Despite rising global demand for petroleum and soaring domestic costs, American oil and gas companies are hesitant to ramp up production over fears that demand won’t last long enough to turn a large enough profit from new wells, reports The New York Times. 

“You had this bombastic, chest-pounding industry touting itself as the reincarnation of the American innovative spirit,” said Jim Krane, an energy expert at Rice University. “And now that they could be leaping into action to pitch in to bring much-needed oil to the world, they are being uncharacteristically cautious.”

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