Petroleum vs Renewable Energy Alternatives

1204 words 5 pages

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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Almost every method of transportation we use, from cars to airplanes, requires refined petroleum products to run. Without oil, as described in the background section above, the US would shut down. In order to avoid this, America has taken it upon itself to not so much find alternatives as to acquire more oil. This is most apparent in the recent political and military actions our country has taken in order to procure oil from unstable Middle Eastern countries, such as Iraq. Estimates by the US Department of Energy on how much has been spent from these engagements in the last 14 years specifically for the accumulation of oil is projected at 7 trillion dollars as of 2004 [4]. This a very large number, especially when we compare it to the projected cost of a relatively low 600 billion dollars to make an efficient hydrogen powered vehicle production line, this includes the price of research and development [5, p 482-483]. It seems almost foolish that our government would rather spend 7 trillion dollars to pursue a short extension to a failing fuel source, but sadly enough, they are doing so. In order to advance for the better, America must detach itself from its dependence upon oil and look to the future.

What Makes Petroleum Use so Attractive?

With all these new technological possibilities such as 99.8% efficient hydrogen powered cars [6, p 212-221], biomass and cold fusion


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