The use of fossil fuels in the production of electric energy presents a variety of dangers to the United States. These dangers include not only threats to nature, but directly to the health and wellbeing of citizens. For example, the processes of actually extracting the fuels that go into energy production cause extensive harm long before they are utilized for energy. Using coal as a case study highlights these issues. Coal mining disrupts the environment even in the most controlled circumstances, with the widespread clearing of land destroying habits and separating the remainder into smaller, less efficient sub units. This greatly decreases biodiversity, an environmental quality that helps maintain natural ecosystems which provide tangible benefits to humans, such as better crop maintenance and the availability of other resources for later extraction. In addition to dividing ecosystems, mining also introduces considerable pollution into these environments, killing other important resources and introducing tox...
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...s be produced by Natural gas and renewables. By 2040, non-renewables other than natural gas should make up no more than 1/3 of energy production, with the rest split between natural gas and alternative energies. By 2050, the United States will produce a full ½ of our energy needs through the use of renewable energy sources; Natural gas may take up to another third, with the remaining fraction produced through other non-renewables.
This solution solves a fundamental problem facing environmental policy, in that the United States’ energy usage continues to increase at a rapid pace. This plan involves a continuation of that energy usage, leading to stability in quality of life. Although the up-front costs of this transition are high, the long-term payoff is substantial, made all the more significant as it is accomplished without a reduction in energy usage.
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