Addicted To Oil
The United States uses nearly a quarter of the world’s oil. This would not be a problem if the U.S. had a large oil reserve but it only has 3% of the world’s reserves for 4% of the population (Pickens). This huge dependence on oil is costing us economically and also threatens our dreams. The United States needs to become more energy independent by using sources other than oil. Many alternative sources are available but renewable sources provide the brightest future. The United States’ increasing dependence on oil is a growing problem. Oil demand is increasing at an outstanding rate, not only in the U.S. but also around the world. Consider this, in 2008, “the world produced about 85 million barrels of oil a day, but global demand topped 86 million barrels a day” (Pickens). Just 4 years later the oil consumption rate has increased to 90 million barrels a day (IEA). A major portion of this increase can be attributed to high oil consumption rates in China and India, which now are importing more oil. The graph below from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) illustrates how significantly China’s dependence on world oil has increased over the past 15 years. It isn’t just competition for oil with other countries that is contributing to the problem though. Our usage of oil has to be looked at; especially our vehicles which consume an ever increasing amount of oil. According to the EIA, gas mileage of all types of U.S. made vehicles has leveled off since 1985. While foreign car companies have continued to make more fuel efficient vehicles, U.S. automakers have failed to keep up with innovations to make their vehicles increasingly more energy efficient. Based on the fact that each year more people are driving and people are commuting longer distances, oil consumption will continue to go up.
Oil demand has always been increasing, but until recent years the supply has been able to keep up with demand. The graph below shows that until...
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