The fifth hard truth from the 2007 NPC study involves the energy sector workforce:

A majority of the U.S. energy sector workforce, including skilled scientists and engineers, is eligible to retire within the next decade. The workforce must be replenished and trained. (p. 6)

Since the early 1980s, relatively few young workers have entered the energy sector, Nelson pointed out, and relatively few people are in energy-oriented university programs in the United States (Figure 4.5). Making up the deficit is “not entirely possible from U.S. graduates.”

The sixth hard truth identified in the 2007 NPC study deals with carbon emissions.

Policies aimed at curbing carbon dioxide emissions will alter the energy mix, increase energy-related costs, and require reductions in demand growth. (p. 6)

This sixth NPC finding may not seem very dramatic given the current concerns about climate, Nelson said. “But I would remind you that this is the oil industry telling you this, and this was not, I would say, the generally held view 2 years ago.”

FIGURE 4.5 More than half of the energy sector workforce will be eligible to retire in the next 10 years. SOURCE: U.S. Department of Labor.



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