"Not a problem. They can have political power if we get cheap energy, and if we don't they can run checkout at WalMart. They will get the message."
All have the message. Have had for some thirty years. As for as cheap energy on a national scale. Energy sources and how they are used are only part of the equation. We shall always need petroleum based products, that are not obtainable from other sources. Such as lubricants, jet fuel, heating oil, natural gas for cooking/home heating etc., and the diverse fractions that come from petroleum oil for literally hundreds of thousands of end products, not to mentioned all the required derived chemicals used in so many processes.
We need oil, and I am not talking about plant derived oils such as corn, cotton seed, soybean etc.. They cannot be cracked to obtain the extremely short list I make mention of above. It is all a bit more complicated then many of us understand believe me.