America's Dependency On Oil & Coal

1320 words - 6 pages

America, and the world are in a crisis, and something needs to be done about our
dependency on oil and coal. We need to explore alternative fuels and really take a look at what we are doing to the environment. The United States Congress should reduce emissions from oil and coal by funding research and helping to advance the technology involved with alternative fuels.
America is a country that is literally fueled by oil and coal. We currently consume 20 million barrels a day, at a cost of 1.4 billion dollars per day. Oil is consumed in many different ways, and quite a few that most people may never think of, like in the production of clothing,
detergents, toothpaste, toothbrushes, ...view middle of the document...

Information is the first step needed to get our country headed in the right direction. The public need to be made aware of the alternatives that are available to them. We also need to realize that oil is not always going to be around. It took billions of years to create, and when it is all used up; it will take billions of more years to replenish it. Alternative sources of fuel are a necessity to keep moving into the future, not just for us, but for future generations as well.
The cause of this growing problem is simple; American’s have come to depend on oil and coal too much. Oil and gas account for a major portion of our energy consumption and are critical to energy generation. The Environmental Information Administration estimates that, based on recent United States Geological Survey estimates of the global oil resource base, worldwide oil production is likely to continue increasing for more than thirty years. Even with talks of change and somewhat recent policy changes, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) predict that oil demand will continue to rise and will remain the dominant source of fuel for many years down the road. On a regular day, driving a car is the most polluting act a regular citizen is involved in. Despite technological advances in automobiles, emissions continue to be on the rise. Even with these advances the simple fact is, more Americans are driving, and many of them are replacing small cars, with gas guzzling trucks and sport utility vehicles. The United States is the leading greenhouse gas emitter putting out over 7 billion tons of carbon dioxide per year. This problem does not just stem from our automobiles, but all combustion engines. Cutting your grass with a gas powered mower emits the same amount of pollution into the air as does driving a car 100 miles. We also need to be very concerned with our coal usage. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, “Burning coal is the leading cause of smog, global warming, acid rain, and air toxins.” In an average year, the typical coal plant produces 3,700,000 tons of carbon dioxide, which is the equivalent of cutting down 161 million trees. This is the primary source of human global warming. These plants also disperse more than 10,000 tons of sulfur dioxide into the air. The sulfur dioxide is then turned into acid rain that damages forests, lakes, buildings, and forms small airborne particles that can be very harmful to our lungs. Coal burning plants also release around 10,200 tons of nitrogen oxide into the atmosphere, which can cause lung inflammation and will also burn through lung tissue making people for vulnerable to respiratory illnesses. Although the burning of coal is the largest source of air pollution in our country, coal also pollutes in other ways. According to the Group...

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