big oil is ripe to

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kazuhiko fudaba

Senior Member
In the article of the New York Times: They Used to Say Whale Oil Was Indispensable,too, there are sentences as follows.

Mr. Dolin said the message for today was that one era's irreplaceable energy source could be the next one's relic. Like whaling, he said,
big oil is ripe to be replaced by something newer, cleaner, more appropriate for its moment.

Question) Would you please explain what the bold phrase means, especially 'is ripe to' and 'big oil' ?

Thank you.
Kazu Fudaba
  • reno33

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    big oil = the entire and world-wide industry of oil
    is ripe to be replaced = is ready to be replaced
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