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Noah Smith

The Oil Age Is Coming to a Close

Demand for crude is destined to decline, delivering a shock to cities and towns dependent on energy extraction.

It was a great ride.

It was a great ride.

Photographer: Getty Images/Hulton Archive

The oil industry faces an uncertain future. The world is rapidly waking up to the severity and immediacy of the threat from climate change. At the same time, electric vehicles are getting cheap enough to compete with internal-combustion engines. BloombergNEF expects electrics to begin taking over in about a decade:

Meanwhile, concerns over groundwater pollution are leading to growing calls for a ban on hydraulic fracturing, the main source of increased U.S. production during the past decade.