It is apparent to all Americans that there is a clear and present crisis involving energy in the United States. In a time of increased terrorist activity and rising environmental concerns, fossil fuels cannot remain the focus of National Energy Policy. Dependence on energy produced from fossil fuels marks a direct threat to National Security. Carbon based energy is also extremely harmful to the environment. There are many alternatives to fossil fuel produced sources of energy and it is imperative that something is done to further develop and implement these energy alternatives while also contributing to the development of future energy sources.
The United States’ dependence on petroleum for energy and automobile fuel has lead to a great deal of global conflict that is dangerous to American security. The percentage of oil secured through OPEC (i.e. primarily Middle Eastern countries) is on the rise and accounts for more than half of the United States’ oil supply. This dependence has lead to a great deal of international conflict between Middle Eastern oil exports and the West. The fourth largest exporter of oil to the United States is Iraq. OPEC has demonstrated that it will manipulate oil prices by limiting the supply of oil to articulate political power. One example of this was in the early 1970’s when OPEC disrupted oil sales in an embargo against countries that supported Israel in the Yom Kippur War. While it is important that we maintain deregulated markets and support international business in order to improve international relations, the United States cannot continue to depend on countries with unstable governments to provide for a resource which is vital to the American way of life.
Environmental concern is on the rise as we look to a cleaner and more environmentally friendly life for future generations. We must find cleaner, more efficient, methods of producing energy. Fossil fuel based methods of producing energy dump detrimental amounts of pollution into the environment leaving an atmosphere which is unhealthy and potentially damaged. The global effects of this pollution have impacted negatively on us all. We must look to alternative methods of both automotive and electricity production that will dramatically lower the amount of carbon based greenhouse gases that are released into the air.
One solution to this problem would be the development and implementation of nuclear technology. Nuclear power is a cleaner and more efficient way of providing electricity. Despite public fears and concerns, the myths surrounding nuclear power are no longer a reality. Nuclear power is a safe and cost effective way to provide electricity for everyone in the United States without further polluting the environment or relying on the importation of oil from around the world. One atom of Uranium provides for ten million times the energy of one atom of carbon. Uranium can also be found in the seawater that makes up three-quarters of the earths surface and from granite. Uranium based nuclear power is estimated to have the ability to provide billions of years of energy for mankind. Surely, atomic energy is only one alternative form of energy which in itself stands up against the current precedent of fossil fuel focused energy policy.
There are already many alternative energy means in use today. These means include airpower, hydropower, nuclear power, bio-power, solar power, etc. Whether it be the research and production of even more technology or the development and implementation of existing technology, something must be done to secure ulterior means of energy production. Most importantly, steps must be taken now to avoid ending up in a situation where there is an emergency crisis on the American people’s hands and there is a frantic scurry for energy sources. The United States is the largest energy consumer in the world. It is time that we start making plans for the future by taking responsibility for providing clean, efficient, homemade energy for our children. Energy conservation is not enough; we need to make alternative fuels the focus of National Energy Policy before we are in bigger trouble than we are already.
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