American Oil Dependence Essay

American Oil Dependence Essay

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American Oil Dependence


Since the oil embargo of 1977, there has been an increased awareness of our nation's energy security. As global population and energy consumption rise, the need for a stable energy supply has become a hot topic and a politically volatile issue. As our negative trade balance grows larger by the day, the United States finds itself in a rather precarious position. We are becoming more and more dependent on Middle East oil.

Indeed, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) predicts that domestic petroleum consumption will increase to 60 Btu by the year 2025. This statistic, in and of itself, is a matter of concern with respect to the greenhouse gas emissions that result from petroleum combustion. However, perhaps more disconcerting is the fact that U.S. oil production peaked in 1970 and has continued to fall since then (Campbell et. al., 1998). Therefore, the American public has turned to foreign oil, in particular Middle Eastern oil, to supplement its increase in demand. In an age where terrorism is at the forefront of people's minds, we still continue to import oil from the same nations that supposedly harbor so-called terrorist groups. The fact is that we are unwilling to responsibly face our energy future and instead choose to maintain a policy of increasing oil supply through importation.

One of the main problems with this strategy is that it is a short-term remedy. Studies conducted by M. King Hubbert in 1956 predicted the rise, peak, and subsequent decline of global oil production. He predicted that global oil production would rise until around 2002 and then start declining (Campbell et. al., 1998). If one takes the oil embargo of 1977 into account, effectively decreasing the rate...


... middle of paper ...


...to a fuel that, upon exhaustion, will mark our retreat from the global economic spotlight.


Works Cited:

Campbell, Colin J., Laherrere, Jean H. "The End Of Cheap Oil." Scientific American Mar. 1998: 78-83.

Flo, Gary. "Lecture on Fossil Fuel Consumption." 8 Sep. 2003

N.A. "Environmental Advocates Statistics In Hand." 2003: www.geocities.com/Rainforest/Canopy/2743

Assoc. Press. "U.S. Auto Sales Hit 2003 High In July." USA Today 1 Aug. 2003: www.usatoday.com/money/autos/2003-07-31-autosales_x.htm

Mills, Mark. "25 Years After OPEC's Embargo." Environmental News Jan. 1999: www.heartland.org

N.A. "www.skyaid.org." 2003: www.skyaid.org/skycar/us_auto_statistics.htm

Staff Writer. "Bureau of Land Management Maximizing Energy Development, Minimizing Environmental Protection." NRDC 7 Aug. 2003: www.nrdc.org/bushrecord/airenergy_publiclands.asp#1383

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