Rocky Mountain Confederation: Leading the World in Energy Assets
The "Rocky Mountain Confederacy" pictured above contains over a trillion barrels of bitumen oil equivalent from Alberta and Saskatchewan's oil sands; over a trillion barrels of kerogen oil equivalent from Wyoming, Colorado, and Utah; large deposits of shale oil in North Dakota, Montana, Alberta and Saskatchewan; huge crude oil deposits in the Arctic; large coal deposits throughout the region; and huge deposits of natural gas of both conventional and unconventional nature.
The Rocky Mountain Confederacy could easily become the largest energy exporting nation on the planet -- containing far more energy than Saudi Arabi, Iran, and Iraq combined, except for one thing -- it does not exist.
In order for such a nation to exist, something bad would have to happen to Canada and the US. Which means that something very, very bad will have happened to the rest of the world. Which means that the export market for all of that energy will not be very large.
You may consider that to be an extreme example of the "peak demand" theory, which states that demand for fossil fuels will collapse long before supplies are restricted enough to collapse the world economy. When the world economy collapses, it will be for other reasons than because all the affordable fossil fuels have been consumed.
When the fecal matter contacts the rotating blades does it really matter what caused it? Actually, it makes a great deal of difference in terms of re-starting a technological civilisation. If a re-born civilisation has both resources and blueprints available to jump-start technological infrastructure, the resumption of the path to beyond the stars will be that much easier.
In the meantime, should you ever wonder where the energy will come from, to transition to more advanced energy infrastructures, consider the many trillions of barrels residing within the Rocky Mountain Confederation. Should both of the governments in Washington and Ottawa ever descend into a full scale energy starvation at the same time, that may be one confederation of states and provinces which will choose to object.
Adapted from a previous Al Fin posting.