Petroleum vs Renewable Energy Alternatives Essay

1228 Words Feb 4th, 2008 5 Pages
Introduction

Petroleum has been a mainstay of the United State's economy for almost a century. However, oil has now been recognized as a strong catalyst for global warming, it is becoming scarce and therefore, an expensive necessity to America's economy. In the recent years many universities and scientists have looked for alternatives to oil in the form of renewable energies. These renewable energy sources would be cheaper in the long run, more efficient and environmentally clean. America as a whole must look into these new forms of renewable energy to determine if they are a practical alternative to the use of petroleum as an energy source. If we do not try to find a clean and efficient alternative to fossil fuels, I am concerned
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All countries depend on imports from other countries to survive; this is what forms our worldwide economy. Since we will be unable to transport goods from one place to another everything from medical supplies to food will become scarce. This must be avoided, but we must first recognize how much we as a country rely on imported petroleum.

America's Dependency Issue
We will first look at the United State's roles in the world oil chain in order to more fully understand what the stakes are in this war of dependency. America holds 2% of the world's oil reserves, contributes 8% to the production of oil and consumes a staggering 33% of the total world consumption [3]. This is an amazing amount for just one country alone to consume. If we look at how economics are supposed to work we will find that supply needs to equal demand. Our supply does equal our demand currently, but is largely imported. Right now America is only supplying 8% of the global production, while taking a massive third of the total consumption. Our supply comes almost completely from overseas, meaning that major oil producers, such as Saudi Arabia or Iraq, control a major role in our economy. This is a major weakness to the US as we will have little control over this precious resource and we are at the hands and will of the suppliers. Below is a chart showing the breakdown of America's uses of oil by sector.

Figure 2…