The gradual climb in oil prices in recent weeks has revived hopes that US shale oil producers will return to profitability, while also renewing fevered dreams of the US becoming a fossil fuel superpower once again. Thus a few days ago my daily newspaper ran a Bloomberg article by Grant Smith which lead with this sweeping claim: “The U.S. shale revolution is on course to be the greatest oil and gas boom in history , turning a nation once at the mercy of foreign imports into a global player. That seismic shift shattered the dominance of Saudi Arabia and the OPEC cartel, forcing them into an alliance with long-time rival Russia to keep a grip on world markets.” I might have simply chuckled and turned the page, had I not just finished reading Oil and the Western Economic Crisis , by Cambridge University economist Helen Thompson. (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017) […]