5 August 2015, The Nation, eborah Lawrence had been watching a once-empty parking lot near Midland-Odessa, Texas, fill up with idled drilling rigs usually at work plumbing for oil in the nearby Permian Basin. In January she noticed 10 rigs, then 17 a few weeks later. As winter turned to spring, the number climbed to 35. That trend has continued across the country. By the end of July, the nationwide rig count had slipped D54 percent since the same time a year ago, indicating distress in the oil and gas industry. The most obvious culprit is the precipitous drop in crude prices. But the trouble goes deeper, as Lawrence knows—and she isn’t just a casual observer. Lawrence is a former Wall Street financial consultant who now runs the Energy Policy Forum, helping to identify and analyze trends in the industry. Read More hereWhy Are Americans Switching to Renewable Energy? Because It’s Actually Cheaper. Fossil fuels have become an economic liability—for both consumers and energy companies.