Pre-AP English II
24 February 2017
America’s Need for Black Gold In 1973, in the wake of conflict in the Middle East, US drivers were feeling the repercussions with every gallon of gasoline and oil that they consumed. The members of OPEC placed an oil embargo on the US and several other nations because of their aid to the Israeli military. This embargo greatly pressured the US, who was highly dependent on foreign oil. In the aftermath of this crisis, President Nixon called for the increased energy production to avoid this problem in the future. Yet, in this present day, the United States faces a similar, although not as extreme, situation. Measures must be made to make the United States energy independent. …show more content…
As of 2015, US natural gas proved reserves totalled 324.3 tcfg. The US produces 28.8 mmcfg (million million cubic feet of gas) each year (4). With unrestricted drilling of new sites, totalling 723 tcfg, the US could significantly increase its natural gas production per year in the next 10-20 years (5).
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Domestic Production would create many jobs for citizens in rural communities
Construction, alone, of the Keystone Pipeline will generate 42,000 jobs (2).
As of January 2017, US oil and natural gas companies have employed 177,000 to produce, refine, and distribute oil products. By 2024, experts project the number to rise to 220,000, an almost 25% increase. Oil and natural gas companies hoping to drill unconfirmed sites in the United States will need to employ more and more people. (6).
Hydrofracking and drilling are dangerous practices that could endanger the environment and workers.
The US Department of Labor has recorded a steady decrease of work-related injuries and fatalities since 2012 and as of 2014, 120 work related fatalities have been recorded, 38% lower than 2013 (6). This decline in fatalities can be attributed to several factors, safer equipment, more safety regulations, etc.
A new fracturing fluid used in the fracking process has been developed by
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for approximately 20 years.7 Once hydraulic fracturing was commercialized, independent gas companies quickly pursued the opportunity. Today, nine companies compete for shale gas production in the U.S., and the major oil companies have moved more slowly since the smaller firms were the originators of fracking technologies.8 Hydraulically fracked wells in the U.S. today total over 500,000 and continue to grow rapidly.9 Another key factor which allowed rapid shale gas development is that U.S. law provides that landowners also own the natural minerals under their property, which enabled shale gas developers to lease land for drilling directly from homeowners (in most other countries, the government owns minerals found under properties). Future success with clean energy will require collaboration between the U.S. Government and industry, and our leaders must commit to advancing this agenda in parallel with the continued development of U.S. shale resources.
Last year, however, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated that 84 (TCF) will be usable from the shale and will be made available primarily through fracturing.(Fowler) New underground imaging practices and different methods to survey shale formations are providing even more natural gas availability than we ever thought possible. When speaking of cleaner and more locally available energy more is definitely better.
Since the development of this modern deep earth fracking technology, many scientists, environmentalists and health advocates have shown a concern for the health effects the method has on the surrounding regions. Current evidence shows that fracking is a high-risk method of drilling, particularly
Our dependence on foreign oil and natural gas has created a vulnerability affecting our national security and economic stability. Up until this past decade there was an appreciable decline in our oil and natural gas production in the US and we were tied to world market price fluctuations. Oil prices and natural gas prices rose and fell based on OPEC’s and other large oil and natural gas producers’ production and pricing decisions. Beginning in 2005, things began to change in the US oil and natural gas industry. New technology called hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” made it possible to extract oil and natural gas from geological
It is easy to point out that prior to 1979 the US government should have done more to avoid such a heavy reliance on foreign oil. Fiscal policy, for years, was not properly structured to enable energy independence. During the Carter years, policies regarding energy use reduction primarily involved lowering the legal highway speed limit and by encouraging people to use less energy to cool and heat their buildings. Carter’s proposals for a broader energy program were constantly rejected by Congress.
The US wet natural gas reserves are at 322.7 trillion cubic feet (OGJ). US natural gas production is 25.308 billion cubic feet last year, but our consumption was 25.533 billion feet last year (North America). We did have to import the extra natural gas from Canada, even though there are proved natural gas reserves at 320+ trillion cubic feet sitting right below the land we call home.
