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Oil depletion

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Over recent decades the debate over the depletion of the world's major oil deposits has intensified.

In 1956, M. King Hubbert predicted that U.S. oil production would peak in the early 1970s. Hubbert and more recent proponents of global oil scarcity have been criticized by some oil experts and economists.

Responses to the depletion of existing large, cheap oil fields have prompted diverging responses. The oil industry has advocated government support for oil exploration in deeper water areas as well as protected areas (such as the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge).

Environmentalists promote reduced reliance on fossil fuels and increased use of renewable energy sources.

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