminated, the job is eliminated. The United States currently has 15 million unemployed – about the same number of unemployed as the height of the Great Depression in 1933. The number of unemployed Americans could double or triple within a few years. How bad could the “severe economic damage” be? “Anyone could figure out that a couple of airplanes hitting the twin towers would cause severe damage. We may not have believed it could bring them down, but we all saw it. This time, we are all in the building.”


Any governmental body, state, federal or local, that thinks they cannot afford to invest in energy infrastructure improvements is working with the wrong set of ideas. Cutbacks in this area will throw us from recession into a depression.

Oil production worldwide has been declining for several years and will continue to decline indefinitely. This is the unprecedented problem of our time. For all of modern history, oil production has been increasing. Of all the countries in the world, the United States is by far the most dependent on oil and will be hit the hardest by the decline.

Partly, this problem is hard to understand because it is so large. The numbers are hard to grasp. We can understand the difference between one thousand and one million – twice as many zeros. But when we are talking about energy, we are talking about trillions of dollars and quadrillions of BTUs (British Thermal Units). In the past 20 years, we spent 15 trillion dollars on fossil fuel energy. This gave us about 80 quadrillion BTUs of energy per year. That’s 15,000,000,000,000 dollars and 80,000,000,000,000,000 BTUs – so many zeros it becomes a blur, but we have to get a handle on it. Charles Hall, professor of systems ecology at State University of New York’s College of Environmental Science and Forestry, said, “Neoclassical economics is inconsistent with the laws of thermodynamics.” This is another reason we are not dealing with the problem very well: Economic advisors are working with a faulty tool set.

Safe Energy Association ( is a formative trade association promoting legislation such as the Safe Energy Roadmap resolution.



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