Hydraulic fracking is one of the major fossil fuel industries in areas with large shale basins. It has led to a multitude of arguments over safety and environmental factors. With all of the new and safer processes to retrieve natural gas on the rise, there should be no reason why hydrofracking can’t become one of the nations largest producers of fossil
Apart from local groundwater contamination, another serious health concern is air pollution. Gases that escape from drilling activities include NOx, volatile organic compounds, methane, and other greenhouse gases. Air pollution also derives from the emissions of the many diesel trucks, accompanied with dust (Sackman, 2014). The retention ponds are also a danger since “chemical oxidation and airborne toxins can potentially affect downwind areas” especially if chemicals are ready evaporates (Throupe, Simons, and Mao, 2013). Another threat to real estate value is the possibility of spills and other accidents occurring at the drilling site. Any blowout can lead to massive releases of gas or polluted water (Muehlenbachs, Spiller, and Timmins, 2012). Other externalities include noise pollution, more truck traffic, deterioration of roads, minor earthquakes, clearing of land for drilling, and lights at night. These factors diminish the aesthesis identified with a property, and take away the premium of a quiet neighborhood (Muehlenbachs, Spiller, and Timmins, 2012). Socially, adverse factors include an increase in crime, reports of violence, and alcohol and drug use that are connected to hydrofracking picking up in an area. These may also be damaging associations for the real estate of the local
The process of fracking is also beneficial to the United States economy because it creates new opportunities for consumers and business. Extracting and developing natural gas comes with risks, like with any other energy resource. But if the risk is well managed, it results in great jobs for hardworking Americans and is a more efficient use of our domestic energy resources. Pennsylvania allowed development throughout the Marcellus Shale; and the economic benefits were significant. Thousands of solid jobs with good salaries were created and investment in the state soared. The steel, lumber, concrete, and construction industries, along with the manufacturing purchases and retail spending, all benefited from the resulting natural gas boom. According
With having 400,000 natural gas wells across the United States this creates thousands of jobs for people. In 1980 fracking companies supported 267,000 employees according to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis (Hassett, Kevin A.) In 2011 alone the United States produced 850,983 cubic feet of natural gas from shale gas wells (The Numbers.) Per thousand cubic feet of natural gas costs about 4.24 dollars, this comes out to a profit around 36 billion dollars (Hassett, Kevin A.) Not only does it have large profits but it has a huge direct effect on trade balance with the US and other countries. Between 2007 and 2011 natural gas imports decreased by 25 percent, with this four year decrease Energy Information Administration predicts that the USA will become a net exporter of natural gas by 2020 (Hassett, Kevin A.) Though “The word in the world of independents is that the shale plays are just giant Ponzi schemes and the economics just do not work,” says a spokesperson from IHS Drilling Data, an energy research company (The Numbers.) Shocking news that the economics just do not work with the gas companies many are finding out that it’s not as cheap to extract from the shale as the they intended it to be (Hunt, Spencer.) According to hundreds of industry emails and internal documents, and an
With the discovery of new technology that allows for us to drill deeper than ever before, natural gas wells are sprouting up all over the United States. Since 2011, U.S. oil production has increased by almost 3 million barrels a day, with a total production at 8.5 million barrels in July 2014. The growth in fracking efficiency has brought a lot of attention and criticism to the subject.
Being at the centre of global economic activities, the U.S. has had its own fair share of oil price shocks. However, it did not just accept or try to change or distort the market forces behind oil prices. Rather, it sought to influence them by making supreme the goal of energy independence. It also intensified diplomatic efforts and negotiations to this end.
How much can the US benefit from the increase in extraction and production of natural gas? It has estimated that it can boost GDP up to 3.3 percent, an equivalent of $126.5 billion dollars in a form of new manufacturing jobs by 2025. More significantly, as McGlynn notes "direct and, indirect
What do we do to obtain oil to meet the needs of Americans without having to “sell out” to Middle Eastern countries, not only with money but with foreign policy? This paper intends to refute the claims of those opposing America’s attempts to address its own energy needs rather than rely on the oil sources of other
The United States has made great strides with its oil industries. In fact oil is used in a plethora of products that are commonly used every day such as plastics. The use of oil has allowed the citizens to travel globally, to enjoy the freedoms the combustible engine have provided and to produce affordable energy sources to handle the tasks of living daily life. However, the problem is that oil is not renewable and is unclean. It not only destroys the atmosphere but those who control the majority of the oil are considered the richest countries among the world. All other countries must depend upon those few countries for the excess oil that they provide. This puts the United States at risk for shortages if differences arise between those countries and puts limits on the sort of political sanctions that can be placed on those countries if they commit obvious criminal acts against humanity or threaten war. The fine balancing act of pleasing the Middle East and still maintaining autonomy in the United States even while the United States depends on the Middle East for most of its oil is a double-edged sword. The dependency on foreign oil needs to be reduced to a minimum. There are options open to renewable, clean energy sources. There are alternative fuels that are not necessarily clean but are not crude oil and would help to lessen the need for Middle Eastern assistance. There are however several blockages to