December 26, 2009
Edward R. Boone sat in an office studded with prize animal heads on his West Texas ranch and considered how he might attain his previous levels of influence. Without prospects and expectations, he felt he might as well die. Oil had become a moribund enterprise. While there was still a remarkable demand, the tide was turning. And although it had taken decades to realize the conversion, things now would move very quickly. People were purchasing cars that required electricity at night, cars that ran on only half gas, that burned a composite of brown rice and soy beans.There would soon be no room for petroleum. The only place he could consistently export his product now was Mexico and the more indigent parts of South America, where residents still used automobiles from decades before. But his returns there were minimal. His rigs and refineries would soon have to be dismantled.