If I needed to rebuild civilization, that'd be the last thing on my mind.
Wind, solar, and hydro are your easiest routes to electrical energy. From there lots of things become easier.
I have heard of the idea of "Peak Wood" corresponding to "Peak Oil", being the time when wood to make charcoal for metal smelting became scarce due to the scale of production and the inefficiency of the process.
It's a long way from the blacksmithy to the oil derrick.