Essay about Energy Consumption in the United States

461 Words 2 Pages
Energy Consumption in the United States

The United States consumes more energy than needed, compared to the rest of the world. However, to properly address such an issue as over consumption of energy, one first must understand what “energy” is.

Energy is the ability for something to do work, create heat, or emit light. By this definition, energy can be anything from a sandwich to uranium. However, for the sake of simplification, this essay will focus on the United States’ consumption of fossil fuels (oil, coal, and gas), which constitute eighty-six percent of American energy (Lehrman 2). That is a lot of energy, however it becomes an even larger amount when taken into consideration that even though America accounts for only five
…show more content…
The United States clearly consumes more energy than needed, but it is not all due to wastefulness and apathy. For example, if one were to compare the US with the European Union, he/she would see that the US consumes about twice as much energy. However, such an observer must take into account other factors, such as population density. The US as a whole is four times less dense in population than the EU, and therefore needs more energy for basic tasks such as commuting. In addition, the US has greater climate extremes than the nations in the EU and therefore consumes more energy for heating and air conditioning. The same facts work when comparing the US to China or Japan (Lehrman 2). Nevertheless, there is a problem in the United States that must be addressed.

With American population expected to increase by approximately fifty percent over the next fifty years, some sort of energy reform is needed (Lehrman 2). The most commonly proposed idea is for America to stop relying so heavily on fossil fuels, and to turn its focus onto renewable sources of energy, such as solar power and hydroelectricity (Energy Information Administration). If the United States could realize the benefits of renewable energy, then much of the world’s energy problems could be solved.

Works Cited

Consumption by the United States – accessed February 12, 2005