Speaking at the U.S. Embassy in Berlin, Carnegie's Deborah Gordon explained that the global energy supply is witnessing a major shift in petroleum sources as production of conventional oils plateau and will soon begin a steady decline. Unlike the mostly homogeneous oils the world community has increasingly extracted, processed, and consumed for the last forty years, unconventional oils are both more difficult to tap and more varied in characteristics, Gordon said. Unconventional oils, however, are still fossil fuels, which means their emissions of carbon dioxide still contribute to climate change. Because the international community is in the early stages of exploration and extraction, the regulatory system that is currently held for conventional oils may not safeguard against the new, potential harms of unconventional oil production, Gordon concluded.
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