Because if any known energy sources compared favorably with convention oil, or even equalled oil's qualities as an energy source, we would see massive implementations of these technologies today. It's what the cornucopians are always saying... the market is the most efficient way to bring new technology "online".
I agree completely.
If it's potentially profitable, business pursues it. Legal or not... many businesses accept incredible barriers to entry as part of the normal operating cost of doing business in pursuit of profits. Even risking death in many cases. If these alternatives were profitable, we would see aggressive, large-scale efforts from companies to enter these markets. But we don't see this. Investments in oil alternative technologies have risen dramatically as the price of oil has soared in recent years, but remain a tiny portion of total energy spending.
This demonstrates nicely that conventional oil will need to be more expensive before alternatives will become truly competitive... much more expensive.
Which is, of course, the whole point.
So we are again left with Occam's Razor.
What's more likely?
Some conspiracy of influence has artificially squashed oil alternative technologies & made them non-competitive?
None are actually competitive?
Arguments about advanced technical solutions always fail to understand the basic issue. Name any oil alternative tech you can think of... then compare it Prima Facia with pokin a straw into the ground. Pokin holes into a pressurized fuel-tank (Oil Well), is a safe, simple way to produce tons of useful, profitable energy.
How expensive does oil need to be for these alternatives to be as profitable as oil? And more importantly, why would you consider that an "alternative'?
If you replace an energy source with a better one... that's progress.
If you replace an energy source with a worse one... that's desperation.
If you replace an energy source with one of equal quality... that's an alternative.
Even worse is the direct & indirect subsidy oil provides to all these alternatives, which skews the perception of how valuable a given alternative is.
Sorry techno-fixers... No soup for you.